If you love pretty things and are drawn to makeup like a magpie to all things shiny, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that you own more makeup than you will ever need. If you can relate, it’s probably a good idea to declutter your stash more often, in order to either “get back” a little money you might be wasting on an unused product; or to give worthy ones a new owner who will love them. To give, sell, or throw are the three options you need to consider whenever you’re decluttering, whether it’s your makeup stash or your wardrobe. As a general rule, anything brand new and untouched but not past its expiry date should be sold for a little extra cash.
To help you out with the rest, here’s a handy guide on what’s worth selling, what’s appropriate to give away, and what belongs only in the trash bin.
Eyeliners and Mascara
Eyes are more prone to infections, and anything that goes near your eye shouldn’t really be shared with anyone, let alone given away. Liquid eyeliner is a bigger risk than a pencil or crayon one that can more easily be sterilised if you’ve swatched it on your hand or have had it for a while. Mascara has a very short shelf life to begin with, so if you’ve gone more than three months before deciding you don’t want to keep that mascara, you should be throwing it away.
Brow pomades might be given away but definitely not sold (unless barely used) as they’re likely to have dried up a bit or look unsightly. A brow powder, on the other hand, is easier to re-home and can even be sold if it’s from a more expensive brand. Pencils, markers and brow gels are trickier and depend on how much has been used as well as the condition of the pencil. Pencils tend to get dirtier a lot faster, and get used up fairly quickly to begin with, which makes them difficult to sell. Brow gels can be given away if not dried up, though you should clean the brushes before giving them away as a basic form of courtesy. Anything dried up or broken goes straight in the bin.
If your tube of lipstick still looks presentable (as in there is more than half the tube left), giving it away is perfectly fine. It’s a good rule of thumb to scrape off the top layer first and sterilise it with a quick spray of rubbing alcohol just to make sure it’s free from bacteria. There are certain situations in which I’d recommend never giving away a lipstick, like when you were using the lippie around the same time as an active cold sore outbreak. Cold sores can be contagious and are not worth the risk.
Eyeshadows and Blushes
I hoard palettes like nobody’s business but don’t use all that much makeup, which means at the end of the year at least half of my palettes will remain untouched. Giving away and selling palettes, blushers, bronzers and highlighters is probably the easiest thing to do, and the palette or pan can easily be sterilised as well with rubbing alcohol, which dries off easily and won’t change or damage the product. Of course, if you’ve had the thing for more than two years, always throw it out.
Most foundations come with a pump or a dropper applicator that makes it easy to share or give away if the shade no longer works for you. When I couldn’t afford quality foundation on my own during my teenage years, I would use my mum’s. Pumps keep the makeup hygienic and bacteria-free, and droppers are also fairly clean as long as you aren’t bringing the dropper into contact with your skin. You can often find people selling foundation on sites like Carousell, and it’s not unusual for the foundations to be pre-used. On the other hand, I would recommend throwing out cushion compacts – switching out the puff only does so much, and cushions have a shorter shelf life than regular bottled foundations, anyway.
Text: Alyssa Dhaliwal / Her World Plus Text: Arissa Ha