Five Tips to Refreshing Your Makeup Drawer

When to Keep or Kick Makeup Items to the Curb


Buying new products to add to your makeup collection is easy. It’s parting ways with outdated and overused products that’s the hard part. You may have been the first to get your hands on all the new beauty steals, but when was the last time you actually touched them? Let’s add cleaning your makeup drawer to the to-do list.

Here are five tips to hit the reset button on your makeup stash.

1. Always read the label: Hidden in plain sight, located on the back of every makeup product, is a sketch of a mini cream jar with the lid popped open. This is referred to as the “Preferred After Opening” symbol. On the jar should be a number followed by the letter “m”. The letter is the abbreviation for months, while the number indicates how many months the product will last. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of product in the bottle does not dictate how much longer it can be used. Challenge yourself to throw products away before you’ve emptied the bottle.

2. Quality over quantity: Despite how long we may try to stretch a product’s life span, it does not last forever. The way a product looks can also give away its age and let you know when it’s time to toss it. Mascara tends to get clumpy, which affects the application process. Eyeliner that once was creamy and bold should be replaced when it begins to feel dry and appear dull. Foundation has reached its limit when the color sinks to the bottom of the bottle while its clear and watery base floats to the top. Sometimes, the clue to an outdated product is right beneath the lid.

3. Six-month rule: Having go-to makeup products is the key to perfecting a woman’s makeup routine. Products that are the right shade have a habit of making their way to the top of the makeup drawer. Unfortunately, this means every other product constantly gets pushed to the bottom. If you have not used a makeup product in six months, it’s time to toss it. Stop waiting for the day you’ll finally have a need to use a specific makeup item. Instead, find new looks you can create with the ones you use every day.

4. Good things come in threes: Whether it be that you gravitate toward shiny, nude lip glosses, or have a weakness for gold and shimmery highlights. Having a favorite product you can’t get enough of is common. Finding a makeup product that consistently complements your look is important. However, it is easy to get carried away when adding items to your makeup collection. There’s no need to pick up a new pink blush every time you come back from a shopping trip. Yes, we know they are all so different. However, try limiting yourself to no more than three of the same type of item. One for a day look, the other for a night look, and the third choice can be completely left up to you!

5. Makeup should enhance the best you: Statement looks and stepping out of your comfort zone is always encouraged, but never at the expense of your confidence. Do not force yourself to go out on the town in a magenta lip if you feel most beautiful in a nude lip gloss. Just because it’s trendy does not mean it’s a must-have for you, and that’s okay! Fill your makeup drawer with what makes you feel most like you, and ditch whatever products that do otherwise.

All that glitters is not okay to use past its expiration date. Makeup may enhance your beauty, but the ugly truth is overusing and overbuying is not effective. Break up with all that bronzer, lose all those lip products, and ditch the items collecting dust. Before you know it, you’ll be able to see the bottom of that drawer again.


I am a Chicago Heights native currently studying Journalism as an undergraduate at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.