Tossed and found

It was a big organizing weekend around my house. My husband bought our condo when he was 200% single with no plans to get into a serious relationship, so while there are some really great things about it, it happens to be small and short on existing storage solutions. A lot of my stuff was still in boxes in the garage until Saturday, when I spent five hours going through and resorting things into non-mouse-chewed boxes to store neatly in all the new utility shelves lining the walls. Post-garage, I followed through on my plan to reorganize my bedroom vanity. And Sunday I whiled away the afternoon culling the bins, baskets and drawers in our bathroom, tossing out expired medications and unused beauty products (last summer’s leftover self-tanners, the dregs of the skincare line I fell out of love with, an eye cream that made me weep hot, stinging tears every night).

Along the way I came across a few beloved beauty products I’d completely forgotten I owned (yay!) and decided to throw out a few things that weren’t working for me. Here are the tossed and the found:


1.  Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Roman Holiday. Came in a Sephora lip sampler a couple of years ago. Turns out matte pale pink with blue undertones is totally not my look.

2. Cargo Plant Love lipstick in Muir Woods. From the same Sephora sampler. Sort of a frosty mauve, and I just can’t get on board with frosted lipstick. Does that look good on anyone in this decade?

3. Palladio Herbal Lip Slix in PLC03, Go Naked. Another pale pink. It just looks unnatural on me. I have a couple of these pencils in other colors, though, and I like them a lot. Lip gloss in a pencil. Weird but kind of great.

4. Ulta Extreme Wear All Day Lip Color in 210. I actually love the color of this one, but I hate the way it wears. It’s one of those where you apply the color and then seal it in with a clear gloss, but the color layer kind of balls up and peels away from the inner lip. Looks great at first and then gets gross.


1. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail color in Lightening. I love the brush Sally Hansen uses for Insta-Dri and Complete Salon Manicure polishes. It makes it so easy to get around the base of my nail.

2. A good-sized Sephora pocket mirror big enough to see my whole face. I believe this came with a gift card.

3. A Clinique bag that I LOVE from a gift with purchase like five or six years ago. It’s long enough to hold any brush. Seriously. ANY brush.

4. Bliss Snow Wonder High Intensity Hand Cream. Still sealed! I bought a ton of these the year they came out, and then they sold out and I’ve never seen them since. I thought I was down to my last tube a couple of years ago, and I literally cut the end off and resealed it with Scotch tape until I had squeezed out every last drop. Best smelling, most moisturizing hand cream ever. I like other High Intensity Hand Creams, too, but nothing tops the scent of Snow Wonder.

5. A pair of Tweezerman tweezers that I didn’t even know I had.

6. Missoni eau de parfum. I was obsessed with this scent a few years ago but I was still in grad school and didn’t have a lot of money to burn. I ended up buying this tiny bottle (I think it’s a quarter of an ounce) on eBay. I smelled it when I found it and at first I couldn’t recall what I liked so much about it, but since then I’ve been catching whiffs of it around the house, and now I remember: It’s intoxicating.

7. Orly nail lacquer in Dazzle. I’m actually not super excited about this one — I’ve got plenty of other silver polishes — but surprise nail polish is surprise nail polish. Even if the cap has been chewed on by mice. (Seriously. We had sort of an infestation last winter. It was gross.)

8. Apparently I skipped 8. I guess I can’t count on the weekends. So I’ll just mention that I also found a very old tube of Benefit Ooh La Lift and a frosty Clinique lip color (Colour Surge Bare Brilliance lipstick in 02, Bronze Star) that had to be thrown out; the Ooh La Lift was old and grainy, and the lipstick was frosty and bronze. Meh.

9. Clinique High Impact Eye Shadow in Sugar Sugar. Best shimmering white shadow EVER.

10. OPI nail color in I Get A Kick Out Of Gold! The bad news: This is the old formula, with toluene and god knows what other horrible toxic chemicals. The good news: This is my holy grail gold shadow, and it was from a holiday Rockettes collection several years ago, and I hadn’t seen it in two years and was resigned to having left it somewhere or accidentally thrown it out and never seeing it again. I couldn’t wait to see if I still love it as much as I used to:

And I totally do. Love! No brush strokes, no visible nail line, two easy coats. I love it. Although I couldn’t resist slapping on a coat of OPI Turquoise Shatter over the top:

Yeah, that’s good, too.

11. Benefit Eye Bright. I like this brightening pencil, but wasn’t convinced I needed a replacement badly enough to shell out 20 bucks for it. Problem solved!

12. Minted Rosebud Salve. Also still sealed! Single greatest lip balm ever. I actually have quite a few of these, but you can never have too many.

Lesson: It pays to clean house. That’s well over $100 worth of beauty favorites I unearthed in the course of cleaning out my garage and bathroom. Wonder what I’ll dig up when I organize the bedroom closet…

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