9 Tips on doing a makeup declutter

Let’s face it – I have an enormous makeup collection …. And I like it! but to avoid being on an episode of Hoarders one needs to figure out a way of keeping their makeup collection to a point where you can still store them in draws and they aren’t accumulating in a giant heap in your room. For that to happen the infamous word that every makeup addict hates to hear needs to happen – DECLUTTER. It’s not the most exciting thing and it can be dam right difficult but over time I have gotten a little bit better at it and I wanted to share with you guys how I’ve taken this grueling task and not made it so awful.

So if that sounds interesting to you, keep reading. Ps. This is a long post, bring snacks!

Don’t make split decisions you’ll end up regretting

There is nothing worse than decluttering a makeup item and regretting it a few weeks later. Now you don’t want to be in a situation where you find yourself potentially repurchasing a product – that’s just wasting money. So how can you avoid this? Well, I like to collect any makeup items in my collection that I’m considering to declutter and set it aside. Making a list of those makeup items also works. I like to think that when you select those products you’re putting them on “probation”. When I collect the products and store them in a small box, over the course of the following week I play around with those products. Certain products remind you exactly why you don’t use them i.e. they don’t perform great or not to your liking, others simply just get ignored because that’s what happens when you have a large makeup collection. But taking the time to reacquaint yourself with products you are thinking about decluttering will allow you to feel confident if you decide to get rid of them. Of course, the downside to this, if you’re a makeup hoarder like me – you can easily get separation anxiety and not want to let them go but with practice, separation anxiety will happen less.

Ask yourself why you don’t use this product enough

From my experience, there are 2 main reasons why I don’t use certain makeup products 1. Either my large makeup collection has those products hidden and hence forgotten about or 2. I simply have other products I love way more. Now it falls onto the first option, rearranging your makeup station or collecting those ignored products and store them in a separate section where you’ll easily see them will make a massive difference. Of course, the product falls into option two then you have to truly ask yourself, are you going to use this product up? (e.g. setting sprays, mascaras, concealers & brow products are easy to use up) but if you know that only insane frequent use will finish up this product and you know that won’t happen, then maybe it’s time to let it go.

Make wiser future makeup choices!

Ever since I began doing makeup declutters which really have only been in the last year. I’ve been super selective both with high-end makeup & drugstore makeup. I double and triple check my planned orders and I just constantly ask myself – will I really use this. I also research the crap out of products to make sure they won’t be awful and hence force me to declutter them. On top of this I like to keep track of what I’ve decluttered in the past and make sure that I don’t buy products that may end up in a declutter. For example, I know cream products like cream highlighters and blushes aren’t my favorite thing – so when I purchase those, they need to be dam special otherwise I’ll end up not using them. I also know that I love intense highlighters so when I research them I make sure to figure out if they’ll be too subtle or too intense. Also with palettes, I have a serious addiction for they also take up A LOT of space in my collection, so they are a category I am extra careful with as palettes I don’t use I always end up decluttering them. So in a nutshell – think before you buy and also look at the different categories of makeup when you have too many in a category (for example with me its foundation) – maybe take a break from purchasing products from that category.

Set up a makeup inventory. Excel is the best for this.

This has started to become a thing with many beauty bloggers because let’s face it – we have an abnormally sized makeup collection! Many do it to keep track of how much “product” they have left in their effort to pan products and use up products. I keep mine simple, I essentially list all the makeup products I own and in their relevant categories. I’ve been doing it with skincare as well. I find it helps me to go through it and be able to know what makeup I own without having to physically dig for it. I also glance over it when deciding what should be decluttered. It’s also a major REALITY CHECK I mean when you’ve listed 40 highlighters among singles, palettes and liquids/creams you definitely have that talk with yourself like “dude I need to chill”. If you want a more detailed post on a makeup inventory, let me know and I’ll write a post talking about it more in-depth!

Start little by little

Decluttering doesn’t mean let’s be dramatic and get rid of half our makeup collection. I personally enjoy having a large makeup collection. I love having different options and mixing the products but what decluttering means is getting rid of products you don’t like OR products you simply don’t use and don’t see yourself using anymore. I also wanted to make sure everything in my makeup collection was something I loved and that excited me – rather than filled with products I didn’t like. Starting by just a few products helps gets it going and isn’t too overwhelming.

How long has it been in your makeup collection?

Now this question has two factors, is the product simply so expired that it won’t be safe to use on yourself anymore (and I’m very flexible with how long I keep makeup, unless I see a change in its texture/formula function I won’t bin it simply because the bottle says 6M or 12M if it’s still acting exactly the same. Now I don’t have a sensitive skin type so makeup doesn’t easily break me out (so I can get away with this). But if you’ve had a product in your collection for 2-3 years plus and you’ve hardly used it, you have to ask yourself why you haven’t used it. Considering you had that much time to not just use it up but have it in your frequent rotation. Those are the products you have to really think about potentially getting rid of. PS. With colour pop cream products like the cream shadows I bought I found they last well over the “9 months” the brand claims. The ones with the matte finish dry out after 9 months, this applies to blushes too but the shimmery/ even satin finishes last better. Mine have been going strong for over 2 years + and they are just as good when I first bought them.

What makeup categories do you want to down size?

I feel with makeup, I have certain categories that I am absolutely crazy hoarder obsessed with (foundation, highlighters, eyeshadow palettes) are the 3 insane ones. But categories like eyeliners, eyeshadow primers, brow products I have a pretty normal sized amount. I like those categories but they don’t excite me enough to have me hoarding them like crazy. I also use to be pretty civil with setting powders but lately I’ve been kind of into them – especially high-end ones.

Depotting your makeup

If you are finding storing your makeup is becoming extremely difficult but you simply love your makeup and can’t find anything you don’t like, I have one word for you – DEPOT THEM! (Okay that’s two words). Products like bronzers, blushes, and highlighters can easily start to take over your makeup collection and take up a lot of space. It’s also hard to make sure you’re not ignoring any of them when you have to open them up individually! Now depotting makeup isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s a seriously underrated skill – I have definitely ruined a couple of makeup items in my attempt to depot them. I will say that I have found a technique that is LIKE DEPOTTING but that doesn’t require you to completely remove the pan from the packaging. I have a post on it that will be dropping on the blog soon.

Changing up your makeup organization set up

I mentioned this early on in the post but I feel like it deserves its own separate section. How you organize your makeup collection does play a major role in how successfully you rotate your products and prevent any from being ignored. I already talked about the tip of separating your ignored makeup in a section that is in plain sight so you see them more. Another tip that’s relevant with makeup storage and that has made a massive difference for me is not stacking makeup on top of one another. This has been a big one with palettes! Recently I purchased these miniature shelves from Kmart, I purchased 2 for $12 a pop, took out the draws and used them to “file” my palettes sideways. Picture, how you would store books on a book shelf. I also got a palette holder to place some of my most used eyeshadow palettes. This has been such a game changer as palettes are such a tricky thing to store, since doing this set up I’m basically able to see all my palettes in clear view, none are hidden or buried.


So this wraps up this super-duper long post. I hope you guys found it helpful or at least that it inspired you to think about decluttering and not see it as this big scary thing. Have you guys decluttered any makeup lately? What are your tips? Drop a comment and let’s have a chat! I hope you guys all have a great day and I’ll see you in the next post.

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  1. Angela

    October 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    All great tips! I definitely take my time doing a declutter since I hate having regrets. I’ll constantly pull out old makeup items to try again and only throw them out when I can’t get them to work for me after many tries. I am terrible at tossing old lipsticks though, which is what I really need to declutter next. Great post!

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 4, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Exactly, that’s the most daunting thing of all doing a declutter is thinking “what if I’ll regret letting this product go” as well as realizing money was spent on a product you no longer want to use can also be frustrating. Yes lipstick is generally a hard thing to declutter, I don’t buy from that category often though, I have a bunch of shades I love and my hoarding tendencies take me elsewhere – mostly towards foundations and palettes haha. x

  2. Julia

    October 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for this post! So useful. Decluttering can be a bit daunting because of how long it takes and the idea of parting with some of your makeup items, but it really is necessary – especially, as you say, when you’ve had products for a couple years and haven’t been using them at all… So thinking things through really helps indeed! That’s what I always do – even though I rarely ever buy makeup now and only have a small collection. These tips still apply! 🙂

    Julia x
    Last Post: How To Spend 48h in Brugge, Belgium | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.com/2018/09/travel-how-to-spend-48h-in-brugge.html

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 4, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      It can be decluttering, I love having a large makeup collection but I feel like I want everything in that collection to be products I truly 100% love and keep certain catagories of makeup very minimal like brow products and setting powders.

  3. Gemma Etc.

    October 4, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I always declutter products I’ve not used in 12 months, then I know it’s not a favourite! xx

    Gemma Etc. ❤️

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      I’m being extra careful with purchases as well now as I’ve noticed a pattern in the products I declutter. x

  4. ELlie

    October 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I always LOVE a makeup de-clutter! My first thing is to think about how long I have had it, if it’s been long, it’s got to go!


    Ellie xx

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      That’s so true! I’ve had a few products that I’ve had for ages but I still use them frequently then there are other items I’ve owned for the same amount of times and I’ve hardly gone near them.

  5. Vanessa

    October 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    These tips are great! It is such a challenge to not clutter makeup, but I am looking forward to using these tips to make my collection more organized!

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 5, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      I definitely love having a massive makeup collection (I’m by no means a minimalist) but I think widdling down certain categories to products you well and truly love, weeds out products that you don’t use because they aren’t as good.

  6. Jessica

    October 6, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Great tips dear. I couldn’t agree more, especially at number 2.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 6, 2018 at 6:44 am

      That’s definitely the central question behind decluttering makeup!

  7. Danielle Alexa

    October 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I love having a good makeup declutter, I find it so soothing!

    Danielle xx

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 6, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      It is quite soothing, especially the moment you permanently part with the products.

  8. Sophie Wentworth

    October 6, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I can definitely relate to this! It’s so hard figuring out what to get rid of. I really need to start an inventory for my products, I imagine it will be quite the eye-opener. I got new beauty storage earlier this year and figured that was the most logical time to sort through my stuff. It was the first time in a few years that I’d actually had a full declutter and it felt good! I totally agree with the expiry dates thing, if the colour/ texture/ smell hasn’t changed, it can hang around in my drawers a little longer x


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 6, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      I’ve done this, an inventory is amazing and it gives you a massive reality check. Sometimes we don’t think we have “that much” makeup but when it’s typed up on an excel spreadsheet it’s hard to deny it. Some products can last for many years but it’s the cream/liquid products that can go bad quicker.

  9. Serene

    October 7, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    I really need to declutter my wardrobe! Your tips are incredible <3

    Serene XO


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you, glad I could help!

  10. Lauren Victoria

    October 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    This post has so many helpful tips! I’m due a makeup declutter so I’ll have to refer back to this list x

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad I could help, decluttering is definitely an underrated skill! It’s so difficult to do and all these tips I learned the hard way.

  11. Siobhán

    October 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I tend to declutter twice a year although I’ve done two already this year and am due another one soon as I just have too much makeup! xx


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 11, 2018 at 1:12 am

      I know, sometimes even I look at my makeup collection and think “dam girl you need help” but then I casually window shop on Sephora and that thought floats out of my head haha. x

  12. Jasmine

    October 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Making wiser purchases going forwards has been my #1 learning from decluttering makeup – couldn’t agree with this more. This was a really interesting post 🙂

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 11, 2018 at 1:15 am

      It’s also the one lesson I didn’t expect to learn. For so long I went without ever doing a makeup declutter but once I did I just realized the best way to avoid it was to reign in my hoarding when it comes to makeup. I’ve learned that Makeup revolution and colour pop are the 2 brands I go over the top with because they release SO MUCH makeup and have the largest range – I adore both those brands but I’m extra careful now when ordering from those brands. Thank you!

  13. Sam | Violet Hollow

    October 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    So many excellent tips! I’m due a declutter but I find the task quite daunting. I love the ideas of a makeup probation to see how I feel about a product a week later! Switching up my set up is also something i love the idea of xx


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 12, 2018 at 12:49 am

      Yes makeup probation is like the final chance the product gets haha- if it still doesn’t get used enough, it must go. The main reason us makeup hoarders don’t use products enough is really because we have so much it gets buried under one another.

  14. Samantha

    October 17, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I really need to go through my makeup and get rid of some. It’s always a worry that I’ll get rid of something then want it a week later! Thanks for the inspirational tips!

    Samantha x


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Yes that’s the scariest part of decluttering – worrying you’ll regret it. x

  15. Jessica

    October 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Lol, it’s funny you said decluttering isn’t the most exciting thing, I LOVE decluttering and seeing decluttering content online. I’m definitely the same when it comes to putting my products on probation. I’ll rarely go through and do a declutter and get rid of things that I hadn’t already been thinking about getting rid of for a while. I’ll let the thought sit there for a while to get used to the idea, or I’ll gather all my “maybes” together and will make a point of using them to see if they’re worth keeping or not. Because I do it that way I don’t think I’ve ever decluttered a single product and missed it and wanted to repurchase it again.

    Totally agree about a makeup inventory too – it’s a massive reality check, and I also keep track of what I’ve decluttered and of all the different shades I own so I don’t accidentally buy the same thing twice. This is easy to do with something like drugstore lipsticks or single eyeshadows, and it actually happened to me once or twice in my early makeup collecting days before I had an inventory, but now never again!


    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      October 19, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      It’s definitely the scariest part – worrying if you’ll regret getting rid of a product which is why many avoid doing declutters altogether. Haha yes, some categories I use to think “I actually don’t have too much” then following the inventory I was like woah who needs 20 setting powders haha. x

  16. Charline Steuckers

    November 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    I find by depotting to make space, I tend to forget about the product completely and I never use it again. Such a shame.
    But I do go through my makeup collection quite a bit and see what I don’t use anymore. That way I can sell some stuff on Depop and I also donate to a charity. Just today I went to give a bunch of un-used makeup to an organisation where refugees go to. Last time they were pretty excited with the makeup and with the holidays coming up, they assured me the women would love it a lot!

    I seem to have missed quite a lot of great blog posts on here in the last few weeks, I’ve been so out of the loop with checking fellow bloggers out! sorry ’bout that!

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

    1. The Makeup Aficionado

      November 13, 2018 at 3:49 am

      Yes my family and friends often enjoy what I give away since they barely have any makeup. When I do depot makeup I try and organize it based on category e.g. all blushes together. That’s totally understandable, it’s quite hard to keep up with reading posts when you have a million other things to do.

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