I'm a textbook minimalist, both in aesthetic and in practice. From my wardrobe to my home design and even my finances (no debt here), I seek clean, clutter-free everything. So when my fellow beauty editor challenged me to a beauty cabinet purge based on Marie Kondo's KonMari Method, I realized it wasn't a challenge at all. I'd already been practicing it this whole time!
The method, which was introduced in Kondo's bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, centers around the idea that you should only surround yourself with things that bring you joy. A quick glance at my vanity, where I keep my makeup, and my bathroom cabinet, where I keep my skin care products, and it's pretty clear that I don't hold on to a lot of stuff. As for the products I do keep around, each one has a clear purpose. Here are the five practices from her book that I've picked up along the way and will continue to do.
1. Pare down and discard
Admittedly, it's pretty easy to pare down your beauty products when you've been using the same ones every day for the past three years. I discard everything I know I don't use, even if it means getting rid of something I may potentially use in the future.
2. Stack vertically
According to Kondo, the most effective way of organizing things is by storing them standing up so that you can easily see where everything is. In line with this, I store all my daily-use products in a tray on the vanity. I stack all my flat products, like my Stowaway Cosmetics eye shadow palette (which is included in every November Must Have box) or pressed powder, on one side and corral all my tubular products, like brushes or mascara, in a glass mug on the other side.
3. Only buy products in amounts you know you'll use up
I make sure to only bring home products one at a time and in reasonable amounts that I know I'll use up all the way. Products, especially in the beauty industry, come in quantities that easily go to waste. Think about it — when have you ever finished an entire bottle of nail polish or tube of lipstick? Because of this, I prefer "right-sized" products, like the Stowaway eye shadow palette, as opposed to "too-large-to-finish" products. The palette's thoughtful design and portable packaging ensure that every last shade will be put to good use.
4. Edit often
As a beauty editor, I get products and samples (or komono, as Kondo calls them) all the time. While it's an amazing perk, you realize after a while that you're probably never going to use 95 percent of them. If I'm not excited about a product the moment I receive it, I pass it on to someone else.
Similarly, I regularly go through and reevaluate my beauty stash. Have I used it recently? Do I have a reason to use it again in the near future? And ultimately, does it bring me joy? If the answer is no, away it goes.
5. Make sure every item has a home
In order to minimize clutter, Kondo suggests that every item should have a designated place. All of my beauty products have a permanent storage place, and I never add anything to my collection unless I know exactly where it's going to go. As a rule of thumb, if I do decide I want to bring something home, I make sure to discard something else in exchange.