The Great Makeup Purge {How to Downsize Your Products}


As I was organizing some bathroom products a few months ago, I came to a realization – I had WAY too much makeup. I always knew I had a good amount, but it wasn’t until I saw it all piled in the same place that I knew it was time to get rid of the majority of it. I knew I didn’t have the time right then to go through everything, item by item, but vowed that I would tackle my embarrassingly enormous makeup collection in the near future.

And last weekend, when my husband and daughter were napping on Saturday afternoon, the great makeup purge began.

I started by dumping everything onto a few towels on the bathroom floor. Then, I sorted it by type (lipstick, mascara, foundation, etc). I thought the process of deciding what I wasn’t going to keep was going to be difficult, but honestly, it went rather quickly.

First, I pulled out anything that was old. I knew I had to part with these items, not only because I hardly ever used them, but because it was down right disgusting that I had makeup on hand that I bought in college. I mean seriously, see that old CVS price sticker on the photo below…when is that from? Gross. These items were serving no purpose, other than taking up valuable real estate in the bathroom.


Next, I moved on to anything that I no longer used. I had so many lip glosses, lip sticks, and eye shadows that I couldn’t recall when I had last worn. And even though these MAC paint pots were some of my go-to eye products (pre-baby), now since I use them so rarely, they had dried up. No need to keep them.


Then, it was time to toss anything that was broken, or needed to be replaced. I loved this grey shadow, as it was the perfect shade to achieve a smokey look, but I dropped it and (apparently) lost the top. Oops. And that eyelash curler has seen better days. Time to invest in a new one.


Last, I tossed anything that was unsanitary to keep. Mascara collects bacteria every time it is used, so WebMD recommends that it be kept for a maximum of 4 months. Since I couldn’t even remember when I bought these two pharmacy brand mascaras, they had to go. A similar timeline applies to lip glosses and sticks, so I pulled out quite a few of those, too.


When all was said and done, I purged nearly 50 items from my makeup stockpile. I was pleasantly surprised that everything I kept fit into two small makeup pouches. The smaller one I will now keep out to use everyday, and the larger one that I will put away and pull out for special occasions.


The best part about my purge? I now have space to store some products that I purchased recently, and that I am super excited about using. My quest to find chemical-free, vegan, and cruelty-free products has been quite a challenge. But, I am slowing making progress with replacing many of the non-animal (and non-human) friendly items that I used to buy.


Important note about empty/old MAC containers – save them and bring them back to the beauty counter! MAC has a recycle program, and for every six containers you bring back, you get a free lipstick.

So, there you have it! My makeup collection is now much smaller, and much more useful, and rid of things that I had no reason to keep. And with winter coming, I am positive that you will find a chilly afternoon to pare down the products that you have in your collection, too!

The pile of products I got rid of. See ya!

In need of replenishing your makeup or want to try something new? Check out some of our beauty consultants in our consultant-run business guide!

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Meet Caitlin! Caitlin grew up in Fairfield, CT and after some time living elsewhere, she is ecstatic to call the town home again. She works full-time in higher education at a local university and has found great joy in supporting college students for almost ten years. Caitlin met her husband, Matthew, in college. They were married in 2009 and welcomed their daughter, Parker, in December of 2014. She spends her free time at yoga, writing, watching sports, and attempting to change the world through advocacy and involvement in social justice movements. Connect with Caitlin on Twitter @CaitPereira.


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