Marie Kondo’ing my makeup stash

I know everyone is sick of hearing about Marie Kondo, but she is so popular for a reason. Instead of the usual tidying methods that involve aggressive change, clutter shaming, and intensive renovations and makeovers, the KonMarie method is so simple. Simply find what sparks joy, and thank what you no longer need. There isn’t a prescribed number of items that every person must have, as every person is different. One person may only find joy in a dozen books, while someone else may find joy in fifty. One person may be happy with a minimalist closet, while another may have a beautiful collection of shoes that brings happiness to their daily life. It’s different for everyone, and that’s okay.

I first read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up about a year and a bit ago, and at that time I wasn’t really able to entirely overhaul my home and belongings. I lived in a one bedroom apartment, had just finished up my degree, and was working multiple jobs. I often worked anywhere from 9 to 16 days in a row without a day off, and worked physically and emotionally demanding jobs, so that when I came home I just did not have the energy to dump out my makeup drawer or my closet and go through my items one by one.

However, at the start of 2019 I was stuck at home sick with the flu for a week, and began watching Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix, as I couldn’t leave my bed or my house as per doctor’s orders. With this spare time stuck at home alone, I started dumping drawers onto my bed and began sorting and tidying inbetween naps. I haven’t necessarily gone in Kondo’s recommended order of categories, but have been sorting as I’ve needed and have revisited a few categories a second time if I kept too many items the first time due to guilt or sentimental attachment. I have accumulated A LOT of stuff throughout the years, and I’m pretty sure I still have stuff at my parents’ house even.

Makeup was a hard category, as I’m very aware of how much each item costs and couldn’t help but feel as if I was throwing away money at first, even though so many items I never used, didn’t have the desire to use in the future, or had expired. Books were the second hardest, as there is this weird culture with English students and writers where you almost have this strange sense of pride over who and what is on your bookshelf, as well as the number of books you own. The fact that many of the books I owned were by local authors that I personally know or local authors that I look up to made it even harder to get rid of these books! I had to sit down, pause, and remind myself that I had already purchased the book, sang its praises, and supported the author to the best of my ability. By donating these books to others who might not otherwise have access to this book was only helping both that person, the author, and myself. I had to remind myself over and over again that there was virtually no downside to donating the books I knew I would not reread, and eventually I got over that hurdle. Considering that there are very few books I’ve actually wanted to reread in my lifetime, I donated a fair chunk of them.

Jumping back to the makeup, I want to touch on something that Hannah Louise Poston has mentioned in a number of her videos, the idea that having some empty space in her home is more valuable than certain items. I am discovering, as I continue to declutter, sort, and clean, that this is true for me as well. Prior to decluttering, I had zero space for anything new in my home. I moved to my new rental, much larger than my prior apartment, at the end of November, and unpacking literally came to a standstill because I didn’t have space for what remained in my boxes. That’s right. Even though I now had significantly more square footage at my disposal, I STILL didn’t have enough room for all of my belongings. If I were to find a new plant or a new book that I really liked, I wouldn’t have had anywhere to put it. Home wasn’t necessarily a space where I could ditch my stress and anxiety, because the number of items in my home was a cause of my anxiety and stress. This was contrasted so greatly by the yoga studio I attend, and the “after” shots of the homes in Marie Kondo’s show, where there was just enough blank space to put the mind at ease, but just enough items in the space to make it feel as if it had heart and character.

I’m not yet done decluttering, but I am getting to a point where there is a more comfortable amount of blank space in my home and that letting things go isn’t as difficult.

I wanted to share some of the decluttering I’ve done in my makeup collection, in case anyone else is working on downsizing their collection and making more space.

Eyeshadow palettes have been my weakness. Partially because they’re colourful, shiny, and divine, and partially I think because the trend and focus of new releases for the past year or two has been eyeshadow palettes. I thanked and decluttered my Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette because I never use it, my Tarte Swamp Queen palette because it’s very old and rarely used anymore, my Nyx Palette because I’m not a fan of the formulation, and my Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette because I have shade dupes for every single shade in that palette, but in better formulated shadows. I don’t think I will be buying anything from Tarte in the future as the ethics of their very whitewashed company rub me the wrong way, and I’m not overly drawn to their repetitive products at this point anyways. I have no beef with Urban Decay or Nyx, but just don’t use these palettes, and know they will be better used in the hands of a friend.

The gold and glass tray on the left has been with me for awhile. It used to be entirely filled with lip products, and I even had a smaller second tray for the overflow. The products on the right are all either very expired, freebies I never really sought out myself, or products that I’ve never been super into but came in a set of other lip products. Those on the right are all hitting the trash bin! It’s refreshing to see space in my tray, to have less decision fatigue when selecting a lipstick in the morning, and less guilt about leaving products unused. I’ve whittled it down to my favourites, and now stand a chance of actually using some of these products up before they expire.

I found that I wasn’t using a lot of my face products because they were all in separate, smaller palettes or compacts, and I had to open each and every one to see it. I depotted the majority of my blushes, contours, and highlighters, and put them in these magnetic palettes (that I got on sale!) so that I could chuck the shades I no longer liked and have the ones I do still love where I can easily view them. In doing so I downsized several palettes and compacts into two, and now have a rearrangeable palette I can curate for travel and other circumstances.

After purging the makeup, I took another gander at my skincare drawer and chucked a bunch of old crusty bottles, and rearranged my drawer. Everything feels more spacious, and less overwhelming, and I love it! I may still purge a bit more, but for now, this is a positive step.

Have you fallen into the Marie Kondo organizational trend? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your makeup or skincare collection? And would you rather have space, or have your space be filled to the brim? I’m curious to see what works for others!


Deciem Founder Brandon Truaxe passes away

It was sad to scroll through my timeline this afternoon and discover the passing of the founder of Deciem, Brandon Truaxe.

Deciem is a Canadian skincare and bodycare company with a number of lines, the most noteworthy being the ever affordable and effective The Ordinary. I have so much respect for the company for making affordable skincare effective, attractive, and trendy for the average working person. And to put a CANADIAN company on the map like that? Incredible. I have been a fan on and off of the brand for such a long time.

In the past year Truaxe’s behaviour online became very erratic, aggressive, and concerning. Though I do not know the cause of his death or what specifically spurred his online behaviour, I can only assume he was battling addiction or another form of mental illness, or something rather troubling in his personal life, based on accounts of his behaviour. It is so unfortunate, regardless of how he died (which at this moment has not been reported), that he was not able to find help and peace in whatever he was struggling with. I hope he is at peace now.

I have so much respect for the company he has created and offer hearfelt condolences to those who love him and know him personally.
I have seen his death reported by Vox, Allure, Refinery29, and a number of others, if you are seeking out more information about these unfortunate circumstances.

If you yourself are struggling with mental health troubles or honestly just a rough patch in general, I cannot urge you strongly enough to seek out help, whether it be from your doctor or psychologist, anonymous mental health lines, your local mobile crisis unit, or a trustworthy loved one. ♥️

MOTD: January 19, 2019

Face: @covergirl Matte Primer, @beccacosmetics Matte Foundation (tried this as a deluxe sample, not liking it too much!), @cheekbonebeauty Earth Contour Palette, @beccacosmetics Holiday Blush Trio from eons ago, Stila Holiday Highlighter Trio from eons ago, @essencemakeup Matte Setting Spray (which I am presently in love with–such a beautiful mist!) Eyes: @anastasiabeverlyhills x @makeupbymario palette, @physiciansformula Killer Mascara

Brows: @cheekbonebeauty Brow Gel in Brunette (LOVE the applicator on this!) Lips: @cheekbonebeauty Liquid Lipstick in CINDY (a Cheekbone Beauty #discountcode for ya: ANDRM100)

Makeup Empties: January 14, 2019

Makeup emptiessss!

💜@wetnwildbeauty Matte Finish Setting Spray: An okay setting spray for five or six dollars. Not my most favourite, not the worst I’ve ever tried. I really liked the compact, cute packaging, but had problems with the spray pump when I got closer to empty.

💜@marcjacobsbeauty Eau de Parfum in Honey and Daisy minis: I know nothing about perfume so I am definitely not the person to consult when purchasing perfume, but I enjoyed these two scents. Not obnoxiously sweet, but nice, happy scents.

💜Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation Shade 5: This foundation is super soft and comfortable while offering medium coverage. My powerfully oily skin usually melted through this in the t-zone by 1pm. Very classy packaging in my opinion. Won’t be repurchasing as it is $72 CAD and in the words of Kathleen Lights, “Das Expensive!”

Brand Feature: Cheekbone Beauty

Full Disclosure: I am a Brand Ambassador for Cheekbone Beauty, and receive a small commission from the 10% off discount code, ANDRM100. Using the code ANDRM100 on will get you 10% off your purchase. This is my first affiliate code, and this is because I only promote and collaborate with brands that I can stand behind. This means that I respect what the company is doing, believe in their ethics and mission statement, and believe that they are doing good work. If a company or organization’s mission or ethics change and become something that I do not support and do not believe in, I cut ties. Read on for why this brand is kickass, and its origin story that is rooted in social justice and activism. As a white woman with a fair amount of socioeconomic privilege, I think it is really important to support and lift up not only other female and non-binary entrepreneurs, artists, and professionals, but especially women and non-binary folks of colour.


Origin Story

Cheekbone Beauty is a Canadian, Indigenous-owned beauty company created by Jenn Harper, an Ojibwe woman from the Thunder Bay and Niagara regions. Jenn grew up in a primarily white community and felt that she stood out. Growing up she had a complicated relationship with her heritage (she talks about this in the Breaking Beauty Podcast, episode 41–Jenn’s story is really quite incredible and interesting, and I recommend giving this episode a listen if podcasts are your thing!), having grown up without an Indigenous community and not becoming immersed in cultural traditions until later in her 30’s. Overcoming cultural barriers and her own addiction to alcohol, she launched Cheekbone Beauty and began to reconcile with her culture, her community, and Indigenous history. Cheekbone Beauty utilizes beautiful lipstick to birth conversations about issues that Indigenous folks endure, particularly the educational funding gap between white students and Indigenous students here in Canada. The name of the company came about because Indigenous folks are known for their lovely cheekbones, and research has shown that people with higher cheekbones are deemed as more trustworthy.


Social Justice and Activism

First Nations children receive anywhere from 30-50% less education funding than the rest of Canadian children, and this is a problem that Cheekbone Beauty aims to help fix by donating 10% of their profits from the sales of their cosmetics to the Shannen’s Dream campaign through the First Nations Caring Society. As well, the brand calls attention to stellar Indigenous women who have broken glass ceilings and created incredible careers by naming each of their lip shades after different inspiring Indigenous women.

Quick Stats

  • Cruelty-free products
  • A number of the products are vegan. In fact, the brand actually discontinued their tube lipstick line because they could not guarantee that animals were unharmed during the extraction process of their lanolin oil ingredient.
  • Paraben-free products
  • Free shipping over $99
  • Diverse models used in marketing and social media
  • Canadian, female-owned, Indigenous-owned company based out of Ontario
  • Products presently available include brow gel, lip gloss, liquid lipstick, a contour palette, and a highlighter palette


An assortment of my personal thoughts on the brand

  • I like that the brand has a small collection of products. I feel that when companies, especially smaller beauty companies, jump in and start cranking out enormous amounts of different products, that there hasn’t been much time or effort put into the formulation. I think that if you’re going to do something, do a few things really well and start from there, rather than jumping in too quickly and doing a lot of things mediocrely.
  • I love that it is a Canadian brand whose ethics and mission I can get behind.
  • I appreciate that the brand has a very diverse social media presence. It gets tiring seeing the same blonde white ladies promoting everything out there. It’s nice to see all sorts of real women being shown on their Instagram page.

What other small, POC-owned makeup brands do you enjoy? Any recommendations?

NO BUY 2019: The end of sick day shopping

I’ve been sick with an awful flu bug since January 1, so sick that my doctor told me to stay off work for a week and do nothing but sleep so that I don’t spread the bug around to others and prolong how long I am sick for. As you can imagine it was great for the first few days to sleep all day and watch Netflix, but at this point I wish I were feeling better because I am bored out of my mind.

The urge to shop online has been a lot stronger since I got sick. I didn’t really put two and two together until now, but a lot of my outlandish spending from yesteryear took place online when I was at home sick. My immune system and stress management isn’t the greatest, so I’m sick pretty frequently during the winter months. When you’re bored and starved for some sort of stimulation or social interaction after staying home alone for days, online shopping easily filled that void. You’re getting that little happy buzz, and something delivered to your door to distract you from how poorly you feel. Without that distraction, I felt a little restless this time around. I kept flipping between Netflix shows, and mindlessly added Sephora items to my cart knowing that I could not and would not actually hit that checkout button.

After realizing this wasn’t helping, I tried to read a little bit, but ultimately ended up watching dupe videos for skincare. I figured if I couldn’t shop, I could try and research cheaper alternatives for my current skincare routine to purchase when I do actually run out of that item.

I haven’t caved yet and don’t plan on doing so, and I’m glad I made it over my first bump of the no buy! I’ve also got a lengthy list of skincare items to use as replacements when my current stash runs dry, and hopefully save a little cash in doing so.