There’s curiosity about my cosmetics inventory spreadsheet so I thought I would devote an entry on how it came to be. I created my cosmetics spreadsheet on Sunday July 26, 2009 (as revealed by the Excel file properties). At the time, it was primarily a way to track my growing nail polish collection so that I didn’t duplicate any of my Essie shades (at present count, I own 73 bottles of Essies – it is my favourite nail polish formula).
Eventually I expanded the spreadsheet to include the following tabs:
- eye shadows
- face products
- lip gloss / lip balms
- tools (brushes)
The initial set up of the spreadsheet was a daunting task. If I had created the spreadsheet from the inception of my first beauty product purchase, it would have been a breeze. But I had to essentially do a full inventory of my stash to build the spreadsheet – item by item, line by line.
It’s nothing revolutionary, it’s just a database to store information including the brand, item name, official colour name, date item was acquired, weight or volume of product. I like to write notes on what store I bought the item, what collection it’s from, or some comments about its performance so it’s easy to refer to later on.
In addition to tracking products I currently own, I also use the spreadsheet to track products I have owned and finished or purged, as well as a wishlist – the “Status” column on the right hand side is as follows: o = own, g = gone, f = future purchase (aka wishlist). I also colour code the lines for easy at-a-glance differentiation.
I like to track skincare items that I’ve tried and used up, and write comments about the active ingredients and how I liked the product. Sometimes I repurchase old forgotten favourites this way.
The spreadsheet has evolved over the years – I’ve added a column for colour family and finish to help me filter by attributes more easily. For instance, I can filter by the colour family “red” to see only the red nail polishes I own. I could further filter by brand or by finish, say, if I wanted to find only red Illamasquas in cream finish (I’ve got 3!)
So there you have it, my cosmetics spreadsheet. I’ve never met anyone in real life who keeps one but I have read on makeup forums that there are others out there like me. If you want to start keeping one yourself, I’ve created a Google Docs spreadsheet template for you to use:
Edit: I’ve added a tab in the file called “READ ME” which details 2 ways to save a copy of this template so you can edit it.
It has some presets for colour family and finishes to help build your cosmetics inventory. If you don’t own Excel, you can always use either Google Docs or OpenOffice Calc (it’s free and works really well). Let me know if you do decide to use it!