A cosmetics spending ban... a year of shopping my stash!

The makeshift vanity table I blogged about some months ago now, is no more. It was put out with the hard rubbish when we moved.

Whilst still on holidays, I spent the day today collecting up all of my makeup from various handbags and boxes stashed in multiple rooms of the house and put it all in one spot... 2 and a half months after moving into our new home.

My makeup is all organised once more!

My makeup now all lives in the bathroom - within easy reach to use everyday.

Last year, with a trip to the US and my discovery of mail forwarding services (hello Sephora), I have a further stash of unopened products and plenty of deluxe sized samples (generously given away in the US every single time one buys anything remotely cosmetic) which I have not photographed.  I think I own a lot of cosmetics for a woman who likes the 'no makeup' makeup look, so I have decided that this year I will go on a cosmetics spending ban.

I do not foresee this to be a problem as I wouldn't call myself a makeup junkie, but having previously had a relatively large amount of disposable income (prior to buying our new home), I pulled the trigger on all the lemmings which developed throughout 2012.  Enter 5 new eyeshadow palettes, about 20 new lip products and all new foundations after my favourite L'Oreal one was discontinued, not to mention everything else.

My rules are very simple - this year I will 'shop my stash' throughout the year and only buy what I NEED:

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Moisturiser
Shower Gel
Kosmea Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost
Ellis Faas Concealer
Eye Cream
Butter London Hardwear PD Quick Topcoat
Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover

BB Cream & Tinted Moisturiser


Powder & Bronzer

Eye Shadow & Liner


Blush & Highlighers

Lip Colour & Care

Nail polish

Hair products (excluding shampoo & conditioner and colour)

 * These are my Can’t-Live-Without-Holy-Grail-Products, but I will only purchase if nothing in my stash proves suitable. 

If I'm ultra organised, I might even do an end of month empties post each month, including a small review of each product that I have finished.

Do you own more eyeshadow than you can use up in 5 lifetimes?
Do you find yourself hoarding cosmetics?
Do you find yourself buying a new product before finishing the one that you are currently using?
Do you own more than 3 nail polishes in a similar shade?

My answer to all these questions is YES.  If you have answered yes also - then maybe you too should re-assess whether you NEED to buy anymore (at least for this year) and instead shop your stash.

The way I see it, each dollar I save on cosmetics, I can re-direct into buying small things for our new home.


  1. I actually need to buy makeup. I have so many freebies and stuff that I have never used and probably past their sell by date. I need to head for the bin and just tip the lot in ... a bit like you did in one of your previous posts if I remember correctly?

    1. You remember correctly. I don't want to be in the same position in two years time.

  2. I might be moving desks soon, so that's an incentive to empty out my little drawer set, bring it home, and fill it with my cosmetics so I can actually see how much I have. I currently have items stored in a box and only what I'm currently using is in sight! I suspect that if it was ALL out, I'd be much better at using what I have (and not being tempted to buy things that I already have something similar to).

    1. Out of sight, out of mind I find. Same with an over full wardrobe. You lose sight of what you have.

  3. Your post and the Vogue Forum No Spend thread has inspired me to sort through my cosmetics, make a list and either start using or throw out. Many are probably out of date anyway. Shopping today do I may pick up one of those acrylic draw sets too.

    1. It helps to have it all out on show. I think now if I went out to buy another chubby stick you really could say that I am a block head ... also me and red nail polish. The mind boggles.

  4. I'm thankful that I'm not a big cosmetics purchaser, and never have been, so in the last year I think I've bought mascara and eyeliner, both of which were needed. When I was in the US I went with a friend who was a huge make up fan and I bought enough MAC make up (still not a large amount by normal standards) to last me a few years at least. I have sensitive skin though, so try to avoid using many products. I hope you're successful with your ban! :)

  5. Yep yep yep. Since I bought the Nakeds I haven't touched another eyeshadow.
    I'm aiming to get rid of my stash this year too, good luck!

  6. I am doing this too! Really need to get rid of the huge stash I have accumulated... Especially lip products.

  7. I'm not a big cosmetics buyer, I wear the same products over and over and only buy more when I run out. my big weakness is nail polish and lipstick though, I have way more than I'll ever need so I definitely need to cut down on those!

    love the organiser, I want to get something similar! x

  8. oh i love how you've organised your stash! your about page doesn't say where you're at but if you know of a mail forwarder that will ship nail polish (to australia or anywhere really) do let me know! i am dying to buy sephora stuff but hopshopgo refuses to send me anything they deem flammable :/

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

    1. I use Myus.com.
      I have queried ordering nail polish and they told me that it was ok, but there was a $15 charge per bottle due to the fact that it is flammable.
      I have not been game enough to order something to see if this is the case.
      I have received gwps with orders and some have featured perfume samples and there has been no extra charge.

    2. An update on this... MyUS charge $10.50 per shipment containing nail polish. Will verify this in the coming month as I have almost used up my HG top coat x

  9. I love your organizer! I think I've seen a similar one at Muji. I'll definitely have to get one because I've chucked all my make up into a small basket. I'm pretty awful with make up. Until recently, I have 2 eye shadows. I know. Pretty pathetic. A friend of mine who's a real make up fanatic took pity on me and gave me the Naked 2 palette, foundation and eye liners (they are beyond fantastic). I finally added an additional lippy to the one I've been using for the past year. That makes 2 lipsticks.

    1. No Muji in Australia :(

      I really want to get into using my Naked palettes but I keep reaching for the same old STILA shadow each morning! Which is why I devised this whole ban - to actaully use my stuff!

  10. I don't think I could ban myself from buying makeup for a whole YEAR, but good on you! I agree that I probably have more things than I need (but oh so hard to resist all the pretty products out there)!