I Spent 2 Weeks "Leaning Out" My Beauty Routine—Here's What Was Left Standing

Just when I think I have things under control (aka, I purge my apartment of teetering piles of beauty products), I find myself right back where I started. Obviously, I love the part of my job that allows me to test so many amazing beauty things, but my tiny apartment doesn't have the bandwidth to accommodate the Whac-a-Mole rate at which products seem to accumulate. As soon as I use up or give away one, five more appear it its place. Plus, given the fact I want to try everything, my routine as a whole starts to feel incredibly chaotic and much too involved. (Instead of choosing one eye cream out of 20, I just want the one that I love best and know really works!) 


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

A few weeks ago, I hit a breaking point, and I decided to perform the ultimate product purge with some help from a few of my friends. Aside from my makeup collection—that's a whole separate adventure that I didn't quite get to—I think I donated or tossed (if expired) 3/4 of what was sitting on my shelves and in my cabinets. Obviously, I kept some additional things that aren't listed below, but I thought I'd share the essential beauty products left standing that I couldn't part with. Curious to see what made the cut? Keep scrolling! My favorite products in hair, body, skincare, fragrance, and more await. 

Shower & Body

Hands & Nails





Up next, Impressing Us Is Hard—42 Beauty Products That Knocked Our Damn Socks Off in Feb

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.