Spring Cleaning Your Makeup Collection

It’s that time of year. We’ve got the itch to deep clean, de-clutter and reorganize. But how does one begin this daunting task you say? Stick around and I’ll give you my TOP 5 tips for getting rid of makeup that you have juuuust gotttt to let go of and how to determine what’s past expiration and better off in the trash.

Depending on the size of your collection, you’ll need an afternoon (or two), lots of makeup remover wipes and strong willpower. Light a candle, say a prayer and let’s get crackin’. For those of you that can count the number of makeup items you own on one hand, I’ll save you some time. This blog is not for you. Check back in a year when your small stash has now become a collection (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us).

First, divide the makeup by type. If you’re organized like I am, (I have few areas in which I am allowed to brag, this will be one of them) take your items out one drawer or bin at a time. Normally when organizing a large space, I like to take everything out at once so I can see what I’ve got. In this instance, I don’t find that helpful or necessary. Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to enjoy the process of elimination.  Work your way through by category such as foundations, primers, bronzers, eye shadow palettes, etc.  You get the idea.


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Second, start with what you know you LOVE. I’m not talking about the occasional “Oh, I liked this one! I should use it more” item. These are the items that go without a doubt in your mind and are your ride or die homies! The reason for starting this way is that when it comes to items like lipsticks, lip glosses, etc. I would highly recommend trying them on. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is it going to be worth it? Yes. Because you’ll get rid of far more than you would by just looking at them or swatching them on the back of your hand. Starting with the best sets a standard in which to measure by.  Every other lipstick thereafter will have to live up to that “YAS bitch!” feeling!

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Third, as you begin to shuffle through what is left, I encourage you to swatch, play, scratch, sniff, etc. Yes, I said sniff. Old makeup goes bad after having been opened for some time. The scent can depend on the type of product but anything that doesn’t smell or look right needs to go in the trash. A “duh moment” here but continuing to use expired makeup can cause breakouts and allergic reactions. Check the labels on each item for shelf life. The icon that looks like this expiry-date shows the number of months the product is good for once opened. If you know it’s been opened much longer than that, let it go. Product has dried up? Throw it in the trash. Little budding dots on top of the product or in the lid? Throw it in the trash. Smells like chemicals? You get the picture, moving on!

Fourth, set a realistic goal for the number of items you’d like to remove from the rest of the pile. Now that you’ve gotten rid of the old, bad and the ugly and extracted your besties from the pile, it’s time to conquer the difficult products left staring back at you. Keep in mind when picking each item up, you know damn well you’re going to be buying more makeup! This mindset is important and will help you to leave more room for makeup to be added to your collection. Begin by comparing items to others of the like (bronzers of the same shade, eye shadows of the same tone and foundations of the same coverage, etc). Get rid of what you can! Duplicates or items that have never been used could be given to a friend or family member. For sanitary reasons, not everything can be shared, especially eye makeup so use your best judgement here.

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Fifth, find items that are nearly finished. Set them aside to be taken back to your vanity. Make sure these items are used up before you moving on to anything else. There may not be many but it will make a difference in what you’re placing back into your drawers and make you feel better about getting your moneys worth from what’s left.

Wipe down drawers, containers and surfaces with a gentle anti-bacterial cleaner and cloth before organizing your items back into place. Voila, a fresh outlook on your collection will leaving you feeling empowered to try new looks and dig into products you had long forgotten!


Happy Spring Cleaning! If you have a favorite makeup de-cluttering tip, please leave it down below to share with others.

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