Saturday, 25 March 2017

Declutter All the Things

I've mentioned the department renovations I've been dealing with at work on here and on Instagram, and part of that involved me moving offices, from the old librarian office to a new one constructed in the library space. The problem with this is that I had to pack up my entire office, move it to a temporary space, and then into a new office (which is mostly done now, thankfully). "But Alison," you say, "You had only been in that job for a year when you had to move. How much could you have in your office?" 

And to that I say, yes, you're right. I didn't have all that much stuff in there. It was all the stuff I inherited from the previous librarians, and in particular, the original librarian. She retired in 2010, and while my predecessors did delve into the pile of things she left behind, there was still an incredible amount of stuff in my office, because she was very old-school and saved. literally. every. single. thing. I was able to piece together the first 15 years of the library by copies of emails and invoices. I read everything to make sure I wasn't tossing anything useful. And while lots of it was interesting and informative, most of it was useless here in 2017. I think I saved two files after hours of sorting through papers and files and even plastic overwraps from journals that disintegrated all over me because you're not supposed to keep them for 15 years (I think I actually screamed in frustration. It looked like I'd murdered a plastic bag). I think I threw out three-quarters of all of the stuff in my old office, and still have useless things I need to pitch (I labour under the delusion that I will read some of the books on my office bookshelf that I've saved from weeding. In twenty years, some poor new librarian will be cursing the air blue with my name, probably after she stubs her toe on the same ridiculously large desk).

All of this is a roundabout way to say that I've been very cognizant of stuff lately (by lately I mean, the last four months). And how I have so much of it, or am dealing with other people's. If anything, dealing with the material aspects of my work has probably cured me of hoarding anything ever again. Which is probably why, after I ran out of space in my recycling bins at work, I came home and started in on my own stuff. My kitchen, my closet, my shoes, my personal documents, even my hard drive. I took a look at my perfume, but I did a good pass through there a couple of months ago and haven't added much to it since. And then finally, I set in on my makeup. 

A lot of the makeup I decluttered are things that I liked. Things that I reviewed favourably, or things that I enjoyed immensely. But a lot of them are things that I bought before I started transitioning to being a working professional and my aesthetic has changed a lot over the last couple of years. Some of them were loved, but I now have items that are better or I have other items which already filled that purpose.

I decided to get rid of a lot of the lipsticks I had originally decided to pan, mostly because I put them on my pan list because I wasn't enjoying them anymore, but that wasn't inspiring me to use them. I just wanted them gone. I'll pass some of these to friends or finally get my ass in gear and sell some on Reddit or maybe even have a blog sale (we'll see. I have low motivation when it comes to doing things in the early spring. It's so blah). I've also continued to whittle down my eyeshadow collection and just admit that I really don't wear any, and when I do, I usually go to one of two palettes or my Fyrinnae singles. Accept reality, self. The eyeshadow-heavy collection of old is almost no more. 

I also wasn't systematic in how I picked these things. I tend to open the drawer I keep my makeup in, take a look at it and pick out the things that I haven't reached for in a while. If I'm unsure, I might swatch or try on the product again to see why I haven't been using it. I might play with the packaging if there's something about it I don't like or remember not being fond of it (like wobbly case, loose hinges, weak magnets). 

The results, featuring some quick swatches in the late afternoon sun:


Top: Colourpop Monster, Shiro White Chocolate Frog, Shiro The Last Unicorn, Blackbird Pumpkin Pie
Bottom: HelloWaffle Jelly Bean. HelloWaffle Awoke At Dawn, HelloWaffle Wings of a Fly, Blackbird Kitten Kiss

A mix of highlighters and blushes here:
  • Colourpop Monster: I still love the shift of this one, but it's crossed over to dried out.
  • Shiro White Chocolate Frog: This is a little too intense for my preferred style of highlight, and pure white highlighters are not my thing anymore - too boring.
  • Shiro The Last Unicorn: Same as White Chocolate Frog, this one is too intense. It is a gorgeous blue-purple shimmer, but I never reach for it.
  • Blackbird Pumpkin Pie: A friend bought me this blush, and it's beautiful. Lovely colour, easy to blend, slight glow. But she had such an awful experience buying from Blackbird (went way over TAT, had to email to get it) that I think of that every time I wear it, which sucks. I'm also not into loose powder blushes anymore. They're too finicky. 

L-R: Blackbird Kitten Kiss, Blackbird Pumpkin Pie, HelloWaffle Jelly Bean, HelloWaffle Awoke at Dawn, HelloWaffle Wings of a Fly, Shiro The Last Unicorn, Shiro White Chocolate Frog, Colourpop Monster

  • HelloWaffle Jelly Bean: When I got into highlighters, I snapped up way too many pinky highlighters. This is one of them.
  • HelloWaffle Awoke at Dawn: Gorgeous rose gold, but it's a touch too warm for me.
  • HelloWaffle Wings of a Fly: Same thing as Jelly Bean. Sooooo many pinky highlighters.
  • Blackbird Kitten Kiss: Same thing as Pumpkin Pie. Shame, because I really liked this one. I thought about pressing it, but I don't love it that much.

This is my palette of pressed indie shadows. I don't ever reach for any of them. I might take out the four Baroque shadoes, because I've at least used them in the last several months, but everything else hasn't been touched in ages. I've been seriously considering getting rid of the remainder of my eyeshadows and creating a custom palette to fill my needs perfectly when I do want to wear shadow. Saying good-bye to most or all of these is the start to that.


L-R: Bite Mauvember 2016, Bite Mauvember, MAC Viva Glam VI, MAC Stone, Limnit What Lies Beneath, Colourpop Peacocky, Urban Decay Amulet, Rituel de Fille Love-Ache
  • Bite Mauvember 2016: This one was a redder mauve, so I thought it would be a better fit on my face than Mauvember, from 2015. It still looks off to me, no matter what I do, so out it goes.
  • Bite Mauvember: I was going to pan this, but I can't make it look good. It clashes with my undertones majorly.
  • MAC Viva Glam VI: A shimmery brown plum, I liked it once and continue to like it in theory, but feel like it's not as flattering as it could be.
  • MAC Stone: An unusual taupe, it's interesting, but looks dreadful on me. It sucks all the colour out of my face.
L-R: Bite Mauvember 2016, Bite Mauvember, MAC Viva Glam VI, MAC Stone, Limnit What Lies Beneath, Colourpop Peacocky, Urban Decay Amulet, Rituel de Fille Love-Ache
  • Limnit What Lies Beneath: I know I wrote about this a few weeks ago as a great winter colour (and it is) but I forgot to cap my tube properly the last time I used it and now it's stiff, dry, and draggy. May it rest in peace.
  • Colourpop Peacocky: This is a sheer Lippie Stix that I was going to pan, since it has a tendency to leave behind an obnoxious pink stain. As it turns out, I don't like dealing with the stain.
  • Urban Decay Amulet: A mini I got from a Sephora code, the colour sucks and the formula is both unremarkable and not my favourite.
  • Rituel de Fille Love-Ache: One of the Enchanted Lip Sheers, I thought this would be a lovely lip tint. It is, once you manage to get it on. It's also stiff and draggy. I'm not trying to make it work anymore.

A good chunk of stuff is now moved out. I've reduced my storage, so I don't have a bunch of room that might tempt me into filling it back up. It feels good! I still think Marie Kondo's spark of joy decluttering nonsense is ridiculous, but when it comes to beauty, she has a point. 


  1. I never know when I should pan something and when I should just get rid of it. I have this Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick that I bought in 2013 that I've been wearing every day for 3 weeks to try to use it up, but I'm getting bored of it... I'm not made for the one-lipstick kind of life! Haha. I totally feel you on living a different lifestyle, though - I keep opening my closet and seeing things that I bought in the first half of my undergrad or that I wear for work that I know will not be appropriate for my upcoming grad student life. Congrats on the declutter! I always find it painful to get rid of lipsticks, so I applaud you for that in particular.

    1. The one lipstick life would be so dull!

      My wardrobe has finally stopped screaming grad student, which is nice.

  2. Sounds like you hit that point of no return. Somewhere in the world, your predecessor feels something has gone terribly wrong. :)

    I'm STILL working on getting rid of shit, all these months after KonMari-ing hardcore. Things just creep back in. Stuff mysteriously lost decades ago are found again! The battle never ends. I can't wait to take a few days off and just clean and clear stuff out. THIS IS SO INSPIRING.

    1. The original librarian still lives in town (she actually lives across the street from my direct predecessor's parents) and I've been so tempted to knock on her door and ask why, but since I don't know her at all, I feel like it could be awkward...

      Stuff multiplies, seriously.


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