I know what you’re thinking. It’s the start of a year, time for all those new year’s resolutions that everyone’s going to break before the month’s done. I’m painfully aware of how clichéd new year’s resolutions can seem.

But I’ll also be the first to admit, I love New Years. I love the weather in Mumbai at this time of the year, but more importantly, the feeling of starting afresh. I started this blog on 5th of January 2009. I posted my first YouTube video on 8th of January 2014. And in both cases they weren’t things I’d been planning for long. The blog was started on a complete whim, YouTube required a little more forethought. Both came about rather organically – I guess the first half of January just feels like the perfect time for new beginnings.

2016 was a great year for me. But it was also very hectic, which means I did fall behind on some personal goals & back into old (bad) habits. One of my biggest (& longest pending) of those goals is to declutter a bit. While I might like minimal fashion + décor, my real life is anything but. I can turn shopping into a sport & am a bit sentimental with my old things. I’m trying to be brutal with discarding old stuff I have but I know it’s equally important to not immediately replace it all with new stuff.

And there are a few very good reasons to go on a beauty ban or detox –

  • Declutter. This is the biggest reason for me, as I’ve realized I have way too much stuff, & I need to get rid of a large portion of it to maintain my sanity. Shopping, PR Samples, Monthly Beauty Boxes were all piling up & it was getting a bit crazy. That’s part of the reason I cancelled all my subscriptions too. Having less things & more empty space still remains my biggest motivation.
  • Minimize Waste. Unlike décor or clothes / shoes, beauty products have a finite shelf life which is usually anywhere between six months to two years. As a blogger, I receive a lot of products to review (& I also use my profession to justify a lot of frivolous purchases) & I usually test it out for a month, review it & then move onto the next product. Now I’m making a conscious effort to go back to older products & finish using them up before they go bad. My mother raised me to be very mindful & not waste any food, I don’t see why the same principle can’t apply to makeup (unless it’s really bad or unusable).
  • Finances. When I was thinking about reasons to go on this ban, the first thought that popped into my head was, “I’m not doing this for financial reasons”. I remember being a student, pining for products, struggling to save pennies so I could afford to buy a MAC lipstick. I like that I have spending power now & I work hard so I can treat myself, right? But even I realize that I was spending a sizeable chunk of my monthly ‘petty cash’ on beauty products, & while I may not be a great saver, not spending on beauty means I can spend it elsewhere, whether it’s indulging in some new shoes instead or saving up for my next trip.

And so I’ve decided that 2017 is going to be a huge makeup detox year for me. I’ve always resisted the thought of a makeup ban because I tend to do just what I’m not supposed to & going on a self-imposed ban might be too much of a temptation, followed by the shame / guilt when I inevitably break it. This is not an absolute beauty buying ban. So here’s what the makeup detox will mean for me –

  • No New Lipsticks. This one is without a doubt the most important. I just have too many lipsticks, every colour I could fancy & I’d like to use them more.
  • No New Hair Care. Shampoos & Conditioners are another thing I’ve amassed too many of, & I’d just like to get through more of them before they expire. I might consider buying styling products if the need arises.
  • No New Nail Polish. Nail Polishes, along with mascaras have some of the shortest shelf life ever. I’ve owned so many but I’m ashamed to say that I’ve finished just one bottle in my life. So I’m going to work more with the ones I have & more importantly purchased a bottle of nail polish thinner, so I can fix gloopy nail polish instead of being forced to discard it.
  • No New Body Care. Again another case of having way too many lotions, creams & scrubs.

What I am allowing myself – essentials like eyeliner, interesting base products & some skincare. I’m was hoping to keep this up until the end of the year but decided keeping the ban until the first half of November would be more practical, I’ll allow myself some indulgence during the Black Friday & Christmas sales. I know there are times I might falter, especially during travel when seeing a lot of new brands can be quite tempting. That’s why, if I end up buying one nail polish, I’m not going to punish myself about it.

I feel pretty optimistic about this mainly because I feel ready to do it. The only way I can make this work is if I see it as a positive change & not some kind of crutch or inconvenience. It’s also necessary to not be too hard on oneself. If you make a mistake, don’t let that be a defeat.

This won’t change too much for the content you see here or on YouTube, I will continue to review any interesting press samples & I still have to do videos on my Bangkok hauls (which you should see spread out through Jan & Feb).

Is there something you’re trying to cut out from your life, do less of, or buy less of in 2017? I’d love to know about your plans – Let’s do this together! I’m going to do a check-in post in early July to let you know just how things are going. x

The lipstick is Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Creme C603 (Midnight Blue). I’ll share the full look I did with this beautiful blue lipstick on my YouTube channel soon!