I don't know about you, but I find breaking up with old make-up hard to do. Samples, my grandma's hand-me-downs, or free-with-purchase lipsticks... I've got them all. Not to mention the strange sale products that made their way into my impulse buying habits. I've amassed quite a collection! And my bet is, I'm not alone in this sitch. That's why I called on Master Make-Up Artist Lisa Hallam to help me do the ol' "it's not you, it's me" in order to streamline my cosmetic line-up. So peer into my make-up hall of shame, and get inspired to clean up your own, complete with pro tips from Lisa.
This is what my make-up storage consisted of at the beginning of this exercise: little drawers I just tossed everything into. New nailpolish? Into the nail drawer you went. It wasn't the absolute worst plan, except that I've so rarely purged old stuff that I'm always rooting around for something good.
Lisa got a few bins out for the polish and we made one for "keeps", one for "maybes", and one for "nopes".
PRO TIP: Clean as you go. Use baby wipes to clean up your products before putting them in the keep pile. Spray nail clippers and tweezers with alcohol to sanitize.
PRO TIP: If your nailpolish is totally dried, you can't get the top off, is a trend you're so over, or you've never used it, it's time to toss it. Yes, you can revitalize goopy polish with thinner, but if you've been meaning to do that for years and still haven't, maybe it's time to admit defeat.
PRO TIP: Two of the exact same colour? Just pick one.
You'll be surprised how much crap you find in your make-up bins, if you're anything like me. This sponge is DISPOSABLE but somehow I hung onto it even though the garbage can was a foot away from my make-up drawers. Gross, I know.
Face stuff is the worst trap for me. I often buy the wrong shade but think I can salvage it by adding it to moisturizer or something. Not the case.
PRO TIP: Keep two shade families of make-up (one for summer and one for winter) but ditch anything that doesn't match your skin tone. This means getting rid of make-up that's too pink or too orange.
PRO TIP: To clean your puffs, throw them in a laundry bag and into the wash. Make sure it's dried very well before reuniting it with your make-up. You can keep powder for much longer than liquid because it's moisture that breeds bacteria. (Although LIsa threw this particular powder and puff out because it was too pink for me. And it was a zillion years old.)
At this point in the purge, I was feeling rather embarrassed about the amount of crap I'd kept around, but I was beginning to see how much GOOD stuff I had, too. Those nail polishes on the right? All winners.
A pattern that emerged for me was a penchant for acquiring dark, brown-red lipstick. Lisa kept saying, "Another one?!"
PRO TIP: When you identify your mistakes, learn from them. Keep buying a colour you never wear? That's probably because it doesn't look good on you. Stop buying it.
PRO TIP: You can't always tell what your make-up looks like on you by looking at it in its package. Apply it to your hand to test the colour and sheerness, then decide if it's a keeper or a ditcher.
LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF THAT ENDED UP IN THE DISCARD PILE. There were some lessons learned here.
And in the end, I was left with make-up that suits me, is fresh, and that I can actually find. I totally recommend doing this-- book yourself three hours.
For further inspiration, check out this gallery of Lisa's pro make-up organization:
Not pictured is a Tupperware container labeled "label maker". That's how on it this girl is.
Anyway, I'm feeling a lot lighter after this exercise. Thanks to Lisa Hallam for helping me along my purge-quest! If you'd like to book a make-up consultation with Lisa, please find her facebook page here. She's got a brow makeover giveaway happening (closes on Feb 2), so be sure to check that out while you're there.