Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

How to detox and audit your makeup collection

The new year is a great time to think about how your makeup collection serves you and how auditing what you have and making some minor tweaks could help you save time and money.

Cull and heck use-by dates

Pull every makeup product you own out from your drawers, makeup bag, handbags and your vanity and lay them out on a wipeable surface. Have some biodegradable wipes on hand to wipe down and clean up the packaging.

Sort each item into the same category which helps you see at a glance where you have too many of the same type – including this step helps to see where you may be over purchasing. Thinking back to when you bought your product, refer to the list below and consider throwing out old products and of the ones you have left, repurposing what you haven?t used in a while.

Elements to think about whether to keep or toss include:

a) whether the pigment is low e.g. does it take a few swipes from an eyeshadow to get the right colour. Good quality products are easy to apply whereas low pigment requires effort to look good (and takes time).

b) do you already have similar colours in your collection – you may only need one that you love the most.

c) Poor colour match – e.g. foundation that is two shades too light or dark. There are products that can correct the tone if you?re keen to keep, but if you?re in a rush it?s best to have a complexion product that matches you perfectly for an easy application.

d) Outdated/not flattering/too trendy – colours and tones that suited you once might be the right ones to keep in your collection.

Experiment with what you have and you can discover new ways of utilising what you already have, swatch things on your hand and decide what you want to keep, throw out or donate.

Use-by dates

As a general guide and to get the most from your products, these are the recommended shelf life dates for makeup that has been kept in sanitary conditions and away from sunlight/moisture:

Powders ? around 2 years
Foundations ? 6-12 months
Creams ? 12-18 months
Concealer ? 6-12 months
Pencils ? 12 months
Mascara ? 3-6 months
Lipsticks ? 12-18 months

Any product that has separated or smells strange should be tossed. Once you have removed all your expired products, you can think about whether or not you will actually use what?s left.


That lipstick you bought but don?t love? It could be used a blush instead. If you have a powder that is too dark for your complexion – you can use this as a base for eyeshadow. Powder highlighters and blushes make great eyeshadows, too.


Store and keep the same product type together using baskets. You can also put together another set of most used and favourite product so that you have an easy kit ready to go and you don?t have to waste time each morning searching for that favourite.


There are a number of charities and organisations that would love to accept your unused and unopened products to give back to those in need.

Every Little Bit Helps (ELBH)

Donated hotel toiletries, airline amenity kits, as well as make-up and cosmetic samples are packed into care packages to the homeless, asylum seekers and victims of Domestic Violence as well as troubled youths through Women?s Refuge, Homeless Shelters, Youth Centres, Asylum Centres and Community Centres as well as via small Government and Community Groups.

Beauty Bank

The Beauty Bank is a registered charity that provides those who have left a place of domestic violence or other hardship situation with an amazing array of essential toiletries and small gift items packed in a useful bag.

Share The Dignity

This organisation collects sanitary products for women however they also have campaigns where people fill a bag with new beauty products to give to women.

Susan Napper is a North Shore based mobile Makeup Artist/Beauty Concierge and mum of two girls.  Susan has helped hundreds of North Shore women update their makeup kit and rediscover their own beauty style. With many years’ experience in beauty, she has the know-how to make you feel confident by finding and using beauty products with minimal effort. Susan offers One-on-One beauty concierge consultations and makeup services for events, with access to a team of other talented hairstylists and beauty professionals.  For more information and to book a session contact her on 0414 879 678.

Instagram: @susannappermua