Makeup Minimalism | 2018 Rolling Project Pan & Declutter Finale

I am a beauty addict. Although I love the beauty industry and I love buying new products, my spending got out of hand the last few years. I’ve been making a big effort over the last two years to down-size my collection and to stop impulse shopping through meticulous inventory tracking, project panning, and intermittent shopping fasts. If you’re interested to see how I did this year, then please keep reading!


I’ve been tracking my beauty collection through a comprehensive spreadsheet system since 2016. This system allows me to accurately track what I’m spending and what I’m finishing or decluttering in a clean, easy-to-follow and easy-to-update manner. Also, because I’m tracking what I’m bringing in and out of my collection, I am better equipped to avoid buying duplicate items. As an added bonus, this method of tracking lets me see just how much of my money I’m wasting – either because I’ve used something up or tossed it out, etc.

Whenever I finish, sell, declutter, or donate a product, I track it via my spreadsheet in terms of both the monetary value (as well as the actual product count). Seeing these numbers and seeing my progress visually through detailed charts helps me to stay motivated to keep working through products and to cut back on spending.

RELATED: Beauty Inventory: How to

Inventory System Rules

To help me accurately track my progress, I use the the number of items in my collection at the end of the previous year as my starting point for calculating my progress. For example,  I ended 2017 with 192 total products, so that number became my base number when calculating my progress in 2018. If I finished 10 products then that would mean I used up 5.2% of the collection I had at the end of 2017 / the start of 2018.

However, there are obvious cons to this method of tracking. The biggest issue with this type of tracking is that it doesn’t take into account fluctuations in my collection size. For example, you already know by the title of this blog post that I moved out more products than I had at the start of 2018, but my overall collection size didn’t decrease substantially. This happens for a number of reasons including:

  • Finishing & repurchasing products I use continuously (ex. face soap, shampoo, etc)
  • Receiving gifts from friends, family, and coworkers
  • Acquiring freebies while traveling, attending events, or due to shopping reward programs

2018 Goals

I had several goals for my 2018 Beauty Collection – in terms of both the percentage of products I wanted to move out, as well as the overall number of products I wanted to finish. My “achievable” goal was to finish or declutter 20% of the collection (40 products) that I had at the start of the year, while my “challenge” goal was to finish 50% of my collection (90 products). So how’d I do?

RELATED: Beauty Minimalism

2018 End of Year Beauty Empties
2018 End of Year Beauty Empties

2018 Results

I have mixed feelings on my results this year . While I am proud that I far surpassed my goal to finish or declutter 90 products, I am seriously bummed out that my collection size didn’t decrease – in fact, it increased by 13 items! How did this happen?

As previously mentioned, I received a ton of free products and repurchased necessities (like shampoo), but my old shopping habits crept back up this Fall. Also, after a lot of consideration, I decided I wanted to try some new brands that I’d never tried before (ex. Glossier, It Cosmetics, ColourPop, Charlotte Tilbury, Pat McGrath, Viseart) or try newer releases from beloved brands (ex. Drunk Elephant, Laura Mercier). Finally, because I review products as a part of my blog, it is inevitable that I would accumulate new products throughout the year.

Nevertheless, I am satisfied with the sheer volume of products that I moved out of my collection this year. Please see the below for the complete breakout:

  • Finished Products: 114 / $1,321 USD
  • Returned Products: 0 / $0 USD
  • Sold Products: 12 / $138 USD
  • Give Away Products:  46 / $431 USD
  • Decluttered Products: 68 / $1,325 USD

Products Gone in 2018:

  • Total Count: 240
  • Total Value: $3,215 USD

2019 Beauty Collection:

  • Total Count: 206
  • Total Value: $4,075 USD

Final Thoughts

The best thing about tracking my beauty collecting and spending habits is that I learn so much about myself and what I like / dislike in a product. This year, I realized:

  • If I don’t like something, I don’t need to finish it. I’m done torturing myself using products that don’t work for me or don’t inspire me just for the sake of finishing them.
  • I’m not obligated to keep gifts or freebies. It’s okay to let things go – especially when there are others who could benefit from my donations.
  • My beauty collection is never going to be conventionally “minimal” because I truly love this industry. I love playing with new products and testing new formulas, so I need to stop trying to fit myself into someone else’s mold.
  • I need to do another No Buy 🙂

In the end, my ultimate goal is to develop better shopping habits that will help me to better curate a more more refined collection of products. I’m tired of looking at and using products that I don’t like, but feel obligated to finish due to the money I spent. Additionally, by developing these habits, I’ll waste less money on things I don’t need or don’t like, and will have more resources to invest in experiences that bring me joy.

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Product Empties:



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2018 Year-end Empties/Declutter

Are you a beauty addict like me? Do you participate in project panning? Please let me know in the comments below.