After years of buying, trying and decluttering makeup, I have learnt what works for my skin, style and aesthetic. Especially after barely wearing any makeup in 2020 I have come to realise what I really like and actually enjoy using.
I’m in my late 30s and I’ve come to realise that there are products that I have that aren’t really necessary. Either I no longer enjoy its effect or a multitasker exists that does the same job or I want to cut out the step entirely because I’m lazy. I mean makeup itself isn’t necessary, people wear it for different reasons, as do I. There are a few categories of products that I can definitely live without so if you’re interested to find out what they are, please keep on reading 🙂
Cream, liquid and powder highlighters. When I first started watching beauty YouTube, every person would use highlighter when doing their makeup. Even when most of the time I didn’t like how it looked on them, even under all their fancy lights, I still yearned to have it too. The packaging is generally gorgeous and who doesn’t like (the look of) all that pretty shimmer. So I bought a bunch over time and slowly realised that I hardly used it. I have pigmentation on my cheek bones, it’s not that obvious with foundation and concealer but when I used highlighter it just seemed to make them reappear (duh it’s job is to highlight) and my meticulous concealing work proved to be a waste of time. I guess out of the three types I do prefer cream because I can lightly tap it onto my cheekbones so it doesn’t disturb my base but it’s still not a necessity for me. I remember buying my first highlighter, which was RMS’s Living Luminizer, it was so damn beautiful but I couldn’t even make a dent in it before it decided to expire on me.
I have always favoured a more natural application of makeup, so I’ve never liked to shine like a disco ball. Kudos to those who do though, each their own. Also by the time I normally apply highlighter, I already have foundation, concealer, blush and bronzer on and my skin is already looking quite dewy so happy to skip it since I think that’s already quite enough for my liking. Enough time spent!
Ever since I started wearing sunscreen daily I have barely touched my primers. I would classify liquid glowy illuminators as a primer too, not just pore filling or hydrating ones. I’ve been trying to use up my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, which is beautiful, but I have no idea how much I’ve used up from its packaging and now it smells funny (time to toss). There’s also a liquid illuminator from Burberry that I’m almost done with, purchased at a time when I was really into primers and Sephora. I mean I enjoy their effect, which is glowy skin, but I already get that effect of healthy and dewy skin from the sunscreens and foundations that I use. I’ve used the og Porefessional from Benefit (never worked for me) and so many others and have been tempted by Tatcha’s Liquid Silk Canvas due to hearing so many rave reviews. But at the end of the day, it’s an extra step for me and if I had bought it I wouldn’t remember to use it.
I’ve been much more mindful about buying any primers and haven’t for a long time. Even if I were to get ready for a dinner out, I still wouldn’t miss the primer step. There’s the suggestion that primer will help your makeup’s longevity, but honestly I don’t need my makeup to last that long, I’ve been working from home and also in work in IT. I also haven’t experienced much of a difference between no primer or primer (even those which had long lasting claims). Primers are also expensive, almost the same price as foundations sometimes. If I were to pick between the two it would be foundation everytime.
Some people love lip liners, they can’t do their lips without it. I am not one of those people, though I have tried to be. Again I fell for the whole beauty YouTuber marketing telling me that I needed to use lip liner before lipstick application. I’ve also been told that it can make your lipstick lasts longer too (which for me it never does). I mean I can definately see a place for it, especially if you want a precise application of darker or red lipsticks, or if you are a MUA, but for ordinary me I’m mainly a neutral lip person and am pretty basic with my lip products. I’ve used liners maybe twice in my life, so the bunch of lip liners that I have are just sitting there, waiting to expire or have expired.
I used to love spritzing my face with Mac’s Prep and Prime aka Fix+ because that’s what people in YouTube did. Besides that I did like the feeling of it and the way it made my face look and feel. But like I mentioned before, I already use dewy and glowy products like sunscreen and foundation and I don’t really care about longevity anymore so using a setting spray as part of my regular makeup routine was overkill.
Urban decay’s (original) all nighter did a good job in locking in makeup but I always thought it smelt weird and I have not owned it for a long time. It no longer has a place in my makeup routine since I haven’t been going to any occasions where I needed my makeup to be glued onto my face for 20hrs. It’s also full of denatured alcohol so use it with caution and only if you really need to.
I also don’t apply powder all over face anymore, I only apply it in my t-zone where I really need it. Therefore I no longer need a hydrating setting spray like Fix+ to tone down the matte or powdery look.
I still own some of these products and have sold some as well. Lip liners are probably ready to be tossed.
For the ones I have kept, I will keep using them for when I can be bothered or remember to. Basically just to use them up which won’t be anytime soon (I’m looking at you powder highlighters). But I will not be buying anymore products from these categories in future. I know that not everyone will agree with my reasoning but they are just my opinions. Makeup is very personal so you do you.
What products did you use to love but no longer use or see a purpose for? I’d love to know.