One in four makeup users is wearing expired and out-of-date makeup products. And why is that? It’s not because we’re addicted to bacteria! It’s because we spend on average over £800 on makeup products each year. Makeup actually has a shelf life and a surprising amount of people also don’t regularly wash their makeup brushes.
We know it’s difficult to get rid of that tube (or ten) of lipstick in that discontinued colour that you love and it feels impossible to throw out an eyeshadow palette when it’s still full of perfectly good colours that you will most definitely use…at some point.
But hear us out, here are the tips to spring clean your makeup table or bag!
Inventory how much makeup and how many products you have
The first step is to find every single makeup and beauty product you have and put it all in one place – maybe on a towel. That way you can see exactly how much you have and assess what you need. When deciding how much you have and what’s appropriate to keep, consider the following.
- How many products do you have?
- How many products do you use regularly? (i.e. at least once per month)
- How many products do you actually have room to store?
- How adventurous are you with your makeup (i.e. do you switch up your look every time or stick to the basics with the odd flashy look?)
If you change up your look daily and have lots of storage space, this task might be easier than for others.
Check for expirations
Although we’d like to think makeup doesn’t expire, it really does. Here’s how long products are supposed to last. (Use longer at your own risk once opened.)
- Foundations and concealers: water-based products last up to 12 months and oil-based products last up to 18 months because oil is a natural preservative.
- Powder products: last for 18 months.
- Mascara: lasts 3-6 months, 3 for daily use, 6 for infrequent use.
- Lipstick: lasts 12-18 months, it doesn’t harbour much bacteria but the formulas will begin to break down after a year.
- Skincare, face masks, eye creams, etc: last from 6-12 months.
- Makeup brushes: wash make-up brushes once every two weeks with warm water, mild soap, and olive oil. Swirl the brush in the formula (olive oil breaks down the oil in makeup), rinse thoroughly, and leave to dry.
Check all your products to see if they are in date. Throw away products out of date.
Consider how often you use the product and think about what you really need
You may have bought a really expensive make-up item or received it in a beauty box (perhaps, a beauty advent calendar) but if you don’t use it often, it’s not worth keeping. If it’s lightly used and disinfected, you may consider donating it to a friend or family member who will use it and love it.
Jo Jones at The Beauty Banks educated people about hygiene poverty and donating products like shampoos, makeup, soap, deodorant, and so forth that are disinfected and unused can go a long way to help people in need.
You might decide your life would be easier and simpler with a capsule amount of makeup (think: capsule wardrobe but for makeup). What are the basics you love and use that look good on you? Pare down your collection just to the essentials.
Regularly organise your beauty products
Organising is the fun part! We’ve all watched programmes like The Home Edit, Sort Your Life Out, and Marie Kondo. When you’ve pared back to the essentials or items you’re going to use, you can organise your space. You may decide to keep all the lipsticks in one compartment (or bag), all the eyeshadows together, all the pencil products in another place, and so forth. You’ll be surprised at how much calmer you feel and how much easier it is to get ready when you’re not faced with twelve eyeliner options and six blusher options each day.
Consider routinely reassessing your makeup table and every time you bring in new products, think about what you’ll do with the old products. Or maybe you’ll get in the habit of only replacing products when they are at the end of their usable life: one in one out.
Do you feel like you need to minimise your makeup table, drawer, dresser, or bag? Are you overloaded with products or do you think you have just the right amount? Let us know on Tria Beauty UK’s Facebook or Instagram which products you’re keeping, which you’re donating, and which you’ll finally toss once and for all.