Makeup Bag Clean Out: Keep the Best, Toss the Rest

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2010 is the year of de-cluttering. Do you know how I know this? Because I just declared it so for myself.

When I moved to this house in October of 2008, I had to considerably downsize my closet. I put safety pins in the lining of all of my clothes; each time I wore an article of clothing I removed the safety pin to prove that it was a piece I liked and had worn in the last year. In October of 2009 I surveyed my closet again. If anything still had a safety pin in it then that meant I wasn't truly fond of that dress or jacket or pants and I had to donate them to my local Salvation Army to be used by someone who would actually wear them.

It's different with makeup, though. Makeup is not something women donate because it's highly unsanitary. Once I've tried a product three or four times I can tell if it's going to be something I plan on using quite a bit or not. It's at that time when I normally hand it over to my daughter, Mallory, and say, "Here. Have at it. It's not working for me." She usually takes my old makeup, but sometimes, she doesn't like it and neither do I. What's a gal to do? Since we're all in Resolution Mode, it's time to de-clutter that makeup bag, ladies!

In my everyday makeup routine I actually use six products, so my challenge to myself is to rid myself of everything else in my makeup bag. Now, this doesn't include all eyeshadows because some of them are used especially for evenings out (and this is another resolution of mine - to go out! on dates! in the evenings!).

In my quest to clean out my makeup bag I've realized that many of the products I use can be found at drugstores. However, there are a few that I will make a special trip for since I've found that they work so well and I don't want to skimp on products I put on my face. I mean, it's my face. I only have one of those. I'm going to take good care of it.

Here are the products I plan to keep in my makeup bag:

Blush: I use Almay's Powder Bronzer in the sunkissed shade. Relatively cheap and found at my local drugstore. I know it's hard to check out colors online, but I adore how the Beauty411 blog shows all these great color combinations if you're in the market to start shopping around for some new blush colors.  Goodbye pink blush that doesn't even look good on me.

Eyeshadow: My daughter, Mallory, works part time at a beauty salon and brings home lots of eyeshadow by bareMinerals. The glimmer series makes a shade called Sex Kitten that I really like. How can you throw something called "Sex Kitten" away? You can't. But, the real reason I love it has to do with the versatility of it. I use a brush to apply it dry during the day but for really dramatic eyes I wet the brush and foil it on for a nighttime look. Since this is the one thing that I think I'd be ok continuing to purchase during my purge, I plan on trying out some of the M.A.C. shades that I read about from Afrobella's Best of 2009 post which is saved on my computer in way too many places. You can expect me to purge, but I'm still going to go after the best eyeshadow colors. There are so many! They're so pretty!

Foundation: M.A.C. Mineralize SatinFinish SPF 15 in shade 35. I'll never look back from this one. A great perk to going to the M.A.C. counter at my local department store is that they put your shade number into their computer system so I never have to remember the number 35. Because I have forgotten this number every. single. time. Goodbye six shades that are too dark or too light that I didn't like anyway!

Lipstick: To begin, I use Melaleuca's Sun Shades with an SPF of 15. My favorite flavor is Harvest Berry. Then, I use a lip liner made by Aveda called Nourish-Mint in the color Maple. That's pretty much it. Using a lip color or stain is too much work for me as I don't want to have to re-apply during the day. Goodbye four lipsticks I never use!

Mascara: A few years ago I opened up a department store credit card that came with a $20 gift card. I sauntered over to the makeup counters where I discovered the best mascara I've ever tried. Lancome's Hypnose Drama mascara in black is my favorite ever. I also use the primer they make before applying it. Goodbye two extra mascaras I bought on an impulse!

Eyeliner - Another Almay product, this one is from their Bright Eyes collection in dual shades (there are two different colors on each end of the pencil) in Soft Black & Champagne. Goodbye two old eyeliners that are too small to sharpen anymore that are taking up space in my bag!

This is probably the easiest beauty resolution I've made in years. Normally, my makeup bag takes up too much space in luggage when I'm traveling anyway, so this is one that will help me trim down my time because I won't have to shuffle through all those unused products. Bring it on, 2010. I'm ready to get my beauty regimen on this year. With much less clutter in my bag.

If you just can't bring yourself to throw all that unused makeup in the trash, then check out this site that tells you how to recycle your old products.

How about you, ladies? What's in your makeup bag that you can give up this year? What have you been toting around that you no longer need?

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I also write at Mocha Momma.


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