How I went from a Makeup Hoarder to a Curated Collector

I will never forget what kick started my love of makeup. In 2009, I was pursuing yahoo news and there was a whole article profiling beauty YouTuber pixi2woo (Tanya Burr). I watched a few videos from the article and immediately fell in love with one about achieving an everyday, Audrey Hepburn inspired look. I tried to find this video but apparently it’s deleted from her channel. Anyways – I already had some similar items in my tiny makeup bag but I didn’t have a beautiful nude lipstick. I went to the Estee Lauder counter and bought the exact same lipstick she used. Actually I still have it in my collection, although I have long since replaced the original.

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This kicked off my several year obsession with the beauty YouTube community. I loved their tutorials of popular looks. I lived for their lipstick collections. I couldn’t wait to see what they were loving in their Monthly Favorites. And their suggestions drove my insane buying habits. I had everything from very reasonably priced drugstore favorites to Chanel and YSL lipsticks or eye compacts. I filled one of the very popular Alex 9 drawers from IKEA.

Fast forward to 2014, I moved to Colombia and put a good amount of my makeup into storage but only after I had given away many pieces I didn’t use often. I had another declutter in 2016 when I moved house in Buffalo. I wasn’t watching as much YouTube beauty tutorials anymore, mainly because many of my favorite creators weren’t focused only on makeup. Like me, their interests were evolving and changing.

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When I moved to Europe, I decided to do the final declutter. I kept only the products that I realistically could use every day if I wanted two (with one or two bright eyeshadows – just in case). Not only do I wear less makeup here, I also am happy to have a paired down collection to choose from. I still need to do a little bit of work on my nude lipstick collection, especially considering I definitely do not wear lipstick daily, but for the most part, I’m happy with where I am.

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I still watch beauty YouTube and sometimes I am tempted by particularly lovely products. My daily routine isn’t broken – why would I want to “fix” it by buying more products. I keep my eyes out for new formulas that genuinely work for what I like – but I generally find them independently of influencers. For example, I’m a huge fan of the new Sephora lipsticks in the satin formula. Many influencers are still stuck on Matte liquid lips. That’s wonderful – but they don’t work for me, especially now that I’ve moved to a particularly dry climate. I now revisit products many times before making a purchase – so much so that I think my local beauty store employees hate me.

I work about a block from a Sephora. I’m so glad that I have this hoarding obsession in check. I can’t imagine how bad my collection would have become if I had lived in such a close vicinity 5 years ago. It’s all part of my process to become a smarter consumer. Buying fewer and better things makes me feel responsible, in control and just plain happy.

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