Palette Retirement Day

After doing a full year of One Week, One Palette in 2018, then a whole year and a half of using my collection without direction or goals, I decided it was time to come up with a plan to start using my eyeshadow more intentionally again. Since COVID-19 shut things down in mid-March, I’ve been working from home, but I still wear makeup a few days a week or more due to video calls and generally wanting to feel like myself. Even so, the eye shadow looks haven’t exactly been inspired lately – usually just a brown or two in the crease with a shimmery brown on the lid.

Today I finally got the energy to go through my (excessive) collection of eyeshadow palettes. I really started getting into makeup around 2015 when I had my first full-time job, and quickly started buying (hoarding) palettes. It started with a birthday purchase of the LORAC Mega PRO 2 palette. Somewhere along the line I got very good at working my Extra Bucks at CVS and ended up with a collection of Milani Everyday Eyes. A deal on HSN landed me with the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar, and we were off to the races.

I’ll just admit it – I have 66 palettes. (And one on the way! Though it’s the only one I’ve bought all year.) And what’s a girl to do with nearly 900 pans of shadow? Keep them all to herself until they are past their prime, not even think of offloading some to friends/family/Marketplace until a global pandemic hits so no one would even want used eyeshadow anyways, and justify keeping them all by telling herself eye shadow doesn’t really expire.

So the result of my palette check-in today was the following:

  1. “Retire” 13 palettes. That’s right, not declutter. I still can’t get myself to toss things that could reasonably still be used by me. This baker’s dozen contains five of the OG Milani Everyday Eyes, four Wet N Wild 10-pan Color Icon palettes, two Elf Mad For Matte’s, and two palettes I got from Ulta for free with purchase (one Ulta brand, the other Makeup Revolution). These palettes will stick around for now. Some are barely used and still in good enough condition that I could reasonably give them to a sister or friend when I can travel to see them again, but a couple are just going to stay for collector’s purposes (hoarder’s) and nostalgia.
  2. Updated my inventory. I went through my product inventory on Airtable and moved the “retired” palettes to a new sheet.
  3. Prepped for a new eyeshadow project. I added a column in my palettes inventory to designate how many pressed glitters are in any given palette, as well as a way to show how many shades had pan or were completely finished.

This left me with 720 individual pans of shadow throughout 53 palettes. (Plus the RawBeautyKristi x PUR palette with 18 shadows that I bought in a haze of FOMO).

With these remaining shadows, I’m going to start a “Pan Those Eyeshadows” project, similar to Rebecca Morgan and Too Much Tash on YouTube. (I know many others do this type of project too, but these are the two I keep up with.) Follow me over to my next post, where’s I’ll share the details of that project, as well as my first set of shadows!

– Natalie

P.S. Here’s some referral links to some of my favorite sites. Use if you’d like!

  • Rakuten (formerly Ebates) – This is a great way to earn cash back from online shopping (that you’re already doing) at many of your favorite stores! (Including Sephora & Ulta!) If you join through this link and make a purchase of $25 or more, you’ll get an extra $10 cash back and your own referral code, and I’ll get $15 as well.
  • thredUP – I love using thredUP to clean out my closet and shop for new pieces at a discounted price – sometimes they’re even brand new with tags! When you join thredUP through this link, you get $10 to spend and I get $10 to shop after you place your first order.
  • StitchFix – This is a great way to try out some new items for your closet, without the hassle of going to the stores and the bonus of a personal stylist. If you sign up with this link, you’ll get a FREE styling fee (usually $20) on your first Fix, and I’ll get $25 credit once it ships.

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