Makeup Products

A Minimalist Makeup Collection: Create Your Capsule Beauty Look

Living minimally means investing less in the things that don’t contribute actively to your life, happiness and goals. By reducing the time and money spend on things which don’t play their part in our lasting happiness, we are making a mindful effort to live our lives in a way in which we get the most out of them.

So far I have decluttered my walls, drawers, living space, closet and lifestyle. However there’s still many areas in need of some serious assessment when it comes to minimising.

One in particular is my makeup collection.

After years of minimising my life, I realised only THIS morning as my foundation ran out, that I still invest a hell of a lot of money on my beauty regime and makeup collection.

Let me lay it out for you. On a regular day (five of the seven in a week) I use:

Coconut Moisturiser (£2 a pop)

Rimmel Matte Primer (£6)

No.7 Matte Foundation (£16)

Benefit Brow (£16)

Rimmel Brow Pencil (£6)

Natural Collection Lip Liner (£2)

Smashbox Concealer (£19)

Smashbox Lipstick (£17)

Rimmel Pressed Power in Ivory (£3)

MaxFactor Eyeliner Pen (£7)

Overall, I replace each item around 3-4 times a year, which means I spend £372 a year on just the basics of my makeup collection. This is a figure I am actually okay with as I feel confident, bold and happy with my day-to-day makeup on.

However what isn’t factored into the above price is the cost of the products I buy but rarely use. I have a purple lipstick I think I have worn twice. Nail varnishes in colours way too exciting for my personal style, and an eyeshadow in a blue so bright it could blind someone.

I took some time, laid out my makeup collection, and worked out what I wouldn’t use. I boxed this up, and then analysed what was left.

From this, I have my makeup capsule collection. The shades, tones and colours I will regularly and knowingly wear again and again.

My Capsule Collection – used daily

I now know not to buy out of this scheme without much prior thought and testing. I also know what products I can budget on, and what I need to splurge a little more on.

How to minimise your beauty collection:

  1. Get every beauty or cosmetic product you own, and a glass of wine to help ease the process! Lay them out on a clean surface in front of you.
  2. Put the items you know you will never use in one box / pile as throw this away or donate to friend or charity depending on whether a product has been used.
  3. Put items you use daily in another pile.
  4. Put the items that are left in a box and store it away

You can use your daily makeup whenever, and from this you can identify what palettes, tones and products work best for you. If you are really unsure, you can go to your local department store or beauty store and they will be able to give you a makeover and advice what produces, shades and tones best suit your skin. I find Benefit and Smashbox are the best for this, as they are honest, and are never pushy with their products at the end.

You can use anything from the hidden box if you think about it and need it over a three month period. When you use it, keep it out in a draw. At the end of the three months, really look over what is left in the hidden box and decide if it should be kept or not.

  1. Think twice before buying a new product for your collection. Do you need it, is it similar to a shade or product you already have. Instead of buying three budget lipsticks, invest in one premium product that you’ll regularly use and love.
  2. Get a clear makeup box – I store all my makeup in a clear small box, and it really keeps me aware of the level of my collection.
  3. Travel more! As I travel so much using just carry-on luggage (cheap and cheerful guys!) I can only take a small clear wallet of products under 100ml. This is a quick way to make you realise what you need for all sorts of situations.

Now I have a very small collection which works for me and means I don’t spend lots of money on beauty instant buys which I wouldn’t regularly use. If I ever get bored and want to mix it up, I tend to go for a statement lipstick as this is something I would use again and again.

Let me know what’s in your capsule collection. What can’t you live without?


5 thoughts on “A Minimalist Makeup Collection: Create Your Capsule Beauty Look”

  1. My daily staple is really just mascara! I’ve got tons of tubes though, trying to find one that doesn’t irritate my eyes that is also vegan, it’s been a challenge.

    If I’m getting a little more done up, varying shades of sunset tan eyeshadow, occasionally some liner.

    And moisturizer, when I remember!

    My biggest problem is letting go of the excess makeup, stuff I feel like I would use if I ever ran out of what I’m currently using (and also some items, like liquid foundation, that I’ve used once and probably won’t again). I think I need a cold turkey cut of items, and most of it I can’t really give to anyone else; if I had to hold onto it for someone to look through, I know I will probably have it for a decade! >_<


  2. I like the idea of a capsule beauty look! This is great.
    I have a similar post on my blog about how much make up you really need.


  3. Very handy post! I’m not much of a makeup girl, but I have bad skin which I need to cover up for work etc, and I don’t feel professional without say eyebrow pencil and mascara. However my collection was starting to expand with extra lipsticks, primer and random eyeshadows. I’ve just tossed an ancient lippie and perfume bottle with 1 drop left, and have 1-2 more things that I will not repurchase when they finish. I’d like to get it down to just BB cream, concealer + under-eye brightener, powder, 1 lipstick, mascara, 1 eyeshadow palette (brown) and eyebrow pencil (optional as I can use shadow for that). That’s all I’d need anyway. Just a few more steps to get there. Ditto perfumes. I don’t really ‘get’ perfume, but I’ve got several as gifts. I aim to just use them up and not re-buy.


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