Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Happy Earth Day, loves!

With most of us staying home, now is the perfect time to cross out any lingering beauty to-do lists, like cleaning your makeup brushes or organizing your beauty cabinets/drawers we’ve been putting off.

Personally, the first thing I did when I went into self-isolation was going through my beauty products.

To be transparent, I used to not care about makeup/skincare. However, as time went on, I slowly gave in to my beauty addictions. Pretty soon, my makeup collection grew from beauty-related gifts from colleagues, friends, and family and from my own purchases.

And I’m not sad about it one bit, ha!How to Recycle & Organize Your Makeup | She Sweats Diamonds - makeup shelfie - luxury makeup - makeup organization

This year, I want to be even more intentional in saving money so instead of dreading the process of organizing, I looked at my beauty drawers from the lens of “purging with a purpose.”

If you’re tired of scrolling through social media feeds, watching Netflix, or cooking/baking, purging your makeup cabinets might just be the perfect activity to add a break to your quarantine routine.

If you’re planning on organizing your beauty products, but don’t know where to start, I hope this guide will help you.

In this guide, you will find inspirational ways to organize your makeup products. And considering it’s also Earth Day, I hope you’ll gain some ideas on how to be a more eco-friendly beauty consumer too.

Let’s get to the makeup organization guide!


Everyone has different limitations on storage and preferences on how they like their makeup and skincare organized.

If you’re really limited on space for storage, your goal should be to only keep products you know you will use that will also fit in your current space while leaving you room to breathe. Repeat after me: No overflow.

On the other hand, if you do have room, decide how you want to organize your makeup products. Do you want to keep it all in your bathroom along with your skincare or do you want a separate area (like a room, office, or vanity) just for makeup? I’m sharing two great examples below, one from one of my favorite influencers, Ashley Robertson , and one from my friend, Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design.


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A post shared by Ashley Robertson (@ashleyrobertson)

For me, I love aesthetics and being able to see everything I own. It’s weird to say this, but I feel like if I can see everything I own, I’m less likely to buy more. That’s why I personally love storing my makeup and fragrances in my Billy bookcase, so much so that I’m adding additional shelves and glass doors later.

Here’s a small snippet of how I organize my beauty products.

How to Recycle & Organize Your Makeup | She Sweats Diamonds - makeup shelfie - luxury makeup - makeup organization

Don’t worry though, I’ll be posting updates in the coming months as my organizing progresses.

I’ve learned that if I can’t see my products, I won’t use them or even forget about them. To me, if you can’t see your products, you won’t use them. If you don’t use your products before the expiration date, you end up losing money.

Here are my favorite makeup organizers I use and loved for years:


Here comes the time-consuming part: decluttering your makeup. I’ve found that it’s easiest to set rules before beginning my purging. More on this in a bit.

If you have a busy schedule or a ton of products, begin decluttering your products with one drawer, shelf, or cabinet at a time. If you’re already somewhat organized, start with makeup category.

Begin by creating donate/gift, keep, and expired (more on this below) makeup piles.

From there, separate everything into makeup categories (face makeup, eye makeup, lip products, fragrances, etc.), then start the purging process and apply whatever rules you’ve set.

Here are my own rules I’ve set:

If I’m keeping a product, to make sure I’m really making a good decision, I ask myself…

  1. When was the last time I used this product? If it’s new, would I be excited to use this product in the future?
  2. Do I actually see myself using said product?
  3. If I don’t want this product, do I want to donate it or gift it to a family member/friend?

By applying my rules, I’ll be sure to keep things I love and use.


Make sure to check the expiration dates in your donate, gift, and keep piles. To know if your products are still good, this symbol tells you the “best by” date:

How to Organize & Recycle Your Beauty Products | She Sweats Diamonds - PAO symbol - Period After Opening - how to tell if your makeup is expired - when to throw away your makeup

This is the PAO (Period After Opening) symbol. It was put on cosmetic labels 15 years ago (in 2005) by the European Commission. All beauty products with a shelf life of 30 months or more were required to feature the symbol on their labels. Another fun fact is that makeup/skincare products that have a shorter shelf life than 30 months had to include the minimum shelf life or ‘best before’ date on the label/product packaging.

I’ve paid attention to dates on products before. However, once I learned this, I found the PAO symbol so helpful in determining if I need or want a product.

Even if your product is unopened, before you use it, make sure to open it and check for any weird smells in addition to the texture. For example, if your lipstick is sticky, stringy, or has weird spots on it, it’s already gone bad.

I found this makeup shelf-life guide to be very helpful!


As you recycle your expired beauty products, take inventory of what products you need to replenish.

I’m really glad I made a list of what I need because I usually replenish my favorite makeup products when the beauty sales come around.

Feed my beauty addictions while saving money? Yes, please!


Next, if I can, I clean out any leftover product from my makeup containers before recycling them.

Instead of tossing out my expired beauty products, I decided to start a stash so I can recycle beauty products through TerraCycle when I have enough products to send a box of recyclables.

Make sure to check with retailers and brands to see if they have a recycling program because some may reward you for doing so!

Here’s a list of what beauty products you can and can’t recycle to help with the process. 


For products you haven’t used or won’t use, determine if you want to gift it to a relative/friend or donate them.

If you review beauty products, consider gifting the products you’ve swatched to your closest friends. And donate new, sealed products to great organizations that cater to those in need.

I had a great experience donating my new/used makeup to Project Beauty Share during the holidays. Here’s a snapshot of the campaign I did with them in collaboration with Erno Laszlo too!

Other great organizations you can also donate to is Family-to-Family (Share Your Beauty!) or Beauty Bus(they just don’t accept razors, extractors, perfumes, deodorant, and makeup bags).


I’m a huge fan of reusing glass candle jars to store my beauty products. Here’s a tutorial on how to clean out a candle jar. I find that it works best with high-end candle brands like Diptyque.

Don’t underestimate small candle jars. I use mine to house my favorite smaller-sized nail polishes and fragrance samples.

How to Recycle & Organize Your Makeup | She Sweats Diamonds - how to recycle candle jars - Earth Day - sustainable makeup storage

Depending on the size of your beauty collection, set aside an afternoon to a full day to clean out and declutter your beauty products. I promise you that in the end, you’ll feel much better because less is truly more.

And if you’re wanting to be extra productive, it won’t hurt to face mask while you’re organizing your beauty stash(es) either!

I hope this post inspires you to go through your beauty collections and organize your makeup products. Feel free to bookmark this post and refer to it even on a rainy day!

As I discover creative ways to organize makeup and skincare, I’ll create updated posts for you guys in the future so keep checking back!

Do you want to organize your makeup products or are you dreading it?

If you plan to organize your makeup products, what do you think will be the hardest part?


Huong By Huong
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