Could I Have a Curated Makeup Stash?

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curated makeup stash dark skin

Hey there fine folks. So first things first, this post is me thinking out loud (and typing it out on a blog that the public can read…lol) and sharing with you. I’m likely not making any major decisions soon if any—I’m just talking for now and also curious to see what you guys think about your own stashes. Leggo!

I’ve been blogging about beauty for ten years and as you can imagine I’ve seen, tested, loved, hated, and collected quite a lot of products. Before I even posted my very first blog post, I was a card-carrying makeup buying junkie who would have qualified for VIB Rouge at Sephora had it been around back then. I’ve never really wanted to have a small makeup stash—heck, the one time I thought about it was maybe four years ago when I was giving a private styling session to a client and was envious of her small makeup stash (because how amazing is the person who has enough self-control to ONLY have the essentials) and then reasoned that as someone who has a career in beauty that I actually needed the excess makeup for work.

I mean, that IS true about me needing makeup for work. No, I’m no longer a makeup artist so I don’t need a makeup kit, but I do have a need to have products on hand that go beyond my personal stash. For one, brands send me stuff pretty often (much of which gets given to friends, donated, or I’ve given it away to you guys). Secondly, I often have really great ideas for blog posts that involve me needing makeup and WHO has the budget or the time to get rid of all her makeup only to have to buy pieces again for a future blog post idea. Not me, kid…lol.

So I do need to keep some inventory. Which is what I’m organizing my office for. But then there’s still my personal stash. And also the fact that I use the same makeup over and over again despite having so much. This is the same problem I had with my closet and that caused overspending. I fixed my closet problem (see How I Reduced My Spending on Clothes and Makeup) and am very cognizant of any new clothes I add to my wardrobe. I haven’t been able to be that way with makeup. WHY? Well, there’s that self-constraint issue but also EVERYTHING IN BEAUTY IS SO GOT DAMN LIMITED EDITION.

curated makeup collection dark skin

The other day I went to a makeup counter and allowed the rep there to shade match me. I still wound up having to pick out my right shade myself but dah well—I was mostly there to get a different perspective on the makeup buying process as blogging often affords me the ). There was no pressure for me to buy anything. I was given a big sample of the foundation shades (the one I picked out and the one she picked out) and was sent on my merry way to try it at home at my leisure. I could have gone from counter to counter at that department store or at a Sephora store and got samples to try without having to buy a single thing. THAT is what beauty should be about. Makeup can be such a personal thing—just like with fashion, we all have different personal styles; different coloring; different skin types; different things we want to cover up and those we want to flaunt. The makeup buying process should be leisurely—we shouldn’t be powering up every browser at our disposal at 3 A.M. local time trying to snag a limited edition launch with like 500,837,448,567,346 other makeup fiends.

Which brings me to another thought about my personal stash: not only would I ideally like it to be not filled with 3 A.M. limited edition bad decisions, I would also like there to be cohesion in brands that are “me.” But it’s a little hard to say which brands these days speak to me because as someone who is 36, very active on social media, and very much into makeup, a lot of the brands seem to be speaking to the same person over and over again. I love that brands are working with influencers (obviously…lol), but I feel like brands are just working with the same influencers over and over again solely because they have huge numbers and not that the influencer’s style fits the brand’s. It’s like brands spent so much time in the past building a culture and “look” only to let 2016 come through and every brand is posting the same beauty aesthetic: heavy contour, liquid lipstick, mega lashes, super matte skin. And this is even with brands we’ve known to have a fresh-face, minimal beauty aesthetic.

And coming back to me being a grown woman beauty fiend, the other day I was looking at the packaging of some of the makeup products in my stash and while there’s a lot of sleekness via brands like MAC, Chanel, Dior, NARS, Make Up For Ever, etc. I do come across some packaging where I had to say to myself “Girl, you are a GROWN ASS WOMAN—what is this childish looking makeup doing in here?!?!” My longing for sleekness and curation in my stash could not have been made more clear to me than when I went to the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder launch event and saw how amazing everything looked. THAT is the kind of sleekness a woman like me needs (I’ll post more on the collection later—I got to take home a few items after the event).

At any rate, in the least I do need to purge some of my personal stash and also TRY to have more self constraint when it comes to new purchases. I’m toying with the idea of having only a few items that fit the bill in my bathroom (I have a half bathroom where I do my makeup that also needs to be redone so I’ll incorporate that once I have budget to redo it) and then keeping the overflow or “work makeup” in my office. It’s tough though because as a blogger I need to be in the know on new launches and such. I’ll figure it out though.

How do you feel about your current makeup stash? Anything you want to add to it? Take away? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

15 Responses to Could I Have a Curated Makeup Stash?

  1. JenJ says:

    Maaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn listen! These I’ve been feeling like this for a while now. I’ve gone through my stash multiple times. I’ve tossed stuff, given stuff away, sold some stuff, etc. And still have way too much. I never meant to have a makeup stash. When I started focusing on makeup it was fun trying this and that. And it was fun trying to figure out what I like. But then I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and bought stuff and more stuff! My tastes in brands have changed. So it’s just a mess lol. But shirt answer is yes I would like a makeup stash with some variety to play but not a huge stash. Like for real I don’t need 6 red lipsticks and loads of nail polish! Ok *ends rant*

    • Danielle says:

      Jen!!!! OMG please talk to me more about how your taste in brands have changed! I’ve been feeling the same way :/

      • Jen says:

        When I forgot into makeup I was into Bare Minerals, Smashbox, Tarte Bobbi Brown and maybe Urban Decay a little bit. I was so into the shopping channels and they had these awesome sets that were good values. So I was like score! But after a while. I was like yea no. That’s how I got a lot of Bare Minerals and Tarte stuff. I still have quite a bit of Bare Minerals stuff that I don’t know what to do with. Then packaging like you said played a factor and ease of product use. Then you throw in brand practices along with not being WOC friendly. Then some stuff I know I got off of hype and the product or brand ain’t worth athe hype. Even with a brand I loved like Bobbi Brown I got rid of a lot of the palettes I has because I liked the Laura Mercier ones I had better. And as much as. MAC gets on my nerves with a new collection every other week they do have good staple products and nice simple packaging which I’ve been enjoying lately.

        • Danielle says:

          Heyyy Jen!

          Yes, MAC might slowly be starting to win my favor again. I was a major fan but all the limited collections every other week made me tired…lol. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Clarisse says:

    Social media has turned me into a makeup hoarder! I had to un-follow a lot of influencers to get my spending in control (you’re one of the few ones I couldn’t un-follow, because of posts like this one, duh). My stash has gotten out of control over the past 2 years and like you I only use a few products over and over, the others ones are “just because”. Sigh…

  3. Jozz says:

    Great article. Do you hav recommendations on where to donate/give away make-up?

  4. simmmonsariziona says:

    My current stash is just a HOT DESERT MESS! I’m also still struggling to get a skin regimen (can I just have one moisturizer? Maybe two?) In my dreams, my stash looks like a French woman’s bathroom: nicely curated with products that I LOVE. So far, ain’t happening. (Also, keep in mind that most places will not accept open containers of products. I have tried. I have sanitized, repackaged, etc. It’s a no go.

  5. Cleo says:

    I just gave a male friend’s daughter a huge box of makeup, pulled a bunch of my luxury items and made a package to send to friend, and given away a bunch of stuff to ladies in my neighbourhood all within this last month, turned around and my bathroom looks as if i haven’t made a dent in my stash. I’m thoroughly sick of myself. And the holidays are coming up, but as carefully as I’ve curated that must buy list (that Fenty Beauty just obliterated with their holiday announcement) I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go overboard.

  6. Imah says:

    I hear you. I’m a creature of habit and my weekend going out make up is the same as my weekday make up. As in, I always have a fairly natural look and use maybe 7 -8 products all of the time. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of what items would I carry with me in my purse for a touch up or if I need to apply in a bathroom after a flight. I agree on the little girl looks of things which is why I always come back to make up forever and mac. They are my tried and true.

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