Photo: Chaunte Vaughn
With insane YouTuber beauty stash tours, a new palette dropping every week and so many enticing beauty subscription boxes, it’s easy to become a makeup hoarder without even realizing it. It’s all so pretty after all. But stashing a beauty-aisle worth of makeup, or even overstuffing your makeup bag can be overwhelming without even realizing it. That’s why we’re big fans of regularly decluttering your makeup — whether that means tossing your expired beauty buys or getting rid of products that no longer work for you, we advise that you do it with the change of the season or whenever you find yourself feeling like it’s all too much. To help you create the curated, decluttered stash of your dreams, we’ve tapped tidying expert and creator of the KonMari method Marie Kondo and professional organizer Jamie Hord of Horderly Professional Organizing, to share their tips and tricks for curating a makeup collection you’ll love. 

Tip 1: If You Don’t Love It, You Don’t Need It
According to Kondo, your beauty products should “spark joy for you” and you should be clear about what exactly you’re working with. Don’t stress about the amount — this will be different for everyone. “Those who love makeup may have a larger quantity – but that’s okay!” she says. Focus on getting rid of the things you don’t love rather than the quantity of things and watch your collection shrink (if only slightly) itself.

 
 
 
 
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Tip 2: Keep Track of the Things You Own
They key to a well-curated stash and consequently a happier you is knowing exactly what you’re working with. Knowing what you have cuts down on the amount of expired makeup you have lying in a drawer and also makes room for other products you love. To do this, both Kondo and Hord recommend taking out all of your makeup and laying everything out. Next, sort it into piles by category so you’re able to see how much of each product type you have. If you swear by the Marie Kondo method, then the next part should feel familiar: “Hold each item one by one and keep only those that spark joy for you. If you have multiple items within a product category (lipsticks, mascaras, etc), then you should decide which items within that category spark the most joy –— and keep only those.” Reminder: it’s still okay to experiment with products you’re not sure you’ll love — just keep track of them and regularly check in with your products, especially if you find yourself being overwhelmed. 

Tip 3: Streamline Your Routine — Your Mornings Will Thank You
Kondo says, “being in tune with your makeup helps in understanding what looks good on you. So when you’re searching for a new product, you already know what works and what doesn’t.” This is especially true for those hit-snooze-twice mornings when a five-minute makeup look is the best you can manage. According to Hord, streamlining your makeup will help combat “decision fatigue” and stop you from having to make too many decisions before the workday begins. 

Now that you know why you should edit your makeup stash down to the essentials (which varies for everyone), it’s high time we discuss how to do it. To do this, Kondo insists that all you need is a drawer. Once you identify which drawer you’ll use for your newly organized stash, follow these steps: 

1. Divide the space by using empty boxes.
2. Stand items upright whenever possible.
3. Try to make it look pleasing to the eye.

If you don’t have enough makeup to fill a drawer, start with a tray and use a hair brush holder to keep them separate. If you want to display your makeup, Hord recommends going with clear acrylic organizers. Not only are they pretty (and ready for the ‘gram), it’s an easy way to see exactly what you’re working with. 

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