What's your criteria for keeping or decluttering an eye product?

First is if I really love the formula, because if I personally LOVE a product, then I am more apt to keep it regardless of its utility to me as a reviewer. If it’s exceptionally bad across the board, then I don’t bother keeping at all because who even needs to hold onto to compare later on?

Otherwise, I look at the brand, whether I feel like it’s popular enough to merit keeping for potential comparisons or being able to refresh my memory on formula later on down the road. If it’s a limited edition product, I am less likely to keep these days. I don’t have room, and I don’t go back into the archives nearly as much now as I did years ago (because my photo quality is more consistent and has improved over time).

I generally do not keep cream/liquid eyeshadows at all, even if I love them, because I don’t have the time to revisit, so it doesn’t make sense to keep something that does expire/dry out that goes around the eyes. I might hold onto a cream eyeshadow from say, Tom Ford, since there aren’t that many released and they’re so freakin’ expensive, but for something like ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, which I LOVE!!!, there are too many released. It’s like once out of 30 looks that I “return” to products in full!

— Christine
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First I evaluate whether the shade and finish truly work for me. I usually need to try something a few times before reaching a decision. Sometimes a shadow works well but just isn’t special enough to take up the limited space that I have. Then I look at the quality of the shadow since over time I have accumulated dupes and some are better quality than others. If I am dealing with a palette, that might cause me to depot what I like and discard the rest. ABH MR seems headed that way. Finally I look at convenience. Is it a single or in a palette? Depending on the use of the color, say only as an inner corner highlight, it might make more sense to keep one version or the other. Like you, I have a few liquids in my discard pile because they aren’t better than powder versions I have in those colors and I won’t use them up before they go bad.

Criteria depends from product to product…

Mascara I’m decluttering if it’s two dry, clumps or flakes really bad, it smudges easily (I have watery eyes) or it’s been opened for more than 3 months. I don’t have more than one mascara opened at a time, and of it performs poorly in the first day, it’s out.

Eyeshadow I declutter only of it’s expired, the color doesn’t look good on me at all or it has fallout no matter what I do (I will always be a base first person).

Liquid liner I declutter if it’s too dry to get a good line or of it smudges easily (and various L’Oreal and Maybelline awful liners come to mind).

Classic pencils I declutter if the color doesn’t suit me or the formula is too dry or too creamy to use.

Eyeshadow primers get decluttered if they don’t nothing or even make eyeshadow look worse on my hooded oily lids.

I do a makeup declutter/destash when I do my yearly whole-house deep clean, and as someone with a medium sized makeup collection here’s my criteria:

1) Is it still good: has the smell, color, or texture changed? If yes to ANY it goes in the trash, and at the end I decide if I need to replace it.

2) Do I have dupes? I keep the better quality of the two and give/throw away the worse (depending on how used or bad it is).

3) Have I used this product in the last year? If not, with few exceptions, it gets given/thrown away. (tho this year I gave this one leeway)

1. Has it gone bad? Mascara older than three months gets tossed. Anything else gets tossed if it changes color or appearance, smells off, has a texture change, has performance changes, or it starts giving me styes.

2. Do I like how it looks and performs on me?

3. Do I actually use it?

4 For eye palettes, is the packaging something I want to keep for collection or decorative purposes?

It takes a lot for me to declutter eyeshadows. I mostly declutter cheaper shadows I know with absolute certainty I’ll never use. Otherwise, they’re stuck with me. I’m a shadow collector (hoarder).

My biggest weakness? I just don’t know HOW to let go of eyeshadows! I literally have some that are 8 years old or more. As long as they’re not moldy, losing their texture or going hard pan, I keep them. And there are, between palettes and singles, probably over a thousand!

I have kept one probably unusable eyeshadow from MAC, DC’ed a long time ago now. It’s got hard pan, it’s really old, and it’s the first MAC product I ever bought. I keep it because I just loved it and I’d repurchase if I could. The shade, Sprout, a lovely spring-green little beauty.

Usually, it’s because I outgrew it. I thought MAC Digit was so necessary and it was then one day poof out it went. Normally I’m not fickle with products but I can get crushes on them, then suddenly wonder why do I have MAC Nehru AND Carbon ?

For decluttering eye products, the general rule for me, is whether I have used it, loved it and really need to keep it – do I have better versions in other, more recently purchased palettes?
I probably do need to declutter some, but not many as I did a major one a few months ago.

If it’s dried out to the point where it’s no longer usable (remember those Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadows – those dried out really fast, as did the UD eyeshadow pencils that I thought were so great when I bought FIVE of them) – then they go. Fortunately, because of your work at Temptalia, Christine, I manage to avoid poorly performing eyeshadows for the most part (and I’ve hung onto UD Maui Wowie in spite of it being a glitter storm, even in the “newer” formulation, because it’s so beautiful) but if they perform badly, I may not pitch them entirely but they get shelved into a drawer in my younger son’s former bedroom (it’s not like they take up a lot of space so I consider it sort of a sentimental thing).

Generally I toss everything when the product changes in any way, look, texture, smell, how it applies.
I say generally as I still have a little unusable eyeshadow pan from MAC, MAC Sprout that must be around 20 years old now, probably older . It has hard pan and I don’t use it, I just love it and it was the first MAC product I bought decades ago. It’s such a pretty, happy little spring green eyeshadow.
So when do I toss powder eyeshadows? As with everything else, when it turns bad, or if I don’t like the shade, or how it performs, or I have a much better dupe.
I’m decluttering a lot this year, I try everything, I had weeks just using Dior eyeshadows, almost half of the quints got sorted out, a lot of drugstore palettes are also going. I have to admit though that decluttering is one of the hardest things to do, I love my eyeshadows as much as I love the lipsticks.

Máscara? Three months after opening.

Liquid liner? 12 months or when the line is sheer or dryer out.

Liquid shadow? As soon as I notice I have trouble with applicator, or the recommended period after opening?

Pencils? I have one of those shadow/liners from NYX, purchased over two years ago, still in its original package.

Keeping: I really like the color scheme or how the product works
Decluttering (trashing): Product changes in texture or smells, or I really feel the color isn’t me any longer (and the I’ll likely never use it again).

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