How To Organize Your Gross Old Beauty Products

Nothing will cause you to reevaluate your beauty product stash more than attempting to organize the usually prodigious, crummy mess. Even the most meticulous chick will admit to hiding a hot mess of broken eye shadows, four-year-old hot pink lipsticks and almost empty hairspray somewhere under her cupboard. Once you make the decision to get it together down there, you will see that you should make a new commitment to minimalism, and never again will you buy a sixth lip gloss willy-nilly. Well, for a few weeks anyway. After the jump, a few tips for getting it together. Downsize: You need to grab a huge trash bag, take a seat on your bathroom floor, and get very seriously discriminating and fast. Here’s the danger in going through your disgusting old beauty products: While it won’t be so hard to throw away that heinous body glitter you thought was a good idea at the time, you will come across nostalgia pieces like an old tube of Chanel Vamp or an expensive body lotion you used once and you will want to put these items to the side and reincorporate them into your current rotation. If you can, resist the urge. These products have been out of sight, out of mind for so long, you only think you still care. Plus, beauty products do have expiration dates, and while I like to keep these loose, the fact is that you really should never use old mascara and old beauty junk is crawling with bacteria. Now throw it away! (That said, if you come across any new stuff you never used, donate it to a women’s shelter!)

Divide: Beauty supply stores and other fancy container outlets will try to sell you fancy pink plastic boxes made to deal with this stuff, but we say screw ‘em. Plastic food containers are far cheaper and more readily available. (I use old takeout ones.) Now assess what you have, and put the blushes together and group the lipsticks all in one place, etc. All nail stuff should go in one box. Ditto for tools. Seriously, though, I hope you threw out more than that. If you did, maybe you could just put all this stuff in one small cloth bag and move on with your life. That’s probably the best way to go.

Think Ahead: While you’re sorting this stuff, consider putting some things aside for a travel kit. I like to have a Ziploc bag filled with travel-friendly products and a small toothbrush and stuff under the sink ready for a last-minute weekend trip, but you know, I’m kind of a Girl Scout like that.

Conquer: Once your makeup and stuff is organized and you’ve grouped your skincare and hair items, stack your makeup boxes and put all your hair stuff in one corner and skin stuff in the other. That way when you run out of conditioner, you know exactly where to find a fresh bottle. And, of course, it’s probably best not to buy any new crap until you run out, so you don’t get yourself into this mess all over again in a few months. Good luck in there.