MAkeup and mirror on dining table in front of a large window
Beauty, Simplicity

Decluttering my makeup collection

Brace yourselves, because this will be one of those posts where I write about minimalism while being completely shit at minimalism. You have been warned.

Lately I have felt a need to downsize my makeup collection. It is much larger than average (I suspect) (that’s what she said), and I only actually use a fraction of it. I have also started to realize that I’m rarely happy with what I buy when I treat myself to something new, whether it is a lipstick or an eyeshadow or a blush. There’s always that slight tinge of “dammit, shouldn’t have bought that, I did not need it”, or maybe even a “wow, look at that, I already own something exactly like this”. So I decided to use the tried and true decluttering method of putting everything I’m not sure about into boxes and storing them out of sight for a few months, starting a few weeks ago.


Makeup travel case full of makeupThis is what’s left: still a very sizable amount of products that would last most people for years. I’m not going down the road of just-some-lip-gloss-and-mascara-and-out-the-door-I-go, because I still love makeup. I just don’t need to collect it. I wear a variation of the same 3 looks 99% of the time, so why own enough product to start freelancing as a makeup artist? That is completely pointless and a total waste of both money and product.

If I were to be brutally honest with myself, this is what I actually use :

(Although not all at the same time. Somehow I feel like that needs to be said.)

  • 1 Foundation
  • 1 BB Cream (for when my skin is extra dry)
  • 1 Concealer
  • 1 Mascara
  • 1 Eyebrow pencil
  • 1 Eyebrow gel
  • 2 Eyeshadow quads/quints and a few single eyeshadows (don’t hate, this is where I get my variation)
  • 3 Blushes (a nude, a pink and a peach)
  • 2 Highlighters (one champagne and one white)
  • 1 Bronzer
  • 1 Eyeshadow primer
  • 1 Liquid eyeliner
  • 3 Kohl pencils (a beige, a brown and a black)
  • 1 Setting spray
  • 3 Lipsticks (a matte red, a sheer mauve and a creamy nude)
  • 2 lip glosses (a berry and a nude)

Which is still a lot of makeup, and a lot of you probably find this massively excessive, but trust me when I say that it is just a fraction of what I currently own.


I’ll write an update for you in a couple of months to let you know how I’m doing, if anything has been sitting here unused, or if anything was brought out from the boxes. We will be moving in just a handful of weeks and I can’t bring all these beauty products with me, so it is time to buckle down and do some serious beauty decluttering.


12 thoughts on “Decluttering my makeup collection

  1. I love the method of putting stuff away to see if I miss it … it’s how I keep getting rid of my husband’s stuff ;-) If he hasn’t asked for something in a full year, out it goes. So many old t-shirts gone…

    I downsized my makeup collection a ton when I moved last year, and it’s only gotten smaller since then. I only wear makeup on very special occasions, and for photo shoots and performances I always go to MAC anyway, so I really did not need six different glitter eyeshadows taking up space. I haven’t missed a single thing I got rid of either – in fact I now wanna go through my drawer and see what else I haven’t used in a year :-)

    • I’m honestly so nervous of facing all the money I’ve spent on products I don’t really use. I stil wear makeup, but I am not joking when I tell you that I probably own 30 different brown eyeshadows.

      • Eh, we all spend money on something, and there are worse vices than makeup, so cut yourself some slack :-) At least you’re working on doing something about it now!

  2. I recognise the dark brown bag in your first picture. I had one of those as a camera bag in the 1970’s! It travelled thousands of miles with me. I sold it about 8 years ago along with a load of old camera equipment.

    • Hi Steve, thank you for stopping by! That’s so funny, this bag has the exact same story – although with my dad, not with me. He used to work on boats all over the world, and I’m pretty sure that bag has been around the world at least twice. He gave it to me when I got properly into photography about 8 years ago.

  3. Diggin’ the white drawer and your storage set-up. Could you possibly use some of the leftover makeup as an emergency kit at work? (so that you don’t have to dump/waste all the doubles)

    • That’s a great idea, Kristina! I don’t really re-apply makeup during the workday unless I’m going out in the evening, but some of the products could definitely stay in my travel makeup bag :)

  4. I am actually quite good with not over-buying makeup. * pats self on back * My weakness is that I can’t throw away books and I have an ever-growing collection of old Vogues… I think most people who appreciate minimalism have a weak spot. I enjoyed this post :)

  5. SA says:

    This post really comes in time because, I am getting rid of a lot of clothes in my closet. I am not a make up person, but I find random makeup (especially those nail polishes that I never wear). Time to clean up I guess.

  6. Pingback: My make-believe minimalist makeup collection | Beauty | Maja Huse

  7. Pingback: Decluttering my makeup collection: an update | Simplicity | Maja Huse

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