I Just Cleared Out My Entire Beauty Collection—Here's What I Kept

There are significant perks to being a beauty editor. Getting to play with makeup all day is one; being privy to some of the most well-kept industry secrets is another. The most obvious, however, is the fact that we are constantly surrounded by the latest products. Whether it’s the latest serum or mascara, you better believe we’ve tried every last thing that we recommend. And it truly is a wonderful thing.

Over the last few months, however, we beauty editors have found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. You see, part of our job is receiving numerous parcels a day, each containing the latest products so that we can test and review them for ourselves. And while this can be easily managed in an office environment where storage and recycling bins are aplenty, since working from home, the situation has got a little bit out of control.

Gone are the days of leaving products at the office and going home to a nicely edited lineup. We now live among our work. And while I am by no means complaining about the fact I am lucky enough to be in this situation in the first place, it does mean that my cupboards are bulging, leaving no room for any sort of order to my beauty routine at all. So after weeks of knocking over bottles like dominos every time I reach for a cleanser, this week, I finally decided that enough is enough and declared it time for a clear-out.

It’s worth knowing, by the way, that I am a total hoarder, especially when it comes to beauty products. I really struggle to let go of anything I like, even if I only tried it once and thought it was quite nice. Therefore, ever since doing this job, I have had a very strict rule: For every addition I make to my cupboards at home, something else must come out (and more often than not get donated to a friend).

So for those of you who are intrigued to know how this went, keep scrolling to discover all of the products I have made space for in my collection and the products that I had to painfully let go of to do so.

Mascara

Beauty editors far and wide are all equally as obsessed with this new mascara from Hourglass. It’s seriously lengthening and leaves lashes looking fluttery and natural. The best bit is that it’s a tubing formula, which means it doesn’t smudge as the day goes on. I’m totally infatuated with it.

I have been holding onto a dried-out tube of this stuff for months. I’d say out of all of the new mascara launches of the last couple of years, this one was probably top of the list. It’s not too volumising but adds crazy amounts of length to really open up the eyes. It did me well, but it’s time to say goodbye.

Foundation

From the minute I tried this wonderfully juicy base on the back of my hand, I knew that it was going to worm its way into my permanent collection. It’s almost unbelievably glow-giving and leaves a dewy finish that is perfect for summer. The coverage is impressive too.

When it comes to products I really love, I have a bit of a tendency to stash more than one. I’m quite ashamed to admit it, but I currently have three tubes of my go-to Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. I have a friend who is the same shade as I am and also swears by it, so it makes sense to share the love.

Bronzer

Since this bronzer came into my life a couple of months ago, I haven’t really used anything else. And that’s genuinely quite shocking seeing as before this, I basically only used two bronzers regularly. It’s natural-looking and the perfect no-fuss cream formula for hot, summer days.

This is quite possibly one of my favourite bronzers of all time. However, last summer, my current compact had a bit of an accident on a night out. (It shattered into a million pieces after I dropped it on the floor.) I have been clinging to it ever since, but I think it’s finally time to accept defeat.

Lips

This is basically the only thing I ever want to wear on my lips. It’s super hydrating and plumping but also silky smooth and lightweight. Most days, I’m skipping lipstick and just reaching for this. I’d imagine this is going to become a recurring purchase.

I really, really loved this liquid lipstick and went through a period of wearing it more or less every day a couple of years ago. But as time has gone on, my lips have gradually gotten drier and drier, and the super-matte formula just doesn’t work for me anymore. Plus, it’s a bit gammy and likely past its sell-by.

Eye Shadow

If you know me at all, you know that when it comes to eye shadow, I am most definitely a brown and nude kinda girl. Purple shadow is not something I would ever usually even try, let alone own. Yet here I am making room for a rather bulky palette full to the brim of purple hues. This new Naked palette from Urban Decay is quite possibly one of the most wearable and dreamiest collections of purples I have ever laid eyes upon.

Yes, I am actually getting rid of this little guy, and trust me—2017 me is shook. When this palette launched, I was basically its biggest fan. The selection of warm-toned oranges and browns was perfect in every way, and as a result, I wore it day in, day out. However, over the last year or so, it’s remained untouched at the back on my drawer, as I’ve found myself reaching for cooler tones more often than not. I have a friend who’s itching to own this, and it’s his lucky day.

Cleanser

I’ve already said everything I have to say about this fine cleanser. It’s a total dream and could quite possibly be one of my favourite cleansers of all time. I’m going to have to make permanent room for this guy.

Again, this is a product I have multiples of. It’s actually really affordable, so hoarding it as I do is totally unreasonable, but here we are. I have two in the cupboard as it stands, so I’m taking this one out to pass on to my boyfriend, as he’s struggling with a stubborn blackhead situ right now.

Serum

Next month, Estée Lauder is releasing a new-and-improved version of Advanced Night Repair. This stuff is without question my desert-island beauty product. I’ve been trialling the new product for a good few weeks now, and it’s basically this stuff but better. (I didn’t know it was possible.) For a true comparison, I’ve been using it alongside the existing ANR and quite honestly, my skin hasn’t been this healthy in months.

I love this moisturiser. It’s rich and sumptuous but also really great at soothing and repairing. I’m not ditching this stuff for good. It’s just that my skin was in a really bad way, and now this cream has sort of done its job. I’m storing it away, but it will be back.  

Tan

There is little I love more than a super-hydrating, gradual tanning face serum, and this new launch from Isle of Paradise delivers it all. It leaves me with a subtle golden glow but is also basically foolproof, so there’s no risk of patching or streaking.

I had the tiniest little bit of this stuff left, but I think it’s time for it to be chucked. It is definitely up there among my favourite tan serums of all time, but it’s lasted me so long that I think it has started to go off. Last week, I noticed that it started smelling different, so it’s probably a good idea for me to skip the last few drops.

SPF

This SPF has totally changed the game. Just like most people, I’m not a huge fan of SPF formulas that feel heavy and pore-clogging. On top of that, aestheticians regularly inform me I’m not applying it correctly, almost always missing patches of my forehead and never taking it far enough up into my hairline. This lightweight gel formula applies with a brush so I don’t have to get my hands dirty and allows for seriously precise application. It’s revolutionary.

This is definitely one of my favourite facial SPFs out there. I took this bottle on holiday at the start of the year, and it had a little explosion on the plane. Since then, it’s been a bit of a leaky pain to use. There’s not a huge amount left, and the formula hasn’t been the same since. I think it’s time to bin this one. But it’s cool; I have backups.

Body Wash

This is probably the most enjoyable beauty product I own right now. It’s zesty and fresh and leaves me feeling like a summer goddess every time I emerge from the shower.

I really loved this shower gel. It’s creamy and nourishing and smells delightfully clean. The bottle is gigantic, which is great because it means it lasts for ever but not so great when my slippery hands dropped it in the shower last week and cracked the lid. I’m not keen on the idea of my shower products not being properly sealed (they’re hotbeds for bacteria), so it’s time to wave goodbye.

Body Cream

I know this body cream is marketed as an after-sun, but I think it acts as just a really lovely lightweight body cream, too. It’s cooling, which is a treat on hot days, and it smells great.

It’s cheap, yes, but it’s also one of the most natural-looking gradual tanning lotions around. I also really love that it offers up a bit of a deeper tan than most other lotions. Unfortunately, my most recent bottle is so well-loved that it's seen better days.

Body Scrub

I have quite severe KP on my arms right now, so using a body scrub to unclog those hair follicles is more important than ever. This stuff from StriVectin is a very fine scrub and seriously effective. It just works.

This body scrub is like summer in a tube. It’s clay-based so can also be used as a body mask. Very sadly, my tube is extremely old and, over the last few weeks, has totally dried out.

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