Is makeup collectible? What?! That’s like asking if Chapstick is addictive! Of course makeup is collectible, and I’ve got some serious reasons why — and what — you should be collecting. The makeup industry is a fickle mistress, but you can bet last week’s paycheck that although not everyone agrees, makeup collecting is here and it’s here to stay.

The shelf life of your favorite makeup may be short (mascara, I’m talking about YOU) but market staying power may be even shorter! How many times have we fallen in love with a favorite shade of lipstick only for it to be discontinued (M.A.C. Lipstick in Dressmaker Dressmaker, I’m looking at you. And you too, NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Orchid)? When the shade and formula are perfect — PERFECT — it’s best to stock up on favorites. Just like when Matchbox released the fan favorite gold painted ‘57 Chevy, you gotta scoop ‘em up when you see ‘em!

If your makeup fave is ever on the chopping block, you may just find yourself searching — nay, scouring websites for unused backstock. Comic book collectors search high and low for first editions while, dare I say it, there’s even a black market for USED makeup that is no longer available for fresh purchase. When it comes to products that werrk, I’m going to collect and stockpile as much as I humanly can. Or as much as this week’s paycheck and store loyalty points will allow.

Maybe I’m being too dramatic. Just kidding! Discontinued palettes are a big deal. When Urban Decay discontinued its uber-popular Naked palette, they even released an obituary and held a funeral. There will never ever be anything as iconic as the 12 smooth and blendable shades with delightful names like Hustle and Darkhorse. Even if you only ever used two colors, you cherished the entire spectrum!

Much like a very desirable limited edition Barbie, makeup colors are can be seasonal, never to be seen again once temps lower and days shorten. Similar to an emotionally unavailable bad boy, some gorgeous palettes never intended to stick around long. Collections such as LORAC’s Disney Beauty and the Beast collection pop into our lives, make us fall in love, and then ghost us, and we’re left to haunt eBay for missed connections. The fleetingness of collabs like LORAC and Disney make them highly covetable and collectible. The colors are lush, the formulas sometimes forgettable, but when they shine, darling, they –jazz hands– sparkle!

Maybe you need something a little more substantial than highlighter sticks and matte lippies? A little something you can reach out and hold in the palm of your hand and will down to your children? I introduce Exhibit A: applicators and packaging. If you were an Ipsy subscriber way back in 2017, there’s an excellent chance you got your lucky little hands on a pink-hued Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank brush. This brush features the softest bristles ever (best cleansed with unicorn tears). Vintage pressed powder compacts are also highly collectible and totally gorgeous! You can “snap” some up on Etsy for a pretty penny. Or buy a brand new Anna Sui floral makeup case. Warning! Makeup goodness is not included in this gorgeous floral and black magnetic case. Keep your vintage Coca-Cola bottles, I’m happiest with retro lipstick cases.

So, is makeup collectible? That’s a resounding ‘heck yeah’ from me! Like limited edition dolls, retro soda pop bottles and nostalgic VHS tapes, makeup is definitely collectible. Whether hoarding the potions and serums themselves or saving the glitzy applicators and containers, there’s a passionate and robust market for collecting makeup! Now excuse me, there’s a sale at Sephora, and I have reward points to redeem!

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Written by Michaella Lin
Michaella is an accidental collector of cookbooks...first by necessity, now by compulsion. Although she enjoys reading cookbooks she’s still looking for a spell to get them to do the actual cooking. She also enjoys pop culture, true crime podcasts and coffee and coffee paraphernalia. Michaella is based in New England.