Operation Reduce: Eyeshadows, Part I

You may have noticed that there have been less makeup reviews on Beauty Obsessed over the past few months. Aside from our big push to save money for a substantial down payment on a new home, I’ve also been in the mood to pare down my makeup (and polish) collections, and adding new items to it at this stage would be a bit counterproductive. While I have made small strides toward this goal, this weekend I finally sat down and really started to do some serious clearing  out. The first up on my hit list were 100+ eyeshadows.

IMG_3311My shadow collection, give or take a few.

As I’ve mentioned time and again, I have fallen a bit out of love with eyeshadow – while I still love all the pretty colours, I tend to favour a minimal eye look day to day, focusing more on bold lips to be the star of the show. I suspect over time my preferences will change, as things go, so rather than get rid of previously loved shades (which I’m sure I’ll love again at some point), I’m turning my eye toward removing any duplicates to decrease the number of shadows I have.

urban decay book 4I don’t even have a pic of my own palette, because as soon as I depotted the shades I turfed it, TOOT SWEET.

I am not a lover of palettes, nor will I ever likely be – all that choice, all those colours in one bulky place! Nah, too stressful for this here gal. And so it was that I began my weed-through there, starting with my oldest palette – Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows III.

Containing 16 shadows, the BoS III was probably the gateway product that turned me into a full-fledge makeup junkie. The buttery textures and variety of richly pigmented shades was impossible to resist. At first, I used it all the time….but over the years, it fell out of grace due to its bulky packaging. On embarking on my pare-down plan, I decided that depotting was the way to go with this beast, and away I went!


Today I begin with the first five shades from the palette that went through a rigorous swatch- and comparison-fest: Smog (bronze), Haight (bright teal), Rockstar (deep eggplant), Suspect (golden taupe) and Loaded (blackened teal green).



Smog is a gorgeous bronze shade that leans more brown than reddish or golden. On my skin tone its quite complimentary, and has enough depth and pigmentation to be a one-and-done shade for me. Haight is a bright tropical teal that always draws me in, yet requires a little bit more effort to look appropriate on my darker skin.

IMG_3207Left to right: Smog, Haight

Just for fun, I paired the two together in an eye look to see if Smog could ground Haight and make it more wearable:

IMG_3199 IMG_3198

Sorry for the lack of shots capturing the whole picture – I was bound and determine to be a fuzzy-headed slob yesterday, and I didn’t want to subject you to that horror. Suffice to say, with a bit of liner and mascara, the whole look (Haight on the lid, Smog in the crease) came together really well, and I will definitely be repeating it on a day when I actually leave the house. It’s fun and summery without being too bold.

IMG_3231Clockwise from left: Clinique Rum Spice (d), G.Armani #6 Khaki Pulse, Kat Von D Fallen, UD Smog  

Now for the dupe hunt! Starting with Smog, I pulled all of my bronze-like shadows and swatched each one to see how they’d measure up.

IMG_3225Left to right: G.Armani #6 Khaki Pulse, Kat Von D Fallen, UD Smog, Clinique Rum Spice (d) 

While there are similarities between the shades, none of the above are dupes, and as I do tend to favour bronzy shadows, I am keeping all four.

Moving on to Haight, I only had one shadow in my arsenal that resembled the shade – Kat Von D’s Bukowski:

IMG_3234 IMG_3239Left to right: Kat Von D Bukowski, UD Haight

As you can see, these two are extremely similar – if you want to get nit-picky about it, Bukowski is a touch more teal with slightly less shimmer, while Haight is brighter and more blue. Tomato, to-ma-to, they’re close enough for me! As both shades have the same smooth, buttery texture and great pigmentation, I decided to keep Haight over Bukowski because it’s smaller in size (0.8oz as opposed to 1.4oz) since its not a shade I’d wear often. When the time comes (soon!) to depot the Kat Von D palette Bukowski is in (the Spellbinding one from Holiday 2013), it’ll be finding itself a new home somewhere else!

Two down, three to go!



Rockstar is a lovely deep eggplant shade that doesn’t veer too blue or too red, and hence is likely wearable by most skin tones. Loaded is a beautiful blackened teal that is a bit more muted applied, but still gorgeous. Suspect, well-loved as you can see, is a super-wearable light golden taupe-y shade that adds a touch of brightness to the eye area without being very obvious. All three of these shades are right up my alley…but the question was, did I have any similar colours kicking around?

IMG_3205Left to right: Suspect, Loaded, and Rockstar. 

Again, for fun, I did a quick eye look using all three of these shades to see how they played together (Fall prep, methinks!).

IMG_3200 IMG_3201

You can see the neat flash of teal green that Loaded provides; paired with Suspect all over the lid and Rockstar in the crease, I think this ended up pretty decent as well. Subtle, but with interest. Next time I’ll be sure to use a primer, which I think will help the shades reach their full, fabulous potential.

I had several contenders for each of the shades above; let’s begin with the most dupable shade, Suspect.

IMG_3271Clockwise from bottom left: NARS Rajasthan duo (golden shade), Laura Mercier Bamboo, MAC All That Glitters, Urban Decay Suspect, Kat Von D Precious

On lighter skintones, I suspect (haha) that the nuances of most of these shades would be readily apparent. However, on my darker skin tone, I find that they lose their uniqueness quite quickly:

IMG_3261Left to right: LM Bamboo, NARS Rajasthan, UD Suspect, MAC All That Glitters, Kat Von D Precious, Kat Von D Galore (I threw that one in for my own comparison purposes but forgot to take pics first, oops!)

Though you can see the graduation from dark to light, there are a lot of similarities here, which happens to me a lot when dealing with sort of champagne-type shades. Ultimately though, only the NARS Rajasthan golden shade is close enough to Suspect, and for me it’s enough to feel likeI don’t need both.  Let’s take a closer look.

IMG_3292Left to right: UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan

I can’t believe I never noticed how similar these two were! The shade from the Rajasthan duo up close has more nuances than Suspect, and is actually more pigmented as well, so it should be a no-brainer to decide which one to keep. HOWEVER, there are two factors at play here. 1) Suspect has hit pan, and therefore could conceivably be finished in the next few months with diligent use (and who doesn’t like a REAL LIVE MAKEUP EMPTY??) and 2) the other side of the Rajasthan duo is a blackened teal, much like Loaded up there, and so we’ll need to investigate that first before making any decisions.

On, on!

IMG_3278Clockwise from left: NARS Rajasthan duo (teal shade), theBalm Jealous Jordana (depotted), UD Loaded

Next up in the dupe war is Loaded and it’s dark teal goodness. Though I don’t wear it often, I love this kind of shade – so mysterious and sexy 😉  However, I don’t really need THREE of them. Let’s see how they fare in swatches:

IMG_3295Left to right: NARS Rajasthan, UD Loaded, theBalm Jealous Jordana

All three are definitely in the same vein, with Loaded having the most teal flash of the three. Though the texture of the teal side of the Rajasthan duo leaves me a bit wanting (it’s a little stiff), there’s something to be said for the convenience of having the two shades together. To be sure, I did another set of swatches, this time with the teal Rajasthan shade swatched wet to see if it had more depth of pigment (which is ultimately what matters to me in this case).

IMG_3298Left to right: NARS Rajasthan (swatched wet), NARS Rajasthan (dry), UD Loaded, theBalm Jealous Jordana

Clearly, swatched wet, Rajasthan is a whole different ballgame, and thankfully made the decision easy for me. Bye bye, Loaded & Jealous Jordana! Nice knowing you (no really, it was – we had some good times)!

Urban Decay Rockstar shadow comparisonLeft to right: UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition duo (violet side), Kat Von D Wonderland

Finally, we have Rockstar in all it’s plummy glory. In my head, the shades above were all close matches, but upon pairing them side by side, I can easily see that’s not going to be the case. Eh. Let’s go through the motions anyway to satisfy our curiosity!

IMG_3248Left to right: Hourglass Exhibition, UD Rockstar, Kat Von D Wonderland

Nope, no dupes here – not by a long shot. Rockstar lighter than both the other options and by far more frosty, not to mention much cooler than Wonderland. Looking at these three side by side however, DOES make me like Rockstar a little less – it seems almost gaudy by comparison. For the time being, I’ll hang on to it as it seems I don’t have anything like it…but time will tell if I decide to keep it around or eventually let it go.

O-KAY! So, after today’s endeavours, I’ve managed to decrease my shadow collection by three (counting Kat Von D’s Bukowski when I get around to depotting those shadows). Not too shabby. At the mo, my entire collection (palette shades and all) consists now of 106 shades. My goal is to get this down to at least under 100, and I may not even stop there. One thing about paring down is that you can eventually start making way for new stuff! An activity I am wholly looking forward to, I readily admit.

Are you doing any makeup house-keeping lately? How many eyeshadows do you own?

, , ,

  1. #1 by Wonderlusting Lynda on August 17, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    There’s something so satisfying about taking stock and clearing out isn’t there?

    • #2 by Latoya on August 18, 2014 - 5:41 am

      OMG YES, Lynda! It’s been needing to happen for ages. I’m so looking forward to being more streamlined!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Aug 17, 2014, at 10:23 PM, Beauty Obsessed wrote:


  2. #3 by Liz (@Reductionista) on August 18, 2014 - 8:22 pm

    Lol, I love your swatchathons. I think you’ve hit on a really good strategy for yourself – it’s all very within reason and extremely practical. I could never depot, so I just live with the odd bum shade in a palette and get picky about a palette’s packaging, but maybe some day. 🙂

    p.s. I almost picked up UD Unloaded as a single the other day, but I think you’ve convinced me to look at Rockstar instead!

    • #4 by Latoya on August 19, 2014 - 5:40 am

      I never thought I’d start depotting, but some of these big palettes drive me nuts, and I always tuck them away and forget about them. NO MORE! lol.

      I’m getting bored with this practical bullshit haha, but I’m hoping once I’m all squared away I’ll be able to make some frivolous purchases on occasion without guilt 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Aug 18, 2014, at 9:22 PM, Beauty Obsessed wrote:


  3. #5 by Cookie on August 19, 2014 - 11:47 pm

    I’ve been going through my makeup the past few weeks trying to get organized. It takes me so long to get ready because I can’t find anything. I don’t have a huge amount of makeup but I love the idea of looking for dupes in my own collection. Just picked up a Z Palette at Sephora and now I’m trying to de-pot all the little GWP and single eyeshadows I have. Your empties posts have inspired me to make better use of samples (they’re free!!) so I have divided them by category and try to use them daily.

    • #6 by Latoya on August 20, 2014 - 7:13 am

      It sounds like you’re making awesome progress in several areas, Cookie! I am planning to buy a Z palette too, that’s what got me started on all this depotting and weeding out dupes. Regardless of how much makeup one owns, getting it organized feels so good (though I AM a little compulsive about organization in general, it’s true lol). Best of luck!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Aug 20, 2014, at 12:47 AM, Beauty Obsessed wrote:


  4. #7 by Gummy on August 21, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    Holy swatches and clear out!!! I’m utterly impressed with your dedication to weeding out duplicates and streamlining your shadow stash!! I finally finished deporting all my single shadows last night, and now being able to see them all I was was a little taken aback by how similar many of them are. OK, not really taken aback because in the back of my head I kind of knew, but you know…being faced with it ALL… lolol 😛 Contemplating deporting a couple of duos and quads, but I don’t have any large palettes like the UD, Laura Mercier or any ones that are also in your pics. I think those kind of freak me out. Way too much choice??? Really love Smog and Haight on you…exactly like you said…a glimpse of fun but not ott!

    I don’t own anywhere close to 100 shadows, but what little I do have still overwhelms me (as you know ha ha)…hopefully this clean up and clear out will help us both!! I’m totally on board with you, and can’t wait to read part 2!!! And 3…4…5??? Read the part about paring down polishes – are you doing other makeup too, not just shadows??

    Love this post!!! Let’s dooooooo it!!! 🙂 xoxoxo Gummy

    • #8 by Latoya on August 27, 2014 - 8:49 pm

      It’s definitely an eye-opening experience, eh Gummy!! I totally get freaked out by large palettes too, the only one I purchased was the UD one, and that taught me a lesson – the others were PR samples, and pretty as they are, they stress me out so much! So I’m right there with ya.

      I am paring down ALL my colour cosmetics, so that includes polishes, blush, etc…I won’t be posting too much about any lippies because I already got rid of a bunch and am almost 100% happy with my stash, but my blushes have to be culled as well – there are similar shades that just are taking up space, which I could fill with new blushes! Hahaha…there’s a method to my madness, but it’s not a great one LOL Nonetheless, I’m glad we support each other in our endeavours! 😀 Good luck!!!!!!

  5. #9 by talker blogger on August 24, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    Wow !! That’s a LOT of eyeshadows !!! Lovely post 😊

  1. It’s Transition Time! Segueing from summer into fall with Hourglass Icon | Beauty Obsessed
  2. Operation Reduce: Eyeshadows, Part II | Beauty Obsessed

...And what do you have to say about all this?? Dish! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: