Last week, my Instagram stories were filled with similar images: mountains of clothes piled high atop various beds. “Marie Kondo made me do it,” one person captioned their picture.
Netflix’s new series Tidying up with Marie Kondo—which follows the well known Japanese organizing consultant as she tries to declutter various people’s lives—has clearly left people shook and examining their own hoarding tendencies. Even I took to my own closet shortly after watching to see about making some (much needed) cuts. And while I breezed through that process, when I got to my bathroom it was a whole different story.
I rummaged through the bins of overflowing makeup and the cupboards filled to the brim with skincare. I tried holding each lipstick in my hand, realizing with panic that although I owned 15 nudes, I couldn’t part with a single one. It made me wonder, what exactly does a makeup lover do when everything under Sephora’s roof sparks joy?
To answer this philosophical dilemma, I called up makeup artists Sheri Stroh and Jodi Urichuk who schooled me on how to downsize the right way. So get ready to purge, because spring cleaning is coming early this year.
Pile up your products
That’s right, do the signature Kondo pile up. Take all of your makeup and put it in one massive heap. “You’ll probably be horrified when you see it all like that and you’ll realize how much you don’t use and how much needs to be thrown away,” says Stroh. “Only keep what makes you feel like a million bucks.” She mentions that this is also a great way to rediscover old favourites; when we’re constantly buying new stuff we often forget about the gems we already have at home.
Figure out what your essentials are
Determine which products you can’t live without. This will be different for everyone depending on what “sparks joy”. For Urichuk, she prioritizes skincare. “I feel like if you take care and protect your skin, the rest is simple.” For Stroh, her must-haves include bronzer and a creamy cheek highlighter. “I think makeup is so intimidating for some people and that’s actually why they end up keeping so much,” she says. “When decluttering, first go through and pick out the things you never use, the things you bought on impulse or that you haven’t even opened yet. Then you’ll find your essentials.”
Keep a couple of fun items
Neutral palettes definitely get a lot more use than colourful ones, but decluttering shouldn’t mean throwing out everything fun. Keep a couple of things that aren’t in your everyday makeup routine. “And don’t just save these items for special occasions,” says Urichuk. “They go bad or turn if they’re creams or liquids in six to 12 months.” For products that will last a little longer, Stroh recommends fun items like pastel or jewel-toned eyeliners and bold lipsticks.