11/03/2015 04:53 EST | Updated 11/03/2016 05:12 EDT

What To Do With All The Makeup You Never Wear


Are you a makeup hoarder? If you like makeup and have even done a little bit of experimenting, then you probably are! The thing about makeup is that often we buy things at the suggestion of others, from the sales person at a local beauty counter, or even on a whim online. Then we get it home and don't know what to do with it, or it looks different when we apply it ourselves.


Even as a makeup artist, I have regrettable makeup and skincare purchases!

A very dear friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in consulting for a "makeup party." The premise was that a group of girls all bring over their collection of makeup, we go through it together and ditch the things that are old, expired or unnecessary. Since this is something that I do all of the time, I was totally game to share my process and then knowledge for recommending new.

We separated everyone's stuff on to trays - and there was a lot of stuff!

What was really fun -- besides the champagne and orange juice -- was seeing the types of things that different girls collect. For one girl it's mascara, another it is lip glosses. Each girl seemed to have their "favourites" -- like a certain colour of eye shadow that they buy over and over again. And then another girl had a hard time letting go - she kept reasoning that 'maybe' she will wear that again, or 'maybe' she will pass it on to her daughter. The psychology of letting go of things is pretty interesting! After we gave her the space to make her own decisions, she did come around and add quite a bit to the discard pile.


Here are a few of the lessons, taught and learned, from our makeup hoarder party:

If you are unsure how old it is, smell it - Expired makeup has a certain smell: old lipsticks smell odd, like old-grandma-makeup I like to call it. Old mascaras smell a bit like alcohol. Anything with an essential oil in it that has gone bad, smells like old oil. If you are ever in doubt about whether you should keep something or not, sniff it, and you will be able to tell right away.

Dewy skin trumps pasty skin - If you are in your late thirties and early forties, dewy skin looks better than a face-full-of-foundation-pasty skin. A BB cream or tinted moisturizer, coupled with a concealer under the eyes and down the bridge of your nose, is generally the best coverage for our age group. Heavier foundations look pasty and tend to settle in the lines under the eyes and in the forehead. We also discussed that Botox is a luxury, that done well and every six months or so, is a treat that we all deserve!

A little highlight goes a long way - A swipe of vanilla or cream/white eyeshadow along the lower lash line, and a swipe of highlight along the top of the cheek bone, can give you that extra boost of shimmer that wakes up your face. Highlighter sticks and shimmery powders sometimes look like those foreign items in our makeup bags that we bought and never learned how to use - but they are very useful for adding a little bit of glow.

Everyone should be cleaning their makeup brushes - Very simply, just like taking the hair out of your hair brush, your makeup brushes need to be cleaned. It's okay to get them wet, use a bit of gentle shampoo and lather them up, flick out as much water as you can and then set them out to dry. Most women just never get around to doing this, but everyone should be cleaning them, at least now and again!


After some throwing away, cleaning up and few laughs, we ended up with a large trash bowl of expired, old or just plain outdated makeup.

Are you a makeup hoarder too?


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