What are your top three tips for getting the most out of your stash?

Stay organized! An organized stash means that it’s easier to find everything when you want it, and you have a good idea of what you have to begin with. Get rid of products that you don’t like or reach for because they just act as clutter. Don’t be afraid to mix and match products or layer different finishes or colors to customize a shade!

— Christine
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1. Use products for multiple purposes. For example, I have several eyeshadows that double as highlight, contour, liner, or brow powder (in the off chance I ever get the urge to fill my brows). I have a black gel eyeliner that I’ve found to be a good base for mediocre eyeshadows (or if I want to make any shadow pop, especially teals and blues… Without a base, they fade on my lids regardless of brand/quality).

2. Know what you have. Organize it in a way that makes sense to you and that allows you to find exactly what you need when you need it.

3. Rotate palettes every day, few days, week, or month, even the ones you don’t usually reach for. (Especially the ones you don’t usually reach for.) This is a good way to rediscover palettes that you haven’t used in a while (or to decide which ones you don’t like enough to keep).

Christine, I ought to print out for myself everything you wrote above, because my stash needs a better system than what I have going on!
The only tip I could even think of giving to anyone else would be to keep an up to date, running inventory. And yes; organization is essential. I’m not as organized as I’d like to be or need to be, that’s for sure!

I agree with you Christine, organization is key. As I person who is not a MUA, doesn’t have a beauty blog, YT channel or is otherwise involved in a beauty-related business and who soon will have to wear makeup appropriate for a conservative professional workplace, here are my three tips for getting the most of my stash:

1. Organization. This involves not only physical organization and decluttering, but keeping a database/ spreadsheet for the makeup items. First are the “base products” i.e. face primers/ eye primers/BB&CC Creams/Foundations – mineral, water-based etc. /Concealers/Correctors .These items are organized by brand, finish, texture and if used in summer or winter. Then follows the other makeup items: Blushes/Highlighters/Bronzers/Contour/Finishing & Setting Powders/Eyeshadows, organized by brand, texture/finish, colour, if in a palette etc. Important: I enter the month/year of purchase for all the products. This spreadsheet allows me to see what I really need and what I’m missing from my stash.

2. Shop your stash. Allow yourself to rediscover what you already have. I started this year with two months of no buy of makeup products. I plan to have another two starting mid-May/June, before the autumn releases. This allows me to use more of what I have and to reach pan on certain items. It does not mean that I absolutely have to buy something during the “ok to buy months” or the other way around. As a general rule, I buy in three situations: 1) if I really need something; 2) discovery/launch of a product that works better than what I have (this is especially true for the base products like primers, foundations, concealers and finishing powders; 3) launch of a makeup product that is LE, has a unique design, formula etc., or is part of certain collections/collaborations and is high-quality. For me personally, there is no point in having 20 powder highlighters as a lifetime won’t be enough to reach pan on them.

3. Mix and match different lip products. I find that I have too many lipsticks/lip glasses/lip glosses. and that it takes an eternity to finish them if used individually. So I mix two shades of lipstick and add a gloss on top whenever possible.

Good question. For me, I love pretty much everything in my stash so wouldn’t think of getting rid of stuff (and it’s largely because of Temptalia that I feel this way about my stash – this site has helped me avoid clunkers!) First tip – every now and then, I’ll just dig around and take out stuff that I’ve not used for a while (recently, it was the UD 15th Anniversary Palette) and just take a new look at it. Second, I find looking up youtube videos (even if they’re old ones) for products I’ve put aside will really help spark a re-interest and get me using something again. I don’t have a 3rd tip, unless it’s to keep some less used products near at hand and even make notes to yourself – “tomorrow, I want to take out and use XYZ product”.

All good tips, Christine. I would add: be honest about what looks good or not. Just because something is a trend or a fad doesn’t mean it’s for you. I mean, look at the current highlighting fad; it’s crazy. I’ve seen some beauty YouTubers’ reviews where I couldn’t honestly tell you what they were reviewing because I was blinded by their glitter/shimmer distracting cheeks and nose. We’re talking J.J. Abrams lens flare level.

And if you do want to play with a trend, start small by getting one or two things, not ten. Of course, have fun!

Continually rotate items

Pick out makeup the night before

Mixing or layering products to get most use. I’m layering mascaras to use them up bc my stash is too big for my liking. I often mix blush or lipsticks not only to get new colors but use more of my stash. I don’t really wear foundation during the week bc I don’t want to spend the time but I also don’t have the time for touch ups but I make a point to wear foundation on the weekend or my days off. I have foundation I want to use up so…

Organization is definitely key! My stash is fairly large compared to the average consumer but fairly small compared to most makeup junkies. Keeping organized helps me remember what I have and where so I can remember to use it. Do not be afraid to use products, even if they’re limited edition and hard to dupe. I bought that product to use it. However, if I find that something does not work for me, I need to be willing to get rid of it, whether I throw it out, give it away, etc. There is not need to keep stuff that I won’t use. So, basically all of your tips, Christine 🙂

I find that using my fingers to put on liquid foundation saves you more product. Using beauty sponge or brush suck up the product. Using monistat chafing gel as my primer works for eyes too. Use eye shadow sticks and you won’t need any primer. Mine are good for 45 seconds to blend then they don’t move at all.

I agree that using your hands to apply foundations saves product! I don’t know how people use brushes or sponges so frequently. You end up washing half the bottle down the drain every time you clean your applicator.

I don’t currently do this for makeup, but someone on here suggested a beauty or makeup dish a few weeks ago. I do this with my earrings so that I remember to wear them, but you could totally do this for your makeup. I think adding items to a beauty dish every other week or so would remind you to use more of your stash! Rotation is key.

I’ll try this soon and get back to you guys!

1) Rotate – if you still don’t reach for it donate it.
2) Look on Pinter and YouTube for “stash” inspiration
3) Organize your products so you know what you have

All the advice offered above:
1. Be organised – adopt a system as per the comments above
2. Rotate your stash – especially your eye shadows and lipsticks.
3. For mascaras, foundations and even some blushes – try to use up one at a time before opening another.

I’m not sure that I have three tips but I do have one — go through your stash a few times a year and get rid of stuff you don’t like or won’t use. I sometimes find it painful to admit defeat and get rid of certain products that were expensive or limited edition or some other reason to keep them, but if I’m not going to use them then they have to go.
I have a 20-year-old daughter that’s also a beauty junkie. Every few months she comes over and “shops in my bathroom,” lol. It usually winds up taking a few hours, and in addition to giving away stuff I have too much of (What am I seriously going to do with 50 tubes of mascara, lol?), I also rediscover stuff I really like but haven’t been using. Just last week she came over and stocked up. Besides the fun of going through everything (except for a few product piles areas she knows she can’t such as current skin care favs, palettes, new purchases, etc) I pulled out a few Becca highlighters I haven’t used in a while. She asked if she could take one of my powder highlighters, and I realized I should pull some out and use them when I blurted out that I collect them and only have one more to go so no she can’t have them. I did send her home with a mountain of other highlighters, make up and skin care though.
I especially try to weed out mascara though since it won’t keep forever and I can’t use it up fast enough. I pull out mascara about once a month by weeding out the few I’m least excited about trying because otherwise it would be out of control and I’d be trying to find out which mascara has been sitting in my drawer for 10 years.

And one more tip — count the time you spend enjoying your makeup! I know I’m not the only one who spends a significant amount of enjoyable time going through my makeup, reorganizing it, swatching products and trying on shades I haven’t worn in a while. While much of my makeup might not be getting as much love as it should because I have to many products, I definitely enjoy playing with my products and figure that should count even if I’m not hitting pan on many products.

And the last tip: the more you own, the more your significant other can’t tell you’ve just been on a big splurge and it’s much easier to blend it in! (Not sure I should be proud of that, but here we are.)

I’m doing “brand of the week”. Whatever brand is up (this week is Dior) I put it in a box & make an effort to use it throughout the week. I purge what needs to go in the process. It’s a good way for me to find interesting matchups by using deep stash with whatever my newest additions to the collection might be.

I have lots to say I’m covered from head to toe and do not need a single more item but whose holding me back. Its all super neatly, hygienic and super organized within easy reach and love to rotate daily all items. It is fun to use sometimes two blushes to achieve the perfect color, same goes for eyeshadows ir lipsticks. Spf, foundation I prefer to keep to minimum not building cakey stuff on face and blend each thing well. Really enjoy being organized so when my hubby wants to go out I’m ready in minutes! Lately I have separated my Physicians Formula bronzer, powedered color wheel corrector into separate iPhone boxes keeps them neat within easy reach for when I want to go super natural or for my daily long runs/walks love their product being so soft with the help of extra spf added and natural looking on my fair skin.

1. Keep things organized. Whatever method works best for you, just in a way that allows you to know exactly what you have and where to find it.

2. Declutter! Whether it’s products that have gone off and need to be binned, or stuff you realize you aren’t using (either at all or anymore) that should be given away, thinning out your stash is helpful to keep you aware of what you have. It also gives you the chance to donate unused (and sometimes lightly used) items to places like women’s shelters which greatly appreciate them.

3. Shop your stash. Whether it’s keeping an everyday makeup drawer/setup that you rethink on a regular or semi-regular schedule, and/or not re-puchasing that run-out-of concealer you love until you finish that one you “just like”, use what you’ve got. Otherwise, see step 2 about giving stuff away.

I second the organization thing. I have a basket with primer/foundations and tinted moisturizers and cc cream,concealers and then the baskets are in order that I use them. I set out the eye shadow and blush the night before.

1. Use everything, even the expensive stuff. Don’t save it for that “special occasion” that never comes. It’ll go bad. Enjoy it now.
2. Keep your stash organized in a way that makes sense to you. Be aware of what you own.
3. Have a limited stash or budget? Lots of products can do double duty. Lipsticks can be used as cream blushes, shimmery light eyeshadows can be used as face highlighters, etc. Experiment.

Every week, usually one hour on Tuesday, I designate that time to go thru a drawer. I’ll throw away old stuff add new or samples and use the oldest products first. The ones I can’t use, I toss or gift to someone. Or I try to create different uses, like highlight in my hair or cuticles. Just remember every item has a purpose.

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