You know the deal: you buy a new lipstick or eyeshadow and as soon as it makes it into your make-up bag, it s all you ever use and the rest of your kit lies redundant. Chances are you have lots of random boxes filled with blushers you forgot you had, a few dried-up mascaras and foundations that aren t quite the right shade, but you can t bring yourself to throw them out. Right? Well, in the spirit of bank-holiday organisation, consider this your ultimate 10-step plan to decluttering and rediscovering your make-up. You ll never mourn the loss of a forgotten eyeliner again.
By Sonia Haria
Shop for some storage
Get your hands on some clear zippy cases that can hold all your products. Either head to a stationery store and buy clear pencil cases, or, if you have a lot of make-up, invest in plastic pouches by My Kit Co. Its hard-wearing, stackable make-up bags make it easy to store all your products. Buy eight or so that should cover it. For nail varnish, we love the acrylic boxes by a Muji.
Categorise your make-up
Start by separating your products into piles. Have one for eye make-up, one for lipsticks, one for cover-ups and base, and one for blushers. If you have a lot of products, you can sub-categorise eye make-up into liners and shadows, and your lipsticks into gloss and matt. Sounds borderline obsessive, but it will help you assess what you have and what you can chuck.
Out with the old
From these piles, chuck any lipsticks that smell waxy (it s a sign they ve gone off) or mascaras that have dried out. Check this by running the brush on the back of your hand if very little product comes off, it s time to bin it. If any foundations have split or smell funny, it s time to throw them, too. And if there s any make-up you haven t worn for six months because it s not quite the right shade, be brutal and get rid of it. Chances are you ll never wear it.
Make everything usable
You know the scenario: you re rushing around before a night out, you reach for the perfect eyeliner and its blunt. To prevent future faffing around to find a pencil sharpener, spend this time making sure all your lip liners and eye pencils are sharp and ready to use.
Get your glitter organised (if you have any )
Loose glitter in pots is a nightmare to keep tidy, so grab a few freezer bags and use one per pot of glitter. It means that if you do have a spillage, you won t get gold sparkles all over your kit. Keep the glitter freezer bags in a Muji box or in a transparent zippy case.
Create your own eye palette
If you re an eyeshadow fiend and have dozens lying around, yet you can never find the one you re after, it s time to get an empty magnetic palette. Prise out the eyeshadows from their casing using a flat metal stick, then place them into an empty palette. Those by Z Palette or My Kit Co are some of the best around. Having all your shadows in one place will ensure you use them more often.
And a palette for lipsticks, too
Like eyeshadows, if you have lots of lipsticks, you can save space and keep them all in one place by decanting them into a pillbox. Cut the end off the lipstick and scrape it into one section of the pillbox with a knife handle. Then write the name of the brand and shade on the back with a Sharpie, so you can refill if you ever run out.It s not great for lovers of pretty lipstick packaging, but it does save room and you ll use forgotten shades much more often.
Find a home for your brushes
Take this opportunity to wash your make-up brushes in baby shampoo and, once dried, store them in an open-top jar, standing upright. Reuse candle jars (Diptyque s look ridiculously chic), with one container for blusher and foundation brushes, one for eyeshadow brushes and one for tools (such as eyelash curlers and tweezers).
Organise your varnishes
If you have tons of nail colours, collect them together and keep in a medium Muji acrylic box they re the perfect size to store them standing up. In a separate zippy bag, keep your nail tools files, top and base coat and clippers. Ensure you store your varnishes in a cool, dark place so they don t dry out.
The everyday case
Now that all your make-up is organised, you have probably come across new favourite colours you can t wait to start using. In one empty case, organise your everyday make-up bag: you can reach for this in your bathroom each morning, saving lots of time. It should include blusher, foundation, concealer, eyeliner or shadow, mascara and lipstick. Then you can rotate eyeshadow colours and lipstick as often as you like. The rule? If you put in another lipstick, take one out and store it in the larger collection. And you re done! Go forth and never spend more than 10 minutes putting on make-up again.