How to Marie Kondo your make-up bag
If your New Year’s resolution is to get more organised, your make-up bag could be the ideal place to start
Gone are the days where a mere wipe over with a J-Cloth or resurrecting some lint-covered lipsticks from the depths of your handbag will do. We blame Marie Kondo – the organisational guru and author behind the best-selling The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying who has turned de-cluttering into an art form. So what are the merits of bringing some order to our beauty hauls? ‘There are three main benefits to applying the KonMari method to organise your things,’ says Katrina Hassan, certified KonMari consultant at Spark Joy London who recommends completing a check of your make-up bag every year or so.
1) Knowing what you already own: at times, especially when we own a lot, we can mindlessly purchase items we don’t need because we are unable to find something due to the overwhelming volume. Not only is this a waste of money, but the more items you own, the worse the accumulation problem becomes.
2) Feeling more in control: taking stock of what you have and realigning your sense of what sparks joy for you means you will feel more in control, and it may result in you becoming a more mindful consumer in the future.
3) Knowing the condition of your items: tidying through KonMari provides a good quality check. By taking each into your hands, one at a time, you are able to make an informed decision about whether the item is still in good condition.
With this in mind, we enlisted celebrity make-up artist, best-selling author and influencer Lisa Potter-Dixon to share her tips on streamlining your make-up.
‘The first thing to do is to empty your make-up bag and either put it in the wash (checking that it’s washable first) or buy a new one. This is because psychologically when you have something that’s brand new or really clean, you don’t want to fill it with old or dirty make-up again.’
‘Place all your make-up items on the floor or a large surface and group them into separate categories to work out what you’ve got repeats of. You’ll be surprised how many of the same kinds of nude lipstick, glosses or blusher you have and you only need one of each for your make-up bag.
‘Don’t feel you have to throw everything away, you can always keep them in a separate box in your bedroom, but make sure that you don’t have repeats of anything in the make-up bag that you carry around or use day to day. From here you can swap new things in and out as you buy them, but they must spark joy. Anything that doesn’t should go.’
And how do we know if something sparks joy? ‘Hold the products in your hands and one at a time, ask yourself, “Does this item bring me happiness?” and, “Do I actually use this item?”,’ advises Katrina.
‘Clean your products, because when was the last time you actually wiped over your blusher or cleaned the edge of your mascara?
‘The other thing to consider is how long you’ve actually had them. Mascaras of any brand for example should be changed after three months, otherwise they can cause infection. It’s why I use a sharpie or a sticker to write the date on each mascara I buy so that I know when to change it, and anything liquid shouldn’t be kept for more than a year. If you look closely you’ll see that every product has a number – 12, 24, 18 – which indicates how many months you can keep it. It’s also a great excuse to buy new make-up.’
‘Once you’ve done all that, put the products that have passed the “joy check” back into your new (or newly cleaned) make-up bag and you’ll feel joyous!’ says Lisa.
Katrina adds that making a little ritual of the products you’re letting go of can be a good idea too. ‘For the make-up items that you no longer wish to keep, if you feel like they've already served their purpose, express your gratitude saying, “thank you” and let them go.’
But make sure you use this make-up check as an opportunity to do good: if you decide to discard something, and the item is still in good condition, you can donate it to charities such as Women’s Aid and Refuge shelters or Beauty Banks who all accept make-up products. For any empties, you can also use the John Lewis & Partners’ BeautyCycle service, that allows you to recycle beauty packaging at collection points in shops.