It’s Thursday, which is Trash Day (or one of them) in my neighborhood. And this week, Thursday also coincides with me opening one of my makeup drawers and going “FFS, this is a mess.” Is it because I’m disorganized? No! The vast majority of my stash — which is by no means massive — is very neatly stored and logically arranged in cute glass jars and Muji acrylic drawers.
But then there’s that one drawer that’s for overflow (and in my case also highlighters because they don’t fit anywhere else), so this is also where I end up tossing … stuff.
Foundation in a shade too dark? Throw it in the drawer, I’ll deal with it later. Fake lash stuff I never use? Throw it in the drawer. Eye things that kinda suck but might be useful for some other application? Throw ’em in the drawer. So now I have a Catastrophe Drawer, which, I used to congratulate myself that at least I hadn’t just tossed it all in a basket? But honestly … this is no better. So I’ve been digging around in there and finding ALL KINDS of forgotten treasures — and also a lot of shit that I seriously should’ve thrown away years ago. Let’s look at some old shit and try to justify/rationalize its continued presence in the hoard!
From left :
A Tony & Tina eyeshadow single, circa 2000, that’s not all that great or interesting (light peach with gold sparkles). But this package — shiny chrome finish, retro-spacey logo — is basically my ideal aesthetic for pretty much everything.
My first NARS single eyeshadow, in Night Porter, which is a matte black base with emerald green pearl/sparkle. It’s fussy as HELL and needs primer and careful application and a perfect transition shade and there’s a ton of fallout, but … it’s so dramatic, and so pretty, that I can’t throw it away even though I at some point cleaned the case with [unknown substance, probably toner or windex?] which partially dissolved the rubber coating. :( It’s nasty. It’s also staying.
A Stéphane Marais eyeshadow that’s basically a puck of stainy navy blue pigment, but that whole line is dead (he was the creative director for Chantecaille, and created his own short-lived line in the early 2000s) and the case is just so delightfully weird and artsy-modern! IT STAYS.
An Urban Decay “Deluxe” eyeshadow, which I did not need and rarely wear and also it irritates my eyes, but I HAD to have one of these because the cases were so cool. Yeah, I know, okay?
My first MAC eyeshadow, circa 2002, which is a color I love even though it looks like shit on me. I’ve kept it because I don’t have any other shadows this color, because they look like shit on me, but I might change my mind! And why spend four whole dollars on a new, identical but better-performing one from ColourPop when I have this fifteen-year-old garbage?
My first pot of YSL Effet Faux Cils black cream liner — which was my HG for a long damn time, and I’ve still got (and use, and love) the shimmery navy and forest ones. This one is pretty dry, but what if I need to do like Groucho Marx brow fill or do Furiosa cosplay or something?
Two OG Tarte eyeshadows, from back when their stuff was pretty consistently good, and the single shadows came in the most PERFECT magnetic compact upholstered in metallic violet pleather. They’re just divine, and I still have (and wear) shimmery slate “Lucy I’m Home” and frosty white “Valley of the Dolls.”
An expensive yet kinda shitty Givenchy mascara that I only still have because A) expensive, and I used it like six times? and B) that weird-ass spiky-ball wand. I’ll probably never wear it again (Dinoplatz 5ever), but what if I get a Ken doll and want to make him a Duke of Exeter costume modeled off of Brian Blessed in Branagh’s Henry V? I’LL BE GLAD I DIDN’T THROW AWAY A PERFECTLY GOOD DOLL-SIZED MORNINGSTAR. [Even tho I think Exeter used a mace, not a morningstar.]
And last, an Illamasqua Liquid Metal thing, which is way too emollient to wear well as a cream shadow (it’s like, mineral oil, waxes, and pigment/shimmer, so it’s creasy as hell), but looks cool AF smeared over other parts of my face, and also a bestie gave it to me years and years ago, so I can’t possibly toss it. <3
From left :
A Stéphane Marais liquid lip thing, see “short-lived, discontinued, weird-artsy packaging” above. This is a super creamy, super smeary liquid lipstick in an admittedly glorious shade of fuchsia (finch would probably adore it) that I’ve actually left the house in …. maybe once? BUT THAT TUBE.
The Scarlett Cosmetics dice lipstick is both fabulous and ancient (also early 2000s), but it doesn’t smell weird yet and the color is an easy MLBB. Even if it stank like rancid olive oil and were both streaky and unflattering, I’d still never throw it away because omg look at it, it is dice.
Anna Sui lipstick from the late 90s/early 2000s had one of my fave cases ever, which is not showing to best effect here but you probably recognize it anyway. This one does smell weird, and it was never a good lipstick to start with (thick, skippy, sticky-dry, and a truly hideous shade of Waterlogged Corpse Purple), but the caaaase.
OCC Stained Gloss Lip Tar is neither particularly glossy nor particularly tar-like. It’s thin and watery, has abysmal wear, and is hilariously underpigmented, even by sheer-lipgloss standards. But what if I need a thin slippy mixer for a lip thing? IDK, this one I should probably toss.
Shu Uemura lipstick has (had?) reaaaally cool clear acrylic space-agey lookin’ packaging, and I discovered this one while in the midst of a I MUST HAVE A SHEER BLACK LIP THING phase. It is … not good. Presumably the light and emollient formula is fine for shades like “rosewood” or “coral,” but the black results in a smeary mess that won’t distribute evenly and is pretty much unwearable either with a solid opaque application, or just patted on as a stain. Ugh. (But the case, etc.) (And if I ever need to do big black streaks under my eyes for like a sportsball costume? This.)
Too Faced Sparkler Glamour Gloss has a weird clicky tube that distributes its goo via a solid slant-tipped applicator with teen holes it it, and when I bought this it was one of the ONLY blue-sparkly lip glosses I’d ever seen, so obvs I had to have it. And you know, it’s pretty good! Not the best gloss I’ve ever had, but it’s perfectly fine, and BLUE SPARKLES.
Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses are legit awful, or at least this early version was (maybe they’re different now?). They’re sticky as HELL, the color doesn’t distribute well, and it makes awful waves and ridges of pigment when you press your lips together. Which, when you’re talking about shades as far removed from your lip color as AQUA and BLACK, that’s pretty disastrous. BUT STILL, they might come in handy? (They will not. I will never use them again, except to occasionally apply them at 2am just to remember how bad they are.)
Okay ‘fess up. You’ve got a lot of shit like this lurking in your stash, too. Talk about it in the comments, OR! Email us a pic and your manifestly ineffectual justifications for keeping it, and we’ll feature it in its very own post!