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Streamlining Your Makeup Bag

streamlining your makeup bag

Purging your cosmetics stash of old, unused or unsuitable products can be an extremely cathartic experience; there is nothing quite as satisfying as starting afresh by identifying your most used products and those you could (if you’re honest) really do without. This January join us in streamlining our makeup bags with the help of a professional organiser, Vicky Silverthorn, (IG: youneedavicky) and content creator and author of An Edited Life, Anna Newton (IG: theannaedit)…

How To Throw Away Old Makeup

As with food, beauty products can also go off. Exposed to the elements your favourite products can provide the perfect environment to harbour potentially harmful bacteria. Not only that but the active ingredients in them can degrade over time, rendering your products ineffective. “The quickest way to initiate a product cull is to check expiry dates,” says content creator and author of An Edited Life, Anna Newton. “On the packaging of each cosmetic product is a number printed in the logo of a pot, it can be anywhere from three months to three years, which indicates the suggested expiry of the product. I would suggest checking this and all of your products for smell and texture to see how they perform or if they look past their best, and discarding as necessary.” Next up, consider any products that are half used or have only a small volume remaining. “Section half open or nearly finished products into an easily accessible tray or basket,” recommends professional organiser Vicky Silverthorn, “this will help remind you what you should finish up as a priority to prevent precious products going to waste.”

Decluttering Unused and Unwanted Products

To overhaul your makeup stash Vicky recommends lying a towel down onto the floor or your bed and tipping all your beauty products onto it in a big pile. “Without looking at any individual products, sort by category – for example grouping concealers, foundations and lipsticks into smaller, individual piles.” When it comes to sorting through these smaller piles and identifying what you don’t use anymore, honesty is key. Vicky advises going with your gut feeling and taking responsibility for the items you’ve bought that you love and the items that no longer serve you and you don’t use anymore. It might be because the texture doesn’t suit you, or the shade doesn’t flatter your skin. Sifting through each individual product category, remove any items you no longer need and make a new ‘unwanted’ pile. Then consider what you could re-gift to a friend, being generous with anything that’s no longer needed will make the experience a more positive one. Finish by discarding the remainder.

Identifying Your Most Used Products

Identifying your most used products should be a pleasurable experience. It’s about recognising those feel-good items that you love and regularly enjoy using. If you have any similar colours, have fun swatching to compare and contrast and ditch any shades that are too close, or you don’t use as often, advises Anna.  Once you’ve decluttered your makeup kit of old and unwanted products, Vicky recommends setting up your empty makeup bag next to you and adding products to it in order of application in the morning, as it’s more likely you’ll feel nervous and encounter resistance at the prospect of removing items. “Try and get in the practise of emptying out your makeup bag out at the end of each day and repacking the following morning as you apply. This will help to edit your collection down naturally, especially if you like to change up your look, so you aren’t carrying around excess products,” advises Vicky. Once you’ve perfected the selection of products you use daily, take a quick photo of your edit on your phone so you can refer back to it easily, says Anna. “When you know the products you reach for the most, it’s much easier to slim your makeup bag down and it’ll also make repurchasing favourites you’re running low on simple,” says Anna.

Save Space With Multi-Tasking Heroes

One of the easiest ways to cut down on the number of products you carry in your makeup bag is by investing in space saving multi-tasking products. Lipsticks that can double up as blushers, cheek tints that can be used as an eyeshadow gloss or a highlighter that can make both eyes and cheeks pop. By reducing the number of products needed you not only reduce size but the weight of your kit, making application more pleasurable. We spoke to Anna and Vicky to discover their favourites…

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

“I love a concealer that comes in a pot. The flexibility of application means that it can be applied with a finger for precise application or full coverage, or it can be dusted on with a brush for a sheerer finish that works almost like a tinted moisturiser,” says Anna.

nars soft matte concealer
rms lip2cheek

RMS Lip2Cheek

“I love natural products and this balmy pot by RMS Beauty is perfect to dab onto lips for a hint of colour and for adding a warming flush to cheeks. The palm sized pot means it won’t weigh down your makeup bag either so is perfect for on-the-go touch ups,” says Vicky.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

“This mist is my essential for hydrated, healthy skin. You can use it both as a base for makeup to smooth and plump skin and also for a mid-afternoon refresh to pep up dull skin after a long day before you top up your makeup. I always keep a bottle in my kit,” says Vicky.

caudalie beauty elixir

RMS Living Luminizer

“I find myself using this all the time. It’s a cream highlighter so works well on top of the cheeks or applied all over the eyelids for a glossy lid look,” says Anna.

Packing Your Stash

How you organise your makeup at home is largely down to personal preference, however two key things to consider are visibility and accessibility so you know exactly where your favourites are stashed. “Keeping all your makeup in one place stops you running around your house each morning trying to locate everything you need,” says Anna. Two popular options are acrylic cube storage boxes, which Anna prefers, while Vicky favours using small trays and boxes to divide your kit by category. For your on-the-go makeup bag, it’s worth experimenting with packing by considering product size and shape and stacking vertically so you can immediately see each item on opening. Investing in a transparent, wipe-clean bag like our Space NK Travel Bag allows you to immediately see all of your products for effortless organisation and also means tidying up any product spills is easy.

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