There are few things more satisfying but equally heartbreaking as decluttering your beauty stash. However, nothing makes me more sad than seeing good product go unloved. I haven’t really felt the nesting impulse that most experience when pregnant but I did have the urge to go through my collection and really weed out what I’m not using. Let’s get started…

First up, get everything out. EVERYTHING. Don’t do it a category at a time; you’ll hold onto more than you should because you can’t see the big picture. Lay everything out on the floor so you can see all your products. I highly, highly recommend doing this on a blanket, towels, something. Especially if you’re renting- foundation on carpet is bad. Really bad.

 We’re going to make a few different piles; throwing out, keeping and giving away. I’d recommend having a plastic bag for your throwing out pile that way it looks like trash and you won’t convince yourself to change your mind.

Let’s start with throwing out. The main reason you would throw out makeup is it’s expired or gone bad. I’m probably a bit more flexible than others on what constitutes ‘gone bad’. Makeup starts to go bad as soon as it’s opened and how long it lasts for will be printed on the packaging. Look for the little open jar symbol with the number in it, ie 12M = 12 months after opening. However. if you have quite a large collection, there’s a good chance you have plenty of product that only gets opened occasionally. This means it’s being exposed to oxygen and light quite infrequently and could last longer than the symbol indicates. My general rule is stick to the symbol for anything with a wand (ie it’s going from the tube directly onto your face, carrying bacteria), everything else use the symbol as a guide and do the smell and swatch test. Does it smell different? Is the texture changed? If yes, chuck it. If no but you never use it, move it to the giving away pile.

Giving away pile will be products that are in good condition, haven’t gone bad but you aren’t getting any use out of. It’s silly to keep these things when friends or family could get good use out of them. My only exception is my cheeky sentimental stash. This is a little box of limited edition products that I’ve maybe had way too long but can’t bring myself to get rid of.

Once you’ve gone through all your makeup and created these piles, you will be left with your keep stash.

Next step is clean everything! Clean your storage and clean your makeup. You may find you’re more likely to reach for things if they’re sparkly clean and new looking. Also, doing this regularly will stop the spread of bacteria.

Once you’ve given everything a good wipe down, starting organising it back into storage. Consider why certain things don’t get used and rearrange accordingly. Are things hard to find? Is your system too hard to maintain?

Last step is to admire your handy work and restraint and try not to buy more makeup.

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