Friday, 10 February 2012

The Use It Up Challenge

You may have noticed that one of my goals this year is to work my way through the small stockpile of "stuff" I have accumulated: a random collection of make-up, hotel shampoo bottles, cosmetic samples, herbs and spices, jars of jams and sauces, even clothes that don't get worn because they have committed the crime of needing to be ironed. It is an eclectic list. The only defining factor is that the item involved is something that is currently gathering dust but it is something that I use and therefore don't want to throw out, because if I did throw it out I will have to purchase a substitute. Does that make sense?

Another part of the challenge is that I don't want to waste something just so I can tell myself it is "finished". By that, I mean lipstick has to be used right to the bottom of the tube and not just to the point where you can't paint it on your lips without using a lip-brush. Ditto lip gloss and make-up base that comes in a stick. I still need to get my money's worth.

Here are the make-up stockpiles and what I propose to do with them:-

Make-up base. 

I have ten in my stockpile, including two tubs of PanCake (bought because it doesn't melt off your face in humid weather), four Avon all-in-one bases for travel (bought in bulk to take advantage of an offer) and the last of my famous Boots score from 2004 (when I bought 6 bottles of base at 50p each, thinking they would last maybe 3 months each - instead they lasted 10).

What I've started with, though, are the dregs of a tube of PanStick. Like lipstick, probably the bottom third of any stick make-up is inaccessible, so I gouged it out of the tube and dumped it into a recently emptied Avon make-up compact. I now apply it in exactly the same manner, using the sponge that came from Avon.


Most women probably have a stash of assorted lipsticks, at least one for every occasion. I know for a certainty that I have only bought one lipstick in the last 4 years and yet a quick count tells me that I have 34! However, that includes my stock of 9 Covergirl lipsticks in the Bistro Burgundy shade, the brand (and colour) that I wear almost daily but which is unavailable in this country.  I buy them whenever I go to Australia or North America.  I have two on the go at any given time: one on my dresser and one in my bag for top-ups. When the one on the dresser is completely used up, I rotate the handbag one to the dresser and pop a new lipstick in my handbag.

Although I wear lipstick every day to work, each one lasts for close to two years, partially because I use a lip brush to apply the bottom third, and partially because I've solved the problem of keeping lipstick "on" all day, so that you don't have to constantly reapply it.  (There is nothing worse than having your lipstick come off on your mug or glass.)  The secret:  apply lipstick to dry lips, blot on a tissue and then apply a coat of Lipcoat. It will then last the whole day, unless lunch is really greasy, although the colour may fade a bit as the day goes on.  If your Lipcoat peels, then you didn't blot it well enough.  You have to apply it to dry lipstick.


I'm still using a blusher that I purchased in...... wait for it...... 1986.  That's right 26 years ago.  If that's not an advert for the longevity of Clinque's products, I don't know what is. Admittedly, for the first 6 years, I worked in a job where you did not wear make-up (I never wore make-up to work when I nursed - it'd come off on the masks).  And twice it went into time-out when I used up other blushers, but neither of those lasted longer than a year.   I have been expecting it to run out for a long time and purchased a replacement some time ago.  However, a quick count reveals I have six other blushers stockpiled, which includes the replacement, a "travel" blusher, the emergency blusher from this post, and two Estee Lauder free-bees from a "gift" (one of those buy "2 items and get a free gift" things, in this case the set of bags that are my knitting bags.  I was surprised to discover they held make-up).

The big secret to making your blusher last a long time is to use a proper blusher brush.  I think it is because the brush covers a larger area of you face per application than the one that comes in the compact.


Apparently, I have seven, including three sample-sized ones and the one I'm using now.  This is another product I use to the very end.    I am aware that "experts" say to only use a mascara for three months because of potential contamination but I have never had an eye infection from this product.  If I feel any irritation after applying a mascara, it goes straight in the bin.  (I can't wear Rimmel mascara.  It has something in it that irritates my eyes.)  I do not share my mascara or my lipstick so consider that any bugs that might be growing in them have cousins still on me.

OK, that's my "dirty laundry".  What's yours?

- Pam


Louisa Parry said...

(Just catching up on everyone's blogs after being ill for a fortnight!)

I don't have that much make-up -- I only wear a tiny bit about once a week -- but I do have more mascara & eyeshadows than I need. The latter is because of wanting colour variety but the former is because, until I realised the folly in it, I often fell for offers: buying whatever mascara was on offer rather than the one I knew & trusted. Eventually I got annoyed by the offer ones being the wrong colour or clumping or whatever, and ended up buying the one I wanted all along so ended up paying more overall -- grrr! I have now thankfully learnt an important spending lesson!

PipneyJane said...

When I started this exercise, I thought that I had a few too many lipsticks and maybe an extra blusher but that was it. The total count was a bit of a shock. As much makeup as possible is stored in a basket in my dresser, so I just went through that and then started counting the lipsticks lying around the dresser that couldn't make it into the basket.

Apart from the deliberate stockpile of Bistro Burgundy lipstick from Covergirl, I don't know where most of the lipstick came from. Clinique "gifts" probably account for most of it, since I use some of their skincare products so end up using/abusing their "buy 2 products and get a free gift" offers. Ditto mascaras.

Glad you're feeling a bit better.

- Pam