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How to Declutter Your Beauty Stash, According to a Makeup Artist

Straight from a makeup artist.
How to Clean Beauty Stash
Getty Images/Allison Kahler.

Once the holiday hoopla has settled down, one of our favorite end-of-year past times is getting things in order…literally. Whether it’s donating clothes we’ve only worn once or scrubbing every inch of our apartment, there’s just something about clearing the space around us that makes ringing in the New Year a little more zen. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t admit our beauty products drive us a little more crazy than other cluttered spaces.

Product junkies know that by December, our drawers and bathroom cabinets are filled to the brim with half-used samples, spilled palettes and other makeup finds we may or may not have forgotten about. The struggle is real, but de-cluttering is possible with a few foolproof tips. Ahead, Yuki Hayashi, Makeup Artist for Streeters, shares the easy hacks he uses to keep her own makeup kit in order, whether he’s on-the-go or on set. We have a feeling her tips will easily translate to whatever you’re dealing with at home.

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Consolidation is Key

First of all, less is more. Most beauty products are small or medium-sized, which means things can be easily grouped together. Hayashi recommends dividing products and tools by how frequently you use them.

“I put my most frequently used products together in my basic bag such as moisturizer, foundation, concealer, eyebrows, mascara, blush,” he says. “I also put my most frequently used eyeshadows in a single palette to avoid carrying too many individual eyeshadow compacts.”

After that, be sure to keep your most-used bags in an easily accessible place. For instance, if you live in a small space and need to stack things on top of each other, keep your everyday bag on top of the pile and special occasion products at the bottom. The concept is pretty basic, but a little reminder never hurts.

Labels Save Time

Take your consolidation game up a notch by investing in labels, too. If you’re someone who uses multiple versions or brands of the same type of product, this will save you from playing the guessing game each morning. Remember those few seconds saved could prevent you from missing a train or running late to an important meeting. Besides, who wants the added stress of trying to figure out what’s what? Beauty is supposed to be fun!

“I separate the products into labeled containers to make it easier to find what I need on set. This also stops products from spilling all over my kit in transit,” says Hayashi.

If you want to stock up before 2018, she recommends any of the storage from DAISO, MUJI and The Container Store.

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Expiration Dates Matter

Lastly, here’s yet another reminder that wearing old makeup is gross and completely unsanitary. I say this because most of us know it, but don’t actually stop doing it.

“Wearing expired makeup can cause skin irritation, breakouts, eye infections, and styes,” says Hayashi. “So I recommend replacing makeup regularly, and keeping it away from your finger, direct sunlight, heat, and humidity as much as possible to make it last longer.”

There’s no better time than the present to throw. it. all. out. And before you come up with another excuse not to, note the life span of all your beauty products below:

Liquid skin makeup: 6-12 months

Powder face makeup: 24 months

Eyeliner: 12months

Mascara: 3months

Lipstick: 12-24 months

Skin cleansers: 12-24 months

Skin moisturizers (creams and gels): 12-24 months


Now, get to work.

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