Okay, all you beauty junkies out there—raise your hand if you’ve ever broken the zipper on your makeup bag because you’re trying to push one more item into the already-crammed compartment; if you’ve found a long-forgotten lipstick in the collective mess of products in said bag; if you’ve fell into a deep panic upon realizing you couldn’t squeeze one more tube of mascara in the little Ziploc bag as airport security glares at you…I’m raising both hands! Because we know there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, we’ve brought in de-clutter extraordinaire, Tracy McCubbin, who shared some tips on how to simplify your makeup bag and de-stress your life.
Two major reasons to de-clutter our makeup bags:
● Makeup expires quicker than most people think, McCubbin says. “The rule of thumb is the closer to the eye the product goes, the quicker it expires. Makeup can carry bacteria, so hanging on to your favorite lip gloss from high school isn’t the best idea.”
Remember this get-rid-of-makeup rule of thumb, per McCubbin:
- Liquid and crème foundations: 3-6 months
- Mascara: 3-6 months
- Lipstick & lip gloss: 1 year
- Eye & lip pencils: 1 year
● As well, too many choices can be stressful to a lot of people, McCubbin continues. “If you’re carrying around a bag with 10 different looks in it and you go to the restroom to freshen up, open up your bag, and see a jumble of makeup, then it’s just going to stress you out.”
McCubbin’s tips (and product suggestions!) for a stress-free, de-cluttered makeup bag:
● “I recommend carrying no more than three products for your lips: one for moisturizing, one for day, and one for night. As the seasons change, then change the colors, but don’t add more products,” she says.
● Carry minimal makeup for going out after work. “If, on an odd night, you know you’re going to something dressier, then pack an extra makeup bag with more options,” she advises.
● Use a small makeup bag. “The bigger the bag, the more you’ll cram in there. All you need is a powder, blush, mascara, and eye shadow. Carry products that do double-duty. So instead of carrying an eyeliner, carry a quad eye shadow that contains a dark color and then an eyeliner brush so you can apply liner if you want,” McCubbin tells us.
Or, go for products that do triple-duty. “The Multiple by NARS is fantastic!” she goes on. “It can be blush, eye shadow, and lip color. It comes in lots of colors so great options for everyone. This one item is a game-changer. In fact, if you’re carrying a tiny evening bag, this could be all you need.” McCubbin also recommends Smashbox CC Cream: “It’s a foundation, concealer, and sunscreen. It also comes in a .5-oz size that’s perfect for makeup bags,” she says.
● It’s okay to let the guilt go. “A huge part of de-cluttering makeup is the guilt we feel because we spent a lot of money on our makeup. We don’t want to let it go because it was expensive, so we hang on to colors that we’ll never wear or scents we don’t like because they were expensive. Those unused products are just cluttering up our makeup bags,” McCubbin says.
“Take a deep breath and acknowledge that there are a handful of products that you’ll never wear. Then take a deeper breath and acknowledge that you spent a lot of money on them. Admit you made a bad decision and then put all the makeup you don’t wear in a cute little bag and either give it to a girlfriend, niece, or even drop it off at your local runaway shelter,” she recommends.