How I used $579.84 of makeup in 2018

Gentle reader, I have a confession. I have an inconsistent memory and a love of statistics. As such, I track everything. You have heard me talk about the joys of a closet tracking app—Stylebook is the one I use; You’ve seen my Boxycharm statistics and value spreads; You probably do not know about the app I keep to track cigars or the spreadsheet I keep for movies or the spreadsheet I track my summer mixes in or the spreadsheet I… you know what, nevermind…

Needless to say, I like Excel.

In 2018 for the first time, inspired by YouTube beauty community empties videos, I began tracking the value of the beauty-related items I used up entirely.

(Another trend is the “Reverse Rouge.” Rouge is the loyalty level at Sephora indicating you’ve spent $1,000 in one year there. I have never become a Rouge member. But, the “Reverse Rouge” appeals to me. The concept is to track usage of items you would buy at Sephora and attempt to use up $1,000 of products.)

In my tracking of empties, I also noted whether or not I would repurchase, the store-price (not my on-sale purchase prices), ounces and more.

And in the end… over twelve months… I entirely used up over $500 of beauty products and gave away more. (I got into a bit of a decluttering kick!)

From my stats from 2018, there were a few revelations. I spent the most on mascara in 2018, largely due to my many attempts at finding the perfect mascara.

In terms of bang for your buck, the Sephora Favorites kits of sample-size mascara are amazing. They cost around $28. They give you 4-5 sample-size mascaras to try (the value of each is around $8-13) and include a coupon for a free mascara, which can retail around $22 alone. Considering that you will likely never fully use your mascara in the three month period before you should throw it out, these tester packs can be a game changer, unless you have devotion to a specific brand. That one $28 pack would last you all year. Of note, I have sensitive eyes that can’t tolerate most drug store mascaras. If you’re happy with a $6 Essence mascara, you can still spend only $24/year on mascara while replacing it in a hygienic time frame.

My next expensive category was face/skin care. This makes sense because so many of those items can be so expensive and because another of my beauty resolutions was to take better care of my skin.

The two categories that most surprised me were setting sprays ($61) and eyeliner ($55). These were also the next two largest categories, in terms of cost. I don’t feel like I use that many setting sprays, but I guess it adds up quickly! Especially because, with setting sprays, unlike other makeup products, I do tend to focus on only one at a time. Thus, I’m more likely to fully use up a setting spray in the time I might be bouncing between other products.

I was also surprised liquid eyeliners were in the top four categories. I suppose they do dry out rather quickly. This was the year I tried the disappointing Kat von D tattoo liner, and I bought up all the Rimmel Glam’Eyes I could find, until I realized it’s probably not great for my eye health to be using discontinued products. (Rimmel. Bring it back. We’re all begging you.)

Tracking my makeup usage has been interesting. Only two powder items made it onto my “empties” list–a powder and a blush. Considering that powder products are the ones I’m most attracted to and likely to purchase, I need to rethink whether I need to try that new blush or setting powder or eyeshadow palette.

A final surprise is that no primers made it onto this list. Perhaps I’m just juggling enough primers that they haven’t quite been finished to the point of “empties” inclusion. However, I’m eager to keep tracking in 2019 and see how the stats shift, though I suspect skin care will still be at the top.

Have you ever tracked your empties? Did you find anything interesting?

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