Since the beginning of 2017, I’ve maintained a lipstick inventory, noting how often I wear each of my lipsticks, which ones are new to me, which I’ve destashed or finished, etc. Some people use a spreadsheet, but I prefer the humble Word document. As you can see, I place an asterisk next to a lipstick every time I wear it out of the house.
Keeping this record has given me a much clearer picture of which colors and finishes I actually wear. For instance, I think of myself as a bold-lipstick devotee, but these were my 10 most-worn lipsticks of 2017 (I was trying to pan Jam and Sultry):
- Glossier Jam (18 wears)
- Revlon Sultry (17)
- Urban Decay Rapture (15)
- Milani Matte Naked (12)
- Urban Decay Amulet (11)
- Urban Decay Backtalk (11)
- Wet n Wild Rebel Rose (11)
- Glossier Cake (10)
- Maybelline Naked Coral (10)
- NARS Dolce Vita (10)
|L-R: Jam, Sultry, Rapture, Matte Naked, Amulet, Backtalk, Rebel Rose, Cake, Naked Coral, Dolce Vita.|
Huh. Notice anything about these lipsticks? That’s right: not a bold shade among them. They’re all fairly muted, work-appropriate colors, even the metallic Amulet. And yet my largest shade category (with nine items) is red, not nude/MLBB. The colors that my heart lusts after are not the colors I wear on an everyday basis. This tells me that I need to be much pickier about the bold lipsticks I let into my collection. Had I not done this exercise, I might have bought a red or fuchsia from Pat McGrath’s LuxeTrance line. As it was, I chose Madame Greige, knowing that I’d feel comfortable wearing it to professional events (or what pass for “professional events” in my postdoctoral funemployment).
Over the course of the year, I destashed a total of 30 lipsticks, which is a pretty sobering statistic. I don’t regret getting rid of lipsticks I wasn’t wearing (and I managed to give some away to internet/IRL friends), but damn, that’s a lot of post-consumer waste. I did a big destash at the beginning of the year, but instead of appreciating the benefits of a smaller collection, I used its diminished size as an excuse to buy more lipsticks. UGH. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m doing a lipstick no-buy at least until the end of March, and that will help me get more use out of my current collection (and alleviate some of my guilt). Weirdly, I find no-buys much easier than low-buys. I like to think of a no-buy in positive terms: instead of denying myself new lipsticks, I’m allowing myself to appreciate the amazing lipsticks I already own! Maybe we need to find a more positive-sounding alternative for the term “no-buy.”
Here are the lipsticks (plus one gloss) in my last destash of 2017. Clockwise-ish from top, we have Maybelline Deepest Cherry, Revlon Balm Stain in Crush, Bourjois Rouge Edition in Beige Trench (that overpowering floral fragrance was a dealbreaker after all), NYX Butter Gloss in Blackberry Pie, e.l.f. lip stain in Nude Nectar, NYX Midnight Muse, Tarte Birthday Suit, Milani Matte Fearless, Revlon Fire & Ice, Kat Von D Mercy, Revlon Cherries in the Snow, MAC Whirl, NYX Castle.
Bonus non-lipstick destashes (edit: I’ve decided to keep Coral Cove and destash Tony Moly Milky Violet blush):
|NYX Faux Blacks Eyeliner in Blackberry, Wet n Wild Precious Petals highlighter, Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove.|
In addition to my destash, I finished four lipsticks this year: Glossier Generation G in Jam, MAC Amplified Lipstick in Up the Amp, Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry, and Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Streak. I must have thrown out my tube of Streak earlier in the year, but here’s some #panporn of the other three tubes. Yes, I know I could scrape out the remaining lipstick and put it in a pot or whatever, but I consider a lipstick finished once I can no longer apply it from the tube.
|L-R: Up the Amp, Sultry, Jam.|
Finally, my lipstick inventory going into 2018! I’ve put asterisks next to the lipsticks that I bought or received as gifts in 2017.
|Clockwise from top: NARS Mysterious Red, Wet n Wild Missy and Fierce, ColourPop Let’s Play, NYX Alabama, Marc Jacobs Rei of Light, NARS 413 BLKR, Maybelline Smoking Red, NARS Cruella, Bésame Noir Red.|
Bésame Classic Color Lipstick in 1930 Noir Red (mini)*
ColourPop Lippie Stix in Let’s Play
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème in Rei of Light
Maybelline ColorSensation Bold Lipstick in Smoking Red
NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in 413 BLKR
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (mini)
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Missy and Fierce*
|L-R: ColourPop Bee’s Knees, MAC Candy Yum-Yum, Revlon Fuchsia, NARS Let’s Go Crazy, Urban Decay Backtalk, Maybelline Lust for Blush, Wet n Wild Nice to Fuchsia.|
ColourPop Blotted Lip in Bee’s Knees*
MAC Matte Lipstick in Candy Yum-Yum
Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Lust for Blush*
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Let’s Go Crazy*
Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Fuchsia
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Backtalk
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nice to Fuchsia*
Oranges and Corals (5):
|L-R: Sephora Coral Sunset, Wet n Wild Nudist Peach, Topshop Rio Rio, NARS Orgasm, Maybelline Naked Coral.|
Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude Lipstick in Naked Coral*
NARS Satin Lipstick in Orgasm (mini)*
Sephora Matte Cream Lip Stain in Coral Sunset
Topshop Matte Lipstick in Rio Rio
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nudist Peach*
Berries and Plums (7):
|L-R: Urban Decay Amulet, Wet n Wild Goth Topic, MAC Rebel, Milani The Ultimatte, Topshop Let’s Get Bodied, MAC Eugenie, Urban Decay Rapture.|
MAC Matte Lipstick in Eugenie
MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel
Milani Amore Matte Lip Cream in The Ultimatte*
Topshop Matte Lip Bullet in Get Me Bodied
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rapture
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Amulet*
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Goth Topic*
|L-R: NYX Amethyst, & Other Stories Droguet Purple, MAC Metal Head, MAC Men Love Mystery, Kiko Chocolate.|
Kiko Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick in 319 Chocolate*
MAC Matte Lipstick in Men Love Mystery*
MAC Metallic Lipstick in Metal Head*
NYX Liquid Suede in Amethyst
& Other Stories Lipstick in Droguet Purple
|L-R: Revlon Fierce, Urban Decay Lawbreaker, UD Roach, MAC Antique Velvet, Maybelline Raging Raisin, NYX Brooklyn Thorn.|
MAC Matte Lipstick in Antique Velvet
Maybelline ColorSensational Bold Lipstick in Raging Raisin*
NYX Liquid Suede in Brooklyn Thorn
Revlon Matte Balm in Fierce
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Lawbreaker*
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Roach
MLBBs and Nudes (7):
|Top: Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. L-R: MAC Pale Rose, Glossier Cake, NARS Dolce Vita, Milani Matte Naked, Pat McGrath Madame Greige, Wet n Wild Rebel Rose.|
Glossier Generation G in Cake
MAC Metallic Lipstick in Pale Rose*
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (mini)
Milani Moisture Matte Lipstick in Matte Naked
NARS Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita
Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance Lipstick in Madame Greige*
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose*
Weird Colors (1):
NYX Liquid Suede in Stone Fox
|L-R, top to bottom: Dior Ultradior, Urban Decay Scandal, OCC Dune, Revlon Rosy Future, NYX Tiramisu, NYX Gingersnap, Revlon Embellished.|
Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Ultradior (mini)*
OCC Stained Gloss in Dune
NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu
NYX Butter Gloss in Gingersnap*
Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Embellished
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Rosy Future*
Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Scandal (mini)
Total Lipsticks: 47
Total Glosses: 7
Total Lip Products: 54
I’m hoping to use up a few more lipsticks this year. Glossier Cake and Urban Decay Rapture are almost gone already, and I might be able to pan some minis as well, such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Noir Red. I wear lipstick every day and enjoy it more than any other category of makeup, so I’m not aiming for a truly minimalist collection. But if I can keep my stash around 45 shades, plus five or so glosses, I’ll be happy.
13 thoughts on “Lipstick Megapost: Inventory, Pans, and Last Destash of 2017”
I really appreciate your mention of Project Beauty Share. I've wanted to donate to such an organization, but could never spot one. (I do donate never-used cosmetics to an organization helping inmate mothers about to be paroled.) So, thank you for the useful information!
The picture of all the plum lipsticks did things to me. Berry/plum/magenta is undoubtedly my favourite lipstick category of all time. This post also reminded me of how much I want Men Love Mystery!I also find that 45-50 is the maximum number of lipsticks I can have and still feel like I'm using everything regularly. Even that is pretty ridiculous – if I used a different one every day I'd get through almost 2 months before cycling back, which is excessive. I struggle to balance my desire for variety with the need to actually use everything I have. I'm not sure exactly what my numbers are right now, but probably right about on par with yours (minus the lip gloss, of course). It feels… not uncomfortable, but not comfortable either.
You're inspired me to keep a record of my lipstick wear in 2018! Here's to a year of considered, restrained purchasing and enjoying what we already have!
Gosh I'd hate to discover how many lip products I own … the vast majority of which I barely have touched and some that haven't been worn for years. Yikes. I just can't help it though, lip products are (or perhaps were) a definite weakness. When I see a pretty/eye catching shade, I get tunnel vision and forget about the myriad similar colours I already own, and simply *need* it. I've become a lot better recently at talking some sense into myself, but clearly should've done better in the beginning years :p Compared with you, since you actually do wear your lip products and finish them, mine are basically for display.
Oh my God so many cute lipsticks darlingHappy New Year 2018xx
You're welcome! I think I first heard about Project Beauty Share on Reddit. I hate throwing out perfectly good makeup, and I don't have many friends or relatives who wear makeup, so this was a perfect solution for me.
I wear plum lipsticks less than I used to, but that remains one of my favorite categories too. I like that I can buy a plum or berry lipstick sight unseen and count on it to be flattering, which is more than I can say for a lot of colors!If I did a REALLY ruthless destash and kept only the lipsticks I've worn more than a couple of times in the past year, I'd probably be around 35-40, but I just can't bring myself to do that.
I'm so glad my method seems useful for you! Best of luck!
While I was writing this post, I started wondering how many lipsticks I've owned in my entire life, since I first started wearing makeup, and how many of those I've actually finished instead of throwing them out. It was…sobering. But there's no point in feeling guilty for what's past; so long as you learn from your mistakes and change your behavior in the future, you're fine. (Or so I tell myself!)
Girl, I admire your fortitude. I feel like I need a hard cull of lipsticks and whatnot that I've accumulated over the years but I have SUCH a hard time throwing stuff away. The Jewish/Asian guilt kicks in and I'm like, NO MUST SAVE FOR JUST IN CASE. Why'd you destash the highlighter from WnW, just out of curiosity?
Ugh, I have so much Jewish guilt about throwing things out, too. THANKS, MOM. (My mom is basically a hoarder. She has receipts from like five years ago.) Precious Petals is more intense and sparkly than I like my highlighters to be, and the texture is too dry for my skin. I'm sticking to cream and liquid highlighters from now on!
Thanks! Happy New Year to you too!
That totally makes sense about the highlighter. I just came to my own recent revelation that I can't do cream/liquid highlighters unless they are under my bb cream/foundation. The emotional component of hoarding (or amassing a \”stash\” or \”collection\” or whatever) is so strong. I implemented a system similar to one that you've shown before, where I have a purgatory box that I fill with things I haven't worn or finished up that really need to go. If I haven't touched that stuff all year, then it ostensibly gets thrown out. I've so far only actually thrown out one or two items, while the others continue to linger in the hopes that I'll use them.