The beauty community is one of the fastest growing communities, the makeup industry grew a whole 6% since 2016. And while it is such a beautiful, fun, and uniting pastime and community, I think that in a sense the marketing teams took that love for makeup to make money off of us by using beauty influencers and other media to make us feel like we absolutely need all the new stuff that comes out. But over the past couple months, I felt like I was suffocating in makeup and skincare. I had so much of it, I bought new stuff at least once a week, I always felt the need to buy more even though most of the time those purchases were unjustifiable and something I already had a similar version of.
About two weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article on Refinery29 where the writer detailed her experience with Project 111, where the idea is that you can only use 11 products out of your stash for a month to show how much you actually need. This inspired me to clear basically all my makeup drawer, throw out the stuff I haven’t used in months but kept saying “but maybe I will use it later”, and then put the stuff I knew I would use in a box and hid the box.
What did I leave for myself?
- Garnier Fructis Micellar Water
- Philosophy’s “Microdelivery” exfoliating facial cleanser
- Caudalie “Beauty Elixir”
- Murad Essential C SPF 30 moisturizer
- Origins “A Perfect World” SPF 20 eye cream
- Benefit “Porefessional” Primer
- Hourglass “Vanish Foundation” Stick
- MAC “Liquidlast” Eye Liner
- Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara
- Buxom “Lip Crème” Lip Gloss
- Too Faced “Primed and Poreless” pressed powder
Similarly to Project 111, I also heard about a project others have started which is Project Pan, where the goal is that you can’t buy a new item until you’ve hit pan (used up) a certain amount of items with a deadline. Again, a really good idea, very structured so great for anyone who likes that kind of organization.
What I’ve done is kind of combined the two, so while I am trying to first get through the 11 items I have listed up top, I did start to branch out to other items I own, like using a Retinol treatment on some nights, and maybe adding a highlighter some days, but overall I’ve tried my darn tooting best to stay true to my original 11 items I’m allowed to use. In short, I’m going to try to shop my own stash before I go out and buy something new.
I’m so grateful that I’ve started these projects, because in all honesty I didn’t need so much stuff. I have a quarter of the tube of the Porefessional primer left, and then a tube of Smashbox’ Photo Finish primer on reserve. I have the foundation I’m currently using and if I get as pale as I was last year, I still have an almost full bottle of the Philosophy Hope in a Jar foundation waiting for me, as well as two drugstore cushion options.
All in all, I don’t think keeping to the 11 products for Project 111 is absolutely imperative, but it gives you a core that you have to stay true to while you can also use some other items. My goal isn’t so much to show myself how little I need, its more to get rid of the excess stuff and make sure I start to actually use up what I have instead of having my collection pile up. The reason why Project Pan wouldn’t exactly work for me is because I am the slowest person when it comes to using products. The fastest I’ll ever get through a foundation is within a bit more of a year, the fastest products I go through are liquid liners, and that takes me at least 6 months.
To anyone who is also thinking of how to best declutter their piles of makeup and skincare, I strongly suggest considering these projects, because of course while its all up to you, it does provide a fairly good amount of structure so that you can get through the items but at your own pace.
I just feel like generally talking about this is so important because makeup has become more about just getting your hands on a new product rather than actually enjoying what you have and what you buy. Its become a sort of addiction where people rush to getting a new product, feel the “high” of having the new item in your hands, using it once, and then really never going back to it. I believe what sparked this kind of “makeup rush” is seeing all the stuff beauty gurus own, and thinking you need it all. But even they often say “well this isn’t something I really reach for so I’ll donate it” but a month ago she was raving about how beautiful the shades are and promised she’d use it more, causing everyone to run and buy it.
Its refreshing to know that other people are also waking up from that delirious state and are starting to look for ways to get rid of their stuff. I really believe makeup and just beauty in general should be about fun and getting the joy of using a product rather than just acquiring more and more. At the end of the day, its all up to you and what makes you happy, but for those who are also feeling a bit of that asphyxiation from all the stuff they’ve hoarded, consider these projects because they really will help you free your life up.