How to Clean Out Your Makeup Bag

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I have been interested in makeup since I was very little. I loved how makeup has the potential to completely change how someone looks or beautifully enhance someone’s natural beauty. I went through a phase when I was sixteen where all I bought was makeup – there could never be enough. Since realizing I would rarely wear all of the colored eyeshadows I had accumulated, I have done a massive purge of my makeup stash. That being said, I like to go through my makeup bag every few months to throw out old, rarely used products. I’ve created my own process in order to ensure that I always know exactly what products I have.


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First, I like to separate all of my makeup by type (i.e. powders, foundations, eyeshadows, etc.). This allows me to see exactly how much of each “type” I have. Why is this important? By first separating by type, I get to see which products are similar either in shade or purpose. Once I have those similar items/shades together, I usually can eliminate all but the one or two products I use the most frequently.
Next, I take my now empty makeup bag and fill it with the products I use most often. For me, that’s my Garnier Fructis Roller ball, Neutrogena foundation, Benefit mascara, Rimmel eyeliner, face powder and bronzer. This separation allows me to focus my attention on the items that I’m unsure about and don’t use often.
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Now I go through each of the remaining items and decide if this product gets thrown out or kept. Similarly to when going through one’s closet, it can be very easy to somehow convince yourself to keep an item when perhaps you should either throw it out or pass it on to a new home. The easiest way to eliminate items is to go through and throw out what has expired or no longer gives the desired effect – I usually begin with lip products and creamy face products. Powder products can be a bit more tricky to eliminate because they have a much longer shelf life than liquid or cream products. This is when the effect of the product needs to be taken into account. If the product does not produce the desired effect, is hard to use and/or the packaging is difficult to maneuver, I recommend letting it go.
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Once you’ve gotten rid of unused/expired products, I recommend cleaning the packaging of the product you decided to keep. While this step isn’t necessary, I find that if I can clearly see the shade of the product, I am more likely to reach for it.

What is the first product you decided to keep when you last cleaned out your makeup stash?

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11 thoughts on “How to Clean Out Your Makeup Bag

  1. Tiffany Khyla says:

    Honestly, I’ve been trying to clean out all parts of my life – not just my makeup bag – but my makeup bag definitely needs some work. I need to be brave like you and be willing to get rid of the things I don’t have use for anymore.

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