If you have makeup brushes you don’t use, you don’t need to keep them. If you do use them, give them a cleaning, if you haven’t in a while, and check their condition.
If the bristles are falling out or have been spread out from use, decide if it is time for an upgrade or if you’ll keep using them.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate a snack that you are eating only because you are bored, or you need a break.
I’ve never quite understood why some women consider it a badge of honor to claim that they’ve used the same tube of mascara for three years. Really? If you wear it daily, then you’ll use it up. If you wear mascara only a few times of year, why bother?
Glancing around a few blogs and product sites, the recommendations for tossing eye makeup are:
Honestly, if you have the same tray of eye shadows for two years, do you really wear them? Either you stay on top of fashion trends and you switch out what you use each season (so, don’t hold onto the old stuff because you know you won’t use it again) or you don’t wear makeup that often (so, do you really feel that you have to own makeup so you can wear it two or three times a year?).
Toss the old stuff (if you don’t know how old it is, it is too old) and the eye makeup you know you won’t wear again.
If this doesn’t apply to you: Toss five pieces of paper – an old list, an out-of-date warranty, an article you tore from a magazine or printed from online, etc.
I’ve read that after a few years the fragrance of these products break down and so they don’t smell the way they were intended to smell. Have you set aside your fragrance because you love it so much you want to save it for special occasions? Wear it now! Even if it is just around the house or you spray some on your pillow, why deny something you enjoy?
What about if you disliked the fragrance? If it isn’t old, ask around if anyone would want it. Could you spray it on your patio furniture or on the carpet? Or, just toss it because the smell turns your stomach.
Holding onto it serves no purpose. What if someone saw the bottle in your room and decided you like this fragrance and bought you a new bottle for your birthday?!
If you can’t enjoy it, get rid of it.
You may find these items in your purse or gym bag or any bag you carry with you, beside your bed, in your medicine chest, in your coat pocket, in your makeup bag. This 15-minute task may seem more like a scavenger hunt!
If you truly use the items you find in different locations, then, no problem. However, you should still go looking for these items so that you see how much you have. If you realize that you have three sticks of lip balm (and they are all more than half-full), then do you really need to go out and buy a new one? Or, can you just grab one that was stored in another location?
If you wear lipstick, lip liner, and/or lip gloss, do you use all the products you’ve located? Are there colors you dislike and don’t use? How is keeping it, unused, making it worth the money you spent on the item? Could you layer colors from different tubes to change those colors you didn’t like?
Do you need to store these products in all the different places you found them?
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.