How do you make sure you use all of your makeup products?

I don’t! Since most of the time I wear makeup, I’m testing new products, I don’t return to that many products over time, so a lot goes unused beyond that initial testing. What I try to do is these days is to be more discerning and honest about purchasing products to review, so if I know I’m “full” on lip products to review, I try not to borrow trouble and buy 50 more lipsticks!

— Christine
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I don’t do the best job of using all my products but I DO store everything visibly in jars or clear acrylic drawers so nothing is hidden and too far forgotten. Then whenever I’m not in a hurry I try to think what can I use that I haven’t used lately.

I go through everything every six months. What I love goes back in the stash, what I’m not thrilled with goes in the project pan box (much smaller these days)
Then project pan away.

I keep what I want to use in a place where I can see it. Sometimes I set up a “basket” (mentally, not physically in a basket) of products to use and then I can only use the products in the basket for the next week or so.

I’ve created an excel sheet on my smartphone with a list of all my products by categories where I track the use of every product every single time I use it! I like also create statistics (i.e the average use if each palette calculated as average of the the single pan usage) for comparing the frequency of uses of different sized palette. This allow me to, more or less, use equally all product. The only exception are the categories where I own only a single product (i.e mascara, concealer, foundation)

I reorganize regularly, and to some degree seasonally. What I want to wear seasonally actually changes — more autumn and winter colors in September-December. January, I tend to rotate into Spring brights and then stay in warm/bright colors through summer. I have a “not now” box under my sink where I put things I’m not using currently until I can decide if I want to go back to them, or if they will get thrown out or rehomed. I also store most of my makeup in clear acrylic containers on the counter so I can see what I’m shuffling around. Palettes go on their edge in a drawer. I might reorganize that space soon to give me more makeup access, since I have hair items in there as well. Everything in similar seasonal colors is stored together — mauve blushes with neutral lip colors for example — so I can pull a look together quickly.

I do believe that I’ve given up trying. At my age, with the ridiculous size of my stash, with several MAC lipsticks and Lipglasses having turned on me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I went too far and my stash is much too large for me to use up before it either turns or otherwise becomes unusable.

Having a minimalist make-up collection really helps me out. 😅 When you have only one foundation and concealer opened at a time, you just end up using it. And that’s why I love my approach to make-up.
When it comes to colors, I sometimes try to implement a rotation, choosing each day a different eyeshadow or blush until I use once every one of them. Which could only work for me, who has 15 eyeshadows and 4 blushes. 😅

It’s really only my eyeshadow palettes that I have to make sure I use in a regular fashion. Firstly I match different palettes to the clothes I am wearing, regardless of the season. Then I tend to rotate them within seasons (more neutral and olive shades in autumn/winter) and finally I change them up on a whim.
I do regularly use my lipsticks, so that’s not a problem.

Recently, I’ve been focusing on “shopping my stash.” I definitely celebrated getting through the day often last year, which usually resulted in a makeup product lol. I can’t possibly wear everything I have so I am taking a break from buying new products and just going through what I have. I declutter throughout the year and give stuff to friends/fam. Luckily, my niece is 16 and getting into makeup so she gets a ton of stuff from me.

I go through everything at least twice a year (spring and fall) and pick out what I want to use more of that season. This especially helps me use my giant eyeshadow palette collection. I also toss things based not on expiration dates, but on whether the product consistency has changed or shows other signs of age, including it’s just so old I’m afraid of it! I tend to hoard (collect?!) and getting rid of stuff I’m really not using or is too old helps me focus on what I do want to keep and love, so I use it more. But because my collection is so large it’s a challenge. I hate for things to go unused and then go bad!

I don’t really. I try to set aside a monthly “basket” for lip products but I have a tendency to only do my eyes since the pandemic, so I’m on a no buy for cheeks and lips now. I declutter regularly and I’m eyeballing reducing my blushes lately even though I love them. Where I’m successful is my base products (foundation, brow, mascara, liner—I only use black); only 1 of each type and a “one in, one out” policy on them. Where I fail is eyeshadow; I love a smoky eye but can only wear conservative neutrals for work. So my collection outweighs the 2 days that I can wear them, which basically means I’m always trying new shadows rather than rotating through my old. But it makes me happy to have them so I’m okay with it.

Thanks to Tammy I have some great storage containers from the container store. They are classified as a paper organizer but are large with nice drawers and were a lot cheaper than the ones classified as ‘makeup containers’.

I try to use a new es palette everyday and I’m trying to use up everyday stuff like primers, brow pencils and brow gel. I only have a couple of mascaras in rotation til I use them up.
I try to get minis in new stuff to try out if I can.

I take photos of all my products so I make sure not to have too many of one thing. I have a core collection on the counter to work through most days of the week. When I’m getting ready I use google to pick a random number between whatever and whatever to choose which I colour I’ll be playing with. I also love the project pan community on instagram to keep me inspired to use things up and have a private group on Facebook to post my reviews to friends when something is finished.

I have a spreadsheet with each product type I own listed alphabetically. Every month, I choose products in alphabetical order: 10 eyeshadow palettes, 8 cream eyeshadows, 20 lipsticks, 10 blushes, and 10 glosses. I have to choose from them for that month. Really anal, I know, but it ensures everything gets used.

(Un)fortunately, my skin reacts negatively around the 2 yr life of a product, so I’m pretty good about not buying too much. Anything I throw away is hard earned money in the trash. Additionally, I dont expand my makeup storage. If I run out of room for blushes I rearrange or stop buying altogether.

I have a small vanity top organizer that I try to fill each week with different items for that week. There are some permanent ones like my foundation or mascara but palettes, lipsticks, eye liners etc all get switched out. It doesn’t happen every week but the goal is to rotate through my collection so that I get to use and enjoy what I have.

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