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What’s In Your Makeup Bag? 

By: Kelli Williams

When a client books a one-on-one makeup class with me, I tell them to bring every makeup

product they own. Once they arrive, I take their makeup bag and gently dump out the contents on the table so we can take inventory. Every client expresses the same sentiment: ‘I bought all this stuff but have no clue what to do with it.’ There is a simple explanation for this. Shopping for makeup is FUN! The pretty packaging is enticing and we fall for it hook, line and sinker every time with big plans to use it. And what happens? We get home and are intimidated so we stash it away like the hoarders we are.

Taking inventory every few months is not only a hygienic practice but ensures that we can put our best faces forward. Today, I’m going to help you. Go grab your makeup bag and dump it sis! Let’s see what we’re working with.

First, examine each item. Is it old? Yes, makeup has an expiration date. Once opened, most products only have a shelf life of about 12 to 18 months. If you look at the bottom or on the back of many products, you will see a tiny symbol resembling a container with a number on it. That number tells the maximum time you should keep it before discarding. If you can’t remember how long ago you bought it, a few things can indicate it’s time to trash the item. Liquid foundations and lipsticks tend to have a strong odor once they’ve expired. Mascaras may be clumpy. Eyeshadows don’t have any obvious signs but you’ll want to throw away shadows that are broken, or have been exposed to bacteria like an eye infection. Most obvious is that they won’t look or perform very well anymore when applied.

Once you’ve eliminated the old products decide which items are going to be useful for you. What are your daily go-to’s? A bold red lip? A favorite gloss? Tinted moisturizer? A fave mascara? Put those daily items in a smaller cosmetics bag so you don’t have to dig through a ton of other items every morning. (We’ve all left the house late looking for that favorite lipstick that we just knew was somewhere in that huge makeup bag!)

How do you avoid hoarding makeup in the future? Well…I haven’t  figured that out yet! However, there is nothing wrong with buying plenty of makeup. The key is to purchase items you are likely to use so your money doesn’t go to waste. If you purchased products that you think are amazing but don’t know how to use them, consult with a makeup professional and consider taking a lesson on how to create fun makeup looks with them. You can also go to YouTube and type in the name of the product and plenty of videos will pop on how to use that specific item. Try to follow the techniques when you aren’t pressed for time. And remember to have fun!



Kelli Williams is a freelance makeup artist in the Cleveland, Ohio area specializing in bridal and editorial makeup. For more makeup advice and tips, connect with Kelli on Instagram @kissnmakeupxo.


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