In this post, I’m going to tell you all about destashing, destroying and consolidating my eye shadow collection. This is part of a bigger project I’m tackling this year and feels like a natural update to several of my previous posts. In case you’re new here or just dropped in for this specific post here’s a quick background:
I started investing in makeup around 2011, went through a few years of subscribing to subscription boxes and trying to hoard as much and as many products as I could so my pretty makeup vanity would look as gorgeous and full as possible, quickly drowned in samples and gave up on subscriptions to buy products I knew I would use. Until last year I was 110% on the hype train every time my latest favorite brand or influencer put out a new collection/palette.
January 2018 I stumbled across a subreddit called Makeup Rehab. They have a google sheets template that helps you inventory your makeup collection. I started to fill it out and realized I have a problem: I’ve collected way too much makeup. That may be a matter of opinion, but it’s my makeup/house/life so it’s my opinion that matters in this case. Now I’m in the process of destashing my collection as part of my quest to get my house organized.
I started with 16 eye shadow palettes. I haven’t counted singles or samples yet, but in terms of palettes alone that’s 342 shadows, many of which are extremely similar shades/colors. This is not useful. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to open multiple palettes to get the colors I want. As anyone who’s ever bought a palette can tell you, not every color in every palette works as well as the others.
Destashing and Consolidating
So I started destashing. I listed 6 of my least used or totally unused palettes on Poshmark (shop my closet here), bringing me down to 261. Then I swatched every. single. shade. left. using a brush and my left arm. My left arm is actually still recovering – turns out my skin doesn’t like being washed repeatedly. Oops. Any color that didn’t immediately take my breath away went on the destroy list. One palette went right in the trash: Naked 1. Two entire palettes survived for now: Kat Von D’s Innerstellar and the Morphe 15N “Night Master”. That left me with 6 to consolidate.
I used to be anti-depotting, but no more. Here’s a video of me depotting, destroying and repressing the winners to bring my total in-palette shadows down to 132 (less than half of my original collection!):
Isn’t this wasteful? Yes and no. I should never have purchased all of these palettes in the first place. That was wasteful. Now that I have, it’s less wasteful to throw away the colors I don’t use and actually use the colors I like instead of having a system that’s so cumbersome I don’t want to bother using any of them. Also, I want to be clear: I am not in debt from these purchases. I never carry a balance on my credit cards and would not buy something if I didn’t have cash to cover it. That doesn’t mean they were good purchases, you can pay cash for things you don’t need, but I haven’t made the problem worse by creating debt too.
But you spent all that money. Google “sunk cost fallacy.”
Why repress instead of just straight depotting? I didn’t want to buy replacement palettes yet. The Morphe palettes are flimsy so it was safer to repress most of the shadows instead of depotting everything. I will more than likely keep destashing as I figure out which colors are basically identical and eventually move out of the Morphe palettes into nicer ones instead but for now this was the most cost effective way to handle things.
Why take inventory before you start destashing? Why not throw away old/expired/never used products first? This is personal preference. For me, I wanted to see the total damage and dollar value of the collection so I have a clear motivation to keep up the work going forward. I do have a lot of products that are just so old they’re useless. Thankfully I haven’t found anything that’s gone bad even though I do have some things that are past their expiration date. I personally don’t automatically throw away products just because they’re expired but that is personal preference and contrary to the manufacturer’s recommendations so I’m not suggesting you do the same. Please decide for yourself.
So why buy palettes in the first place? After this, it seems like buying singles might be better. Again, yes and no. This is where the industry has control. Let’s look at Morphe. Most of their singles are $6. Their palettes are usually $23 for 35 colors. That’s a little less than $0.66/shadow. If you watched my video, you’ll see I kept approx. 20/35 in each palette – that’s still $1.15 each instead of $6. Even the worst palette, when I kept only 14/35, came out to $1.64/shadow. Frustrating? Yes. Most of us will never use up an entire pan of eye shadow, let alone a full palette, before it expires. You have to decide for yourself how much usage is worth your money.
Finish my inventory. This is pretty straightforward. The only category I’ve finished inventorying is lip products so I have a lot left to do.
Destash the eyeliners, mascara, face and lip colors. Oh my gosh, the lip colors. I knew I had a problem with eye shadow. But I rarely ever wore lip color before last year so I never expected to learn that’s my second problem area!
Wear makeup more often. Now that I know how much I have, I’m trying to do a better job of getting some product on my face every day. This is in part because there’s a new eye shadow palette I want to buy (I know…) but also because this project reminded me how much fun I have with my makeup.
Organize my vanity area. This is my end goal and the reason I went down the makeup inventory rabbit hole. Before the end of June I want to be back here with pictures of my finished vanity area. Spoiler: it doesn’t look like this anymore.
Other questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Let me know in the comments!