What prompts you to get rid of products in your collection?

I try to sort through every two to three months, depending on my schedule and how much has accumulated. As I test and review products, I separate into bins to donate (new, lightly used powder-based products), give to family/friends (used creams/liquids, older products), and to keep. If a brand reformulates, I’ll get rid of the original formula after I’ve finished comparing, and sometimes, brands become lower priority to review and I might just get rid of everything I happen to have on hand for them.

— Christine
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If I declutter something it’s usually because I’m not using it or I have recently purchased something similar that has a better formula and it just gets phased out. I try to declutter seasonally after realizing what I truly have used and try to plan for the upcoming season accordingly.

If they’ve spoiled or “gone off” is pretty much the only reason, though with MAC, I will hang onto those products as well as others I just don’t like (but are beyond the time to return them – things like Twig lipstick or a really bad concealer that has since been d/c’d) and “back-to-Mac” them.

I try to discard things every 6 months or so. I recently did two big purges to both of my sister, I gave away highlighters, palettes, a Clarisonic with multiple brush heads, and other things. The Clarisonic, I never use it b/c it’s too rough for my skin. No matter the brush head, it just irritates my skin, so that just needed to go to someone who will hopefully get some use out of it.

The highlighters and palettes, I look at what is more recent in my collection, which formula I prefer if they’re dupes of one another and will go from there. Also, if something has been in my stash for a year, and I just haven’t touched it, I will give it away as well. No sense in letting it collect dust. My sisters love when I start purging, lol.

How do you safely/environmentally consciously discard of unused or expired products? Maybe it’s just my hoarding, but I have a difficult time figuring out how to safely dispose of not-fully-used-up lipsticks. Do you just trash them?

With make-up is very hard to safely/environmentally consciously discard items, that’s why I personally feel that companies should me more engaged in helping the consumer (like back-to-MAC).

Take a not-fully-used-up lipstick. You can’t simply toss it into the trash. You have to clean the packaging completely, and assume that the lipstick is compostable, but it will most likely be landfill. Than you have to check if the packaging is made from the same materials (and different types of plastics are considered a different type of material) and separate the packaging components.
Let’s assume than a lipstick is an all plastic component, no need to separate. But imagine how complex it becomes for a palette. You can’t simply toss a palette in the recycling bin and assume it will be recycled. You have to remove the eyeshadows/blushes/etc., separate the mirrors, the metal pans, the cardboard or plastic packaging (and again, check that all your plastic components are the same type).
Not to mention that most cosmetic packaging components are too small to be worthwhile recycled.

If you’re not doing it correctly and just putting old make-up and skincare products in the recycling bin, you are actually doing more harm than good; the remains of lipstick or foundation or body lotion can end up contaminating a good batch of actual recyclable items.

Long story short? I assume 99% of lipsticks end up in landfills. Something in my cringes because I love make-up, but I also love the planet… there are few things environmentally conscious about make-up and skincare. Sometimes I even wonder if back-to-MAC actually recycles things, or they just `safely` disposes them to a landfill.

This is usually an ongoing effort because I’m determined to not get too much makeup. I observe what I like and actually use and if I’ve lost interest in something, I take note of it and set it aside to see if I use it then. Usually I don’t. I just got rid of HG Diffused and Ethereal, for example. I used them both a lot a few years ago but not since.

I also tend to be ruthless when it comes to a brand that I feel doesn’t work for me. For example, I know some people really like Zoeva eyeshadows but they just didn’t do anything for me and I much prefer SG (and ability to customize my palettes w/SG). So out when Zoeva. I doubt that I’ll ever buy any shadow from them again.

Think I have a metric ton of both Zoeva and SG. SG is far more intense per stroke, if you will. Z is more buildable. Z has my fave palettes, En Taupe, Cafe, small matte, metals. Not Gaga about most of the rest, esp the newer screen queen and melody. Quality is not that even, and they’re too light for most of the population. SG is probably my holy grail. My uh, nooo! Is Tilbury. Hey, some people have no luck with Pat. That’s why there are 100s of brands.

I’ve got a confession to make here. I am TERRIBLE about getting rid of stuff! I’m not a “hoarder” in the sense that most associate the word, but I’m also not very good about getting rid of products (or clothing?) that is no longer being used. Probably for fear that I may need or want it again down the road. Now if something has turned bad, I will toss it. Or if it’s a MAC lipstick, it will be put aside to wait until I have 6 items for a Back-To-MAC.

About the only thing I seriously declutter is lipsticks. I try to look at them about twice a year and evaluate whether I really like the shade, formula, packaging, etc Anything that looks or smells off, I get rid of. I never declutter my high end lipsticks and frankly, with the exception of the L’Oreal Shines, that is about all I wear. I have been thinking about a serious declutter of my drugstore lippies with the exception of those that I actually wear on a fairly regular basis, like Cherries in the Snow.
I don’t keep products that don’t work well for me or are seriously horrible. The horrible ones I usually just trash. If it isn’t working because I don’t like the finish, I don’t wear the colour or some other similar reason, I give to some of my daughter’s friends.

As a person with a more minimalist collection (one item of each for product, except color), getting `rid` of products in my collection means different things to me.

1. I get rid of products because I mostly use them up.

2. I get rid of products because they expire.
For me expiring means for most products that I reached the added months from the label since opening (those 6M, 12M, 24M signs). I actually have a spreadsheet were I note when I opened each of my products, it helps me a lot to see how often I need to repurchase a specific type of product.
For powders I sometimes make exception, but I get read rid of them when they reach 3 years since manufacturing date. Again, all goes in that spreadsheet, sorted out by `remove from collection date`.

3. I get rid of products that change consistency, smell or otherwise look spoiled, even if they didn’t reach expiration dates.

4. I get rid of products that break beyond the point of minor repair.
If the cap of a stick foundation or a pencil breaks and I don’t have something to replace it quick, I would get rid of it. If an eyeshadow or blush shatters, I won’t spend time repressing it.

I go through my makeup seasonally. At that time my mascara gets tossed— no exception— and I get rid of anything that has gone off, no longer suits my needs or taste from an esthetic standpoint, or has simply turned out to be one of those mistakes we all make from time to time. In general, I keep my makeup stash up to date in terms of fashion, formulation, and function. Weeding out old or unused products makes room for new goodies ?

Lack of space! Seriously, though, I’ll get rid of anything that a) simply doesn’t work for me, b) I haven’t used in a while and c) doesn’t fit it with my existing makeup ‘wardrobe’. I hate clutter, and strive to have a better organised makeup drawer to save time in the morning. In fact, I’m off to have a declutter right now ….

I’ll pass on something if it’s irritating my skin (more so skincare/bodycare). Also, I’ll often pass on things to my mom if I think she’ll get more use of it than me…which is usually the case, since she’s more consistent about wearing makeup. She tends to get a lot of my lip colors, as she tends to look good in colors that don’t look super flattering on me lol

I try to stay updated on what I’m reaching for the most. Whatever I don’t reach for or becomes expired I try to get rid of immediately.

I have and keep too much. Discarding happens only if:
– I buy a similar color in a better formula, I’ll give the original to a friend if it’s still in good shape.
– smell, texture, application changes. Time to throw out.
– Once in a long while, I’ll buy a color that just doesn’t work for me. Off to a friend w/ different coloring if it’s high end. If it’s a cheapie, I’ll bin it.

I get rid of skincare when it starts to get cloudy in the bottle or crusty around the rim of the jar.

I get rid of lip products when they lose their scent entirely or smell differently to how they did when purchased, or if they begin to look separated when squeezed out of the tube / in the pot.

I’ll also toss products if the company does something shady or unethical, because it isn’t worth using then.

I usually declutter when it’s been awhile and I think that I need to have a look to see if any products have gone ‘off’.
If I have some broken lipsticks – they go. Some of my quads that I don’t use any more, I either donate to my daughter in law (if they happen to be in her preferred shades and they are still OK) or I just toss.
But it’s interesting – a few years ago I was going to ‘donate’ my Guerlain Les Aquas quad, simply because I wasn’t using it, and then I bought some beautiful summery tops featuring aqua, teal blue and white shades. Suddenly that quad was being favoured over and over again.

If it smells bad, the consistency changes drastically or it looks dubious, I chuck it out without hesitation. I keep stuff well past “expiration” but I am diligent about keeping things hygienically clean and sanitised with alcohol on a regular basis. I haven’t poisoned myself yet, LOL. And I’m currently wearing a lipstick from at least 2012, so…

Otherwise if I get bored with a product (or was never really in luuuuurve with it in the first place), then it usually gets passed on pretty quick. I tend to have a shoebox that I pop stuff in to (once it’s de-germified of course) and when it’s put, I invite some girlfriends over and let them rummage to their hearts content and take whatever they want. I don’t accept money for used products but if they bring me a bottle of wine or something small in return, I’m not going to turn it down.
I try and test things out at least 5 or 6 times and if it’s still not blowing my skirt up, then it goes up for grabs. It’s hard to let go of things sometimes but I can honestly say I don’t miss anything I’ve given away yet. And it gets easier, the more you do it too, I’m at the point of being utterly ruthless now 😉

I’ve recently allocated more space to my collection but it isn’t infinite, so I try to do a purge at least once every 12 months and then re-organise what’s left so it’s more accessible and I can cycle through things that deserve a bit more attention.

Does it “spark joy”?
Out you go!

I religiously discard mascara between 3 to 6 months and buy the mini size when possible. I discard any product in a jar if fingers are used to remove product (like moisturizer). My foundation is always purchased in pumps, dropper or squeeze tubes. I only use pencil eye, brow, and lip liner. Powder products are discarded when the surface becomes odd. I also spray them every 6 months or so with alcohol. Lippies are by smell usually. I try to wash brushes and applicators every second or third use; I have duplicates too.. In all face products except setting spray, I buy the smallest size possible. Since I’ve retired, I also don’t wear makeup daily.

I religiously discard mascara between 3 to 6 months and buy the mini size when possible. I discard any product in a jar if fingers are used to remove product (like moisturizer). My foundation is always purchased in pumps, dropper or squeeze tubes. I only use pencil eye, brow, and lip liner. Powder products are discarded when the surface becomes odd. I also spray them every 6 months or so with alcohol. Lippies are by smell usually. I try to wash brushes and applicators every second or third use; I have duplicates too.. In all face products except setting spray, I buy the smallest size possible. Since I’ve retired, I also don’t wear makeup daily.

I don’t have many friends who are into makeup– but I do live in an urban area where it’s okay to put stuff out on the sidewalk and makeup or nail polish tend to disappear quickly. I have radically paired down my nail polish collection. When I visit family in a rural area, the woman who mans the local dump adores makeup so I bring a lot of discards to her. I do tend to keep high end things I don’t always wear like all my TF eye quads and blushes. But sometimes I will go through a revival and get into an item I have not worn in a while. I go through things seasonally and pack away the out of season items. Right now, I would love to destash my Viseart Neutral and Cool Matte palettes. Never wear them– seems like such a waste.

I try to cycle through my products and analyze them for wear and performance as well as likelihood of use. Poor performers go since I’m typically not using them in any case.

I toss my mascara every three months (usually get a mini size, use up Sephora points, or one of those special offers).

Liquid eyeshadow? Tossed when it’s so used up that there’s practically no pigment in applicator.

I did toss out the Huda Obsessions palette in Mauve because I simply could not create a look that did not make me look like a vampire. Heck, I did use it on Halloween when I WAS trying to look like a vampiric rabbit.

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