How to declutter your make-up in 4 simple steps
This may sound a bit odd coming from a beauty coach but… Are you a make-up hoarder? Don’t worry, we all do it. Holding onto prehistoric mascaras, eyeshadows in horribly unsuitable colours yet lovely packaging, geriatric lipsticks with the texture of powdered concrete.
OK, confession time… I have tons of make-up. Stuff I’ve bought for myself, cosmetics for clients – and I’m lucky enough to be given free samples and trial products. But even though I have an excuse (well, kind of…) I’m not immune to the hoarding habit.
That’s why I love a make-up declutter. It makes life easier, less messy, and it’s a life-saver when you’re getting ready in a hurry. If your cosmetics collection is taking over your home, or just needs a good clear out, here’s how to declutter your make-up in 4 easy steps:
Collect and sort
The first stage is to collect your make-up together – the whole lot, including all those grungy bits and pieces stored in drawers, make-up bags and various handbags.
It helps to sort things into separate categories – lip products, foundations, blushers, eye shadows, mascaras. Try doing this in a different room, somewhere you don’t normally see your make-up products. You can be more objective.
Keep, chuck, donate
At this point you’ll have a clear picture of what you have. So now it’s time to make 3 separate piles – what to keep, what to chuck out, and what you could donate to friends, family or charity. How do you decide? It helps to ask yourself these questions:
- When did you last use it? If it’s more than 6 months ago, you probably don’t need it.
- When will you next use it? Will that sparkly blue eyeshadow get worn in the next 6 months?
- Are there repeat buys? We all have well-loved shades that get bought over and over. It’s tricky, but aim to keep just one favourite.
- Love it but… ? You may have a great colour or product that you really want to keep, but you’re not sure how to wear it. That’s fine, just get in touch and I’ll give you some ideas and practical tips.
- Does it suit you? Are you keeping it just for the gorgeous packaging? If something doesn’t suit and it’s still safe to use (see below), donate to friends or family.
- Has it gone off? This one’s important. Make-up has a limited shelf life, so check the expiry date (look for the little open jar symbol) and get rid of anything past this – especially mascaras as they can cause eye infections.
Test out eyeshadows, lipsticks and foundations on the back of your hand, watching out for stickiness or overly powdery textures, uneven or patchy coverage. Then give it a good sniff. You should be able to tell straight away if something is past its best – although be wary of heavily perfumed products as this can cover up that giveaway `cheesy sock’ smell.
Recycle and bin (with care)
Did you know that make-up packaging is often recyclable? In fact, Mac and Origin have dedicated recycling programmes where you’ll get free samples in exchange for the packaging.
The make-up itself has to go to landfill, but don’t forget to empty it into something airtight to prevent petrochemicals from leaking out. And be really careful with nail polish. It’s classed as hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency so you shouldn’t chuck it into your household bin. If in doubt, check with your local council and they’ll advise you.
Store your edited make-up stash
Make-up hates direct sunlight and heat. To help it last longer, try and store your edited collection somewhere cool and dark.
If you’ve ended up with lots of products, it’s worth investing in a specialist make-up box. You get separate drawers for eyeshadows, foundations or lip products plus handy sub-category drawers for things like lip gloss and blusher.
So that’s it! You now have a perfectly organised cosmetics collection. If you’d like some fresh new ways to wear your make-up – everyday practical tips or special occasion ideas – just get in touch. I’m here to help.