In my last post I mentioned expiry dates in passing. They deserve a post of their own because expiry dates are great for kick starting a decluttering rampage in the beauty products arena.
At the beginning of the year, I used a lipstick and was quite unsatisfied because it seemed to have lost its vibrancy since the last time I used it. This made me curious about the life span of lipsticks and other cosmetics. Searching online, I found several articles that gave me guidance around the expiration dates of products. I felt liberated. I felt as though permission to throw stuff out had been granted. I felt dangerous. A rampage ensued and I threw out a lot of products with glee that I could finally admit that they weren’t making me happy. I realised that I’d been holding on to many of these products because:
a) I’d spent money on them;
b) I hadn’t really used them all that much; and
c) maybe I’d use them one day.
The following guidelines steered my rampage:
- Acne treatments: Three months to a year.
- Body lotion: One year.
- Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel: About three years.
- Mascara and liquid eyeliner: Three to four months.
- Eye and lip pencils: Three to five years.
- Lipstick and gloss: Eighteen months after first use.
- Foundation and concealer: About a year.
- Eye shadow: About two years.
- Blush and bronzer: About 18 months after first use.
- Perfume: About two years.
- Nail polish: One year.
- Hairstyling products: Three to five years.
- Lip balm: One to three years after first use.
I found the experience quite fun as a memory lane exercise as well. I enjoyed stretching
my brain to remember back to when I’d bought an item. This also illustrated quite clearly just how long I had held on to something (like said lipstick) and how justifiable it was to throw it out. Once I was on a roll, it felt amazing to keep clearing out my draws and by the end, when I was down to the bare minimum, the feeling of a simplified and clutter free vanity was worth more to me than holding on to products to see if I could justify having spent money on them to begin with.
As a treat to myself for having cleared out so much, including many eye shadow single pots and samples that were as old as Clinique itself, I purchased one beautiful eye shadow palette. My plan is to enjoy this palette for two years before replacing, this will give me plenty of time to fully explore all its combinations and perfect a few looks. This plan fills me with as much joy as seeing my tidy and minimalist vanity everyday. But funnily enough, going on a rampage was so much fun that I actually feel sad that I have nothing left to purge!
Like my ready-for-anything work draw, my handbag reflects that I like to be prepared for pretty much anything that may happen to me while I’m on the move. Saying this, I’m also conscious of causing unnecessary back pain and so I go through the contents regularly and evaluate an item’s usefulness or replace an item with a lighter alternative if I come across it.
Here are the contents of my handbag:
Top row, from left :
- Estee Lauder Grey Pouch (more about this below).
- Glomesh key wallet (I love the feel of the Glomesh and the colour means that I can see it easily in my handbag).
- Reading glasses.
- My wallet, chosen specifically for its colour (so it’d stand out in my handbag) and light weight leather.
- A muesli bar of some sort because I get ‘hangry’. I do. I get so hangry. Many times a muesli bar has saved me from making bad shopping mistakes or has carried me over between social appointments.
- Samsung headphones.
- Sunglasses (cheap enough that I don’t worry about them not having a hard case for protection).
- Some sort of sweet in case I (or someone with me) has a dry throat or starts feeling thirsty.
- Samsung phone charger (you just never know when you may have a busy day on your phone and need a top up).
- Coloured lipgloss.
- Clear lipgloss.
- Small pocket mirror! My friend bought this for me in Japan and I just love the print plus it’s really light.
- Small tube of hand cream. My hands often do get dry but this can also be used as an emergency means of smoothing away flyaway hairs.
- Compact Tangle Teezer (an excellent hairbrush).
- Envirosax reusable shopping bag. I love these, they are waterproof polyester bags that roll up so small, come in great designs and carry up to 22kg! Great for those impromptu shopping trips.
- Packet of tissues.
- A pen.
- A small sticky notes pad.
- And of course my phone, but it was busy taking the photo above.
What’s inside the Estee Lauder Pouch?
This is my first aid kit and my on the go medicine cabinet.
Top row, from left:
- Bandaid friction block stick (I bought this in America years ago, I use it more in summer than winter)
- Refresher towelette
- Small tictacs
- Small dental floss
- Two Systane Lubricating Eye Drop Vials
- Thread unpicker (a strange inclusion, I know, but I use it often)
- Panty liner
- Bobby pin
- And various tablets for different ailments
What do you keep on your person while on the move? Let me know in the comments below!
Your guilty pleasure is to stroll the aisles of OfficeWorks on your way home from work.
I adore it. I feel inspired and there is no aisle I don’t like. I like looking at the new products and new colour ranges of notebooks and writing utensils. I also like the way the store rearranges the aisles every so often, which suddenly make items reveal new potential when seen in a different light.
My most recent OfficeWorks stroll paid off and solved a problem I’d been percolating over for weeks. The feeling of achievement just made me so happy I was running off of it for several days.
A while ago, I made a makeshift shelf out of a plastic food container to make better use of my bathroom shelf. It does the job but the crudeness of my cutting job has annoyed me and I’ve been trying to find an alternative ever since.
I’d contemplated options in the dollar stores and I’d spent time in Big W. I was thinking about in trays, small kitchen wire shelves, things that I could turn up side down to create a shelf. But it was OfficeWorks’ latest arrangement that brought a brochure holder to my attention. I picked it up and I started to get that feeling. That feeling that lets me know that I am on to something. I turned it over, I got my measuring tape out with eager hyper fingers and it was perfect. What I love about it too is that it creates two smaller sections on either side for smaller items.
An even better solution may present itself at some point but for now, this makes me smile every time I see it.