The internet loves the idea of a capsule wardrobe. There's the French wardrobe, and Project 333, where you make do with 33 items of clothing over 3 months. The ideas of streamlining, reducing waste, avoiding fast fashion and focusing on finding classic, enduring pieces are concepts we can apply to the beauty world as well.
Not quite ready to take the plunge of committing to the same products for three months, though, I'm doing my own variant, with 14 products for 14 days.
As a beauty writer I am bombarded with announcements of new releases and surrounded by a breathless hype for the next magical new product — and I'll readily admit I contribute to this. I'm embarking on this 14-in-14 project to hopefully become more thoughtful about my participation in the beauty world.
If you subscribe to the idea of holy grails, then essentially what we're aiming for is a supergroup of HG products — a squad of all-stars where each item excels at what it does. If you get it right, you'll be content with your dream team and not need to sub anything in or out, until your preferences or skin type changes.
In this case I'm choosing to stick with just a makeup capsule wardrobe, because I like being able to respond to my skin's needs and I can't predict what my skin will do over a fortnight.
I held off on buying the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops for months, because I was worried they were a gimmick; on the contrary, they've breathed new life into a lot of base products I owned but didn't love. I got the shade G30, which warms up all my too-cool-toned foundations, and the formula adds coverage to products I usually find too sheer for my preference.
I really wanted to keep the selection to one product from each category, but I included two shades of NARS Creamy Concealer (Vanilla and Custard) so I can use one for highlighting and one for spot concealing. The formula of this concealer means it's great for both, I just find that Custard is a little too deep for me to use under my eyes.
This is the category where I struggled the least; I've been comfortable using just the one shade of blush and bronzer for the better part of several years now. I mean sure, I have others, but very rarely am I wearing something that isn't MAC Lured To Love on my cheeks. I'm not looking forward to the day it runs out, because it was limited-edition, but for now, it does the job more than adequately.
I don't always wear bronzer, but if I do, it'll be the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer bronzer. In this capsule collection, it will double as an eyeshadow, because it's the perfect matte brown for using in my crease.
I like variety in my eye makeup, so the products here are less representative of my holy-grail favorites than the other categories — mascara in particular, I don't know if there's much utility in sticking to the same one forever and ever. You've got to replace them so frequently it's hard to justify buying an expensive one, anyway. For the next two weeks I'm using Collection Longer Lash Lengthening Mascara.
Another Collection product is their Eyebrow Kit in Brunette. I go through brow pencils like nothing else, but brow powder lasts a good long time. This kit might be cheating (it has a clear brow gel included, as well as three powders).
For eyeshadows I've got the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Stick in Bountiful Beige (Bulletproof Beige in the US), and a Mellow Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow called, accurately, Gold. If I want anything more exciting than a shimmery neutral eye, I'm including the Hourglass 1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in black. It's good for tightlining, and regular lining.
I've chosen one nude-rose-brown lipstick from many to be my everyday lip color: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Protest. I really like the formula of these lipsticks, although I've heard rumors that they're replacing the Revolution lipstick line later in the year.
For powder, it's the Ben Nye Neutral Set Colorless Powder. This stuff goes and goes and goes — I can see myself using the same tub in 10 years. It sets everything down and doesn't add color.
The Bold Lip
The selection so far has been a bit joyless and utilitarian, but I didn't want to exclude fun entirely. I wanted to include a bright lip color, but couldn't decide which one, so this is where you come in! Leave your vote in the comments for which of these lipsticks should make the cut as the 14th product.
I'll be using only these products for 14 days, and documenting the looks I create (obviously). I'll check back in after the 14 days to let you know how the experiment goes!
As an aside, I'm aware that a lot of these products are on the higher end of the cost spectrum. If you do want to distill your collection into a capsule wardrobe, though, I don't think there's anything wrong with that: it's better to have fewer, more expensive products that you're content with, than buying more and more cheap things that never fully satisfy. And if your holy grails are on the affordable end, well that's an even better bonus.
- Have you ever done anything similar?
- What would you temporarily narrow your collection down to?
- And let me know in the comments which bright lipstick to choose!