Five Tips to Declutter Your Makeup Collection


Nothing like the prospect of a fresh start (i.e. the new year), to get your butt into gear and do what you’ve been putting off for months or perhaps years. That’s right, it’s time to declutter your makeup collection! You’re either a) excited at the thought of passing on products that are unloved/binning items that have been breeding bacteria for yonks; or b) you’re hyperventilating at the thought of letting go of your precious makeup. Whatever may be the case, here are 5 tips that will make this arduous task a lot easier! It just takes some quick decision making and a dash of ruthlessness.


Do you ever feel like you’ve always got the same bits and pieces on rotation? It’s so easy to get comfortable with products that work, but before you know it, you’ve got an abundance of concealers, foundations, primers, etc that you literally never reach for. Sound familiar? I know, beauty bloggers are constantly trying new bits and pieces. Between buying products because you *need* to review them for your tribe (best excuse ever), and generous PR samples, things can get a little crazy. In saying that, even if you’re more of a minimalist and your collection consists of 20 products, you might still have some items that don’t serve any purpose. Time to purge, friends.

1. Check the expiry date.

This is the easiest way to identify what needs to go first. Makeup does go off, and while it might not make you sick, it can certainly cause problems. Most beauty products will have a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol – a little jar on the back that gives you an indication of its shelf life once opened. As a general rule, most powders will last 2 years, creams and liquids up to 1 year, lip liners and lipsticks up to two years, eye products up to two years (less if cream), and mascara and liquid liners need to be tossed after 3-4 months. These are just guides – exercise caution and pay attention to any changes in smell, texture and colour. If any of these have changed, then it’s likely the product is off.

It’s also worth mentioning how you handle your cosmetics can also make a huge difference. Make sure your stash is kept in a cool and dark place, wash your hands before touching the product directly, don’t share makeup (especially lip or eye products!) and wash your makeup tools (brushes and beauty sponges) regularly.


2. Cull anything that doesn’t agree with your skin type or skin tone.

I get it. Sometimes, no matter how many reviews we read on a certain product promising it’ll be perfect for our skin type/tone; things just don’t work out. Perhaps we spent too much money on it and it hurts to part with it. We often hold onto products in the hope that if we stash them away for a while and come back to them later we might like them, but trust me, you won’t. Cliché or not, life is too short to spend too much time trying to make things work for us when we know they won’t.


3. Cull the dupes/duplicates in your collection.

Collecting makeup products can be so much fun and we all have our favourite kinds of shades; but it’s easy to get carried away. All of a sudden you’ve come to the realisation that you have 39574972 mauve pink lipsticks, how did this happen?! Oh it happens, to all of us. I’ve lost count on the amount of warm nude lipsticks I own, and I am a little bit ashamed. “I NEVER finish lipsticks!”, I exclaimed to a friend the other day. No wonder why. Gather all your dupes, evaluate the situation, figure out your favourite shades and finishes, and toss the rest. You might use up a lipstick soon!


4. Ask yourself: When was the last time I used this? Can I see myself wearing it again soon?

As I went through my own collection, I realised there was an alarming amount of products I hadn’t touched in at least one to two years. Why am I holding onto these? Fam, if you’ve had those items sitting there gathering dust feeling sad and lonely, then chances are you’ve got other favourites that have taken their place. It’s time to cull them. If they’re still in tip top condition, why not pass them on to someone who will get use out of them? That way you’re not wasting the item, it’s just going to a more loving home.


5. Ask yourself: Would I repurchase this?

This is a very valid question. If the answer is simply ‘no’, then it’s highly likely that you just don’t love said product that much. Keeping products you don’t completely love will just cause clutter and make you lose sight of the gems in your collection. If it’s not in your rotation and you’re not planning on using it up, then it’s time to get rid of it.


Once you’ve completed your purge, sort out those products into two boxes: one for the bin (expired items/not in a good condition) and one to donate. Anything that’s been used can find a better home with friends and family; and those that are unused will be much appreciated by a woman’s shelter.

I really hope these tips have gotten you inspired to clear up your makeup collection and help you make some quicker decisions while you’re in the decluttering process. I know it can be hard, but stay strong! Who knows, it might remind you of some gems that you haven’t reached for in a while, and even inspire you to step out of your comfort zone. And, of course, you’re potentially making way for other amazing products you’ve always wanted to try.

The next step for me will be a first attempt at a Project Pan, so stay tuned for my starter posts where I will show you the products I have vowed to use up.

When was the last time you decluttered your makeup? Any other handy tips?


  • makeupsessions

    Great tips Daniela! That’s on my list to do too! I’ve accumulated so many products that I need some extra cleaning. I did that with my clothes too and it felt so good.

  • Jaynie Shannon

    Great tips :) I’m SO bad at letting go of products. I really need to go through my collection soon.

    Jaynie Shannon | Beauty & Lifestyle


  • Noirette Diary

    Thanks for sharing your tips, I think a lot of these can be applied even before buying new makeup. I always end up with 3 dupes of the same kind of product and then I don’t want to get rid of anything haha x

    | |

  • Dea Andriany

    Thank you for these great tips! I find checking the expiration dates really help making me want to throw it away instead of hanging on to it.

    Selene Addicted

  • Sarah

    I’ve got a similar post coming up – I’m so so so sick of hoarding products!! I need to cull so badly haha

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  • Erin Azmir

    These are very good tips! I don’t have a big makeup collection to begin with so I always declutter my makeup by removing anything over 3 years x

  • Katina Lindaa

    I swear I always have the never ending urge to declutter haha! My #1 tip is literally empty your entire stash haahah. Especially for things that have shades like blushes, lipsticks etc. I find that after I put them all out and colour coordinated them I saw that I had 934803409 of the one shade and cut that pile dowwwn x

    Katina Lindaa |

  • The Sunday Mode

    This post is perfectly timed because my god, my stash is in desperate need of a clean out for the new year! I think number 5 is really clever though, a lot of the things I don’t want to get rid of I probably wouldn’t purchase again now that I think of it…

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  • Chantalle

    I definitely need to do a massive make-up declutter myself and there is no better time than the New Year right?! I admit that I am a bit of hoarder so it has always been a struggle for me to bin make-up, you know just in case I need it … haha! I always seem to get stuck using the same products over and over again and keeping things that don’t work for my skin, so I am really going to take on your 3nd and 4th tip! Hopefully I can do it! xx

    Chantalle |

  • Maddie |

    Loved this! I just did a big declutter again and took a bunch of photos to hopefully do a bit of a series of posts. It’s so fulfilling to declutter ✨

    Maddie |

  • Phoebida x

    I really want to declutter my makeup now! Also in 2017 my goal is to have a ‘one in, one out’ system everytime I buy a new piece of makeup to keep my collection from overflowing xxx

    Phoebe & Abida |

  • Jennifer Frank

    i hate parting with makeup i get so attached – i’m definitely overdue a declutter!
    jen | velvet spring

  • Charlotte

    I’ve just found you’re blog and I’ve fallen in love with it so I’ve followed you on Bloglovin! I find decluttering so fun, is that weird? I love throwing out make-up which I don’t love, if it’s been barely used I’ll always give it to my friends or family as they might love it instead! Expiry dates are always things I forget about!
    Charlotte / Charlotte’s Picks

  • Caked To The Nines

    Yes girl, love these tips! Ruthlessness is key for sure haha. That’s my problem. I’ll look at a product and become a softy, but asking yourself if you would repurchase it is such a great way to identify if you really love it or not!

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

  • ThePartyParrotBlog

    I absolutely loved reading this post, very inspirational. I honestly feel like decluttering my makeup drawer now! Yours looks absolutely beautiful by the way. Great post Daniela!

    Naya xx