Beauty: Shopping the Stash

Dear Readers, I'm a beauty blogger in crisis. I'm on a make up purchase embargo. 'How does that work?' you ask. It works when you walk into the Selfridges beauty hall and think that it's basically a better organised, staffed version of your own collection.

A couple of weeks ago, my lovely friends Hannah and Laura came to visit, and after Strictly Come Dancing, a bottle of champagne and several more of lovely wine, I pulled out the make up and commenced the makeovers. It's been years since I've done this, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. What was even more exciting for me was the list of products each of them left with, and that H especially was so delighted with her dark eye/nude lip combo that it became her Twitter profile picture (check her out @Jegon_Scott: and yes, I'm quite pleased with my handiwork, but then she was a beauty to start with!) I tried three very different looks on each of them, and it barely scratched the surface of what I own. It was at this point I decided that I needed to shop my stash, and in doing so, I uncovered some interesting themes:

1. I own seven, seven eyeshadows in what can only be described as 'peacock' shades. I am pale and like neutrals. I have never worn any of these eyeshadows, nor will I. They went straight into the bin.

2. My weakness is blusher. I have copious creams and powders, all in pretty much the same shade. I want to like creams, but the fact that most remain only slightly used suggests that powders are the way forward for me.

3. I'm a sucker for foundation, but since using face oil, I don't need it during the day. I'm therefore left with a lot: all expensive and too pale to pass on to friends. Bugger.

4. If ever I forget my eyeliner, I buy a new one. I like Rimmel's kohl the best. I have eight that I'm half way through, which means I could put one in all my handbags, and thus never have an excuse to forget them. I probably won't do this, so logic suggests I'll have 16 this time next year.

5. I repurchase Clinique's City Block SPF 40 the most of any make up product. Because I always buy a new one before the old one runs out, I have three tubes with a single application left. I'll probably get round to using these once the current tube runs out...

6. I like lipstick, but I never wear it. I own a lot. I think this means I need never buy lipstick again. Maybe.

7. Every lipgloss I've ever bought is exactly the same shade as MAC's Big Baby but none are as good. The only one that gets close is by Kiko which I used to buy in Palma. Thank goodness they've opened at Westfield, as it's a long way for a cute pout.

So, the aim after the initial cull is to work through my stash until it's perfectly edited and contains only the things I actually use. And, future self, trying something once does not qualify as a use: you've been warned! You may remember this, and how I covet a streamlined routine more than anything. It's nice to have a goal, however unrealistic :) And now for my current make up bag!

Clockwise from top left: Rimmel ScandalEyes mascara in Black, Estee Lauder Automatic Brow Duo in Soft Blonde, Estee Lauder Double Wear Eyeliner in Black and Brown (I only use the Black end), Liz Earle Skin Tint in Light, MUA eyeshadow in Matte, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain, Rimmel Blush in Santa Rose, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque.

Am I happy with the current selection? Hmm, pretty much. The two Rimmel purchases were from a day when - quelle horreur - I forgot my make up bag. The blush, I absolutely love, and will definitely repurchase. It's a gorgeous sandy, peachy shade which looks perfect just under the apple of the cheek. The mascara? Not so much. I tried this on a whim as I used to be a big Rimmel mascara fan, but over the past few years, Maybelline just edged them. I'm looking forward to this running out so I can finally buy Colassal Cat Eyes and rekindle my Maybelline love. The Bobbi Brown concealer and corrector are by far my favourite concealer combo ever (a review will be coming up soon). I'm telling myself I have to use up my old Armani and MAC products eventually, but really, it'll be a cold dead hands situation when it comes to my Bobbi stuff. The MUA shadow is a pretty plain shade, but it's so wearable for daytime and hello, £1?! Sign me up! The Liz Earle Skin Tint I *love* (what a surprise: Rachel likes a Liz Earle product!) and this could be a serious contender for the crown currently held by Clinique City Block. The Estee Lauder brow and eyeliner were both gifts from my Mum, and the brow pencil is a definite repurchase. As for eyeliner, well, I've got all those Rimmel ones to work through...

This has turned into a bit of an epic post, but you can understand how I need to share on the challenging subject of the make up embargo. 'I'm Rachel, and I'm addicted to make up'. Now altogether, 'Hi Rachel...'


  1. This is funny - I'm like you - I actually love it when things run out. Feel free to pass on those pale foundations... :0)

  2. I nearly squealed when I hit pan on the Rimmel blusher! It never happens that I use things up, so it feels like an achievement: how sad! :)

  3. Hi, I'm Gaelle and I'm addicted to make-up. I'm also a clinical hoarder which makes chucking stuff difficult!

  4. Hi Gaelle, I know your pain! I'm really going to try and work my way through everything in the hope that one day, I'll have a lovely neat collection: it's never going to happen :)

  5. You should Donate your unwanted stuff to Give & Make Up. As long as its hygienic and in good condition (preferably unused or swatched only) its good. Much better than throwing away, and easier on the conscience :)

  6. That's a really good idea. It's only the peacock products I threw out, as I tend not to buy anything that doesn't get used. Will bear it in mind for anything else I uncover though :)


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