An Old-Fashioned Lipstick Destash Post

One of the reasons I decided to resurrect my blog is, frankly, nostalgia. I never thought I’d feel nostalgic for the second half of grad school (or the first half, for that matter), but 2020 has made me nostalgic for almost everything before it. When I started Auxiliary Beauty in 2014, Obama was president, I had a vague hope of someday obtaining a tenure-track job, and the population of good beauty blogs on the internet numbered in the double digits. I worry that my new enthusiasm for blogging is no more than regression, but if there’s any moment when regression is permissible, it’s this one. And if I can create some content for other people while I regress, all the better.

Remember destash posts? Remember the Platonic ideal of a perfectly edited lipstick collection, with no unwieldy tubes or oppressively floral fragrances or once-a-year metallic greige shades? I’ve grown a bit more cynical about destashing in the last few years, and before I remove anything from my lipstick box, I ask myself very sternly if I’m doing so merely for the excuse to buy another, similar lipstick. In the case of the four lipsticks in this post, though, the answer to that question is no. I think.

L-R: Matte Naked, Nice to Fuchsia, Rio Rio, Like.

Close-up of the tubes (note the beat-to-hell condition of Rio Rio):


L-R: Like (two swipes), Rio Rio, Matte Naked, Nice to Fuchsia.

And justifications for each destash, with links to my original reviews:

Glossier Generation G in Like (old formula):
This is the newest lipstick of the four, purchased two summers ago on my visit to the Glossier showroom. The second incarnation of the Generation G formula has a shatter-prone cap, a leap-onto-the-dusty-floor-prone bullet, and a formula that smells of old donut-frying oil. I could overlook all of those issues if Like were a flattering color, but the very sheer pink always makes me look sickly, no matter what other colors I’m wearing. I’ve tried wearing Like a few times this year and have switched it for a different lipstick every time, which is a pretty clear sign that I can do without it.

Milani Moisture Matte in Matte Naked (discontinued):
Oh man, I LOVED this lipstick when I first bought it…back in February of 2015. The advanced age of Matte Naked is one reason I’m letting it go, though I’d probably keep it if I still wore it often. I just don’t care for a matte nude lip anymore, even in a formula as comfortable as this one; that look feels a bit dated in 2020. Also, Matte Naked is neither strongly warm-toned nor strongly cool-toned, and those shades (in any color family) always make me obsessive and fussy about how to incorporate them into a look. That’s my own personal neurosis and no fault of Matte Naked’s, but it is what it is.

Topshop Matte Lipstick in Rio Rio (discontinued):
Another 2015 purchase. Rio Rio’s most obvious problem is the gross-looking, slightly sticky tube, which is just a bummer to use, especially in public. The formula is nice (though not really matte), and the shade is the only bright orange-red that has ever looked decent on me, but my records tell me that I’ve worn Rio Rio just once in the past two years. Clearly, I don’t need a bright warm red in my life right now. This is an important lesson I’ve learned since I started my makeup journey: sometimes there are gaps in your collection for a good reason.

Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nice to Fuchsia:
Of the five Liquid Catsuit shades I own, Nice to Fuchsia has the patchiest formula, which certainly hasn’t improved in the three years since I bought it. The color is great, but I have an almost identically colored matte lipstick in a formula I prefer (Maybelline Loaded Bold in Berry Bossy). Nice to Fuchsia performs better when sheered out, which is how I generally wear my Liquid Catsuits, but I also have an almost identically colored sheer lipstick in a formula I prefer (Maybelline Shine Compulsion in Berry Blackmail).

L-R: Berry Blackmail, Berry Bossy, Nice to Fuchsia.

This destash brings my lipstick collection to forty-nine, a number that makes me a little ashamed, since I spent a few years hovering around forty. I’ve bought five lipsticks this year, which I’m also not proud of, and writing this post has persuaded me that I need to go on a lipstick no-buy until the fall. (Remember no-buys?) A no-buy seems especially reasonable now that my lips are covered by a mask whenever I interact with people. (Remember displaying your entire face at the grocery store?)

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