Call This An Intervention: Eight things to do when you have too much makeup

by Nina Marable, contributor

Wait, can you actually have too much makeup? Sadly, the truth holds still: too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. If you’re having trouble keeping your stash properly stored or even just choosing which products to use, maybe it’s time to admit that your collection has gotten out of hand. Regain control, maximize your stash, and free up some space (for new stuff *wink wink*) with these top tips!

Document and organize your products

It goes without saying that this is a two-step approach: it would be difficult to list down everything you have if you don't know what they are and where they are! Start by bringing out every single product you own and grouping them together by category: lipsticks, blushes, foundations, etc. Once you have them organized, you can start documenting each one so you keep track of what you have and what you don’t. You can simply log the names of each product, or you can have a little more fun and keep swatches and product details in an album or notebook!

Afterwards, make sure to properly keep your collection away by assigning a space just for that purpose. You can use trays, boxes, drawers or even cabinet shelves - just choose one that will allow you to access them quickly without creating clutter. 

Check expiration dates

Unlike our never-ending love for makeup, makeup can't actually last forever. Expired products are better thrown out for hygienic purposes and ensuring we don't get a skin reaction. Some products have set expiration dates on them while others need to be used up within a set period of time after opening. Check the label for guidance - if it has become illegible or worn out, it probably means it's too old! You can use our guides for skincare and makeup, and if you're ever not sure, it may be safest to just chuck it.

Ride the makeup merry-go-round

Yes, it’s just as fun as it sounds! It's a great way to circulate and use all the products in your collection, so you also don't get bored with the stuff you own. There are many ways to go about it: you can simply use a different product every day, like Foundation A on Day 1 and Foundation B on Day 2.

For lipstick hoarders, challenge yourself to wear a different one for, say, 30 days without doing any repeats until you've cycled through the entire collection. If you have a sizable loot and want to go a little faster on the ride, why not build yourself several kikay kits instead of limiting yourself to just one? You can even have a theme for each kit: a no-makeup makeup kit, one that's all K-beauty, or even a kit that doesn't require you to use any makeup brushes.

Do a Project Pan, No/Low Buy challenge

There's a growing community online that supports others who aim to finish up their makeup before buying something new. For Project Pan, you are encouraged to use up your products until you hit the bottom of the pan or bottle; only then can you shop for something! No buy or low buy simply means that you limit your purchases according to certain parameters. For example, you can only buy a new lipstick after three months, after saving up your coffee budget, or after finishing a task (such as a big presentation). Gamifying or creating game mechanics for your existing collection makes achieving goal posts more fun.

Give them away

Many makeup products can make you incredibly happy the first time you get them but as time passes, that happiness can fade away. If you haven’t used a product for a while (we're talking months, not years!) maybe you should let that product go. Assuming it's still in good, usable condition, pass the product on to someone who'll appreciate it: a sister, an aspiring makeup artist friend, an officemate who's just beginning to build her makeup kit.

You can also donate them to The Foundation Foundation Philippines, which helps women who were victims of rape, trafficking, and abuse to rebuild their lives and self-confidence. It may hurt to give them away but it's better than letting them go unused until they expire and need to be thrown out.

Sell brand-new and unused products online

If you have an untouched product lying around and taking up space, channel your businesswoman instincts and sell it! Tell your beauty-loving friends or post about it in makeup selling/trading online communities. Have a lot? Consider setting up a store on Instagram, Facebook, or Shopee to display your wares and reach a higher group of people.

Recycle and repurpose your makeup

Revive your old makeup products by turning them into new ones. You can make your own tinted lip balms or custom blush compact, and it's fun because you have complete control over the shade, formula and even packaging. Need ideas and tutorials? Just check all our DIY stories here

If you don’t love it, don’t buy it

With this advice, the initial problem of having too much makeup could have been avoided. Swatching products and thoughtfully considering your purchase will help you avoid accumulating too many duds and mediocre products that just happened to be hyped on social media. I’ve experienced buying my favorite beauty guru’s top products, only to realize that what works for them won’t always work for me, so remember: YMMV. If it so happens you fall absolutely in love after testing it out – grab it! It's better to splurge on a product you really love than to settle for something that doesn't have the same quality or appeal.

Remember: it’s okay to keep the products that you love and use on a regular basis, even if it seems like a lot. Just be willing to let go the ones that don't meet your needs. Do you have other suggestions for what to do with too much makeup? Which of these tips will you be trying out?

Nina is a high school student at Saint Pedro Poveda College. She interns for Project Vanity.