5 Steps to ‘Marie Kondo’ Your Beauty Shelf

I’m a huge fan of the Marie Kondo approach to streamlining clutter around the home. So much so that when I saw an article in the Sunday Times Style on this approach for beauty, I thought it was genius and started planning this video!


So to do this the MK way, clear your afternoon and get all your beauty products together - and I mean all of them, even the ones loitering in a multitude of travel bags - and categorise them into Cleansers, Moisturisers, SPFs, Actives and Other.


Then the exciting stuff begins: 

  1. Eliminate. There’ll almost certainly be products that have expired. So many of us are beauty hoarders. If you’ve invested, it can be hard to let things go. But the chances are if you bought it more than 6 months ago and there’s still 90% left, you’re not really a fan. And if you were going to rehome to a friend, you’d have done it by now. So put these in the bin now. Doesn’t that feel good?
  2. Re-Home. Then there’s the pile that, whilst still in date, it seems unlikely you’re ever going to use – surprisingly common alas. So why not consider moving them on -  Sali Hughes founded Beauty Banks, an awesome non-profit organisation getting unwanted personal care products to those in need. I’ll link to this down below.
  3. Edit. Now we’re into the fun bit. Dare I suggest you need fewer products than you think. It’s time to work out what you actually need and what no longer serves you. I’d suggest that the essentials of a perfect capsule skincare wardrobe might include the following: a general purpose cleanser and a micellar water; a lighter and a richer moisturiser (so you have flexibility, depending on the season and your skin-type); 2 sunscreens - a great untinted one for everyday under makeup and I think most people will also benefit with a water-resistant one possibly with a tint for no make-up days and for holidays/outdoor sport; Actives - you’ll need an AM and a PM product, based on your skin’s needs and your goals. Good things to consider: an antioxidant for AM and a ‘stimulator’ like a retinoid or similar for PM.
    Final extras - a dedicated lip product and possibly a dedicated SPF for your neck and hands so you’re not tempted to skimp! I really don’t see the point in having lots of different varieties within these categories. Skin does not need a change or entertainment, in the form of lots of different versions of the same thing. Know that this is you pleasing your brain not your skin. And know that skin sensitivity is a consequence more often than not from too much tinkering.
  4. Organise. How you do this is highly personal. But a bit like your wardrobe keep daily basics close to hand eg by the sink. And those less-used items eg masks tucked away tidily in cupboards. And no hiding SPF at the back of the cupboard just for sunny days!
  5. Learn and enjoy the magic! This is key. You’ve gone to all this trouble, so now is the time to learn about yourself. If you keep buying products with essential oils only to find they trigger irritation, take note. Similarly if you’re using natural skincare and find that anything with coconut makes your skin unhappy, change your shopping habits.

Note your favourites – again this should be clear. You can then happily purchase multiples when on offer, or even subscribe, safe in the knowledge that you won’t run out when you least can afford to. If there’s a clear gap in that wardrobe – it should now be much easier to identify and then source accordingly.

If you have a sea of decanted minis that are filled with unidentified goo, making travel beauty a nightmare, make a plan. Get thee to Muji and label as you go. Or stick to brands that do minis for travel.

Hopefully you’ve found lots of joy in this process - I’d love to see your beauty shelf before + afters - tag me on social with #skincaresparksjoy

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