Miscellaneous, Personal
Comments 33

On Consumerism & Spring Cleaning

I’ve been going back and forth on this topic for quite a while now, and have been sitting on this particular blog post for about a month. I don’t really know what to say about “it,” but I do know that I want to take part in the conversation.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on the matter of consumerism and over-consumption, all of which, at least in part, echo what I feel as a person and as a… how do I say it? Mindless drone? Sheep? Just kidding. I’m not here to berate myself for liking material things, but I do want to examine my personal habits as someone who does enjoy, in some measure, shopping, acquisitions, and beautiful things.

First off: I hate to admit it, but I think this blog is a big indicator that I am a hoarder.

When I was drafting this post, I felt like I wanted to “out” myself as a terrible person who collects useless things only to abandon them later. Then I backtracked and thought about my consumptive habits. And, well, honestly? There’s nothing really wrong with that. I feel like my biggest crime is probably contributing to useless waste, and I get that and I want to be a better person, the kind that is super aware and conscientious and environmentally responsible. But, I also can’t do anything about my previous hoarding habits anymore. That’s done… If anything, they are a reflection of my interests at some point in my life.

I think the most I can do is to be more aware of stuff accumulation from this point on. Right now, my life feels very stuffed with stuff. And I don’t know what I am going to do with all this stuff or why I hold on to them. I was going to include an actual inventory of makeup items here, but I figured—what’s the point?

You don’t need scrutiny from other people to start getting your life on track. You just need to be honest with yourself.

My super big goal within the next two years is to get into grad school. I would like to live somewhere else in the world, as it has always been a dream of mine to build a life that feels truly mine. I feel like my habits of spending and acquisition, in some ways, get in the way of my “ultimate goal.”

I’ve been meaning to cut down on purchases, since I can’t study without money for tuition. I’ve been yo-yo-ing between frugality and passionate burning of da dollahz (though not so much the latter anymore), but I think that along with that, I have a surplus of stuff right now. Cue: blog sale, which I will post about at a later date. I am working on letting go of stuff I don’t really need anymore, so I can save up for something I’ve always dreamed about doing.

Aside from that, I think I would like to impose some general guidelines for me to follow. I don’t think no-buys work as well as low-buys, in which you direct your efforts into a more educated purchase instead of cutting yourself off and driving yourself crazy at the mere thought of deprivation… It happens.

Lipstick Week - Collection

So, my beauty goals:

  1. No more face bases, give away the ones you don’t use. Exception: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, maybe
  2. No more purchasing of primers, eye primers, moisturizers, eyebrow products, eyeliners, highlighters, illuminators, finishing powders, mascara, lipstick, lip balm, concealer. Basically, implement the the one in, one out rule.
  3. ONE IN, ONE OUT RULE: You can only buy any of the above when you use up a corresponding item currently in your stash.
  4. Hit pan on a SINGLE EYESHADOW SHADE by August. Seriously, just one. You can do it.
  5. Allowance for purchases: eyeshadow (3 singles, 2 duos or 1 palette), blush (1). Re-evaluate in August.
  6. Use up free and indie samples.
  7. Absolutely no lip gloss purchases. You never use them. Exception: Le Métier de Beauté or NYX Butter Glosses. But again, 1 in, 1 out rule.
  8. Brushes: only allowed to get a Yachiyo brush, a concealer brush, a retractable lip brush, and eye brushes (tapered blending, synthetic domed for cream products, and small pencil brush only)

DO I SEEM LIKE A MONSTER YET? In the last month and a half, I only bought a gel liner, a lip product, a blush, and a brush. That seems like a lot, but that’s really toned down for me. Funnily enough, I have been accumulating a lot of empties, and it feels so great.

So, to recap:

  • No more buying, except for some, er… exceptions (i.e. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, replacements for finished-up stuff, things I “can’t” not get but fit within my goals)
  • I am a stupid head hoarder person
  • Blog sale on here up soon

I think I will post a recap in two months… Maybe August so there’s time for a real difference. I don’t want you to feel bad if stuff makes you happy. I think, at the end of the day, we should just do what we are comfortable with. As for me, I’ve found that accumulation takes my focus away from the big picture, so I want to “fix” that personal problem.

Do you have any beauty goals? 🙂 What’s your relationship with beauty products like? TELL MEH!

Follow me: Bloglovin'TwitterInstagramYouTubeFacebook


  1. Monette says

    i’m no make-up junkie but a hoarder of many things nonetheless (paper, pens). i guess with make-up, i tend to buy something new every time in order not to look monotonous – this is true for my lipsticks and eyeshadows. i guess the one in, one out rule will work. or maybe set a maximum number of colors per kind.

    • That’s alright. 🙂 I think that I’ve gotten smarter with my purchases, though. It kind of takes a while to determine what looks good on you rin eh!

  2. “I don’t really know what to say about “it,” but I do know that I want to take part in the conversation.” + “If anything, they are a reflection of my interests at some point in my life.”

    HIGH FIVE! I’ve been feeling this a lot, too, lately, and not just with cosmetics. Sigh. Maybe writing about it, as you did here, will help.

    • Yeah, I think this is why I stopped mass-buying books after a while.

      Hope it turns out well for you!

  3. laura says

    Hi! I’ve been a long time lurker. I love your posts because I think we have similar skin tone and color so I pretty much get inspired by your color choices.

    Anyway, I feel the same way regarding my buying habits. I have accumulated a substantial amount of make up in a span of less than 2 years. The thing is I don’t even wear makeup everyday. So for now, I just made a wishlist for lip products, brushes and eyeshadows. I am not allowing myself to buy anything outside of my wishlist. The only ‘free’ zone I have is for face bases because I am still in the phase of exploring that area.

    Sorry for the rambling!

    • Hi Laura! Nice to hear from you. 🙂

      Not rambles, I do enjoy hearing from different people! I think I’m okay with the bases; my “exploration area” is mascara, but as it stands, I have a lot of items yet unopened.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. I think you are right I moved 6 months ago and moving my makeup was a hard task now I will move again and I am dreading about it.

  5. For me it was the decision to declutter my space and lifestyle altogether that led to the idea that there is such thing as too much makeup. Only speaking for myself and from my personal experience, of course. But I’m very known to develop “collector’s tendencies” and get carried away when I get into something. And I don’t really see makeup as something that can hold on to its value, not in the current times anyway, when collecting makeup is kind of a trend.

    Also, when I sorted out all my makeup in two piles (“like to use a lot”, “have to force myself to use out of guilt that it’s just laying there”) and took the plunge to get rid of the second, it was quite an eye opener. It’s nice not be weighed down by things that you don’t really need 🙂

    I do still slip every now and then though 😀 Sometimes my brain just turns off or something LOL

    Good luck with your goal!

    • Right? I’ve actually been kinda suffocating from too much stuff. D: In general! I have that collector’s syndrome, too, so I know what you mean… books, paper, film, magazines, etc. And now, I guess, makeup.

      That’s a great trick! I think I’m going to do another review of stash in August and see what I still haven’t used and try to give that away/sell or something.

      It’s alright, I think. I mean… You can’t automatically think in a different way, you know?

      Good luck with yours as well! 🙂

  6. Oh man, I so agree with this entire post. I’m a drugstore makeup junkie myself. Even though the price for each item is lower, it adds up (in both cost and the amount of space it takes up in my stash). I don’t want to be derailed from my saving up, so I’d like to follow in your footsteps. Perhaps there’s strength in numbers in this particular case. It also helps that I have a boatload of stuff sitting in my closet that I should really get around to reviewing before even thinking of purchasing anymore.

    I’ll be implementing goals/rules one through seven for my own beauty collection, with the exception of number five as I’ll still have to think about what I’ll be allowing myself to buy.

    This is a great post that addresses a very common beauty blogger dilemma. Thanks for voicing it out, Carina. 🙂

    • Yeah, I agree. It definitely adds up and we don’t even notice. Wishing you luck! 🙂

  7. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I was going kind of crazy last year buying all the makeup I wanted. I’d see makeup bloggers talking about products and I’d want them all. Granted, I’d do A LOT of research on products and ultimately be very happy with my purchase but I should’ve saved the money. I’ve definitely slowed down my buying recently and have kind of decided I won’t buy any new products unless I actually need them. For example: I’m almost out of my Bare Minerals foundation and that’s something I use on a daily basis so I will repurchase that but I don’t need any more shadows, lip sticks, or liners. I really don’t wear a lot of eye liner so it’ll probably go bad before I get close to finishing my stock pile. I need to visibly work my way through what I have because I have more than enough products to last the rest of the year. I’ve considered removing the big beauty bloggers like Temptalia and Makeup and Beauty blog from my rss reader so I’m not tempted by something shiny.

    • I think it’s fine to do so, esp. if we’re starting out, but you really reach a tipping point! Right now, I make it a point to not click on reviews of brands that I know I will not buy from. I think it’s really a matter of streamlining your stash to see what you’ll be using the most of. 🙂

  8. I used to follow the 1 in, 1 out rule when I was still in college and I really hope I can get back to that.

  9. aphazia says

    I have this weird fascination with flavored lip balm and glittery makeup (my bodeh is a unicorn’s temple) that I am seriously considering setting up a makeup blog named: kissyunicornhoards or something like that.

  10. Emae says

    This was a rather eye-opening post. I loveee reading posts like this! I’ve actually been spending tons of cash on MAC lipsticks. And Tom Ford. Oh, my guilty pleasures. I should really follow the one in, one out rule. Maybe if I used up all my drugstore lipsticks, I won’t feel as guilty when buying new ones. Thanks for this post, Ate Carina! I truly appreciate it. 🙂

    • No worries, Emae! I know it’s super tempting to keep buying, and there’s really nothing inherently wrong with that, but I think we live in a time that calls for more conscientious decisions to be made by us!

  11. I love how honest you are here. As a fellow beauty addict, I also struggle with guilt at having too much stuff and not being able to let things go because goddamnit I spent hard earned cash on it and I’m going to get some use out of it, somehow, some way…! But it never happens.

    I’ve been getting much better at throwing things away that I don’t love, and it’s very, very liberating. To see all that space clear up and see my collection shrink down (albeit very, very slowly) to only that which I love and use all the time… It makes me feel lighter, and more in control.

    I’m in the process of applying for graduate school, and pending acceptance, I’ll be moving halfway around the world. It’s safe to say that I won’t be taking all of my makeup with me, so in the next few months I’m going to be BRUTAL about what goes and what stays.

    Good luck!

    • Eep, thank you so much Jen! I look forward to the day that I can let go of stuff. It’s so annoying how many samples of eyeshadows I have, so I’m just gonna go and start using them!

      HA, I’m applying for grad school, too, though for next year’s term, so I think I have time to do a bit of soul-searching, hehe. Thank you so much for the comment and good luck with your goals, too!

  12. I am trying to not buy new makeup, but like dieting, I am not disciplined enough to continue. *sigh* I need a new hobby to at least distract me from buying more makeup…

  13. This speaks to me a lot, because I used to be a terrible hoarder when I lived in Manila. However, I’ve always been good about decluttering. Since I have somewhat sensitive skin, I tend to react to certain products rather violently (BB creams, never again), in which case I pass them off to friends who might be able to use them, or to makeup artist friends who may find some use for it in their kit. I feel like if you spend a certain amount of money on a beauty product, you should also find it a good home if it’s just not working.

    What’s pretty surprising is that since moving here, aside from the greater strain in keeping a budget, I’ve been a lot more practical with my beauty products. For instance, I’ve been a lot more selective about what I take home with me, like no more tiny samples (gateway drug). I’ve also tried as much as possible to condense my collection as much as a beauty-obsessed person can, like I’ve narrowed down my bases to two favorites (one light-medium, one fuller coverage), minimized the amount of cheek products I own (because TBH, they never look THAT drastically different on me), and used up as much as I can before even considering buying more.

    The things I spend on the most frequently are mascaras, eyebrow products, and makeup removers, as they go pretty fast, but before buying lipsticks (my weakness), I think long and hard about what I have, what’s similar, and how much use I’ll get out of it considering how pared down my face routine can be these days. I think it also is a part of growing up, where you tend to get less excited about major collections or releases, and are more enthralled by finding certain things that just work.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t beat myself up about it too much if I were you. These things come with the excitement of limited editions, brand-new formulas, and a sort of self-sustaining income. You tend to relax after a while, especially when you come to realize that you do have favorites that other newfangled products just can’t hold a candle to.

    PS. Sorry naman sa mini blog entry level of replying.

    • HA. Joke’s on you because I love blog-length comments!

      I’m a hoarder and a crap declutterer, so you’ve got points over me there. I’ve learned to give some stuff away that should be useful to other people, now, though it’s still a bit annoying to think of all the money I spent~ for something that doesn’t even work for me. Like, come on Carina. Don’t be dumb.

      I think it’s great that you learned to adapt to your current situation (moving and all!) because it’s so easy to bring over your old habits to new situations that can’t accommodate them. I’ve actually set some goals for myself, too, esp. for bases, which I have an inordinate amount of. I love scrutinizing base performance, but I absolutely would rather not wear them if I don’t have to… So I usually even don’t bother. SO WHAT IS THE POINT OF ACQUIRING MORE. (I am dumb, maybe I forgot to mention that somewhere?) Someone actually made a great point on one of the comments here, about blushes… and how they basically can’t even look all that different when sheered out on your cheeks. AND SHE WAS CORRECT. But I am dumb and that’s what I’ve been buying so much of lately. AGH.

      I think mascara and eyebrow stuff, the standard fare, are OK things to spend on, since you use them everyday and mascara gets icky after a while. I thank the lawd everyday that I am totally not a lipstick person. I love them, but I get bored so easily, and I don’t find that I am much of an explorer of the lip color, so there’s really no point. A whole other different story with eyeshadow, however. I think I am in the baby stages of makeup so pretty much everything excites me, which makes my bank account quiver in fear and sadness.

      But, you’re right, I think I’m giving myself a little bit of leeway since I haven’t been too into makeup that long, but wow, I’ve decided that I want to be less wasteful and more thoughtful, as a consumer and as a human, I guess.

      Do you watch YouTube makeup collection videos? Because those will scare you straight into minimalism, let me tell you.

  14. Good for you! Putting a limit on makeup spending/buying is so hard, but can be so rewarding when you can REALLY use all your other products! I made a similar goal of “Makeup Usage Goal for 2014” and published it for the exact purpose of keeping me (somewhat) accountable.

    Good luck!!!

    • Thanks so much for this message. 🙂 I think Makeup Usage Goals are important! I don’t know what it is; something about new releases makes me forget about what I already have!

  15. I recently started making an effort to save up… for what, I don’t know, but I’m a law student who is still on an allowance and seeing my friends earn and save from actual jobs started making me feel…well, spoiled and guilty. So I cut down on makeup purchases (among many other things) drastically and I agree, it feels good to see products actually get finished up and to kind of streamline my “collection.”

    Good luck, Carina! Both with cutting down on makeup purchases and your grad school dreams, too. 🙂

    • Gets! Haha I feel the same way, a bit, because I still live rent-free with my folks. It’s so liberating no? I’m decluttering (or am in the process of) everything rin, so hopefully, I’ll be able to breathe a little easier. Haha.

      Thank you so much, good luck with you, too! 🙂

  16. Irina says

    When I was in high school all the way to university, I only bought the essentials – concealer and powder. When the time came that I was able to earn money, I went nuts! I was already planning on what stuff to buy with the money coming in – not good. I was lemming for every new product being blogged and talked about on YouTube.

    I loved the rush of receiving packages, opening them up to try on these new products, and then losing that high only to want to buy another product. I realized that I have amassed so much and yet I’ve barely used most of what I have because I work from home. I don’t need to put on a full face of makeup everyday.

    I haven’t bought a single piece of makeup for almost a year now and it feels so good because I’m not wasting money anymore. I can get by with my existing collection and will probably do so for many months until the time comes I get a job that is not home-based.

    • Wow, that’s great Irina! I haven’t bought in about 2 weeks, and agh, I am hoping to hold out for longer this time around. I work from home, too, so you know, technically, I don’t need to have this much makeup. I think even if I went to the office everyday, I don’t have to have this much makeup. But the heart want what the heart wants. Thankfully, I’m not so into acquiring anymore, but more about using and learning. 🙂

  17. Pingback: June Monthly Favorites & July Beauty Goals | Softly Sometimes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.