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  • Writer's pictureMyah Shein

Start the year with a makeup bag makeover!

While January 1 isn’t really that much different than December 31, I think we can all agree that any opportunity to move forward, reset and have something to be hopeful for this year is worth taking. Personally, I’m not one for resolutions, weight loss challenges or extreme home makeovers. But, I do think small accomplishments can make a big difference for mental clarity, productivity and just a small sense of accomplishment. For me, cleaning out my makeup collection was one of the most satisfying projects I’ve completed during the pandemic. If you’ve been putting off digging through purses, cabinets, toiletry bags and vanity drawers, now is the perfect time to clear the clutter and start the year with a clean, functional makeup kit.

Tossing expired, dated, never-used and practically empty tubes, compacts, lotions and potions got literal trash out of my house. Not only that, but the items that remained revealed a tightly edited collection of products I can use to create a variety of looks, including my go-to five minute face. Being able to actually see what I have speeds up my application time and keeps the chaos at my station minimal. It also showed what holes needed to be filled. These are all rules I follow when it comes to my professional kit and station set up, but 2021 is the year I’m applying these editing rules to myself!

Recently, a client mentioned that on most days she avoided her makeup bag because it was such a hot mess and she could never find anything! I think this is really common and one of the reasons I have most of my clients start with the Makeup Bag Makeover class.

That doesn’t mean you can’t attack that makeup bag on your own. Here are some guidelines for cleaning out your makeup collection and what to do with the items that don’t make the cut.

My Rules

Get rid of anything you haven’t used in 6 months, purchased for a college theme party, smells weird, has a crust or cracks in the package. Period. End of story.

Expiration Dates to Know

  • Mascara, Liquid and Gel Eyeliner - 3-6 Months

  • Eyeshadows - 12-18 Months

  • Liquid makeup such as foundation, lip gloss liquid highlighter etc - 12-18 Months

  • Powder face products - 24 months

  • Wooden pencils - 24 months

  • Unopened products - 36 months (most unopened products have a 3 year shelf life.

Additional Tips:

Check out my Instagram Reels today and save my 30 second cheat sheet for when to toss what. The time frames above are based on using the product as directed, including keeping it out of extreme temperatures. You should also check the outer packaging which will indicate an expiration date with an icon of an open container and the number of months it's good for. But always use your best judgement--When in doubt, throw it out.

Properly Disposing of Old Cosmetics

So now you have a big pile of products destined for the trash. If that doesn’t sit well with you, check out some of these cosmetic recycling options.

Back To Mac - For every 6 MAC products you return to your local MAC location, you can choose a lipstick, lipgloss or eye shadow for free (limitations apply). They recycle the packaging, and you get a new goody. Win-win!

Nordstrom Beautycycle- Bring back any and all empties to Nordstrom and drop them in containers found throughout the store for recycling. Nordstrom also identifies products they sell featuring sustainable packaging and ingredients.

TerraCycle- One of my personal favs, TerraCycle partners with many brands to help process tough to recycle items. As far as cosmetics, they have partnerships with a wide range of brands that make recycling free for consumers. I was thrilled when Paula’s Choice joined the program, as I create a mountain of empties on a regular basis. You can also purchase boxes based on the type of waste you create (including cosmetics and toiletries), fill them up and ship them back.

Municipal recycling- Google your local recycling rules and check to see what you need to do to put cosmetics and toiletries right into your weekly recycling bin.

Don't Sweat It

If you find yourself feeling any guilt about getting rid of partially used products, try and figure out why. If you went a little overboard at the cosmetic counter and bought more than you could use up or got home and realized you didn’t really know how to use some of those products, don’t beat yourself up. But don’t hold on to those useless products if you’re never going to use them or they are expired. I always tell my clients, if you have an expired product you love, treat yourself to a new one! And if you barely touched something and it’s just sitting there, let it go! It’s all about shopping smart and buying what you need when you need it.

Want a little more help sorting through the mess and creating a makeup routine that actually works for you? Book a Makeup Bag Makeover class today, I would love to help!

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Dec 06, 2021

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