How do you de-clutter your makeup stash?

How do you de-clutter your makeup stash? Share your tips!

The easiest is to go through items that have expiration dates that should more or less be followed and then toss. Like a mascara that’s half-used from two years ago probably should get tossed 😛 After that, look for items you do NOT like – these are the things you bought, tried, and didn’t work out for you but you still kept. Put these in a box and donate or pass along to a friend/family member. Then you can start looking through products you use and products you never use – stuff you never use might be worth giving to a friend. If it’s that one red you love but only wear for a special occasions, obviously keep that! 🙂

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Project 10 pan for me! Nothing goes to waste. I will never, ever follow the 3 month mascara rule. I feel it is a marketing ploy to keep me buying new stuff.

I think you’re right on the money! Although I find mascaras dry up on me quicker than they used to, so I end up replacing them every 3-4 months anyway!

I don’t autoclave in the morning, I just wash. The lovely thing is, no one will take your mascara away, these are just guidelines *not* laws that will be peremptorily enforced.

Eyelash mites? Thanks Ms. Fox!! I really needed to know that! LOL! BTW … Wiki has a very lovely pic of the mite. I’m officially creeped out!

I was left alone too long in the medical library with Andrews Book of Skin Diseases as a child. No really. That and Edward Gorey’s The Insect God. Look what it hath wrought! 😉

It’s not really a marketing ploy. The FDA set up these time spans as recommendations several years ago, and basically the cosmetics industry adopted these guidelines to avoid lawsuits by people who don’t practice common sense/hygiene. I started wearing makeup long before these guidelines came about, and I don’t follow them at all. If it looks, feels, smells, or tastes “off” then I’ll toss it. Other than that, I’ll keep using it. I’ve had no eye infections or break-outs, so I think that says something.

I agree with you. I have a Calvin Klein lipgloss I got as a freebie GWP when I bought a perfume … Like 10 – 12 years ago. I still use it. Some may say gross, but it’s in fantastic shape. I defo do NOT follow the mascara rule. I throw it out when it dries out or changes.

Yes I also agree. It’s largely marketing. Some people even throw out nail polish! I try to use skincare in time because the ingredients can lose potency but for makeup commonsense works pretty well. If something smells, don’t put it in your eye. I use mascaras for as long as they’re good (and you can revive dried mascara) and I’ve never had an infection.

You can also tell if it’s bogus when they say ‘use x months after opening’ but the product is not sealed in an airtight container in the first place.

I don’t have enough of a stash to be cluttered at this point? I am intending, once I organize my apartment, to move all the makeup into the second bathroom and buy an organizer for it, instead of what I’m using now, and hopefully that will help me stay decluttered.

Im happy to keep it even if it is something i do no use as i regularly do my friends and families makeup and what doesnt suit me, sometimes suits them. Sometimes i will sell it on ebay or via a blog sale, but if its justa drugstore brand, i will just keep it aside until my parents or i visit my parents home country to give it to my less fortunate family.

I go through my stash every season (so every few months). I do it to de-clutter, rediscover products, and also to look for items similar to new products releasing for the seasonal collections. If it’s something so old it scares me, TOSS. If it’s something that was total crap, TOSS. If there was something I bought, but it wasn’t a long lived love and the product never gets used then I’ll give it to someone else. I try to do a lot of research before I buy to keep waste to a minimum, though.

I went through a stage of not buying makeup (other than when I ran out of staples) because I had so much. Then I realised I was doing the 80/20 thing – wearing 20% of my makeup 80% of the time! So I went through my stash and applied everything, one after the other, with no foundation or base at all. If it made me look sallow, sick, wrong, or I just plain didn’t like it, I either chucked it, gave it away, or back-to-MAC’d it (two free lipsticks!). I know I gave away some orange/peach lip colours, because I’m really over orange now, after doing it for years.

I’m fairly organized over all in regards to my collection (in contrast to everything else in my life), but I think it’s worth it to do an inventory of what I have every six months or so. I generally keep an eye on products I don’t see myself reaching for often, and if I find during my clean sweep that I still haven’t used it, I’ll pass it off to a family member.

I don’t concern myself too often with expirations, since mascara and foundation/skin products are something I keep in limited supply and use daily. Usually, I run out before I need to toss them. 🙂

I used to periodically go through my stash and give away what I don’t love to my family but recently, I have been good at only buying what I would be sure to love. Reading reviews helped me a lot with this. Also, I have gotten over the hurdle of feeling guilty about buying high-end brands– I have realized that one expensive lipstick (great formula, lovely color) that I will reach for often is definitely worth ten drugstore brand bullets which are just meh. So now, everything I have fits in one large train case and I like keeping it that way.

I de-clutter by going through my makeup collection at least every few months. I go through the items and throw it away if it is expired. I go through a section at a time and try on the makeup and see if I really did like it and if I did not I pass it to family or friends. This way I am not holding on to items that are useless or that I would never wear. I would rather have items that I would wear and love rather than a whole bunch of makeup with no purpose in my life. Sometimes less is more.

I do pretty much the same thing: I’ll go through my stash every 4-6 months, throw out things that have gone bad or turned out to be of poor quality. Then I consider if I’m going to use something or not; dupes and things I just don’t seem to use go to others. My mom usually gets the first pick, but she’ll only take basics like pink or red lipsticks, mascara, and powder, because that’s all she uses (she also only wants the high-end stuff, she’s quite picky that way!).
Then, I’ll have 3 of my best friends over for dinner, spill everything on the couch and let them choose what they like. One of them is an almost spot-on match for my foundations, so she’s usually the biggest beneficiary. They’ll return the favor sometimes with books, gadgets, video games, clothes, bags etc. It’s become a little tradition we have and I’m quite fond of it. 🙂

I don’t actually ave that much make-up (not talking nail polish though…) but every few moths i look trhough everything. If something had gone bad I’ll throw it out. Productes that i really don’t like are usual thrown away (or given to someone else) after a couple tries..

I’m pretty good with keeping my train case de-cluttered. Compared to most, my makeup collection is on the minimal side. I actually try to use up everything I get, and everything I purchase I do extensive research first. Other things I get as samples/giveaways/collection sets, and I use it up too, or give to friends/family if I’m not a fan of the product.

I do mine through a local organization that I connected with because of law school, but they don’t formally accept the donations from the public.

I have to admit i’m awful at de-cluttering my stash, i’m abit of a hoarder and things have to be falling apart, smelling, and practically so bad they are walking themselves to the bin before i will throw them out, and usually thats even hard.

My mascara’s seem to go bad within a couple months so no reminder needed there. I hear my dog parking under that pile of TokiDoki palettes, that’s my current system…

I don’t. I already have everything sorted out and in it’s place. As I get new items and if I have time I will put it in the correct drawer. If I don’t have time or I am too tired, I put it in a box and wait until the weekend to find it a home. I never keep anything I don’t like or can’t use. It gets returned, put on Freecycle, the local shelter/center, given to friends or if it’s bad enough, it goes in the trash.

I love Freecycle!! IMO, I find those on there really have a need versus those on Craigslist looking to resale.

What’s funny is … I have a ‘slight’ germ OCD and I will NOT take open cosmetics from anyone, not even family members. It creeps me out thinking maybe, just maybe someone stuck their grubby fingers in it.

…::: Raises hand. YES, I am a weirdo! :::…

No, not weird, if more people thought more actively on these things it might be different. So here’s the kicker- today a girl in my apt building was over recounting a story about how a fling refused to come by her place and drop something off because her place was “messy and smelled”. Well her place is a disaster! A mattress on the floor, liquor bottles lying about, bags of trash accruing and above it all a B.O. and stale weed haze for ambiance. Her conclusion re: his reluctance to visit? He is a germophobe!! I am trying to keep a straight face thinking ” Any one who wasn’t one upon going in would certainly be one upon leaving your place!” and he is the one that has the problems? Whatever strain she is smoking should have the nickname “Delusional”

I completely agree about Freecycle “need” versus Craigslist “greed”

Using Z and UNI palettes, I was able to drastically reduce my stash. They are a bit difficult to store due to their size (especially the Z palettes)but they take up far less room than all those bulky individual palettes. I also pull out the products that are over half empty and FORCE myself to use them up!

I recently got into makeup, so most of it isn’t very old. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I only keep products that I will truly use. If I buy something that won’t work out, I return it. I did have a few very old eyeshadow quads and Covergirl blushes from who knows when. I threw those out. The only other products that I have had to throw out are mascaras. I toss them pretty frequently once they are empty or the texture gets strange. I’ve also tossed some mascaras that I just wasn’t too fond of after a while (Maybelline the Colossal and One by One, I’m looking at you!). In general, I do go through my stash to make sure there aren’t unneeded products. I usually end up throwing out half used deluxe samples from Sephora.

“De-cluttering” is a bit of an alien concept. I think it’s against my genetic code as I come from a family which rarely throws anything away. Makeup, books, clothes, shoes… maybe once a decade (but never the books!). Mascara is an obvious exception but that’s about it for me. Skincare I either use up or I simply put on another part of my body. I’m pretty careful about the makeup I buy and only do so after a lot of swatch reviews, etc. so I don’t have much that is a complete waste. I won’t tell you how old one of my favorite lipsticks is, because you’d probably have palpitations. Suffice it to say, Donna Summer was on the music charts at the time….

I try to only get products that I will use and if I’m taking too long with a lippie or another cream product it ends up in my beer fridge which is next to my makeup area. Every now and then I’ll give something that isn’t working for me to my niece, she’s just going into middle school so I get to teach her how to use it 😀

Thanks so much for posting this! I am taking this weekend to finally to a much needed “fall cleaning!” I have my eye on new Fall beauties but absolutely have to do some weeding before I can let my wallet fly to the department stores (ya know it just goes there, I can’t control it… lol) so this is super helpful!!! Your comment is a great way to start and then I love the other suggestions – like getting together with friends to swap, giveaways, and freecycle. I am hoping not to feed my trash can too much but rather re-disperse the makeup/beauty clutter to other owners. 😉

Christine, I’ve always wondered how you go about this as a beauty blogger. Do you give items away once you’re done reviewing them, or do you ever hold onto them for future dupe comparisons? Now that I’m reviewing stuff, I’m starting to build up a stash of stuff I know I’m never going to wear, but I’m never sure I won’t “need” it again for future blogging, LOL!

If I’ve had a product for over a year and I just don’t use it, I give it to a friend (provided it hasn’t gone bad or isn’t something like mascara that shouldn’t be shared). If anything smells or looks funky, I toss it. That’s about it – I don’t have this problem too much because I hate clutter. Always have.

The only two products I burn through regularly are concealer and mascara, and I use mascara enough that I finish a tube in the 3-6 month timeframe in which it’s sanitary to keep it. So the only things I ever end up having to give away are like…an eyeshadow where the color just wasn’t as wearable as I thought it would be. My best friend has the opposite coloring of me – she’s warm and tan while I’m cool and fair – so if a color is a total flop on me, it usually looks good on her and vice versa. We switch products sometimes for that reason, which also helps keep clutter minimal.

Pretty much every item has it’s space, so I don’t go through it too often. Sometimes, if I run into a lipstick that has gone bad, I’ll go through some of my older lipsticks to see if they’re good. I never go thriugh my powder products, other than to see what’s there.

This is perfectly timed – I’m planning a major clean-up this weekend!
Christine, do you know of any organizations that you can donate unused, sealed/boxed makeup to? I plan on giving some things that I’ve only used 1x or 2x to friends, but I would also like to donate to a charity if possible…

Christine, this is unrelated, but I think you and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman look like sisters. What do you think? Can you also master the balance beam?

I go through my stash about every few months. I put things in three piles – things I love and wear, things I am sure I don’t want (or have gone bad), and things I’m not sure about (this included things I love but haven’t worn). The first pile stays in the stash. The second pile either gets given away or tossed. The third pile goes in a basket, and in the next few weeks, I make myself use those items at least once to make a “final” decision about them. Unfortunately, after time, I’ve become ruthless about de-stashing. Even if I love it, if I don’t use it, it goes. No more collecting for me!

I sort my stash as I buy and periodically as my makeup storage bins get crowded.

I use new makeup as I buy it, and I usually can determine if I like the product after 2-3 uses. If I like the product I place it in a bin with other similar products that I like. If I don’t like it, I typically put the product in a separate bin far away from the products I do like. Of the

Sorry. I hit post before finishing my thoughts!

If the product is of good quality but just wrong for me, such as the wrong color for my dark skin or the wrong consistency for my skin type, I pass them along to my sister! Therefore, there’s no real money lost! 🙂

Just had a thought for those who want to keep using their mascara past 3 months, but are worried about infections.

If you buy a separate mascara brush to use in your mascara, wash it thoroughly after each application, and avoid using the brush that comes with the mascara itself, you might be able to increase the its lifespan.

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