What criteria do you use when decluttering your makeup stash?

In general, I keep products that I really love or products that I think will be useful for future comparisons, which these days usually means key,
LE products along with permanent products (until they’re discontinued/replaced).

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Throw out expired products as well as any old products I just don’t use anymore. I do give away any backups I know I won’t be using because I don’t use that product anymore or I’ve found something better and I don’t need the backups.

Declutter? What is that heresy of which you speak? LOL…

Seriously, I don’t purge the stash unless the item has gone bad, which is a problem. I have WAY too much and am currently on a no-buy for an indeterminate amount of time.

First, if it’s gone bad (smells off, has discolored), it goes in the trash, no matter how much I might’ve loved it. Then, in no particular order, I get rid of stuff if I realize I’ve never liked/used it, or if I have a better dupe.

If I obviously really love it and use it all the time then it stays. If I only use it sometimes, then I will think 1. How often do/will I use this. 2. even if I don’t use it often, do I really enjoy using it on special occasion. 3. If I didn’t have it, is there something else in my stash that I do love and could use in its place. so if I have two medium pink blushes, I could wear the one I love two times a week and the one I kind of like once a week. Or I can wear the one I love three times a week. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of functional dupes this way.

I declutter in two phases: first I evaluate what I’m not really touching anymore. If I can, I’ll toss it then and there. Otherwise, next time I declutter if I’ve determined I’m still not using it, then it goes because I gave myself the chance to use it more and still aren’t. I feel less guilty about getting rid of something this way!

Decluttering, what is that??? 😉 Ah, well, when that does take place, which is once a year at most, my criteria is old, broken (as in can’t heat or pat back into place to use), mascara that’s drying up or old (I don’t go by three months, but sometimes for back I do), and last, I absolutely know I won’t use it (just didn’t work);however the latter is rare.

Honestly? I’m not really very good at letting stuff go… unless it’s an expired mascara, eye liner, or a gloss/lipstick that’s gone uber stinky level of rancid!
What’s truly nuts is how many very old powder eyeshadow singles I hang on to!

I currently look at the body of my makeup twice a year and try to evaluate what I have used and what I haven’t used. If I feel like I just didn’t use it because of “out of sight, out of mind” then I try moving the makeup item to a more prominent position in my storage system and if I still don’t use it then the next declutter, it goes. If I have tried to make a product work and it just doesn’t for me then I put it in the declutter bin right away.
I just recently started trying to shop my stash rather than purchase new makeup. In the past I purchased enough new makeup that I could pretty much use new eye shadow, blush and lipstick every week and then into my makeup drawers it would go to make way for new makeup. Since I am making a concerted effort this year to cut back on makeup purchases I am trying to check out my stash.

I guess the main criteria is when the products are beyond their expiry dates, I don’t use them anymore – or haven’t reached for them in a long time and in my heart of hearts, I know I never will.
Lipsticks that change shades on me (eg reds that turn pink) get tossed and anything else that I just don’t like anymore.

Anything that’s gone bad and out and out color mistakes are out as soon as I spot them. Otherwise, I will let something stay in a drawer for awhile because several times I’ve found I like something that earlier I didn’t, or I regret having tossed something. I taken on destashing as a project and with clear mind versus randomly to avoid repeating those mistakes.

My method is that apart from basics, I pack away items seasonally– spring, summer, and fall/winter. Same goes for skin care. I am not going to be wearing pale pinks in the autumn, or using light weight skin care in winter. This is also lends itself to having a favorites box and an “other stuff” box and I try to give away more of the other stuff at the end of one and beginning of the new season in recognition of what I am unlikely to wear. Like I have not worn the Morphe burgundy palette all season. It may go. And out will come the Dior Spring quints and TF lavender quads, reminding me that I don’t need to purchase dupes yet again. Also at this point, if I have been hanging on to any perfume-y lipstick or poorly performing palette, it will be bye-bye– looking at you Dior. Or if there is a formula bandwagon, I don’t want to revisit, like liquid lipsticks– a bunch of those may go. I hardly ever wear holographic nail polish and have that in many colors– bye-bye!

1) Is it still good? If it has changed color, appearance, scent, texture, or application, I throw it away.
2) Do I still use it at all? If I don’t, it needs to be thrown out or given away.
3) If I don’t use it, is the packaging collectible? If it is and I like it, I keep it. If not, it goes away.

Cream and liquid products I will usually toss as soon as I notice any change in smell or texture. Sometimes it is 1 year but I have other items that have lasted almost 4.
Powders such as blush and eyeshadow I keep much longer. I figure that since I never share makeup, use clean brushes every time and disinfect with a pro disinfectant they will last much longer than the dates attached to them by the folks selling same.?

I went to answer this yesterday and gave up because I really wanted to say that I do it routinely and that I have a system I stick to, but at the end of the day it comes down to my emotional attachment to what I bought and if I’m “ready” to let certain products go. I am curating at this point and my stash is exactly where I want it.

I am realizing that I’m just not using my cream and liquid eye colors. Some of them I haven’t even opened yet. I love the liquid and cream eye colors and when I bought them, I was excited to use them as a one and done look. I tried a few looks . . . .and no. 2 years later and they are still virtually untouched because I only need them for my lid space. This is so silly, but I think I’m still too attached to them to let them go because they’re so pretty and shiny and creamy and I remember how it felt to get all of them. I’m going to give myself a couple more months and then just box them up and give them to my niece.

In other news, I have set aside a few palettes of certain single eyeshadows from another brand that I just have no interest in anymore. Most are unused and I will be repackage in those to donate.

Declutter? Sounds like declawing to me just cruel, love my beauty babies after spending hours deciding choosing a color, etc. whether to buy or not. Lol! Haven’t declutter much lately. I have decluttered a lipstick that turned oily Estée Lauder one it was it was a brown/golden shade that went well with the dress I wore for a wedding and never wore again nude colors make look like a washed out vampire. Mascara I don’t throw away at the supposedly expiration day only if I can feel it smells different, flakes. Did declutter a Pixie eyeshadow that turned so patchy even new it was lousy and I loved the 4 shades but not worth keeping. I keep my stash super clean don’t share my makeup and although I keep mascara way beyond date have never gotten a single pink eye or infection from anything. If something does smell way off then I do toss but rarely. This year I’m in a makeup diet (at least I try to tell myself that) I have more than a few of everything I need but they make it so tempting. ?

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!