Back in the day YouTube was all about the “makeup collections” and showing off the huge amount of products you’d hoarded over the years.

“In this drawer I keep my lipsticks” *opens drawer to reveal 500 lipsticks*

But the concept of drawers and drawers of makeup feels a bit alien to me now, especially since downsizing my collection earlier in the year. It’s been a gradual process for me, but now everything fits into one large drawer in my vanity desk and I’m trying to keep it that way. Now let’s be real, I’m well aware that my makeup collection is still bonkers compared to the average gal, but considering the amount of products that come my way, I’d say it’s become a bit of a skill to decide what works for me and what doesn’t.

The way I think about it is what use is gorgeous makeup if it’s just sitting in a drawer waiting to be used? I only have one face and someone else could get much more pleasure out of it by actually using it. So I often do charity sales (usually either for Coppa Feel or Rett UK), share with friends and family and I keep on top of expiry dates so I don’t keep hold of old products for too long.

I’ll try new products because it’s part of my job, but I can tell almost straight away if it’s something I want to pass on or add to my stash. If it’s something I want to try work into my routine I’ll either use the ‘one in, one out’ rule (if I’m feeling strict that day) or squeeze it in and give it a few weeks before making my final verdict. Usually after a few weeks I either can’t be without it or feel indifferent and in that case I’ll pass it on for someone else to enjoy.


  1. Have everything on show. If it’s hiding in the back of a drawer you’ll never use it, so don’t layer products on top of each other, make them easy to grab and use.
  2. Categorize your makeup. By separating them into bundles you’ll clearly see what you have too much of and what you need to stop buying every time you pass a Space NK.
  3. Try everything. There’s no use having a gorgeous blusher sitting in your drawer that’s never been touched. Try it on and decide if it works for you!
  4. Have a clear-out before you look to buy new products, do you really need another bronzer or do you have one to finish off first? Keep a wish list of products so you can always go back to it when you’ve finished something up.
  5. Look into local homeless shelters, or donate to Beauty Banks, a non-profit organisation that provides toiletries and cosmetic products to people living in serious poverty.

It’s ok to have fun with makeup, you go buy that palette and love it, I know I do. But I also think we’re all striving to live a more minimalist life these days and it can almost feel like a burden having more products than you have time to try. Maybe now it’s about using less products, but using the ones you really love daily until they run out. Well that’s more what it’s like for me now anyway.

Photos by Lydia Collins

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