HOW TO: Get Rid Of Your Cosmetics Clutter!

New year, new resolutions? How often do we make new year’s resolutions only to break them? As I grow older, I’ve slowly transitioned towards a minimal lifestyle with sustainable buying habits. By focusing a lot on quality and investment towards products/clothing that last, instead of quantity, I can reduce clutter too. This change has brought about a positive and clearer mindset!

Decluttering may seem intimidating and it’s easy to get sucked into the endless cycle of putting things off. It’s not as hard as you might think to break that cycle. I learnt this tip from Marie Kondo, which is to focus on categories rather than locations. This method has worked for me so far.

Let’s focus on our beauty stash first. With containers of beauty products, I can hardly remember where my older products are. Believe me- the number of products will only keep on increasing! Somewhere along the year, you'll probably collect more from the launches of new products, gifts and more. The most important reason is to throw out expired products. The rule of thumb is that the more moist your product is, the shorter its shelf life. Here is a quick guide to decluttering your beauty shelf, enjoy!


Rule #1

Separate the beauty products by categorising them.

I know it can be a hassle to remove ALL your beauty products out from your drawers, shelves and storage space. It’s necessary as it helps you look at the clutter as a whole. While I usually try to keep everything tidy (eyeshadow palettes stacked and brushes consolidated in a holder), this activity helps you uncover samples or hotel toiletries you’ve hoarded over the years. It’s the easiest to take everything out! Tip: Locate a corner of your room (probably one that doesn't block your way) and label "Skincare", "Makeup" and "Travel" on the floor with masking tape. Be sure to leave ample space between each category. This was written before i watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix show and she said it so well. If you need a little motivation getting started, I recommend taking 20 minutes to watch one episode, it’s a life changing experience.

Rule #2

Within the category, organise everything by product type.

Next, go ahead and stack up all the eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks together! The amount of toners I had scared me enough by being very careful when I head to Sephora. To simplify the process, stack the sealed and unused products together, separated from the used ones. Place the ones with the nearest expiry dates or almost-finished bottles at the top.

Rule #3

Eliminate the expired products from each category.

And here comes the hardest part- you'll have to throw the expired and half-used products away. Tip: The expiration date does not necessary define the validation period of the product. Once opened, the product should not be kept beyond a year. In particular, products with high water content or in liquid form will go bad at an earlier date.

One way to estimate the expiry date look at labels. All products come with a label that states "6M", "9M" or "12M". This means that the products would be safe to use for six months, nine months and 12 months respectively from the date that was opened. Otherwise, you can also observe for any change of colour, scent and texture of the content.

Rule #4

Giving is caring.

Next time you are meeting your girls, bring the extra bag of products along. Like they say, "One man trash is another man's treasure". Otherwise, you can always donate or sell it away.

Rule #5

Attempt a 'no buy' challenge.

Buy products that you actually love and use. When trying out new brands especially with so many new launches weekly, read reviews and ask around.

The simplest way to combat clutter is to only keep what you actually use.

Toss everything that you have not used in over a year!

Quick Shelf Life


Powders – around 2 years

Foundations – 6-12 months

Creams – 12-18 months

Concealer – 6-12 months

Pencils – 12 months

Mascara – 3-6 months

Lipsticks – 12-18 months