During this time of shelter-in-place orders, I’ve been looking for ways to include self-care in my routine that don’t involve me browsing the bookstore (my all-time favorite thing to do) or grabbing a vanilla oat milk latte from my favorite cafe.
Here’s a short list of some things I’ve come up with:
The last one is the one I want to talk to you about today. Organizing my makeup and skin care collection is something I’ve avoided doing for months because it seems more like a chore—you gotta check expiration dates, see what you can recycle, put everything in order. I’d much rather be playing Stardew Valley. But after I couldn’t put it off any longer (I moved! During a pandemic! STRESS), I realized that organizing and putting all of my beauty products away was more therapeutic than I thought. Now everything has a clear place, I can see all of my products, and it makes getting ready in the morning or evening a breeze.
Organizing my beauty stash is something I’ve avoided for months because it seems like a chore. But I realized that it’s more therapeutic than I thought.
Want to know my tips for making organizing your makeup and skin care stash less painful? Read on!
1. Toss or Recycle Old Products First
I like to go ahead and get rid of anything that is empty, is expired, or simply did not work for me first. I make two piles: one for trash, one for recycling. I use the TerraCycle website to determine if my products can be recycled, and if so, where to recycle in my city, or if I need to request a shipping label to mail it in. Reminder: anything with a pump 100% cannot be recycled, and everything you recycle must be thoroughly wiped clean. It’s an extra step, but I find repetitive movements really therapeutic during this time.
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Back to expiration dates. All of your makeup and skin care products have a shelf life. As a rule of thumb, most creams and liquids have a shelf life of about 12 months, while powder products can last up to two years. Mascara and eyeliners have a shelf life of about three months, and perfume lasts a whopping eight to 10 years. But don’t just trust these guidelines—use your sense of smell and touch. If anything looks or smells off, toss it out!
2. Clean Your Products and Your Shelving
After I’ve moved everything off of the shelves and vanity, it’s time to clean! Cleaning and disinfecting is super important right now in the time of coronavirus, so everything gets a healthy spray of Lysol. (Remember to let it stay wet for approximately 10 minutes to kill any nasties.) Then I wipe it down with a clean cloth.
I like to do the same for all of my products too! They collect dust, and sometimes you might get makeup all over your packaging. This is also a good time to clean all of those makeup brushes you’ve been neglecting (guilty!).
3. Sort, Sort, Sort
After you’ve tossed or recycled your old products, now it’s time to sort things out. I like to sort by product type. For makeup, all eyeshadow palettes are put together, eyeshadow singles, foundations, concealers, powder blush, liquid blush, etc.
Skin care is the same, except I like to organize by type AND step. So for example, I organize my makeup removers and oil cleansers first, then foaming cleansers, then mists/hydrating toners, serums/ampoules, etc. Or you can sort by color, shape, brand—whatever suits you and your space! The key here is that everything should have its own space, a place where you know where to put it so it doesn’t get thrown in a pile of random stuff at the end of the day. And don’t forget to keep all of your most used products up front for easy access.
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If your storage solution is a drawer or a set of drawers that you can’t see inside of, now is a great time to bust out the good ol’ label maker that’s been collecting dust in your closet (or buy one!) and create labels for each drawer. No longer do you have to waste precious time searching through your drawers for your foundation or concealer—you’ll know exactly where everything is! To me, this step is one of the most important. I hate clutter, and I HATE searching through my stash trying to find that one specific product. An organized, labeled beauty drawer? That’s my idea of self-care.