Hi, my name is Dorit and I hate minimalism and this whole declutter trend. I like buying stuff. I like owning stuff. I like having options. (Have a look at my pantry and you’ll see what I mean.) When it comes to makeup, I have way more than I can ever use up. Luckily, I also have a Room of My Own (read it at some point in your life, it’ll be worth it) and can store it easily. Luckily, too, my SO does support me and isn’t that kind of infuriating male that goes “why do you own that much makeup?!”. Nevertheless, once a year I like to go through my whole collection. Read on to see why, how and my decluttering tips for people who hate decluttering.

decluttering tips
One box of items to sort through, and “the vault” -pieces that I’d never get rid off.

I don’t really see why I should “streamline” or “downsize” my collection. I might not use every product any longer, but there’re a lot of items with memories attached to them. Also, I like to rediscover products. There’s another aspect that minimalism neglects is your personal development. That capsule whatever that you’ve created might not work for you in a year or so – maybe your lifestyle will change or your body will change. When I dyed my hair purple I rediscovered some slumbering items in my makeup stash that hadn’t worked well on me before, but then, score! Do you start all over with another “capsule” then?

I love the playful and experimental aspect of makeup too much to just own one of everything and a nude palette. But then, even with that approach, once a year I try to sort through my drawers and give them a bit of a spring clean. Because the whole thing should make you happy (it makes me happy at least!), but I go insane when I can’t find anything and things have gotten a bit out of hand. So here are my decluttering tips for people who hate decluttering.

Declutter tips

collector's items
My “vault” – I’d never thrown away the first high-end lipstick I bought myself (Estée Lauder), the one I wore through all my university life (L’Oreal) or my favourite MAC lipglosses of all time!

Create a vault.

There’re these products that you’d never throw away because there’re so many memories attached to them. Put them in a little box of retired hero products – too old to use, but still of value for you. If you’re working in the business, it’s also good to have old products to compare with newly released ones. I still hang on to an old MAC lipglass from the early aughts that I plan to recreate at the Bite Beauty lab… one day! My first high-end lipstick that I bought with my own money… things like that.

If it’s broken or gone off…

…it goes into the bin. The point is to enjoy your collection, so you don’t need products in there that are icky. If it can’t be used, into the bin it goes. (Exceptions if it may be an old love, then into the vault it goes.) Dried up liners? Rancid glosses or lipsticks? Foundations that have separated? Dried up cream eyeshadows? Just no.

decluttering makeup
Everything that’s old and slightly icky has to go. Also, one reason I’ll never buy one of the Chanel Illusion d’Ombres again – they dry out so quickly!

Utility products

I always differentiate between products that are fun and creative and such, and utility products like foundation, mascara, concealer, powders, and primers. These are the products that I usually use up. The things you very likely use every day and like with skincare products, I have a quite good grasp about what I like about them. A lot of them are holy grails. There’s no use to have five moisturisers/foundations/mascaras if you end up using only one of them because you like it best. The other ones can go.

The six-months-rule

So, you’ve gotten into the zone and there’s a pile of unused or not-loved-enough products next to you that you’re ready to let go. And then, you’re starting to panic. What if you’ll suddenly realise in three month that this shade of hot pink lips is the one you yearn for? Put everything into a box and store it somewhere. If you don’t miss it after six months, you’re ready to let it go.

Have a storage system that works for you

For me that’s a drawer system that’s easily accessible and tidy. I’m lazy af, and if I don’t have everything ready to use and reachable from the desk where I’m doing my makeup, I’m not going to use it. For that reason I like Muji drawer systems, or generally drawer systems where I can see quickly which product is which.


So there you have it. Do you declutter or sort through your makeup collection regularly?

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Beauty junkie with about 20 years of beauty experience under her belt. Editor, writer and twindly's PR heroine. Has an unbelievably large nail polish stash and a passion for skincare. Gets a kick out of pretty powders.

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