Learning to save more and waste less when it comes to beauty products

Shop your stash makeup

Over the past year or so, I have gradually turned into a ‘buy less’ girl when it comes to makeup and skincare. After discovering a complete love for pretty palettes and glossy lipsticks at around 16, I started collecting makeup. Whilst my collection isn’t ridiculous or worth a eye-watering amount, I still know I have more than I use. Nobody needs more than 15 foundations.

I think it is easily done these days. Brands create the most beautiful campaigns, releasing new products like cleansers that will leave your skin with 30% more nourishment, or lip pencils that will stay put all day. Often, these new launches are indeed worth the money and curiosity gets the better of us. Maybe this new concealer will be better than the ones I already have? Then slowly, this beauty collection builds up and it gets to a point when you have much more than you need.

If collecting makeup is your thing, then go for it. It’s a hobby that makes so many people happy – and me to an extent! I still love nothing more than trying new products. But for the most part, I’ve started to shop my stash to avoid going overboard with new products.

In theory, ‘shopping your stash’ is easy to implement. Instead of buying new makeup, head to your makeup bag/drawers/beauty shelf. You might have to hunt around a little, dig around at the back a bit. If you’re anything like me, you’ll hopefully be happily surprised at what you find. I realised how many products I’d bought just to ‘try’ and then hadn’t continued using.

A good sort out is essential when you start shopping your own makeup stash. I found it helpful to get everything from one category in one place, such as foundations, cleansers, nail polishes etc. so that you can have a good look at what you’ve got. Don’t keep products that are out of date. Look out for anything where the texture or smell has changed. Throw these out.

But just as importantly, don’t keep products that you actually didn’t like. I’ve kept both skincare and makeup items that simply didn’t work for me. Why did I keep them you might ask? Because I couldn’t bare to throw away brand new products. I had to realise that by keeping these useless (to me) makeup items, I was cluttering up my collection and wasting space. Time to let them go, or pass on to someone who might be able to use them (apart from mascaras, eyeliners and other products we shouldn’t share!).

Once you’ve streamlined your collection, you can hopefully now work through using up each of these products. I’ve started to adopt more of a ‘one in, one out’ policy as far as possible. I desperately wanted to treat myself to a new Emma Hardie Morniga cleanser, which is one of my top 5 skin products of all time. But, I made myself work through the other cleansing balms I had first, all of which were still good but didn’t have quite the same affect on my skin. By the time I got my Emma Hardie cleanser, it felt so much more rewarding – like a proper treat.

If you need a few more reasons to persuade you to use up your current beauty collection, I have a couple more up my sleeve that I used to convice myself. It’s better for the environment to shop this way. And if nothing else, it saves you money because a) you’re shopping less and b) your existing products won’t go to waste. Makeup and skincare does expire, usually with a 6 – 12 month window to use them up. If you have 10 foundations open at the same time, it is unlikely you’ll get through them all within a year. But if you finish one bottle and then purchase the next, at least you know you got your moneys worth from your purchase.

Shopping/using makeup in this way has really encouraged me to be more mindful about my purchases. I think carefully about how much I need/want an item before buying. Waiting to buy new products also builds up the suspense a little more too, so it’s even more exciting when I finally have it to use! Plus the feeling of using up a whole product is so satisfying after years of never getting to the end of a lipstick or primer.

I’d love to know how you shop, whether you love building a collection or whether you too shop in a ‘one in, one out’ method?




  1. January 13, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    I usually have a ‘one in, one out’ method with my everyday essentials, such as foundations, concealers, colour correctors…but I did go through a spate of buying a new palette every other week, but I now have enough palettes where I have every colour you can think of, and aim to use at least half of them up before I venture into getting another one xx

    • marblebeauty
      January 22, 2019 / 7:17 pm

      The ‘one in, one out’ method seems to work well for me too. That sounds like a great way to go about it especially when it comes to palettes! They are one of the longest-lasting makeup items for me! Xx

  2. January 15, 2019 / 3:55 pm

    I love rotating my products, like eye shadow palettes, bronzers, blushes. It’s so easy to always grab the same things, even though the other items you have work just as well. Getting rid of items that no longer work no matter what I do also helps. Great tips!

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

    • marblebeauty
      January 22, 2019 / 7:16 pm

      That’s so true, having a switch around regularly is the best way to use more products in your collection ☺️ agree! Thanks lovely! X

  3. January 16, 2019 / 4:23 am

    This is such a fab post. I need to clear out stuff I know didn’t work for me but I hold onto it because of the money I’ve spent x

    • marblebeauty
      January 22, 2019 / 7:15 pm

      Thank you Hannah! I was the same, I didn’t like letting go as it felt like a ‘waste’ of money. So hard to break that habit – but now I do as much research on a product as I can on a new product before buying ☺️ x

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