Thursday, August 29, 2013

Project 25 Pan: My New Beauty Dehoarding Strategy

I mentioned in my last post that I have a new makeup purchasing / using up strategy.  Basically, my beauty closet is overflowing and it's not getting better even though I have cut waaaaaay back on the subscription services.  I am incapable of seeing a really amazing deal and just letting it slide, so the stuff just keeps piling up - Hautelook sucks me in every time.  The no buys are great while I'm doing them, but I find that the month after a strict no buy results in a makeup binge, which is kind of counterproductive.  So I think I will continue no buys when I'm trying to cut back on other life purchases, but makeup needs special treatment. 

In addition to clutter, there are other unwanted side effects from having too much makeup and nowhere to put it: 

Never, ever, ever trust a quiet moment. (Revlon Balm Stain)
First, I made a wish list.  I sat back, looked at my collection, and thought about what brands and products I really love.  Makeup is my only hobby that isn't free, so I am okay with building a big collection as long as I'll use and love each item.  I figure if I'm only allowed to buy things on the list, that will cut down on the impulse purchases.  And I also figure that if I stick to buying the stuff that has been on the list the longest, then I must REALLY want that item so it's worth getting.  

Then I thought about my main goals...use up the stuff I paid my hard earned dollars on before it goes bad, and take notes of what I liked and didn't like so I know what to get down the road if I ever run out of that type of product and need to make a purchase.  

I need an incentive to use stuff up, and a place to keep my notes.  The second part is easy - I have wanted to blog about my beauty empties for a while, since those are among my favorite youtube videos to watch.  The first part gets complicated, but I have a plan.  I did a Project 10 Pan a while back, and it was mostly a success (I have one lip balm that never goes down no matter how much I use it, and I lost one item, so I used up 9 out of 11 before I bought more stuff).  I used that as a starting point, with modifications.

Here are my Project 25 Pan rules:

  • As evidenced by the name, I don't think using up 10 items is enough of a challenge.  I need to use up 25 products in order to purchase ONE item off my wish list.
  • This is a LIFE strategy, not a one time thing.  One 25 Pan ends, another begins.  
  • Since I am also trying to use up samples, it doesn't seem fair to include them in my 25 Pan.  I will have a separate Project 25 Pan for samples smaller than, say, 1 oz, and I can buy ONE item off my list for every TWO sample 25 pans completed.  If an item is full size and it's less than an ounce, it's okay to put it in the main list.  
  • This isn't just for makeup.  Skin, hair, nail, and any other beauty products are fair game.
  • Items that are going to be replaced don't count.  For example, Justin and I generally use Head and Shoulders shampoo, but I also have a number of shampoos and conditioners in the beauty closet that I got in Allure boxes or on sale or I just wanted to test or whatever.  We always replace the Head and Shoulders when it runs out, so that's never going to count.  Whenever I use up all of my spare conditioners, the last conditioner is going to be replaced, so it's not going to count.  Make sense?
  • Other non-countable items are going to be deodorant, toothpaste, and razors.  I always buy those things in value packs so I have multiples, but the value packs get replaced with other value packs and I only stick to one brand for those products so it seems like cheating to count them.  
  • Beauty tools, cotton swabs, q-tips, etc. also don't count.  
  • Basically any item that is an "essential" and I don't have a zillion extras doesn't count. 
  • I will write up an empties for each completed Project 25 pan post, where I do a quick review of the item.  I might have a few non-countable items on there too if it's worth reviewing. 
  • I am allowed to replace items I use on a regular basis when they run out, and I won't need to use up 25 items to do so.  For example, Hervana blush and the Naked Basics palette are part of my daily routine, so if I hit pan it's fine to get another one.  But the empty won't count for 25 Pan.  
  • I have a bin of foundations and BB creams I'm trying to use up.  Once I get through all of those, I'm allowed to buy the Naked Skin line from Urban Decay without having to hit 25 items.  
  • I am allowed to shop in the Loreal Company Store every 5 weeks when I get my pass because it's only going to be around until the end of the year and I only stock up on my expensive Kiehl's skincare or Clarisonic brush heads when I'm in there.  
  • Since the Allure beauty box is only 3 times a year, I will be allowed to look at what's in it, look at my collection, and make a grown up decision if I should participate or not.  
  • Same for the Sephora Sun Care and Favorites Kits.
  • I am allowed to continue Ipsy and PopSugar.  
  • No more Hautelook beauty purchases, unless I have referral dollars.  If you want to contribute to that end by setting up an account after using my referral link, here it is.  But if you don't, that's cool too. I will just have to survive without the daily Hautelook temptation. 
  • No more Julep, unless I have referral points.  If you want to sign up with my referral link, here it is.  But again, I don't need it in my life.  I have loved my two years of Mavenhood, but it's not a must have.  
  • No more QVC.  I think I have one more Test Tube and one more Tarte set coming from my existing subscriptions, then that's it.  No more.   
I *THINK* this setup will work for me.  I will have enough built in cheats where I can still have fun with my hobby (continuing my favorite beauty subs and specific deals I am not willing to bend on).  But this should accomplish my desire to stop the impulse buys and to use stuff up.  I might make adjustments to my plan as I go along, but it's a start.  

Do you have a goo hoarding problem?  What do you do to cut down the clutter when it gets out of control?


april said...

Even though I have a small fraction of the products you have, I think I'm building a want list anyhow (also will be a fraction of the size of your want list, ha!). If there's anything you think I should put on it, let me know! I'm going to put the Naked 1&2 pallettes on there even though I won't get them until after Blathering, and I really need something to help the bags under my eyes (not a concealer, something for firming up that skin). I don't have anything else on my list.

april said...

Oh, and that milk liner (I found it once at Ulta but the only one they had was messed up. Haven't been back).

kirida said...

I don't have as many products as you do, but I definitely appreciate the thought of using points instead of cash. I need to curb my spending anyway, even with the little things I buy (that I do enjoy adding to my shopping cart!) they add up.

Pirate Flag & Island Girl said...

I have been working on something like this for what seems like FOREVER (but I believe it has actually only been since May.)

I have a THING about blushes-I will only use one at a time, since I know that they take so long to finish that the likelihood of me actually finishing one if I open all the lovely, lovely, lovely (I could keep that up for a while) colors that I want to, I will never finish a single one. I've been using the same blush since March, I believe, and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. So sad...and I already have several blushes in reserve, so there won't be any blush purchasing until I get through this one and maybe one more. Sigh. Same with bronzers.

I'm also working on eyeshadow singles and won't be purchasing anymore until I use up the 6 that I'm working on. I have a bunch of those in reserve as well, so until the 6 are done there will be no more. While it makes me unhappy to be doing this, I love the colors I'm using and know that I just can't continue to purchase things with reckless abandon. I told hubs this when we were at the NEX a couple months ago (Navy Exchange, similar to a mall with the equivalent of a Sephora inside-tax free and slightly-very slightly, but slightly still-cheaper, talk about TEMPTATION...) and he looked at me like I had 8 heads. This kind of challenged me because I know he thinks that there is no way I can pass up lovely things in the form of makeup...but I'm working on it.

All blushes, bronzers, mascara (I have so many), and eyeshadows are out for the foreseeable future. Boo.

Emily said...

In the girls' defense, those balm stains DO look like markers...

I like your plan. I'm trying to pare down my collection, too. Good luck!

Katie Wilkes said...

I've found that reading reviews of subscription boxes/mystery boxes sometimes soothes my urge of buying them. Kind of like smelling wine without actually drinking it. hmmm.. I am an addict...