How and When to Toss Your Beauty Products

It’s always a struggle to know when to toss your beauty products. It’s also a struggle to know how to toss them when you really don’t want to, even though you know you should. So, here is my story.

Once upon a time I had a roommate who was a beauty product hoarder and refused to toss her old beauty products. Her hoarding was so bad that if I dared to open the bathroom cabinet, her mascaras, lipsticks, and anti-aging products would spill out everywhere. At 19, this seriously annoyed me. Why couldn’t she just throw away her unused and old beauty products that smelled funky and didn’t look right in color (yes of course I investigated)? Little did I know that my judgmental self would be that beauty product hoarder in the future, and ten times worse.

when to toss cosmetics

 Which brings me to last year.

My husband and I were packing to move across the country, and I was forced to look at the mass amounts of beauty products I had actually acquired over the past 11 years. Not shockingly, it ended up being two gigantic packing boxes full, and I would say that at least 50% or more was trash-worthy. I was at a crossroads with my makeup and beauty collection, and I knew I couldn’t haul all of this stuff across the country. So I had to learn how to throw away my beauty products, or give them a new home.

 Here is how you throw away your beauty products.

1)   Gather every single beauty product you own and put it into a pile. This gives you a good idea of how bad your problem is, and it also will help you check your inventory.

2)   Go through each beauty product and try and remember how long you have had it around. Chances are if they are old, they have acquired some fun things like mold and extra bacteria. Here are some tossing guidelines for you to know about. Liquids like lotions, serums, and foundation should be trashed within six months if opened. Mascaras and liquid liners should are tossable within three months; cream eyeshadows six months. Lastly, lipsticks, lipliner, eyeliner, and powdered eyeshadows should be thrown out within two years. My exception, for tossing these sooner would be if it smells rancid, looks discolored, mangy, and disgusting…there is a good chance you should just go ahead and throw it away. Mmm K?

3)   Now that you know when to toss your beauty products, and have hopefully thrown away the cosmetics you deemed as toss worthy, you need to re-check what you still have. Chances are that you still have items that are WAY beyond their expiration. If you are holding onto them because you paid good money for them ten years ago, and you don’t want to have wasted your money…you need to chalk it up to a lesson learned. Clearly you don’t like that blush you bought that one time too much since you have barely touched it. Just sayin.

4)   Now that you have cleared out the excess junk, you need to categorize what you do have. Put all of you skincare products in one spot, separate your cosmetics by mascaras, blushes, lipsticks, eyeshadows etc., and then put all of your body products in another spot. Doing this will help you see what you have multiples of in your beauty collection. If it ends up that you have two red lipsticks by two different brands, and you purchased the second one because you didn’t like the first–you should either toss the first lipstick or put it in a grab bag for friends. P.S- your friends, will adore you for that.

5)   Stop purchasing more products unless you don’t have anything else like it, or you are out of what you love. This rule especially goes for eyeshadows! If you have twenty eyeshadow palettes and still want to purchase the latest Chanel Quad, it’s most likely because you never learned how to use what you already have. Stop wasting your money; maybe invest in having a makeup artist  (like me) teach you how to use the cosmetics that are already in your makeup bag.

I know that tossing your beauty products is easier said than done and that you can come up with a million reasons to justify keeping your makeup brush collection from 1995 if you want to. But, from one beauty product hoarder to another, it’s worth it. Now I can find what I need without a panic attack, and purchase what I need too.




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