I’m like a kid who grabbed a lot of candy only to find out that it is NOT reasonably possible for me to eat everything up — even if I eat one every hour of the day. All the candies beyond the point where my stomach can’t handle it anymore are as good as thrown away.

I tried to find out how many lipsticks can someone actually finish within a 2-year period. I read somewhere that lipsticks expire after 2 years (this may or may not be true). I told myself that whatever the number is, I’m going to limit myself to that at a given point in time.

Everything I buy beyond that number is a representation of what will soon just expire or end up in a trash bin.

Robyn of the Brightest Bulb in The Box mathematically computed how many swipes there are in a tube of lipstick — awesome post, read it.

Through her post, I realized that the no. of swipes is relative to the finish and brand of the lipstick and the surface area of the user’s lips. Long-lasting and pigmented ones will obviously take longer to get used up.

Based on Robyn’s estimate of 354 swipes to finish 1 tube of MAC lipstick, I can only keep 6 at a time — determined using this formula:

         no. of days in a year * 2 years
——————————————————————-           =    6 tubes
354 swipes / 3 swipes a day (accounting for re-application)

Before 2013 ended, I had 29 lipsticks, including my last 2 purchases of the year:

  • MAC Up The Amp, and;
  • Sonia Kashuk Velvetty Matte Lip Crayon

Lipstick Collection Before PurgingIf you exclude the lip stains and the blush on the upper left,
that’s 29 lip sticks/ pencils.

Remember when I said that I am going to write about my purchases from now on? This is it.

Instead of No-Buy Fail, I decided to name it Purge and Purchases so I can account for the net reduction (or net accumulation) of products within a given period.

As 2014 started, I came to accept that I must give away a lot of the lipsticks before they become unusable.

I picked out 6 lipsticks that I noticed myself wearing frequently. I also set aside a few tubes for my brother’s girlfriend — of colors that will fit her skin tone more. I also had my college friend/ roommate come over to pick out stuff that she likes.

In summary:

27 lipsticks – beginning inventory
add: 2 purchases
29 lipsticks
less: 19 lipsticks given away
10 lipsticks – ending inventory as of this writing

Lipstick Collection After Purging

What I set aside

It was easy to choose the stuff I’ll keep. We know what we truly reach for, right? But I was quite surprised that I didn’t pick out Maybelline Warm Me Up, one of my 2013 favorites. I did reach for it a lot, but then again, it’s not something that gets my heart beating faster. It’s a favorite because it’s the only neutral nude-ish lipstick I have — and that just won’t cut it for me this year.

What I was ‘ok’ with giving away

The stuff I was at peace to part with, I still like them more or less. But images of the lipsticks getting all Toy Story 3 on me gave me the chills. I used to argue with myself thinking I’ll still use them. But who am I kidding? They’re better off with new owners.


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: scatterbraintures@gmail.com | Instagram: @scatterbraintures


    • Haha!

      And wow, you’re backreading! Thanks for checking out my blog :)

      • I’m also a dark matte lipstick enthusiast so I couldn’t help it! I also have Revlon’s Wine Not and it’s my fave “Don’t-Fvck-With-Me” lipstick shade! You’re right about its opaque-ness, though. (Or lack of it.) I usually just swipe-pat-swipe again…and settle for a stain when I can’t be bothered to reapply. :3

        • Yay! I don’t meet a lot of people like us in real life, at least in my circles :D

          You’ll love my next lipstick posts :D I was able to find a blackened red lipstick.

          • Aaaahh what does that even mean? I’m thinking of embers? Or cracked land with orange veins, seething, needing to erupt? Will check back for it!

  1. Medyo natawa ako sa sarili ko kasi I only have one tube of lipstick and no other makeup items. Haha! I really should start buying these things (but will limit it to the number you suggested).

    • Hahaha, that’s ok. I think this makeup thing is about ‘interest’

  2. Waaaah, omg! You gave up a lot! I don’t think I can ever do that to my lipsticks huhu :( But kudos to you for being able to do this!

    • I was really brutal with myself when I did this. That’s how I came up with the post on ‘The Things I Learned After Letting Go of Two-thirds of My Lipsticks’

      Most of what I gave up, they’re not matte. And if they are, they’re not the most flattering color for me.

      • I think i need to do this. But then again, 99% of the lipsticks in my stash are already matte. The 1% left are satin and cream (UD Revolution). My mother likes shopping for lipsticks in my room. Haha. Also, where’d you buy the Sonia Kashuk lip crayon?? Me iz interested :p

        • I bought the sonia kashuk lip crayon from tastecentral.com. The shades that they have for that line are all MLBB colors. I hope they come out with really bright ones, the consistency and texture is the same as Nars Velvet Matte Pencils daw.

  3. Gah, such willpower! It’s awesome that you were able to let go of all that in one go! Paunti-unti pa lang kaya ko. Baby steps. Haha

    • Haha, different strokes for different folks. Siguro sa lipsticks mas madali for me kasi alam ko talaga kung ano yung mga shades na feeling ko gumaganda ako, hahaha. But for moisturizers, foundations, lotions, etc, sobrang hirap ako.

  4. genzelkisses Reply

    Omg Rae ang galing mo! I’m also planning to do this but I’m still having a hard time letting them go haha. I love seeing they are many :)) I will do my best to do this soon maybe when I leave na so I can just bring enough in my luggage.

    • That’s the perfect time to do it. Haha. Wag mo na pilitin now :p by that time mapipilitan ka na talaga.

  5. Wow. Ang daming napurge. How FULFILLING! I don’t think I have the courage but this is a great idea. Also, I am of the firm belief that lipstick itself doesn’t go bad as soon as 2 years; wax and pigment don’t change much over time and it’s mostly water content that’ll give you grief. I think it’s more to do with the fact that lips and saliva are so… germy?

    • Some articles say we can keep it til the 3rd year. I plan on doing that. I developed the habit of wiping off the top with a tissue paper soaked in 90% alcohol (frequency: semi-monthly). Hopefully that’s enough for to keep it sanitized.

      P.S. My mom keeps her lipsticks inside the refridgerator but I think she only has 3.

    • I think the best part is finding out I don’t need to buy another small storage solution.

  6. Oh my gosh Rae, connected ba tayo or what? Haha. Signs of a makeup addiction siguro – naiisip na natin magt-Toy Story 3 na mga makeup natin! Hahaha! I read that blog entry before, too and I really liked it. Although um.. I felt guiltier than ever. And I salute you for giving away 19 lipsticks! Must do this, too. PS – love the Accounting style computation ;) Took me back to college.

  7. Kudos for doing this! I just threw 3 MAC lipsticks (well, not threw kept the tube for Back 2 MAC), and it broke my heart! SAYANG. I have tons of other lipsticks that I have to get rid of, but I just can’t make myself do it. :(

    • It is hard!!! I own mostly drugstore lipstick so giving away mac and nars tubes is a big deal for me. I had to dispose of 1 nars and 2 mac lipsticks. I was just not using them as much. With my lifestyle, I guess it’s not really ideal to maintain a lot of lipsticks.

      • mac chatterbox (i use it almost everyday), maybelline fifth avenue and tupperware lipstick which I forgot the shade ( gift from a friend).

        • Fifth Avenue Fuchsia is one of the lipsticks I gave away. I guess I’m not really into shiny lipsticks

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