I love a good declutter. I enjoy the process of sorting through my stuff and getting rid of things which I no longer use. As part of my transition towards a more minimal lifestyle, I’m slowly decluttering my home. As much as I’d love to do a massive Marie Kondo style declutter over a weekend, I know that method won’t work for me. I prefer to focus on one area at a time as ease myself into what is a big lifestyle change. This method has worked for me so far.
Today I want to talk about downsizing your makeup collection and some of my favourite decluttering tips. For me, my makeup collection is one of the few things which just keeps growing. Being a blogger I’m lucky enough to receive lots of samples which keep the collection growing. I also read a lot of blogs and want to try products they recommend for myself which also doesn’t help me maintain a minimal collection. Makeup is also expensive, which can make you think twice about getting rid of it. However, like everything else in life if you don’t use it or it doesn’t add value then there is no point in keeping it.
The first step in every declutter is pulling everything out so you can see what you have. Get your makeup out of its drawers, empty your makeup bags, look through handbags any makeup left inside. I prefer to take everything out of the room it’s stored in. Sometimes being in a different room from which you’re used to seeing your products helps you be more objective about it. Always put everything on a wipeable surface, you don’t want foundation stains on your carpets. When I sorted through my makeup I put everything on the dining table. This gave me plenty of space to see everything and also enforced a time limit as I needed the table later that day.
Once I have everything out in front of me, I like to sort everything into categories. So putting all my lip products and foundations together. This helps you see at a glance where you have too much. You don’t have to do this, but I think it helps to see where you are over purchasing. You can then make an effort to reduce the amount you buy.
The next step would be to check everything’s expiration date. Most cosmetics have a little symbol with their shelf life on it (it looks like a little open jar), anything way past this you should get rid of. Along with checking the dates, look at the product does it smell or have a funny texture. If it doesn’t seem quite right then it’s probably a good idea to get rid of it. For guidance, I’ve listed the recommended shelf life of most products.
Makeup Shelf Life
Powders – around 2 years
Foundations – 6-12 months
Creams – 12-18 months
Concealer – 6-12 months
Pencils – 12 months
Mascara – 3-6 months
Lipsticks – 12-18 months
Once you have removed all your expired products, you then have to really start thinking about whether or not you will actually use what’s left. Try to forget about how much something cost you and really focus on whether or not it deserves a place in your collection. Have a play about with your makeup, look at everything you own, swatch things and decide what you want to keep. If you find it difficult to narrow your collection down try asking yourself questions about every item.
- When was the last time you used it? Anything not used in over 6 months should probably go.
- Does it fit my current style? If you no longer wear purple eyeshadow then you don’t need any.
- Will I use it soon? Will you wear that sparkly nail polish in the next 6 months?
- Do I have duplicates? This one is tricky as we all love have a few different shades but if you have something very similar only keep one.
- Would I buy this today?
Once you have gone through everything and decided what to keep give everything a good clean. I like to run a baby wipe over grubby packaging and give the inside of my makeup drawer a clean. You won’t believe how mucky these things can get. I then put everything away once it’s clean. I also like to clean my makeup brushes at the same time so everything looks good.
Once everything you are keeping is cleaned and put away it’s time to get rid of what’s left. Please don’t just throw everything in the bin. Check to see if you have anything friends or family might want. If you have a friend who is always eyeing up your products offer them the chance to take some of your hands. Donate new and barely used products to your local women’s shelter.
For everything that’s left, empty products which packaging can be recycled. Pour everything out into a bowl or old food packaging. This is a surprisingly therapeutic process, when else can you pour out a tube of foundation. Once you have emptied the packaging put it in the recycling or return to the brand. Mac, Lush and Origins all except empty packaging for recycling.
I’ve been doing some research on what to do with the leftover products and unfortunately, the only solution right now seems to be putting it in the landfill bin. Although definitely check with your local council as they may take it. Do not pour it down the sink or flush it down the toilet.
If you have any nail polish to get rid of contact your local council for advice. The Environmental Protection Agency class nail polish as hazardous waste which means we can’t just throw it in our household bin.