Challenge #12- Make-up

Cosmetics. Guys get a day “off” today as we girls tackle our stores of make-up.

Guys get a day “off” today as we girls tackle our stores of make-up.


Buying makeup is fun. Getting “free” makeup is even more fun. But for most, culling through a pile of old makeup isn’t very inviting. Nonetheless, out of date makeup is not only a source of clutter, it can also house bacteria, so we need to sort through it at least once a year.

Start by dumping out your makeup – and don’t forget to look in your handbag. Wipe/shake out the spaces while they are empty.

Next, group what you have into piles of “like items”… lipsticks/glosses, eye shadows, foundation, eye liners, brushes, blush, etc. This will help you to see which products you have accumulated too many of.

Do a “quick sort” to pitch anything you have never used (and never will), or anything that is almost gone. If you are almost out of a product you love, keep it, but schedule on your “to do” list to restock. Try and limit yourself to three or fewer of each type.

Now look at any items for which you have a matching sponge. Wash these thoroughly with soap and hot water as they are a major source of bacteria. For disposable sponges, be sure to throw out after a month, even if you are regularly washing them. Brushes also should be washed in hot water with a mild detergent.

Another product which can cause trouble is old mascara. Mascara should not be kept for more than four months. In addition, it is good to be aware that pumping the wand in and out of the container exposes the product to more bacteria, which makes it deteriorate faster.

Other makeup items can generally be kept for a year or more, but piling up partially used makeup containers is a nasty habit. Keep just enough product for variety, but not so much that you lose track.

When you are ready to reload, consider using small boxes or a drawer organizer to hold similar products.

Another great alternative is to get a tabletop sorter designed to hold makeup.

Brushes, eye pencils and other tall/thin items can be stored in a vase filled with glass beads or coffee beans.

Even a toothbrush holder can come in handy.

Don’t feel guilty about pitching old makeup as it probably is no longer good and could lead to some unpleasant side effects.

What item is hardest for you to dispose of? Have you found any great tricks for storing your makeup?

*     *     *     *     *

If you are new to the challenge, here’s a review of the process we are using all month:


1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)

  • Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
  • Trash can and recycle bin
  • Damp rag/wet wipe

2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.

3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)

  • R- Restore: these are the items going back in
  • E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
  • D- Donate
  • D- Dispose: trash or recycle
  • S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.

4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.

5. Move items to their final destination:

  • Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
  • Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
  • Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
  • Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
  • Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.

14 thoughts on “Challenge #12- Make-up”

    1. Can’t believe I landed on one you haven’t already done:) We all love a “free gift” right? Good news is, it doesn’t take too long to sort through and keep our favorites. I can think of a couple of lipsticks that definitely did not flatter me – out they go!

    1. I don’t personally wear a lot of makeup, and I still need to do this task!! Sometimes it is the fact that I use certain items only rarely (mascara) that makes this important, as I forget how long I’ve had something. It just feels “healthy” to get that mess sorted, right? Thanks for reading, Ellen!

    1. I think a combination is perfect… keeps any one space from getting too crowded. The brushes are probably healthier out in the air, and sticking them in a container like a toothbrush holder can come in handy when you wash them. Thanks for sharing your strategy Jill!

    1. I was a teenager when someone told me about washing brushes… I hadn’t been doing that, and once I started, I realized the bacteria I had been exposing my skin to. Yuck! There are lots of cute ideas on Pinterest for storing makeup, many of which make good use of other items:)

    1. Good for you, Susannah! This one has the potential for actual health side effects, so its great that you’ve got this under control. Thanks for checking in with the Challenge:)

  1. Ah, those pictures! If only mine looked like that, instead of being shoved in a drawer with pink blush smudges on the bottom, from a very unfortunate pink blush phase.
    I used to be more of a product junkie, but due to money and motherhood, I’ve cut down a lot. So that’s helped keep just the things I really use in my drawer.
    Tamara recently posted…Discovery.My Profile

    1. Motherhood can have a very positive impact on limiting indulgent clutter! I’m smiling about the “pink blush” phase. I had a “blue eye shadow” phase.. wasn’t good. Owell!

  2. Done this recenty too and threw away those that I’m not using anymore. I used to feel guilty about throwing them away but hey what’s the use?! I just have to remind myself not to buy those things anymore if I don’t like them anyway. LOL

    1. Yes, you shouldn’t be hard on yourself about throwing it away. Sometimes we genuinely think something is going to look good on and then it just doesn’t. If it doesn’t add value to your life, pitch it!

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