Marie Kondo Your Makeup Collection in 4 Easy Steps

Isabel Miller-Bottome

Cosmetic products have a natural tendency toward clutter. Our beauty routines evolve over time and with the seasons; we might use a moisturizing oil every night during the winter but ditch it for self-tanner the second summer arrives, while our favorite lip gloss from college may be replaced by a rose lip stain for our first office job. Plus, you can never be sure how you'll like a particular bronzer or highlighter until you've tried it a few times, resulting in hoards of half-empty products (the ones that don't quite pass the everyday routine muster, but that were expensive enough that you feel guilty throwing them out) taking up space in your makeup bag for eternity. Simplify your life by starting with your makeup collection. Use these 4 easy steps based on organizing guru author and Netflix star Marie Kondo's method as your guide.

Ask yourself: does this makeup product spark joy?

Look inside your makeup cabinet, shelf, or pouch, and ask yourself: do you absolutely love applying that mascara every day? Does that dark red lipstick make you feel like a movie star? What about that hydrating charcoal mask you haven't actually worn in months - does it spark joy? It's the first question Marie Kondo encourages her clients to ask as they start the tidying process, because it forces you to determine the value and purpose of each item that takes up space in your life. If the answer is "no," then the item goes. Try that question on the stockpile of glitter eyeshadow underneath your sink and feel your stress start to melt away.

De-noise your products

Once you've identified which of your makeup products spark joy, consider how their packaging affects the overall appearance of your collection. One of our favorite Marie Kondo-inspired hacks takes practically no effort: transfer the branded products that you use regularly, such as facial cleansers, body lotions, and soaps, into brandless containers that complement your bathroom or storage area. Matching glass or ceramic bottles that can be purchased for cheap on Amazon, instead of mismatched plastic containers, will help your makeup collection both feel and look neater and more intentional.

Quit saving sample sizes

If you've ever shopped in the makeup department, you know the feeling of walking away carrying not only the product you came for, but a smattering of miniature perfume bottles, disposable shampoo packets, and dime-sized eyeshadow pallets that you never asked for. Sure, we all love getting free stuff, but these testers are rarely what we originally set out to spend money on, and they start to build up over time. When evaluating which makeup products spark joy, go ahead and toss those free pinky-sized eye liners. If you were going to use them, you would have a long time ago. And next time you're at the makeup store, just say "no, thanks" to the free samples. Trust us, it will pay off in the long run.

Make sure everything has its place

Think of your collection of makeup bags - have they simply become a grab bag of old brushes and half-used pallets coated in spilled foundation powder and slightly shimmery residue? These are not only unsightly, but it takes extra long to find the specific item you're looking for during your daily makeup routine. Solve it in a pinch by opting for a makeup case with pockets, pencil holders, and zipped compartments so that every single item has a designated home. The same goes for those of you who store your makeup in drawers or shelves. If each product has a specific place, you're way more likely to return it there after every use, maintaining an effortlessly organized makeup space.


Isabel Miller-Bottome is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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