shop my stash beauty youtuber

Isolation Is The Perfect Time To “Shop Your Stash” AKA Use All Your Neglected Beauty Prods

Last week at Syrup, we chatted with a few of our favourite beauty journalists about how being under coronavirus lockdown has impacted our self care routines. We think a lot about consumption and beauty ideals and waste and the self-affirming aspects of our beauty n self care routines around here, and today we’ve got a new proposition for you. 

While it’s a really generous thing to use your dollars to support small businesses or sustainable beauty brands during this time—we’re sure you’ve been hit with at least one IG ad for guides on how to do an at home facial—being in isolation and not being able to (physically) hit up MECCA or Sephora makes now a uniquely perfect time to shop your stash. As so many of us are confined to our homes, and potentially facing a slightly more shaky $$ situation, turning inwards (emotionally as well) to the things that we already have is a more frugal way of indulging in some pampering during the pandemic, as well as helping us become more appreciative of what we have already.

What does “shop my stash” mean?

Like a lotta movements on the internet, the exact origins of the phrase shopping your stash is a lil nebulous, but essentially it’s a term and IG hashtag (#shopmystash) that encourages a little more mindfulness in how consumers buy and treat cosmetics. That is, the reflexive need to buy the next limited edition release, or have an endlessly rotating stream of new stuff hitting your post-box in the name of “self care.” 

The glory days of beauty YouTube were built on an empire of monthly favourites videos, where vloggers would share the products they were particularly loving that month, and haul videos, where new purchases were held up to the camera like little treasures hard-won from a battle (aka getting foundation matched under abysmal department store lighting). 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a hobby, btw. Makeup is an art, and a beautiful mode of self-expression. That said, shopping your stash grew from a small but mighty group of YouTubers, the anti-excess consumption subreddit /r/MakeupRehab, and the beauty industry “watch-dog” Estée Laundry (@esteelaundry) that advocates for using up what you have before jumping online to buy the next face mask/lip balm/blush/hair oil. 

Estée Laundry, in particular, has been a huge influence in this movement: in a recent poll 75% of people who responded said they were still engaged in the #ShopMyStash challenge the account initiated among their followers. Given their 163k followers, this is a big push in the way of foregrounding a more sustainable approach to beauty product consumption.

estee laundry instagram shop my stash

How is this in any way different from just… not shopping exactly? 

In a very similar vein to re-mixing your clothes so you can re-learn to love ‘em, shopping your stash is about taking a deep dive through the makeup (if you’re actually wearing any rn), skincare, body and hair care that you already have and actually pulling it out and using it. 

For example: instead of buying a new mask or bath bomb under the guise of self care, “shop” your stash and pull out the tonnes of little sample size and trial sachets you’ve been “saving for travel” and actually use them. You get the lil dopamine hit of using something new for the first time, without a) needing to actually spend any of your hard earned money, and b) aren’t contributing to more beauty waste or emissions from a prod being shipped to your door.

Other suggestions from creative Redditors include things like cycling through a different lip balm everyday, or challenging yourself to use (or finish!) things that we rarely do as part of a #projectpan, or just as part of your usual #empties. It’s a really good exercise in realising, that for most of us reading this, we have simply too many products for the amount of faces we have (one). Let he among us who has actually finished an eye shadow throw the first stone. 

There’s something incredibly satisfying in seeing a completely used up makeup product, and if you’re into it there’s a world of IG and YouTube content for you to fall into:

Anti-Haul YouTubers & Instagrams Tags To Follow

For a lil bit of light entertainment, some which is more explicitly anti-haul culture than others, we’d suggest starting with a few of the below.

Kimberly Clark

Arguably the drag-mother of anti-haul culture in the beauty YouTube space is the legendary queen Kimberly Clark. Whomst we love. She began a series called “What I’m Not Gonna Buy,” breaking down the newest “hype-iest” releases from makeup brands and breaks down why she personally ain’t buying it. If you want one person on this list, make it her. 

Stephanie Villa aka soothingsista

Steph is an LA-based YouTuber who as well as being delightfully chill, sex positive and inclusive films amazing empties videos cataloguing a whole year of what she’s used up beauty wise. 

Kelly Gooch

Kelly is a cruelty free beauty YouTuber who we’re into for her v down to earth and honest assessments of beauty prods, her shop my stash round ups and suuuuper satisfying project pan videos. Start with the above vid where she shopped her stash for an entire year.

As for the IG tags to get lost in? Start with #shopmystash, #empties, #projectpan, it’s pretty easy to lose yourself down a rabbit hole and lots of IGers offer really neat tips on finding ways to repurpose products you’re not so hot on anymore. Now, go forth and don’t shop.

Lead image via Kate La Vie.

Monisha is a writer with a background in publishing and digital media. A chronic Pisces, she’s into trying to be a better person and sparkling water.

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