Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 17: Decluttering the Makeup Bag

The Task: Dispose of expired makeup!

The Why:  I read yesterday that makeup actually expires. A quick Google search of the matter confirmed it.  Make-up doesn't last forever.  Duh.

I mean, it makes sense.  Ingredients break down over time.  Moisture breeds bacteria.  It just never occurred to me before.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that I acquired at least one of the lip glosses in the photo above when I was in college!  I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was, but I assure you, it was far more than the recommended one year shelf life of lip products. 

The How:  I just threw it all away.  I'm not a big wearer of makeup, as evidenced by the fact that the picture at the top is my entire makeup collection and that not one of those items was purchased within the last year.   Given all the undesirable ingredients that go into makeup, I'm not in a frenzy to run out and buy more.

The Verdict: Like I said, I'm not a big makeup wearer anyways.  If I really miss any of these products in the future, I will do some research on the Skin Deep Database or the GoodGuide to choose a product that I feel is safe and ethical. I know that giving up makeup altogether is not for everyone, but I really do recommend you dive into your makeup drawer and consider disposing of anything that may be older than your student loans...

Also, right now the idea of having a few less items to stash somewhere makes me giddy!  

We are doing one small thing every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!


  1. You know, I have been considering doing the very same thing! I have some make up that is quite old as well. And except for a little mascara and some chapstick, I wear none of what I have. Thanks for giving the motivation to throw it all out!


  2. If you do ever decide to buy a bit of make up again, try buying pure mineral makeup, like Cheeky Cosmetics (Canadian made). It doesn't breed bacteria because it's just crushed minerals. Plus, it has no nasty chemicals in it :)

  3. Most people also don't realize they need to clean their makeup brushes as well. I don't wear a lot of makeup either, but I do try to keep what I have organized.

    Again, you are an inspiration.

  4. Oooh, makeup! :)
    Maybe not possible everywhere, but here in Sweden I can actually leave old makeup at a special place at the recycling station, since it's considered "dangerous waste".
    This does not put me off makeup at all. I love to wear makeup most days, I love what it can do for me.
    Ok, I'm biased since I work with makeup, among other things, but really, I think most women benefit from a little something something most days :).
    And guys, don't buy into this "you have to buy a special fluid to clean your makeup brushes". If it's a good brush, you can wash it with regular soap and water, with shampoo, or, most effective, dishwashing liquid.
    Just make sure to lay them FLAT to dry on a towel (hug them with a towel before you lay them flat and shake off the excess water), and they'll be good as new in the morning.
    I can't wait to see what you'll write about next. :)

    1. Thank you for posting how to clean make up brushes!! I'm going to try the shampoo method!

  5. You are always an inspiration! I have tons of bath and body products (apparently my hoarding tendencies trend towards bath and body and office supply products) and have recently discovered how terrible most of them are for our bodies and the environment. Does anyone know where you can safely dispose of these unwanted goods?

  6. Love your blog. Reducing makeup is not an issue with me because I don't wear any but reducing stuff in general is an awesome idea.

  7. Hi there! I wanted to let you know that I have been inspired by your project and shared it with my readers: http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/124579-a-year-of-less

    Good luck! I look forward to following your journey!

  8. I so need to do this. Two drawers and two baskets full of makeup. Some may be decades old. I'm going to put on my big girl britches and do this, today!!

  9. well, as a makeup addict, there is no way I throw it out!! I NEED IT!! lol. Last nov, I went through and did throw out some older things, but believe it or not, it really all gets used up before it goes bad. Love the blog and the process you're going through!!

  10. I did this just last week! My main problem is that I buy a replacement, and start to use it, (in the name of testing it, lol) and then don't use up the old one!

  11. Mascara is 3 monthes. From the first use. Whether you use it once or 100x.

  12. A suggestion for the extra lipsticks. I used to get lipsticks in bonus packages but they usually were not colours I would use. My friend goes to Bali regularly for her batik business and collects unused lipsticks and distributes them to the ladies there. It is like gold because the ladies cannot afford it and often like the bright and dark colours we would consider high glam. Lipsticks are also on the list for transition houses as some women arrive with only the clothes on their back and the makeup helps with their personal dignity and revisioning themselves.
    Another use is the school plays for the theatre department or face painting at family events. I'm sure there are a lot of places that could use unopened makeup.


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