The Merits of Throwing Out Old Makeup

Hi guys, and happy Daylight Savings, happy spring, happy new year. I am writing in a sun-lit apartment and today it’s all about the new. I went shopping and got some new shoes, and new makeup, and it’s made me feel very insightful.

You see, I used to save makeup items long after their expiration date because in my mind, they still worked and I really like the product and I spent good money on the product. A classic example would be the Glossier future dew, which I kept for a year even though it said it expires at six months. I kept it because I hadn’t run out of product, there was still a lot left, and I liked it. Why should I keep it, as Bilbo Baggins once said?

Because less really is more! If you’ve read my Marie Kondo posts, you know I recently purged everything (and I do mean everything.) But I kept the Glossier future dew and a few out-of-date products that I really loved. Why? Because they sparked joy, so I kept them. That’s Marie Kondo’s way – if it sparks joy, keep it.

But something happened between purging my makeup and yesterday. I took a look at the Glossier products that I saved, and thought, “Why?” And I realized I was hoarding the products because deep down, I was scared I wouldn’t find another product like it.

This is a classic example of what I like to call lack of abundance mentality. It means a mindset that causes me to act as if there is never enough, and I must always be on high-alert, on the lookout, and hoarding and saving things “just in case.” It’s an anxious way of living.

Keeping makeup, even if it’s good quality, past the expiry date was a sign that I was still struggling to trust the Universe to provide for me.

I didn’t realize I was even doing it until I came back from my shopping the other day. I bought these amazing shoes at Chloé (more on spending money on designer shoes later,) and then I decided to go to Sephora.

I didn’t even need anything at the makeup counter, but since I had a gift card I decided to spend it on some new products. I told the clerk that I like Glossier products, but I want something new and cruelty-free. She pointed me to Ilia, and showed me the brand I ended up purchasing, a new brand called Merit.

As I looked at the Merit collection (a simple, sweet rollout of foundation sticks and lip oils,) I began to feel uncomfortable, like I didn’t belong here, like I shouldn’t be browsing things I didn’t need.

“I already have a mascara and foundation that are still good, not expired, what do I actually need from here?”

That’s when I realized I was going about it all wrong. Because makeup, designer items, and luxury lifestyle is not about need. And it’s not about want, either. It’s about delight. It’s about joy, laughter, and creativity!

I looked at the Merit products and thought, “I am an artist, and these are simply tools.” I allowed my face to become a canvas for inspiration, to help myself and others to smile and laugh, and cry and feel safe and vulnerable. Can makeup do all this? Not alone, but together, yes!

So I was excited again, and Sephora no longer felt like a chore or the grocery store (“Did I run out of milk? Did I run out of beauty blenders?”) Knowing that my Dior Airflash foundation was happily at home, I asked for help in selecting a foundation stick from Merit (my tone is called Bisque.)

I also got a highlighter stick from Merit. As I selected it, I felt myself changing from the inside out. Instead of thinking, “I still have some Glossier highlighter at home, and it works great,” I thought, “How lovely to buy a matching Merit highlighter to try with the foundation.” I didn’t get bogged down by guilt for owning two highlighters; I got excited to try the Merit products together, no doubt as they are meant to be used.

I rounded off the purchase by adding a Merit lip oil in Pink Beet. Three products from the same brand, a new brand at that, and all thanks to a generous gift card. But beyond the new items, I left the store that day feeling a level of self-love that allows me to explore.

I don’t need to wait till I am in a state of need, lack, or desire to explore. Exploration is my birthright. I learned that at the makeup counter. And when I got home, I was able to let go of the out-of-date highlighter and blush. Today I am wearing my new Merit products and they are very nice, I must say.

All this to say – getting rid of a beloved makeup product can be deeply cathartic, not just because it makes room for the new, but because it reminds me that I am capable of letting go.


Categorized as My Life

By justpearlythings

I am a writer, a lover, and a believer in the good things in life. I write about mental health and wellness, along with book reviews and fashion opinions. My blog caters to thoughtful, growth-minded women and men, and offers insights and personal challenges that provide a space for relevant, meaningful connection. The World Wide Web is vast, it contains multitudes, and so do we as people. I believe that through self-awareness and honesty, we create a more loving planet for everyone. Feel free to follow this page and share it with friends and family. Love, Pearl

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