If your makeup collection looks more like a makeup mountain and you’re tired of rummaging through a messy makeup drawer and various bags to find your favourite lippy, then you’ve landed in the right place.
I’m here to help you take back control of your beauty regime and make the process of getting ready a joy once again, not a chore.
Some of us may love those late-night online shopping sprees (luckily, as a reformed online shopaholic, this is no longer me), adding the latest eyeshadow pallets, lipsticks, and blushers to our already full collection.
But let’s face it, sometimes our love for makeup can lead to a cluttered, chaotic vanity.
This post is all about how to declutter makeup, toiletries and other beauty products in just seven easy steps, so you can streamline your collection and make your mornings that bit easier.
No more running around the house looking for your makeup remover in the early hours of the morning!
You might also like:
- 26 Things I Stopped Buying To Embrace Minimalism
- 120 Easy Things to Declutter Right Now (Free Checklist)
- The Perfect System: Never Have To Declutter Your Purse Again
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase anything through a link, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying sales. This is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.
PIN FOR LATER
Why do we need to declutter makeup
Decluttering your makeup can be a gamechanger for improving your daily routine and keeping your beauty products organised.
We tend to accumulate a lot of products, from free samples to impulse purchases at Sephora, making our vanity space cluttered.
Here’s why we need to take more care to declutter makeup regularly:
- A decluttered space saves time: Knowing exactly where everything is when you’re getting ready in the morning is a gamechanger. No more searching through piles of products or drawers to find what you need.
- It’s healthier: Did you know that your makeup has an expiration date? And what happens when you hit that expiration date? Bacteria and potential skin problems, that’s what. By decluttering and getting rid of old, expired products, you’re saving your skin from all that lurks in expired makeup.
- More value for money: We’ve all been there, buying something we already have in our collection on a whim because we forgot about it. Decluttering can help you see what you have and use more of your products before they expire, saving you money in the long run.
- Your style changes: As we grow (dare I say) older, our style and preferences change. What used to be our go-to products may not suit us anymore, so it’s essential to regularly declutter and make room for new favourites. I definitely don’t still pile on the eyeliner like I used to back in the day!
Now that we know why decluttering makeup is necessary let’s explore some tips on how to do it effectively.
How to Declutter Makeup: 7 Step Guide
Step 1: Take all makeup and beauty products out
First things first, in true Marie Kondo fashion, gather all your makeup and beauty products from every nook and cranny. Yep, that means digging out that lipstick hiding in your handbag and grabbing the backup mascara from your desk drawer.
Now I guarantee you’ll be a little shocked by the sheer amount of makeup you actually own. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. But this step is crucial to get a clear picture of your collection.
Next, lay everything out on the bathroom counter or another flat surface. You can group them by type – lipsticks, eyeshadows, skincare essentials – whatever works for you. This simple trick gives you a quick visual of how much stuff you actually have, making it easier to declutter.
And trust me, it’s oddly satisfying (and maybe a little scary) to see all your products spread out. But don’t worry, this is just the first step towards a more organised and efficient beauty routine.
Step 2: Expired products go first
The next steps is to tackle the task of checking the expiration dates.
You’d be surprised how many of us hang onto old makeup products way past their prime. I’m talking foundation that we might have bought years ago! But remember, using expired makeup is a big no-no as it can lead to skin irritations or even infections.
To figure out if a product is past its use-by date, check for the little open jar symbol on its packaging. This symbol shows the number of months the product is good for once it’s been opened. If it says 6M, that means it’s meant to be used within 6 months of opening.
If you can’t remember when you opened it, best to err on the side of caution and toss it. The chances are, if you can’t remember, it was probably longer than 6 months ago.
Create a bundle of all your expired products and move them to the side for now.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Tools
Now, let’s have a look at your makeup brushes, sponges, and other makeup tools. It’s not just makeup that can expire or become ineffective over time, your tools need attention too.
They’re often the unsung heroes of a killer makeup look, but can also harbour bacteria if not cleaned and stored properly.
Start by checking their condition. If brushes have loose bristles or if the sponge has tears and looks well past its best, it’s time to say goodbye.
Next, check the cleanliness. If your makeup tools are caked with product they might need a good clean. Check out this video for a great guide on how to clean your makeup tools.
If you can’t remember the last time you gave them a proper clean and there’s no salvaging them, it might be time to replace them.
Remember, using clean makeup tools is not only hygienic but also ensures better application.
Step 4: Unopened makeup
I’m guessing if you have a large collection of makeup, there’s a chance you have some unopened products too.
While unopened makeup typically has a longer shelf life than opened ones, it’s still important to check for expiration dates.
If there are no visible expiration dates, a general rule of thumb is to use them within 1-2 years from the date of purchase. However, if the product has a change in texture, smell, or color, it’s best to toss it regardless of its expiry date.
Expiration date aside, if you have unopened bottles of foundation or skincare products, or any other unopened makeup for that matter, you should probably take this time to consider whether or not you’re actually going to use it in the future, or was it just one of those impulse purchases.
There’s no point in hoarding makeup that you won’t use. So be honest with yourself and let go of any unopened makeup that you don’t see yourself using in the near future.
Step 5: Empty bottles
If you’re at the point where you’re dealing with empty makeup bottles, give yourself a pat on the back – it’s a sure sign that you’re getting your money’s worth! But these empties have no use other than cluttering up your space and creating unnecessary waste.
The first step in dealing with empty bottles is to dispose of them responsibly. Remember to recycle wherever possible – a lot of makeup packaging, including glass bottles and plastic containers, can be recycled.
But make sure to check the recycling guidelines in your local area as they can vary. Many brands also offer recycling programs within their stores, which makes it easy to dispose of your empties.
If recycling isn’t an option, consider if the containers can be repurposed – small bottles and pots can make great storage for small items like bobby pins or earrings.
Step 6: Be honest about your style
Do you find you have a collection of bright, vibrant lipsticks that you wouldn’t dare to wear anymore? Maybe you’ve got a drawer brimming with glitter eyeshadows that have only seen the light of day once, during a costume party.
This step is all about being completely honest with yourself about your unique style and personal preferences.
It’s time to let go of those makeup items that you’re holding onto simply because they’re popular or trendy. After all, if it doesn’t align with your own personal style, the chances of you actually using it are quite slim.
Embrace the opportunity to curate a makeup collection that truly reflects your individuality and brings you joy every time you reach for it.
Step 7: What to do with decluttered makeup
Once you’ve sorted through your products, it’s time to decide what to do with the items that didn’t make the cut:
- Donate: Consider donating unused makeup and toiletries that are in good condition to friends and family, local shelters or charity organisations. Donating really is the best way to give your decluttered items a new home and reduce waste.
- Recycle: As mentioned before, check the recycling guidelines in your area for plastic and glass containers. Some brands also offer recycling programs within their stores.
- Repurpose: Get creative and find ways to repurpose old makeup containers. For example, empty compacts can be used as small trays for jewellery or hair accessories, and empty eyeshadow palettes can be used to store bobby pins or earrings.
- Dispose: If a product is expired, damaged, or cannot be recycled or repurposed, it’s important to dispose of it properly. Check with your local waste management facility for guidelines on how to safely dispose of makeup products.
- Sell: If you have high-end or unused makeup items that you no longer want, you could always consider selling them online to make some extra cash. Just be sure to properly sanitise the products before shipping them off. Selling items isn’t my preferred way of decluttering (find out why, here) but many prefer this option.
Remember, the goal is not to just throw everything away, but rather to declutter in a responsible and sustainable way.
How to keep your makeup decluttered
It’s all well and good to declutter your makeup and have a nice organised makeup bag and bathroom cabinets. But what happens after the decluttering process is over and done with. How can we make sure that we maintain a clutter-free makeup collection?
Here are some tips to help you keep your makeup decluttered:
Don’t take free samples
It’s tempting to grab those free makeup samples whenever you can, but resist the urge! Most of the time, they end up untouched and cluttering your space. Free samples aren’t designed to be specifically for your skin type or with your style in mind, so they often go unused and end up in the trash.
Instead, politely decline free samples or only take ones that you know you will use – perhaps something that you’ve been thinking about getting but want to try out first.
Finish products before buying new ones
Before purchasing a new makeup item, make sure you have finished, or are close to finishing, a similar product in your collection. This practice helps prevent buildup and ensures that your makeup collection remains manageable. Moreover, it also saves you money since you only buy what you truly need.
Regularly check for expired products
Make it a habit to go through your makeup stash and check for expired products routinely. Here’s a quick guide to makeup shelf life:
- Mascara and liquid eyeliner: 3 months
- Pencils for eyeliner and lips: 12 months
- Foundation, concealer, and cream products: 12-18 months
- Lipstick: 12-24 months
- Lip gloss: 6-12 months
- Powder products (blush, bronzer, eyeshadow): 24-36 months
Adopt the one-in-one-out rule
If you really feel the need to buy any new products, make it a practice to follow the one-in-one-out rule. This means that for every new item you purchase, you have to get rid of one existing product in your collection.
Not only will this help keep your makeup stash clutter-free, but it also forces you to evaluate if the new item is truly worth spending money on.
Keep things organised
Lastly, it’s super important to keep your makeup collection organized to maintain a clutter-free space. Invest in makeup storage solutions that suit your style, like a cute makeup bag or a set of drawers.
Having a well-organized and tidy makeup collection not only looks great, but it also helps you keep track of what you’ve got and prevents buying duplicates. Plus, it makes getting ready in the morning a breeze and stress-free!