I'm Cleaning Out My Beauty Drawer for 2021—Here's What I'm Keeping and Ditching

There's nothing quite like a good beauty drawer clean out—especially if you're like me and tend to hoard hundreds of products. A certain joie de vivre comes with cleaning out your beauty drawer, as it overwhelms you with satisfaction and brings a moment of rebirth. Perhaps it is the act of tossing old, used products or deeming some beauty splurges as must-haves and repeat products, but freshening up your beauty drawer and introducing organization to inevitable clutter will leave behind a sense of order and empowerment. Maybe it's just me—yes, I am beauty-product obsessed—but the second I am done with a clean out, I feel like I am ready to conquer my day. 

While the end product of a beauty drawer cleanse is fulfilling, finding where to begin can hinder you from even starting. From seasonal skincare essentials and new beauty buys to irreplaceable items, it's difficult to decipher which products are in and which ones are out. Fortunately, I assess my beauty closet almost every month or so to ensure I am only keeping formulas I'm consistently using (or my boyfriend is secretly taking) and ditching those who expired or simply not worked for my skin. And I'm here to confirm that you can do it, too. Keep scrolling to discover the beauty products that almost always make the cut each round and which products I am bidding a farewell to start the New Year on a fresh note.

Makeup

Keeping: Tinted Moisturizer
Ditching: Liquid Foundation

I have learned one invaluable lesson this year: When it comes to makeup and skincare regimens, less is always more. And especially with my recent move down to Miami, I am all about a tinted moisturizer that doesn't feel as heavy as a liquid foundation yet provides that same matte coverage my skin needs. 

Say hello to my latest obsession. Introduced into my beauty routine only a month ago, this tinted moisturizer has rapidly risen to the top. It's the ultimate skincare-meets-foundation product, leaving my skin not only looking even but also with maximum hydration.

I'm sure by now you've heard it enough, but I will say it again: Wearing SPF every day is imperative. I've already done the damage to my skin, but I live every day with the motivation to reverse it. Thus, this 3-in-1 tinted moisturizer is another great tinted moisturizer that also protects your skin. 

Keeping: Translucent Setting Powder 
Ditching: Setting Mist 

I have to be honest: I never fully got onto the setting-mist train. It was one of those beauty products I just used to use without seeing drastic results. Therefore, it's officially time to ditch it and commit to just the translucent setting powder. My skin errs on the combination side—both oily and dry yet normal—so having an added layer of setting powder helps to keep my face looking matte and fresh. 

A cult-favorite product, Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder will most likely be found in every beauty guru's makeup bag. I drank the Kool-Aid, and candidly, will never go back. 

Best known for its filter-like finish, this loose powder is perfect for everyday use, as it's lightweight and doesn't leave your face feeling cakey at all. Expert tip: When applying setting powders, use a light, fluffy makeup brush and lightly dust the powder on your face for a flawless finish. 

Keeping: Tinted Eyebrow Gel 

Oftentimes, my eyebrows cannot be tamed. I'm one who rarely gets them done (yes, I like the unruly look), but will always make it a point to, at the very least, brush them every morning. Pre-quarantine life, I used both a brow gel and eyebrow pencil to perfect my eyebrows and fill them in, however, now, I'm all about efficiency. Through tinted eyebrow gel, I'm able to comb, tame, and fill in my brows in just one pass.

I will use this Dior tinted brow gel until I literally cannot use it anymore. It's just the right amount of tint without appearing too dark. 

A quick word of advice: when it comes to eyebrow gels, opt for a shade lighter. You can always build it up. Trust me—I've made the mistake before. 

Keeping: Specific Makeup Brushes 

I am filing this under a makeup decision I never knew I needed to make. Once I began designating certain makeup brushes for specific areas, my makeup experience was instantly enhanced. Was I using my eye shadow brush on my cheeks? No. But I was tending to use the same brush for concealer as I was for foundation and powders. Or the same brush for both blush and bronzer, and so on. As you assign makeup brushes to have only one duty, it completely changes the way your makeup is applied and how long it lasts. 

Behold, the best concealer brush on the market. This brush evenly spreads the concealer of your choice, whether it may be liquid or powder, and leaves your complexion radiant. 

If you're like me and fall to the lazy side of eye shadow brushes and continually use the same one for everything, it's time to invest in these three eye brushes. And once you do, you will never go back. 

Keeping: Bronzer 

I believe Kendall Jenner released a makeup tutorial video and revealed that she used her bronzer as an eye shadow, so naturally, I had to try it. It's safe to say I've officially converted to the bronzer-as–eye-shadow side. The warm colors of a bronzer compliment my green eyes and add a sunkissed look year-round. 

I recently tried a shade darker, Chantecaille's Sirena shade, and I absolutely love it. 

Yes, I am ditching my eye shadow palettes, but I am not ditching my bronzer and blush palettes. Expert tip: Have fun mixing your bronzers and blushes for eye shadow both on the lid and lining the eyelash lines on the top and bottom. 

Skincare

Keeping: Oil-Based Cleansers

There is a common misconception that oil-based skincare products—whether it be a serum or cleanser—will cause acne breakouts. As one with combination skin that definitely skews more oily in my T-zone, I am here to say that is highly false. Oil-based cleansers actually work to balance your natural oil production, without stripping the skin. What actually causes excessive oil production and breakouts is actually intense clarifying cleansers as they strip and expose the skin. The truth is out. 

This cleanses the skin, while also penetrating the skin with oils rich in omega-9 to enrich the skin. Expert tip: If you still are unsure about using an oil cleanser, introduce them into your nightly skincare regimen to avoid applying makeup directly after. 

New Zealand's cult-favorite beauty brand recently launched this Illuminating Oil Cleanser infused with flower enzymes, papaya, and chia, leaving the skin refined and refreshed. 

Keeping: Refreshing Facial Mists

While we all love a refreshing face mist, I'm getting even more particular about what exactly is in the face mist. With all of the new, innovative face mists on the market enhanced with nourishing ingredients, I am bidding farewell to water based toners. 

The ultimate beach bag essential, I carry this face mist with me everywhere in Miami.

Formulated with beauty's favorite hydrator, hyaluronic acid, this face mist is enriched with its Dual-Hyaluronic Complex of both low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid—leaving your face instantly hydrated throughout the day. 

Keeping: Hyaluronic Acid Serums

As previously mentioned, hyaluronic acid is the holy grail when it comes to hydrating your skin. Perfect for year-round application—especially in the drier winter months—hyaluronic acid will replenish the skin's moisture and leave a bright, dewy glow 24/7. So why ditch the brightening creams? Often, brightening creams are made with a small percentage of hyaluronic acid, so instead of using a small percentage, I'd rather keep it simple and use a highly concentrated hyaluronic acid. 

I've been using this serum for over a year now, and with consistent use, I have seen real results. Made with pure hyaluronic acid combined with antioxidant-rich purslane, this serum has left my complexion feeling youthful, smooth, and radiant. 

There are certain beauty brands that I just trust (of course, due to results and ingredients), and SkinCeuticals is one of them. When I apply this serum, it literally feels like I am locking in moisture into my skin for good. 

Keeping: Lip Oil

Lip oils are the epitome of efficiency. They offer the same hydration and moisture that chapstick does while giving the same shine effect of a gloss—a product that truly does it all. And though I am loyal to my Aquaphor chapstick, I have observed over the last several weeks that I am opting for a lip oil over the said chapstick. 

Founded by one of our favorite influencers, Camila Coehlo, Elaluz's Lip Therapy lip oil has saved my lips this winter. 

Now that I am a lip oil convert, I live by the motto "You can never have too many lip oils." Similar to chapstick, they get thrown around from handbag to tote to suitcase, so it's important to invest in a few. 

Haircare

Keeping: Hair Clips

I will admit, working from home is the best thing that has happened to my hair. I can't remember the last time I used a hot tool on my hair, I use a hair mask almost three times a week, and I've bid farewell to sleek ponytails that pulled tight on my hair with hair elastics. Enter the hair clip. It's an incredibly chic and functional hair accessory that not only looks good but does your hair health good.

This little clip is the perfect size for pulling back all of my hair into a ponytail or part of my hair for a half-up-half-down look. 

Keeping: Shampoo Bars

I've officially traded my liquid shampoos for a more sustainable option à la shampoo bars. Despite the common belief that they don't clean as thoroughly, shampoo bars actually leave my hair feeling clean, smooth, and with a luxurious shine. Expert tip: Purchase a soap dish along with your shampoo bar to have something to place it on between uses.

This was my first and will always be my favorite. 

Hibar makes shampoo bars and conditioners that cater to your specific hair needs, whether that be moisture, volume, or maintain overall hair health. 

Up next, find out the 10 worst things you can put on your face, according to a cosmetic chemist

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