Over the past year, I have been reviewing and discarding products in efforts to simplify my collection and use things I own instead of purchasing more. I have been pretty diligent with following this challenge, with the exception of a few things I purchased. I started the challenge in January by using up five products a month and reviewing them, and I ended up getting rid of 72 products (17 in December) in one year alone. I’ve also learned many things from this challenge, but will talk about five main points:
1- Travel-size items are easy to accumulate and hard to get rid of
It’s become common to receive samples or trial size products with purchase, even in-store. Other businesses even specialize in sending out customized samples every month. I tried one of the boxes and I was not impressed by the selection, nor did it feel worth the money. Sephora enables shoppers to select which samples they want to try. However, I was surprised that they sent me something different anyways (it has happened more than once). I guess they just put whatever they want when they run out of the sample of your choice. In any case, although many samples come in handy for travel or to throw in your purse, they also are easy to accumulate and forget about.
2- There is always an exception
There is always an item or more that will not work. And that is inevitable, from skincare to make-up to haircare, etc. I have been reading many beauty box reviews, and many people said they receive items with a shade that doesn’t match, or an eyeshadow color that’s not wearable (neon and warm colors), or an item that wasn’t worth the price. And that is not a good investment, since you’re paying a lot more than the value you’re getting. I always found it useful to buy the small carry-on containers and filling them with products I know work well and trust when I travel. My point is to not deter you from acquiring samples, after all they’re free, but to just invest a bit more time doing research and trying before buying.
3- Stick to items your skin likes
Building on the previous point, instead of acquiring heaps of items with the risk that some won’t work, invest in higher-quality products, preferably skincare, to help nourish your skin and keep it looking and feeling healthy and youthful. In fact, this challenge helped me realize that I spent a lot more on affordable products that I did not like or ended up throwing away than one high quality product that would’ve helped my skin.
4- Cheap is not cheap
This point reiterates the idea of investing in good products that will pay off in the long run, instead of using random items that the skin will react differently to. Sticking to one solid item or collection is so much better than using a multitude of products with chemicals that work differently on the skin and with one another. In fact, that caused my skin to get very irritated from using many different products, and I spent a lot more time remedying than maintaining skin health.
5- Prioritize Skincare
I went into this challenge aiming more at reducing makeup I had, but it transformed into a skincare declutter. Make-up is so much harder to use up, especially compact powders and eyeshadows. Although I use makeup on a regular basis, it is not as essential as skincare. A lot of drugstore items have similar quality and payoff as their more expensive counterparts, but it is not always the case with skincare. Plus, a strong and healthy foundation will make your make-up look even better, which is why I highly suggest you invest in skincare first.
As you can see, I emphasize a lot the importance of skincare, since it’s something I’ve learned to value more. I also encouraged the idea in investing in something that will pay off in the long run, as an alternative to wasting money buying a number of products that won’t perform as well and will cost just as much. However, there is also the possibility of creating your own skincare routine, such as DIY masks for face and hair. Egg-based masks I’ve tried worked wonders on me, and it is something I will continue pursuing next year to reap the benefits of natural products and save money in the process.
In conclusion, although I have used most of the products I wanted to get rid of, I am planning on pursuing this tradition of using up products and reviewing them in 2019. Another goal is being very selective with products I buy and doing more research on them as I go, which is something I plan to share with you as well.