I have been promising this series for quite a while but trying to find the time with a seventeen week old baby is difficult. My makeup drawers have been bugging me for quite a while. They have been overly full and disorganised. I found myself constantly reaching for the same products because I couldn’t be bothered rooting anything else out of the mess. A clearout was definitely in order!
I have been blogging since 2011 so I have acquired quite a lot of makeup. Some was sent to me as PR samples, others I was influenced to buy by other bloggers. I am also a makeup artist and have worked for Inglot, Urban Decay and MAC so I have received and bought a lot of products because of that too. I have too much! When I do these clear outs, I give the products I no longer want to family and friends. I much prefer that they go to better homes where they will be used.
I love to watch declutter videos on YouTube so I decided to film this one and write this accompanying blog post for those who prefer this format. If you would rather watch the video, you can do so here. This is only part one; a look at my bronzers, blushers and highlighters. I am going to go through my entire collection, what I’m keeping, what I’m getting rid of and why.
I decided to start with the bronzers and contour products because it was the smallest and thus least intimidating pile. My collection is pictured above and it doesn’t look too outrageous!
So above are the products I decided to keep. From top to bottom, left to right: MAC Powder Blush in Harmony and Taupe, Flormar Bronzing Powder in Gorgeous Bronze, Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow, MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork, Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette, Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer and MAC Nose Pose.
Here is a look at the inside of each so you can see which ones are well-loved and which ones I need to focus on using more often.
[All links are to Irish stockists. Not affiliate links.]
Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer (€34) is a small sample size that I received in the Cloud 10 Beauty Hottest Summer Bag, which was a gift with purchase. This has been my daily go-to bronzer as I adore how natural this looks on fair skin. It adds a little warmth but is far lighter than any of the other bronzers in my collection.
Flormar Bronzing Powder in BR02 Gorgeous Bronze* (€9.95) is the biggest bronzer pan ever. I decided to keep this because I feel I will never ever run out of it. It has a bit of warmth to it but isn’t too dark on my fair skin.
MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (€20 for refill pan) is one of the most talked about MAC contour shades for fair skin. It adds warmth while still looking natural. As you can see from the giant dent in it, it is one of my most-used bronzers.
MAC Powder Blush in Taupe (€20 for refill pan) has a much cooler toner so is better for contouring, as opposed to bronzing. While I do like it and it is suitable for fair skins, I prefer the way Harmony warms the face. I am still keeping this though as I will still get use out of it.
MAC Nose Pose was part of the Rossy de Palma collection (excuse the typo!) and is no longer available. It is made up of two cream colour bases – one to contour and one to highlight. I have never used this but I don’t have too many cream contour products so thought I would hang on to it. It may come in handy if I wear tan.
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow (€21.06) is a beautiful cool-toned shade that is perfect to create a natural contour on fair skin.
MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork (€22) is actually designed for use on the eyes but is very similar to Hollow, just a little darker. I don’t cream contour too often but if I do, I toss up between the two of these.
Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Palette (€46) features three highlight and three contour shades. If you spotted my palette in the photo above, you may have noticed it is in bits. In reality, I should throw it out but it is one of my favourites so I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t touch Subconscious as it is far too dark for me but Sombre is beautiful for a cool-toned contour and Shadowplay is perfect for warming the whole face. This is one I will actually repurchase.
And these are the bronzers that I have decided to get rid of. From left to right, top to bottom, they are: Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Strip, NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, Essence The Little Xmas Factory Contouring Palette in Elf Yourself, Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed, Inglot YSM Pressed Powder in 48, Sleek Makeup Face Form Palette in Light and IsaDora Bronzing Powder in Bronze Tan.
And here is a better look at these products so that you can see most of these are virtually untouched, bar the Inglot Powder which is broken and the one shade from the NYX palette that I hit pan on.
Inglot YSM Pressed Powder in 48* is actually supposed to be a face powder but the colour meant I kept it to use as a bronzer. It lay in my drawer untouched and the second I swatched it, I knew it wasn’t for me. It is full of glitter and a strange shade to boot. It doesn’t appear to be on the website so it may actually be discontinued, which wouldn’t surprise me. This was a no brainer.
Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed (€30) is actually a nice shade for fairer skin but I find that it is quite sheer so you really have to build it up on the skin. I have used this quite a few times but always feel like it has disappeared shortly after application or perhaps I just don’t apply enough. Either way, I have better so this went into the dump pile.
Essence The Little Xmas Factory Contouring Palette in Elf Yourself* was a limited edition from one of their previous Christmas collections. While the pan is so cute with its bow detail, I can’t even remember the last time I used this so it had to go.
IsaDora Bronzing Powder in 90 Bronze Tan* (€25.20) has the same giant sized pan as the Flormar one I kept (although is more than twice the price). To be honest, the two are interchangeable in my mind but because they are so huge, I knew I would never get through both so decided to dump this one as it is darker.
Urban Decay Naked Flushed in Strip (€31.50) is something I got when I worked for the brand and only realised when I was clearing out my drawers that I had never even touched it. A quick swatch revealed that it was way too dark for me anyway and the bronzer has a shimmer to it which I never go for anyway so I got rid of it.
Sleek MakeUP Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette in Light (€13.99) was all the rage with bloggers and YouTubers a few years ago which is when I jumped on the bandwagon. I always loved the contour shade but the blush is a little too pigmented and the highlighter is easily dupeable so I decided to give this away as it was just gathering dust.
NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette (€25) was another buzz-product that everyone talked about for a while. I used a few of the contour shades and hit pan on one highlight shade but I can’t even remember the last time I reached for it so I thought it was better off going to a better home.
This is my highlighter collection which was a lot bigger than I probably would have expected so I had to whittle it down. The mini Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light was the first thing to go – straight in the bin! – because it was empty. Why on earth was I hanging on to a sliver of powder?!
These are the highlighters I decided to keep, from left to right, top to bottom: MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes in Soft Frost, Double-Gleam and Show Gold, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle, Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora, MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl, Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone, MAC Nutcracker Sweet Peach Face Kit, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, PS Brunch Club Highlighter (which I later moved to the dump pile!), Sleek MakeUP Solstice Highlighting Palette and Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette.
As you can see, quite a few of these are well-loved. I get stuck in a rut using the same bronzers and base products every day but I actually do mix up my highlighters quite a bit.
Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal (£26) is stunning and one of my favourite highlighters. Lightning Dust is a more subtle glow perfect for the nose or a toned-down makeup look while Fire Crystal is a full-on, wet-look, seen-from-space sheen. I adore both.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone (£30) is another of my all-time favourites which you can probably tell when you see how much I have hit pan on it. The formula of this is unlike any other highlighter I have tried. It is so smooth and looks almost wet on the skin. I intend to collect more shades in this but Moonstone is perfect for pale skin.
the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer (€19) was another cult favourite that most people have in their stash. It is a little grittier than some of the other offerings but offers a real high-shine finish and suits many different skin tones.
MAC Nutcracker Sweet Peach Face Palette is made up of an Extra Dimension Highlighter in Tutu and Extra Dimension Blush in At Dusk, both of which along with the palette itself were limited edition and part of the Christmas collection of 2016. The blush is so flattering and the highlighter is a stunner so there was no way I was giving this one up.
MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl (€22) is a cream highlighter that you can heat up with the warmth of your fingers and apply wherever you like on the skin. This is beautiful and can be much more flattering on the skin than powders.
Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora (€21.94) is slightly softer in texture and a little more golden. I rarely use cream highlighters on myself as they never seem to work on my skin but these are handy for the rare times I do some freelance work and are ideal for more mature skins too.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle (€31.50) is another one of those products that almost everybody owns and if they don’t, they should. It is a mineral-based golden sheen that can be applied for a natural finish, or built up or even applied wet for a high-shine glow.
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (€31.50) are – as the name suggests – a more extreme highlighter. I am slowly building a collection of these as I’m obsessed! Soft Frost is a white with a blue-purple shift that is really unique and gorgeous on pale skin. Double-Gleam is a white-to-gold shift, again lovely on fairer skin. Show Gold is a peach-to-pink shift that I don’t think I have seen replicated by any other brands!
Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette (€13.49) is one of the best budget highlighting products I have tried and I often reach for this over more expensive options. I never use the cream shade, Ecliptic, but the other three are divine. If you are new to the highlighter game, I cannot recommend this enough.
Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette (€32) is definitely more of a full-on option. I love this for more creative looks or for using on the eyes but the colour shifts are very strong for most people to wear on their cheeks every day.
These are the highlighters that I decided to give up for adoption. From left to right, top to bottom, there is the Revolution Highlight Palette, Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette, Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighters in Golden Lights and Peach Lights, PS Brunch Club Highlighter and Essence Merry Berry Highlight Powder in I Love My Golden Pumps.
As you can see, some of these look virtually untouched although there are a few dents in others!
Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights (€3.79) was one I fell for on sight. It is an icy yellow with an extreme sheen. I wore this daily for a long time but tend to overlook it now because I have so many other options. I decided to get rid of it purely for that reason.
Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights (€3.79) seemed like a no-brainer to pick up after the success of Golden Lights but it just never wowed me in the same way. Despite it looking so peachy in the pan, it is fairly neutral on the skin and doesn’t have half the shine of Golden Lights.
Essence Merry Berry Highlight Powder in I Love My Golden Pumps* was a limited edition from a Christmas collection a few years ago. I actually used this loads as it is a beautiful golden sheen but I haven’t reached for it in so long that I decided to give it up. I just have so many others that I prefer.
PS Brunch Club Highlighter (€3.50) is one of the bits that I picked up when I was trying a full face of PS Makeup from Penneys. I loved this highlighter and was very impressed with the payoff. I almost kept it but decided to donate it to a better home because I just have so many!
Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette* is a trio of shimmer shades. When I first got this, I used the centre shade a lot but the other two are too dark for me to use as highlighters and too shimmery to use as bronzers. For that reason, I decided to pass this on.
Revolution Highlight Palette (€9.99) is another trio of highlighters. These are incredibly reminiscent of the powders in the Sleek Solstice Palette but not as pigmented so I decided to forfeit this one. I remember buying this a few years ago but can only remember using it once or twice so this won’t be missed!
Finally, this is my massive blush collection. I had far too many to root through so always reached for the same few shades. I was hoping this project would reunite me with some old favourites and make me mix up my makeup a little more.
The blushes I decided to keep from left to right, top to bottom are: Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Indecent, Illamasqua Powder Blushes in Panic and Naked Rose, Nars Blush in Deep Throat, Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Rapture, MAC Mineralize Blushes in Petal Power and Warm Soul, Nars Blush in Torrid, Inglot AMC Blush in 58, Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Score, Catrice Defining Blushes in Rose Royce and Rosewood Forest, Nars Blush in Goulue, MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder in Oh My Passion!, Catrice Multi Matte Blush in La-Lavender, Essence Silky Touch Blush in Indian Summer, Tarte Blush in Dollface and Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.
As you can see I definitely use some of these more than others which is exactly why this shake-up was necessary!
Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Indecent seems to be discontinued as I can’t find it anywhere online. This is the softest of peach shades so although I can’t recall reaching for it too often, I am going to push myself to use it when I am at my palest during the winter.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (€11.25) is a cult favourite and thus I had to have it. It is a peach with a shimmer to it that gives skin a lovely glow. It was a little stronger than I anticipated but I like it for days when I am going for an otherwise neutral look and want to add a touch of colour to my face so I don’t look dead.
MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul (€29) is a very neutral shade that injects life into the skin. Because it is mineral-based it blends beautifully and adds a subtle glow and the shade is perfect for adding warmth without adding a colour as such. This is my most-used blush ever!
Essence Silky Touch Blush in Indian Summer* is another warm peach shade that I wore almost daily for a while. This is a classic case of me having too many products and forgetting about ones that I adore but since doing my clearout, I have worn this again a few times and have fallen back in love.
Nars Blush in Deep Throat (€32) is another blush I have hit pan on from wearing it almost daily for months. I went into Sephora with the intention of buying Orgasm but this looked slightly more toned down and even more stunning. I think I made the right choice as this became another of my favourite blushes of all time.
Catrice Defining Blush in Rose Royce seems to be discontinued on the website which is a shame because the Defining Blushes have the most gorgeous velvet-y texture. The colour is another warm peach (I have a type!) and is one I am going to push myself to use a bit more.
Nars Blush in Torrid (€32) was the blush I followed up with after falling so deeply for Deep Throat. I never reached for it much but after splashing out on it, this is another that I am going to try to get into my regular blush rotation.
Inglot AMC Face Blush in 58 was my most-used blush when I worked for the brand years ago although I can’t seem to find the AMC blushes on the Irish Inglot website so am unsure if they have been discontinued. This is a warm terracotta and is very pigmented but I’m going to try it again and see if I can reignite my old love for it.
Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Score* (€25.20) was the first Afterglow blush I tried, shortly after they were released. It looks a little scary in the pan, being a peach shot through with glitter but as you can see from the swatch above, it is actually quite soft and wearable.
Illamasqua Powder Blush in Sophie (€20.18) is a stunning coral that has that little bit of pink to it that most of the others on this list don’t share. Illamasqua was one of my favourite brands for years which is how I have amassed quite a few of their products.
Illamasqua Powder Blush in Naked Rose (€20.18) is a gorgeous dusky pink and the type of shade I adore on pale skin. These kind of colours scream winter to me while I usually opt for the warmer peaches in summer.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface (€34) was another I picked up a few years ago in Sephora. I have no idea what drew me to this colour in the first place as it is quite a bright pastel pink but it has a very buildable formula which means it doesn’t give you a dollface-look straight off the bat (despite the name).
Catrice Multi Matt Blush in La-Lavender is another one that seems to be discontinued. It is another gorgeous soft rose with a velvety formula.
Catrice Defining Blush in Rosewood Forest is again, discontinued by the looks of it. The formula is lovely and the colour is slightly pinker than La-Lavender.
MAC Mineralize Blush in Petal Power (€29) is a very unusual pink shot through with gold shimmer. Applied softly it adds a gorgeous glow to the cheeks but it can be a little full-on if you build it up, in which case it actually looks lovely on the eye.
Nars Blush in Goulue is one I received as a Sephora perk and from what I have read online, it seems to be a Sephora-exclusive shade. It is quite a deep pink and looks a little intimidating but I am going to persevere and try to get some use out of it.
Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Rapture (€25.20) looks terrifying in the pan, like a dark mauve with shimmer but when you see the swatch, you can see that it applies beautifully and is quite a unique colour. This is one I don’t reach for too often but should!
MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder in Oh My Passion! was a limited edition for summer 2017. It is one of THE most beautiful pans I have ever seen. I tend to swirl all the shades together to create a pinky-bronze that I wear as a blush. How could I throw something so pretty away?!
And these are the blushes I did decide to get rid of. From left to right, top to bottom are: Essence Matt Touch Blush in Berry Me Up, Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Coral, NYC Cheek Glow in Prospect Park Rose, Catrice Multi Colour Blush in Hollywood Fabulous 40ties, Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Gorgeous Berries, Essence Silky Touch Blush in Summer Dreaming, Sleek MakeUP Blush in Suede, MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Thing, No7 Blusher in Soft Damson, Sleek MakeUP Blush in Antique, e.l.f. Blush in Candid Coral, Illamasqua Cream Blush in Sob, Illamasqua Powder Blush in Katie and Catrice Defining Blush in Think Pink.
While some of these do appear to be quite used, my blush collection was just way too big for me to ever get through everything and so I had to part with some that were previously favourites.
Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Coral* looks like a lovely warm peachy shade – exactly my type – but realistically I have too many of the same shade so I had to forfeit some of them. This one was barely used so I decided to give this one to a better home.
e.l.f. Blush in Candid Coral is one I bought a million years ago for one of my very first YouTube videos. It is no longer public but I did an e.l.f. haul and got ripped apart because I wasn’t impressed with the products. If you look at the pan, you can see where I have tried to scrape the top layer off in the hopes of reaching a more pigmented layer. Sadly it didn’t happen. This is one of the few products I have that is actually just poor.
Sleek MakeUP Blush in Suede seems to have been a limited edition colour that is no longer available. While it looks lovely in the swatch, the reason I am giving it away is because it had literally never been used. There wasn’t a single brush mark in it and that is a sin.
Sleek MakeUP Blush in Antique (€5.99) is quite a dark shade that doesn’t look as scary in the swatch as I remember it looking on my face. I recall purchasing this several years ago alongside one of the Sleek iDivine palettes and I also remember the photos from that particular makeup look being borderline terrifying…
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Gorgeous Berries* (12.99) is one I received as a PR sample at an event. I remember being so excited to try it because every YouTuber and blogger at the time seemed to be raving about the Creme Puff blushes, however the colour is just way too dark for my fair skin and so it is in the dump pile.
MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Thing (€29) is one I almost held on to, simply because it is MAC, when in reality, I have never used it. Again this is obviously far too dark for me but I told myself I would use it on the eyes instead before I realised I was being stupid. It is better off in the hands of someone who would really appreciate it.
Illamasqua Powder Blush in Katie (€20.18) is one that was gifted to me by a friend but sadly I don’t think I ever wore. It is just that little too pale, even for me, and it looks quite white and chalky.
Illamasqua Cream Blush in Sob is another that that friend gifted to me. I never wear cream blush so I decided to give this up but when I swatched it, it actually left a gross watery layer on my arm. This is just way too old and out of date so it went in the bin. The shade is discontinued too.
No7 Blusher in Soft Damson is yet another that seems to be discontinued. The colour is okay, the blush is fine, I just rarely use it. My mam is a big fan of No7 so this is probably better suited to her collection.
Essence Silky Touch Blush in Summer Dreaming* is another lovely peach but it is very similar to Indian Summer which I kept so I let this one go.
NYC Cheek Glow in Prospect Park Rose is one of the oldest blushes in my collection. As you can see it is more glow than blush and one I never reach for so it had to go.
Catrice Multi Colour Blush in Hollywood Fabulous 40ties is a very old, discontinued blush. I did wear it a lot when I bought it but I have so many that I prefer now that this one made the dump pile.
Essence Matt Touch Blush in Berry Me Up* is another pretty dusky pink but again, just isn’t up there with my favourites so I let it go.
Catrice Defining Blush in Think Pink is another of the discontinued Defining Blushes. The colour of this is scarily bright and I know I will never wear it so I got rid.
Illamasqua Powder Blush in Panic (now discontinued), Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Bittersweet and theBalm Voyage Vol. II Shadow/Luminizer in Kuwakaribisha are three products from my cheek drawer that I decided would be better off in my eyeshadow drawer. I originally bought Panic when I was looking for a strong red eyeshadow and Bittersweet is a colour I cannot see me ever wearing on my cheeks so they may finally get some use when I see them amongst my eyeshadows. The one from theBalm is labelled a shadow/luminizer and while I have worn and liked it on my cheeks, I really have too many other highlighters for it to compete with. I’m going to keep it with my eyeshadows and hopefully get some use out of it as more of an inner corner highlight.
And finally, this is my disaster of a project that makes me sad to look at. I tried to depot some MAC blushes and some of them cracked and one smashed beyond repair. I was so sickened by the experience that I abandoned the project and have been ignoring it ever since. I need to rearrange the blush shades from this palette and pop them into the MAC palette I featured earlier with Harmony and Taupe in it. I want to depot the blushes above and put them in the palette with the red that is already in there to make an eyeshadow palette of bright colours. This is a project I haven’t attempted yet but hopefully will have sorted by the time I reach my eyeshadow drawer in this declutter series.
And so here is my before and after. At the time of writing this, it has been a few days since the declutter and already I can tell you what a difference it has made. Now when I am getting ready, I can see my whole stash and have been pushing myself to use products I don’t usually go for. It has actually made me excited to declutter my next drawer!
Let me know what you think of the first installment of this declutter series. Do you like a rummage through people’s collections? Has it inspired you to do a declutter of your own?
And again, if you would rather hear me rabbit on about my process, you can watch the video here.
Products denoted with a * are PR samples. This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid to mention any particular brands or products. No affiliate links were used.