New Year Beauty Clear Out

I’d be lying if I said I am organised or overly neat but as it’s the beginning of a new year it seems like a good time to make the effort. No matter how big or small having a clear out of your makeup collection every now and then is a good idea.

The easiest thing and most important thing to start with is expiry dates. Be truthful- how long have you really had that lipstick? I’ll do a post soon about how long products really last but you can usually tell by the consistency and smell.  I also think if they are near their expiry date and I am unlikely to use them, just bin it- it’s just taking up space. Be brutal, it’s worth it in the long run. It’s really not worth keeping a product that may be off, not only will it not work as well but it might be harmful. If there is a foundation that you have almost finished make a conscious decision to finish it, that means you’ll get rid of a bottle that is taking up space with not much product in.

Next, it’s time to be realistic. Are you really going to wear that lilac lipstick you’ve stored at the bottom of your makeup bag for the last 5 months? If orange lipsticks don’t suit you and you know you wont wear it, it is simply taking up space. For products like these that are in a good/nearly new condition I like to give them a good clean (a spray of rubbing alcohol works well) and share them amongst my friends.

It’s then time to give everything a really good clean. Shampoo your brushes (also get rid of any that are misshaped and/or you don’t use) rather than just spot cleaning. I like to use baby shampoo, reshape them and just hang them off the side of a shelf to dry. Give packaging a good clean with a baby wipe/damp cloth and pop any washable makeup bags in the washing machine.

Finally, it’s time to reorganised you downsized collection. Use old candle glasses and pretty mugs to store hair bands, pencils, cotton buds, brushes and other tools. Tuck your darker foundations and yellow nail polishes to the back (since it’s winter- do the opposite in the summer). I also like to find a special place for products I have forgotten about an need to rediscover but if they don’t get used even in this box they are clearly unloved and need to go. If you don’t have a home for all your makeup yet I find that Glossy Boxes (or gift boxes) can be great for smaller collections and Muji/Ikea also do great drawers for those of us with larger collections. If you’re lucky/organised enough to fit your entire makeup collection (or at least most of it) in to a makeup bag I’ve included a list of my favourites below.

What are you beauty clear out tips? I’d love for you to share them in the comments
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  1. 2nd January 2014 / 5:36 pm

    Great tips! I'm going to work on organizing my collection today! Three more days of vacation left. ๐Ÿ™

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:07 am

      It's usually quite a task but so rewarding too! X

  2. 2nd January 2014 / 5:57 pm

    Nice tips, thanks for sharing.

  3. 2nd January 2014 / 6:03 pm

    Luckily my collection is quite small so having a clear out doesn't take long. I find that if I spend time organising it properly, I won't want to mess it up- so don't have to reorganise again, hoorah! I use glossy boxes to organise lipsticks and nail polishes too haha x

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:12 am

      i wish I was like that I organise one minute and it's a mess the next haha XX

  4. 2nd January 2014 / 6:17 pm

    I got the pug make up bag for Xmas, I love it! Although it makes me want a pug more!!! Xx

  5. 2nd January 2014 / 7:02 pm

    I'm in the process of having a good closet clean out; I've already gotten rid of so much clothing and jewelry I never wear. Having a clear out really is a great way to start off the New year; it feels like a new slate!
    Lovely Notions

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:13 am

      I think I might do a clothing version of this too ๐Ÿ™‚ X

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:13 am

      Me too, I think a downsize does help though…. but that's so hard!

  6. 2nd January 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Great post, I enjoyed your tips. My tip is to colour coordinate you nail polishes/lipsticks do there easy to find. Also donโ€™t have absolutely everything on show, as it looks cluttered. Then things you use all the time can be on display! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    Helen @

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:14 am

      Glad you liked it, hope the clear out went well! X

  7. 2nd January 2014 / 8:27 pm

    I have been doing exactly this week, I've been really brutal and got rid of loads as I have a new dressing table and don't want to clutter it with things I don't use, great tips. x

    Catherines Loves

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:15 am

      Being brutal always makes for a really good clear out, you never really miss those products anyways, they were going to be the ones you never use!

  8. 2nd January 2014 / 9:04 pm

    I had a huge clear out on New Year's Day, I love rearranging my room and de-cluttering! p.s. I love the Mulberry!

    Beth | BethBlogsBeauty

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:16 am

      Me too but it gets a mess quickly after haha XX

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:16 am

      They are great but it means everything inside has to also look good as it's clear!

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:17 am

      It so important, if you make the time you'll feel great after! X

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:17 am

      Closet is next on my hit list haha XX

  9. 3rd January 2014 / 6:57 am

    I still do not have plans yet maybe I will start organizing my stuffs this weekend. I will def take note of your tips.

  10. 3rd January 2014 / 7:52 am

    I did this just before i bought new makeup storage! I had a tonne of stuff that i needed to throw cause i never used it! xxx Great Post! x

  11. 3rd January 2014 / 11:25 am

    The pug makeup case is so cute! I definitely need a re-haul of all my makeup supplies.

  12. 3rd January 2014 / 1:52 pm

    Great Tips and I really want to buy some extra storage now that I have a vanity. I really like those makeup bags.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:19 am

      Thanks, hopefully they were useful! XX

  13. 3rd January 2014 / 3:38 pm

    I think it's important to go through your makeup, but I just go by consistency, texture and smell to see if something's off. I don't think many of us use lipsticks or eyeshadows up in the time frame they're meant to be!

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:23 am

      I agree but it's quite good as a rough guide! XX

  14. 3rd January 2014 / 4:22 pm

    One of the great things about being a beauty blogger is all the products we are sent to trial, but after a few uses I just store mine under the bed! I'm definitely thinking of holding a massive blog sale in London soon to have a massive clear out!!

    Josie xoxo Fashion Mumblr

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:24 am

      Yeah theres not much point keeping products you're not going to use, they'll just go off ๐Ÿ™ XX

  15. 4th January 2014 / 12:29 am

    This post is really good, I really hold onto my products but I am trying to be more ruthless now but it's so hard when you've spend money on things and then throw it away half used. I really need to start cleaning my brushes more now

    Claudia xx | Beauty and the Chic

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:27 am

      That's very true but theres not much point keeping it either X

  16. 4th January 2014 / 3:03 pm

    You've really inspired me to go through and have a proper clear out and start being a bit more ruthless instead of starting and giving up, which means everything just stays instead of getting thrown away.
    But I now want a (or a couple of) new make up bags hehe! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:28 am

      Haha so do I but I have too many as it is! X

  17. 4th January 2014 / 6:32 pm

    This post has really inspired me, thank you! I had new Muji storage on the way and wanted to have a clear out, but I'm never harsh enough with myself! I've emptied out ancient MAC lipsticks that are definitely out of date and put them in a BAC2MAC pile and started a little box for friends and family! Such a useful post, thank you again ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:29 am

      Glad you liked it, friends always really appreciate it too XX

    • 9th January 2014 / 11:29 am

      Very welcome, hope the tips are useful XX

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