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Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

>Hoarders: the one about the girl who stockpiled cosmetic gift-with-purchases. And a beauty fast.

04/20/2011 44 Comments

>Hoarders: the one about the girl who stockpiled cosmetic gift-with-purchases. And a beauty fast.

04/20/2011 44 Comments


This was my makeup collection before: 
Which is utterly ridiculous, since I basically wear the same five products every day.

See, I have a dirty little secret. My nasty impulsive shopping habit rears its ugly head most often at the beauty counter. If I see a “Gift With Purchase” sign, I’m defenseless against my need-it-now-at-any-cost urges. The brightly-lit cosmetics displays with their TRY ME colorful samples beckon me like a moth to a flame.

And that’s how I’ve ended up with this many tubes of lipstick.


And all of those lip glosses? Total impulse purchases at Sephora and the drug store. Looking at them all lined up makes me realize that they’re all nearly an identical shade.

After a recent kick-in-the-pants lesson about my financial health {I’ll spare you all the gory details} I’ve been doing a lot of introspective thinking about my spending habits. One morning, as I pondered the “where is all my money going?” conundrum, I opened my disaster of a makeup drawer and had an epiphany. Then I got mad at myself, and decided I needed a time-out.

But first, I needed to organize this mess.


I decided that my entire cosmetic inventory would have to fit in this single drawer from the chest of drawers in our master bath. Everything else had to go.

I started with that infamous lipstick collection. I swiped every one of those tubes onto my arm, and pitched the colors that were outdated, unflattering, or duplicates.
{While we’re on the subject, why are the free tubes of lipstick always so brown?!}


These made the cut.


And when all the other extras and oldies were weeded out, these shining stars remained:

IMG_0160 IMG_0180
IMG_0184 IMG_0168
IMG_0169 IMG_0174




Using a few plastic containers (most of which came from my desk, which came from an office supply store) everything found its own place in the drawer. And a few of the basics and neutrals went into my makeup bag that goes everywhere with me in my handbag (more on that in another post).



Here’s the time-out part…

Now that everything is so organized and lovely — and I have more than I’d ever need at once time — I’m grounding myself from buying cosmetics for the next 6 months. May to October. Not a single lip balm, eye shadow, or set of false lashes (oh wait, I don’t wear false lashes).

Inspired by shopfast, and essential for getting my out of control beauty binges in check. It should be interesting to see how much of a dent I make in this drawer at the end of six months without constantly restocking… We shall see! 

Keira Lennox

I'm a small town lady from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear.

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  • […] makeup. I love it. I even love hoarding it. But I don’t always know what to do with […]

  • […] a few months ago when I outed the contents of my ugly makeup hoard to all of the Internet, and then put myself on a self-induced grounding from all cosmetics […]

  • […] if you’re not a cosmetics hoarder, you can still benefit from the Birchbox experience. If you’re new to the beauty scene and […]

  • Sara_ItsAboutTheLook 04/24/2011 at 4:37 pm

    >Oh good! :)

  • Keira Lennox 04/24/2011 at 2:34 pm

    >Horray for finding the Seychelles!! I love those shoes way more than any woman should love an inanimate object…

  • Keira Lennox 04/24/2011 at 2:32 pm

    >I'm a champion beauty-binge enabler.

  • Keira Lennox 04/24/2011 at 2:32 pm

    >Oh, I'm so guilty of this. Especially with the red/bright coral trend that's so big right now. It's like I tell myself that owning a tube makes me trendy, even if I never wear it ;-)

  • Keira Lennox 04/24/2011 at 2:31 pm

    >I hoard books, too! There's this great little used book store near my shop, and I go in every month or so and stock up on new reads :) Thanks for the tips on the nontoxic products! I'd started converting a lot of my products, and then slowly started moving back to the regular stuff. I really love Korres and Tarte, and I'm going to look into the brands you mentioned here — after October, of course!

  • Keira Lennox 04/24/2011 at 2:27 pm

    >Sara, I planned for this! I bought two tubes of new mascara right before I did the purge and the ban ;-)

  • Rosa Melville 04/24/2011 at 1:34 pm

    >OMG good luck! You had so much lovely makeup, I'm sure you'll save a lot of money in this beauty fast!

  • Kate Franco 04/24/2011 at 2:23 am

    >holy. crap. and holy organization! I'm generally terrified of makeup (because I suck at applying it) but I, too, cannot escape Sephora's inexplicable charm. I bought two new Stila lip stains today. Not because I needed them…Also, I found the Seychelles black suede stappy heels today (and a totally cute pair of wedges, which I refrained from purchasing) – but those Seychelles are MINE!

  • Jess W. 04/22/2011 at 5:47 am

    >Wow! That is a lot of beauty products and I had do the same thing too…weed out all the extras so that it's more manageable. Good luck with the ban, I'm doing one too. =)

  • Katie 04/22/2011 at 1:57 am

    >I did this SAME thing the other day! My makeup bin was getting out of control and was filled with things I never use. Also, I am also totally guilty of buying a new lip gloss only to realize it is almost exactly like ALL the other ones I already own. Oops. At least we know what we like, right? :) Didn't it feel great to clean out like this? I'm hoping to do the same in the rest of my place very soon!

  • 2Anchor 04/21/2011 at 1:12 pm

    >I grounded myself from buying clothes the month of April…I've now turned to beauty products. I may have a problem.http://2anchor.blogspot.com

  • Melissa 04/21/2011 at 9:57 am

    >This is awesome!! I just recently realized that I also have a ridiculous amount of partially used makeup in my stash; thanks for the inspiration to have a massive cleanup!

  • Fashionistaontour 04/21/2011 at 8:00 am

    >Oh my actual God!!!!!! I thought I was bad but you have more make up than me and all my friends put together!I used to be like that too but as you say in your post you end up using the same five producs all the time so one day I decided to give all the stuff I didn't use to my best friend. She is now the one with the full drawer who can never find anything!At least you took some cracking picys though!Albawww.fashionistaontour.com

  • Sara_ItsAboutTheLook 04/21/2011 at 3:05 am

    >The only thing you're allowed to buy is mascara…cuz you're supposed to throw it out after 3 months and all that jazz :)

  • Carrie 04/21/2011 at 2:45 am

    >holy mother of clinique!! girl i REALLY wish you could assist me in my quest to bulk UP in the makeup department. something tells me you would be a great encourager of the purchases. hehexo,c

  • Wobisobi 04/21/2011 at 2:19 am

    >I so need to do this. You have given me inspiration to Purge.

  • Becca 04/21/2011 at 1:56 am

    >I had a very similar realization when I moved cross country earlier this year. I was going through all of my stuff while packing and realized I had approximately a billion lip glosses. This is particularly funny because I DON'T EVER WEAR LIP PRODUCTS! However, this hasn't stopped me from accumulating them over the years. I finally pitched them. Then, a month or so ago I found myself in Sephora buying lipstick (old habits die hard), I justified that I wanted to start being a grown up lady and wearing bright lipstick. Update: so far I wore it once and proclaimed myself to look like a clown. So that's my reality check. No more lip products.

  • Colleen McCloskey 04/21/2011 at 1:23 am

    >I really hope you do an updated post in 6 months or even a progress update in 3 months.

  • CraftyRie 04/21/2011 at 12:55 am

    >Yeah, I'm guilty of that too – having just moved house & packing up my stuff & I realised how much make up I have. SO… I've decided no more buying for me until I can see the bottom of the drawer again!!

  • L.Voss 04/20/2011 at 11:07 pm

    >congrats on your successful consolidation!!!

  • Justine @ Just Better Together 04/20/2011 at 10:55 pm

    >Great clean up! I've seen a worse collection. You know how bathrooms may have a cabinet door with shelves in them? Well, my boyfriend's mom has that full and 2 plastic drawer bins full of nailpolish! It's make up heaven in there. Just Better Together

  • Natalie 04/20/2011 at 10:48 pm

    >Wowza! That's quite a stash! Huh. Funny. I personally love brownish lipsticks and always wonder why the samples I get are so PINK! ;)

  • Monica 04/20/2011 at 9:15 pm

    >You have inspired me to organize my make up. And good luck on the fast!http://asktheduplex.blogspot.com/

  • Jessica 04/20/2011 at 8:45 pm

    >Great idea–I'm not like this with make-up, I'm like this with clothes. I don't know that I'm ready for a fast yet… but probably soon. :(

    • ShopFast 07/30/2011 at 10:45 pm

      I’ve been on a clothes shopping fast since January of this year. It’s quite liberating and you learn a lot about yourself.

  • London Schade 04/20/2011 at 8:33 pm

    >Girl you are putting my cosmetics drawer to shame! Now I am going to have to do some spring cleaning of my own.

  • Linda 04/20/2011 at 8:17 pm

    >I love your blog… you are so cute! This is a brave post! I can get that way with books! (Yeah, I'm a nerd!) When you start buying makeup again, you might want to consider some nontoxic products… I know you had an interest in that a while back. I have been trying products from Rejuva Minerals, Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers and eye cream, and looking into Lauren Brooke and HoneyBee Gardens. Also using Jason and Avalon products a bit, which i just picked up at the drug store. You can look up your new purchases on http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ to check their toxicity. I've liked my changes and feel a lot healthier. I'd also like to know how your homemade deodorant is going… that's been a hard one for me! :P

  • Chloe Austyn Holley 04/20/2011 at 6:54 pm

    >Congratulations! If your resolve starts wavering, or supplies are running low, you could always go the pomegranate seed/lemon juice route from history books. :)

  • Kimberly Anne 04/20/2011 at 5:28 pm

    >I wish I'd have a makeup collection at all! I, too, use the same few products each day, but it's because I wear so many crazy things via my wardrobe, that I'm terrified to step out of my box when it comes to makeup.

  • andie 04/20/2011 at 3:14 pm

    >This is such a well done, honest and helpful post. Thanks!nomapisasubstitute.blogspot.com

  • Kasey 04/20/2011 at 3:12 pm

    >this is true hoarding!!!!!!! BUT GOD I LOVE IT. http://www.stylemekasey.com

  • eclecticflair 04/20/2011 at 2:47 pm

    >I was just thinking the same thing this morning. "Why do I have all this make up when I wear the SAME 5 products everyday?" great post and I'm looking forward to reading your makeup bag post soon! Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

  • goodframeofmind 04/20/2011 at 2:34 pm

    >Impulse buying lipglosses are definitely my weakness too, but I feel like I always loose them so my collection never gets too big. I also saw you had HIP eyeliner – that is my favorite!

  • MeghanM 04/20/2011 at 2:23 pm

    >So impressed! Getting rid of things is SO refreshing. Good luck with your beauty fast – you could always "remix" your makeup if you start to get bored.

  • Lynncallaway 04/20/2011 at 1:52 pm

    >Whoa, tha'ts a lot of makeup! I do understand the compulsive urge to spend. I think you did a great job organizing, thanks for the tips. besos,lynn

  • elizabeth 04/20/2011 at 1:47 pm

    >I am so glad you did this post! Just a couple weekends ago, I weeded out all of my GWP hoarding. Unbelievable. I wish I had taken pics just to have something to show myself how insane it was. I could probably still do some more weeding out because I still have more than I could ever use before it goes bad.I have actually been tough on myself and not let myself go get the Spring Clinique bonuses at Dillard's and Macy's. So hard! I don't know if I've ever missed one, ha!Great job being strong and getting rid of some of that stuff! Good luck with your shopping ban!

  • Amy 04/20/2011 at 1:40 pm
  • Jessica Zigenis 04/20/2011 at 1:00 pm

    >This was actually really inspiring. haha Let's just say I have a little bit of a MAC eye shadow problem, and it's not good. I might have to try this. : ) And a little tip from me: If you use make up brushes (also a problem–I buy really expensive ones and call them a 'need'!), put them in a little bucket container like you have already with some decorative small pebbles on the bottom/or sand to keep them in place. Have a good day!

  • A76 04/20/2011 at 12:55 pm

    >I made a beauty-shopping diet the first three months of this year. It was kind of hard but my "problem" was very similar. I saw a box set (more from the cleansing/care stuff) and had to get it. From January on I used up nearly everything and (re-) dicovered some favorites. I made lists and even my initial shopping in April was very "light".Stay strong :)

  • Maggie@SayYesToSalad 04/20/2011 at 12:47 pm

    >I have a similar habit :( I've pretty much grounded myself from buying things I don't need. Every month or so I go through my apt and pitch/give away stuff and it's made me realize how much stuff I buy that I really don't ever use. I love the organization ;)

  • RelatableStyle 04/20/2011 at 12:34 pm

    >Kudos to you! I have about the same amount of stuff, and looking around in a beauty forum I sometimes read, it is NOTHING, I tell you, NOTHING! But I sometimes feel what I already have is too much and I'd rather have a smaller collection I love everything dearly of. But I just can't bring myself to throw away perfectly good lipsticks just because the color or even just the finish looks off. So they sit there. And sit. And sit. And I have no one to give them to, as my relatives and friends are either not into cosmetics or wear the shades I like and not the ones I'd give them ;-) But banning myself from buying beauty stuff always seemed a too big step for me. I've noticed a steep decline in my purchases anyway, so I hope I'll get along without a ban :-)Relatable Style

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    keiralennox.com and related social media accounts contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission from clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

    Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?