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How To Declutter Your Beauty Stash

13 February, 2022 - 10:16am by - Head Pixie | 14 Comments

by BR Kellie

"Nope. No. Uh-uh. You're not going in there, Mama. You have too much makeup."

My daughter. Every time we walk past a shop selling makeup.

How I wish the above quote was untrue, but it's the most oft heard words from my girl when we find ourselves in a mall. Many a time we have passed Farmers or Mecca and it's like she felt my foosteps slow before I knew I was even in the process of hesitating, before doing a left or right turn into the shop. Except there would be no left or right turn. Instead a sweet voice would pipe up and say the above before gripping my hand even more firmly and tugging me away.

My daughter: the curse of my makeup collection and the saviour of it.

You see, I have a lot. More than one person needs. To be fair it could be argued that it's my job to have a lot. That a beauty editor without an interest in beauty is no beauty editor at all. But let's be honest, at this point unless it's a new innovation, I really don't need to be adding to my collection. And with Covid hanging around and mask wearing the norm, I'm barely wearing makeup anyway. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that there'd be a fair few products in my stash that have not been touched in the two years we've been in the pandemic, which means one thing... it's time for a declutter.

So how does one whittle down their collection without it causing too much pain, drama. perhaps even heartache? Read on...

The Stash: Before

First things first, in all product categories one must rid themselves of anything that's expired. If you're not sure what a products expiration date is, check out this handy article. To be honest, I do tend to treat some products like I do my deli meats and dairy: if it looks okay and smells okay I don't throw it out, and that is a very naughty habit I will employ during my declutter. HOWEVER, if a few months from now the products I've hung on to are still sitting untouched, they'll be moved on.

Another declutter rule... Much like clothing, if I've not worn it in the past year, it's time for it to go.

Lastly, if it is clearly not my colour it's out, because there's no point holding onto a lighter or darker coloured foundation or concealer, or keeping hold of a lip colour or blush that doesn't suit my skin tone.

As for the nitty gritty of decluttering? What else is there to look for in each category that'll tell you it's time to say goodbye?


If the formula of your lipstick, lip oil, lip gloss or balm is discoloured, if it has separated, if the texture has changed, if there's anything growing on it, or if it smells funky (which is something I noticed with the majority of my lippies) - send it to the big round bin in the sky.

Foundation and Concealer

As above, if the colour of your concealer, or foundation has changed or if it's not smelling right - bin in. If it's not applying the way it once did, or if it causes irritation, definitely say goodbye. If you prefer a powder foundation and it's begun to get crumbly, that can be a sign that it's time to let it go.

Powder Products

Much like powder foundation, if your blush or bronzer has changed shade, texture or smells odd, then it's time to toss it out. Another sign that it's past its used by date is if it looks like there's an odd looking layer on top of it (it's hard to describe, but if you see it you'll know).


You know the drill: texture changed, product crumbly, pencil snaps the moment it's dragged across your brow, smells off, then wave the product goodbye.


The eyes really do have it when it comes to knowing when to chuck out eyeshadows. Colour changed, texture changed, that odd looking layer is apparent - say au revoir. If you've liquid eyeshadows, do the smell test, and if you see odd looking chunks that weren't there before, don't think twice about hiffing it out as they can be a sign of bacteria living its best growing life. As for mascara? Three months from opening is the recommended time to use it before tossing it out.

With this is mind, I went in and I was as brutal as I could be. Yes, I kept a couple of palettes for sentimental sake, but by my standards I showed no mercy. The end result?

The Stash: Off To The Big Bin In The Sky

I feel I got rid of about a third of my stash, which is pretty good going! The stench of some of the product made it easy, as did the products that on swatching were so dry that there was no pigment. And some of the cosmetics were as old as my daughter. She can stay. They can't. 

What was I left with?

The Stash: What Stays... For Now

There's still a lot there, but I'm now inspired to rotate my makeup, to experiment more, and I might just start wearing lipsticks when I'm at home just to make the dollars spent on them worthwhile.

Am I happy about how much will be going in the landfill? Not even remotely. But I've learned a valuable lesson... from now on I will use what I have, and when I have run out of a certain product (like foundation), I will be buying only what I need with no more than one backup if I find I love it. If I buy or am gifted a product that I don't love I will pass it on immediately (if it can be done so hygenically) to someone who will appreciate it. And for the foreseeable future I'm avoiding buying lip products that are not balms or oils... and no more eyeshadow palettes because I need a hundred pairs of eyes if I'm to get through what I've got.

So, does your makeup collection need a declutter? Is your makeup kit under control? Or are you wanting to expand yours further (and if you do, pleae put photos up on the Photowall so I can live vicariously!) Get chatting below!



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30th March, 2022

I definitely need to declutter, so many products I no longer use but just cannot bare to throw out!!

21st February, 2022

I had a clear out recently. I can't believe you threw all that makeup away I would of sold it them used the money to buy something else

16th February, 2022

Well done you! I’ve discovered recently that Mecca does a make up recycling scheme. I’m planning to clean out all my old stuff and see if I can recycle it.

16th February, 2022

You're so brave, Kellie!! I'm not great at throwing stuff away, but I always thought I was pretty good at not over-buying - until I put it all in a pile like yours. I was... gobsmacked. Decluttering is now on my to-do list. Some day soon-ish. After a stiff espresso. And with a support person alongside.

15th February, 2022

Love a good declutter! My number of cosmetic products in Jan was 71? From memory. In all honesty I think its far too much. I'm not a YouTuber, influencer or beauty content creator. In saying that I do try to get as much use from my products as I love to get my money's worth. I hope my end number for the year is closer to 50.

15th February, 2022

Im good at culling unless its too pretty.. mascara I hold onto for longer than i should though eek

15th February, 2022

I’m pretty good at culling products as I tend to buy one and get rid of one. I am guilty of keeping certain products even if I know they’ve expired if I love them. You did well on cutting down so much

15th February, 2022

I have been going through my stash of makeup quite regularly. Yes the GWP lipsticks certainly pile up. Out go the old mascaras too! Great idea to get the most of lipsticks and wear them around the house as well!

15th February, 2022

I have a ‘one in one out’ policy with my makeup. It tends to be lipsticks I throw the most - the box just grows with lots of GWP and shades my mum buys me that are always in rose. Now I’m buying a lot more long lasting lippies the old creamy bullets are getting binned.

14th February, 2022

Great information and should help me with all the many items that l have that are the wrong color. Thanks

14th February, 2022

That is some impressive decluttering! I don't use makeup, so I don't have a stash, but I try to do the same with clothes. Either sell or donate anything that I don't really use.

14th February, 2022

Oh yeah I need to declutter my stash so so badly. I know probably 70% is expired….and I honestly don’t wear as much or as often either so yeah…it needs to go :(

14th February, 2022

I definitely need to decanter! I've just moved and as I unpack boxes I realise how much stuff I have and how little I use a lot of it. Time to bring in the wheely bin.

13th February, 2022

Loved reading what to look for when a product is just past it. Anyone else keep a mascara far longer than 3 months?! Can never be too careful when it comes to your eyes! Will be decluttering my make up bags at some stage soon!


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