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!

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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. ♥️

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 cheekbonebeauty.ca 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.

cheekbone

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.

shannen

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

cheebonebeauty

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 accompanying project pan

I have started out 2019 sick as can be, as per usual. Not from drinking or partying too hard, but from the usual cold and flu that seems to hit the prairies hard during the holidays. I have yet to wear makeup this year because of this, but I took some time in between napping and gargling with salt water to pick out my 2019 project pan.

My products are:

  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Trio
  2. Anastastia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in Spice
  3. CoverGirl Clean Matte Foundation
  4. Becca Blush Trio (a holiday limited edition item from years ago)
  5. Stila Highlighter Trio (another holiday item from years ago)
  6. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario eyeshadow palette

These are all products that I’ve had for awhile and love, and know that I can easily use them on a daily basis. Some of them are older than others, and I want to make sure I use them up before I go bad. My goal is to hit pan or use up each item and shade pictured.

Are you doing a 2019 Project Pan?

NO BUY 2019: Why I’m doing a no buy year

Happy New Year, friends! I am now a month into my 13-month-baker’s-dozen-no-buy, and I figured it’s about time I come clean with why I decided to do a no-buy. Everyone’s reasons for doing a no buy are different: some just want to save money, some are running out of room in their homes and on their vanities, and others have an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I definitely fall into each of these categories.

I first got into makeup at the end of high school/beginning of university. My first year of university I had two friends/roommates from high school who had been watching Youtube tutorials since Youtube’s inception. They were our resident makeup gurus, and we could usually coax them into doing our makeup before parties or concerts. My first year of university was the first year that I had been single in my adult life, and my not-so-supportive prior partner had always said how they didn’t like me in heavy makeup, and so this was the first time that I felt I could really experiment with makeup and feel beautiful and not be chastised about it. Makeup was also a fun bonding experience with my troupe of gal pals. It was fun to pre-drink, take pictures, and chat while doing our hair and makeup together before going out for a fun night. Even though I was mostly just using cheap ELF makeup and my roommate’s UD Naked palette, it was probably the most fun and exciting period of makeup in my life. I wasn’t buying much makeup other than the odd lip product because I couldn’t afford to, but I loved doing my makeup each day before class.

My second year of university was a little more dicey, and I think this is where the bad spending first started to pop up. This year I bought my very first higher end makeup product, the Urban Decay Naked 3 (pink) palette. My high school and first year friends and I had ended up going separate ways, and I was hanging out more with people from my English classes and some students who worked at the same job I had started working at that previous summer. It was a harder time, as I found myself struggling more with my mental health, like many university students do, and my physical health, and trying to keep up with university, writing, and work, all while not really being well. I had one friend in particular who also experienced moderate to severe anxiety about school and life in general, and I found myself skipping class at least once a week with them to go to Chapters or the mall. At Chapters and Sephora we would usually end up getting expensive coffees and then making at least one stress-purchase. I don’t blame this friend at all, because we were both dealing with a lot and we definitely both enabled each other’s unhelpful spending. We always justified it, as English majors, as “You can never have too many books, right? It helps us with our degree, it helps us to be better writers, etc.”

From here my spending habits just kind of continued to slide. I continued to use shopping as a way to cheer myself up and cope with the depression and anxiety. I justified it because makeup had become a hobby for me. I had a few new friends who liked makeup too, we took makeup lessons together, and I spent most of my non-academic and non-work time watching makeup tutorials and recreating looks in my apartment. It was a hobby I could do from home in the cold winter months when school, my health, and the weather got me down.

However, because I had become such an avid watcher of the Youtube influencer community, I quickly became sucked into the “You need this!” race of getting the newest items, of feeling panicked when I couldn’t get my hands on limited edition items, and of feeling the need to get everything from each tutorial I watched. Again, I don’t blame anyone else for this. I applied critical thinking to essays and readings during my degree, but I didn’t apply this same criticism to my consumption of beauty products. I willingly chose to blindly dive into this unhealthy consumerism culture without questioning the reviews I was watching or the motives of those making the reviews, and without doing the math or creating a sustainable beauty budget for myself.

As I started first working at a spa and then later at a laser clinic, I discovered even more ways to enable and justify my addictive spending. I was seeing improvements with treating my acne and I didn’t want to revert back to my old breakouts. I claimed that it was for work, because I could make better product recommendations, more sales, and more commission if I used the products myself and could vouch for them. I was working in two different cities, and had a hoard of skincare at both my place and at my parents’ place.

It’s only in the past year or two that I’ve become more conscious of my purchases and have made an effort to get back on track. I attempted a no buy last year, but didn’t have a plan in place, or any sort of guidelines, and lacked specific goals, so I failed miserably. There have been set backs, such as being laid off and having limited income for awhile, and caving horribly during Sephora sales. I used each setback as an excuse to completely sabotage the rest of the progress I had made.

This time around though I know I have the tools to succeed with this no buy, to get back on track with my spending, and to pay off my debt and save up for my dreams. I want to be able to take a warm vacation in the future, to travel more overall, and to buy a house, and I’ve realized that with how I was previously spending, I would never achieve these goals in my lifetime.

Hannah Louise Poston (Youtube) said something along the lines of “I was spending like a rich lady, when I was in fact not a rich lady” in regards to how Youtube makes us feel like spending exorbitant amounts of money on skincare and makeup is “self care”, when it’s actually self-sabotaging. This hit home. I had been buying skincare beyond my means because I thought it was necessary to take care of my acne, and I was buying makeup out of my budget because I worked hard and was stressed and thought I deserved it. This sort of mentality, and many of the influencers I followed on Youtube at the time, have become a huge trigger for my harmful spending.

To sum up this lengthy ramble, I am doing this no buy year because I need it. I think it will be a positive step towards paying off my debt and meeting my financial goals. I think it will be a positive and planned out step towards breaking harmful habits and cutting out spending triggers. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for me to rediscover ways to cope with stress, poor mental health, and the usual mess life throws at us humans in a healthier, less expensive way. I’ve got my rules, I’ve got my community, and I’ve got the motive.

If you’re doing a no buy year, please get in touch with me! I’d love to have some blogging friends I can chat with about this experience. If you’re not doing a no buy, how do you manage your spending, whether it be for makeup, skincare, clothing, hobbies, pets, kids, etc.? What are your budgeting strategies and how have they worked for you?

NO BUY 2019: 26 days in

Well friends, it is 26 days into my 13 month skincare and makeup no buy. I’ve survived the Boxing Day sales unscathed, although I was tempted!

When drafting up the rules for my no buy, I said that when I receive gift cards for makeup or skincare I would use them up, but not spend more than what is on the card. I’d like to expand upon that, as I received a lovely Sephora gift card for Christmas. I think it’s best that if going forward I use gift cards only if they are going towards necessary replacement items. I can definitely see myself skirting the rules if I allow myself to buy anything as long as it’s on a gift card! I’m going to keep it on hand for the next time I run out of toner or mascara.

I’ve found it easier to dodge Boxing Day sale temptations since I switched phones, as weird as that sounds. I get most promotional emails sent to my iCloud email account, which now that I’ve switched back to Android, I only access these emails on my laptop. It makes a huge difference being able to ignore those sale notifications until the sale has passed. The only sale that really tempted me was the Sephora clearance section, as they had so many Viseart eyeshadow palettes that I’ve wanted for quite some time but haven’t purchased because of the price. The Tryst palette in particular was difficult to scroll past, but I didn’t cave.

I just watched Hannah Louise Poston’s most recent video upload on YouTube, in which she adds up what she spent on replacements during her no buy year, how much money she saved, and how much money she made from Adsense. It was really encouraging, as I feel like my collection and my spending habits are quite similar to what hers used to be, and just the thought of saving hundreds, if not a few thousand dollars by doing a no buy year successfully is so alluring. I want to be able to do something similar in copy cat fashion at the end of 2019 and be able to lay out my previous spending habits and my spending changes and see how it all adds up. I’ve started a document in my phone so that I can properly track what I’ve used up, what I’ve purchased, and what I previously would have bought but didn’t buy.

I’m feeling optimistic about not only my no buy, but also about others doing no buys and what it means for the beauty industry. I see so many comments on Hannah’s videos and on other no buy channels from other people who have also been inspired to do a no buy in 2019, or challenge their over-the-top consumerism in other ways. It makes me wonder, will makeup and skincare companies see a shift in their revenue? Will it force them to make items that are reusable and that stick around for awhile? Will we see fewer limited edition items, and more magnetic palettes and replaceable pans?

If you’re doing a no buy or low buy for 2019, I would love to hear how you are doing, what you are planning, and your thoughts on how and if the no buy trend will alter the industry.