Attention, attention hoarders everywhere! We’re traveling into Marie Kondo’s “Does this bring you joy?” territory – assessing our beauty arsenal by utility and value and creating a capsule skincare regime featuring essentials that offer maximum impact for the minimal time and hassle invested.
This will be a good February exercise in orderliness, saving the day as the January motivation is waning. The declutter challenge will streamline your makeup, skincare, tools, and devices, keeping only what is useful, beautiful, and multipurpose, what can serve for a while, and what we love.
How to declutter your home? How to declutter your relationships, closets, or life? Well, the answer is the same – methodically and step by step. Mess is a part of existence at the most fundamental level. Things will fall apart on their own accord with time if not tended to, and beauty corners are no exception. There will inevitably be drawers of randoms, shelves demanding you play Jenga with their contents, and ignored corners harboring dust-laden expired trinkets. No matter how much we love taking care of ourselves, we also love being lazy, procrastinating, and shopping.
Typing through the subtle personal shame of a hoarder, I hope to inspire us both. It’s a sort of meditation on grabbing chaos by the collar to make it manageable. So, no matter how maddening your clutter mountain, there’s no judgment here. I sincerely hope this little free decluttering checklist helps you get neat, organized, and tidy, makes your heart a little lighter, and your bank account a little plumper.
- 1. Take It All Out
- 2. Throw Away
- 3. Tools, Brushes & Devices
- 4. Plan a Routine & Sort What’s Left
- 5. Donate What You Can, Bin The Rest
- 6. Location & Organization
- 7. Confront the Inner Hoarder
1. Take It All Out
Take all of your skincare products and devices and spread them out on a flat surface. We’re talking – EVERYTHING. The forgotten-in-coat pockets, the purse bottom-dwellers, the I-will-definitely-use-some-day-when-my-Mercury-ascends… everything. Take out the bedside creams, the accumulated lotions and shower gels from the bathroom, the scrubs, hair styling, and hair removal stuff… Now, we have a starting point. This mess will soon begin to take shape, and the overwhelm you feel WILL subside.
2. Throw Away
We’ll need a few passes of the common sense comb to detangle this mess. FIRST PASS is the obvious throwouts – the broken, the barely existent eye pencils, the empty tubes and containers, the bald brushes, the odd dirty cotton ball, and anything EXPIRED.
2.1. The Expired (Deserves Its Own Subpoint)
We tend to forget that skincare products do expire and keep the same items for years. This makes dermatologists cringe, faint, scream, plead with you, seek therapy, cry a little, throw up in their mouths, and then faint again. If it had time to expire, the item is not useful enough to earn its keep. So long!
Used makeup past its prime, skincare, and unloved devices can harbor bacteria that cause irritation, breakouts, or even rashes. For all items, check the back of the packaging. There will be an open lid jar, number, and an M behind it – denoting how many months the product can last without deterioration once opened. Use your senses even if the item is still within this window. If the product’s smell, texture, or look has changed, toss it. Keep a waterproof pen nearby to mark the opening dates in the future. This will make subsequent flash decluttering sessions much easier.
Leave the unopened boxes within expiration on the side for now.
2.2. Second Pass
entails removing everything that is not and (we are sure) will not be used. That unicorn rainbow-colored eyeshadow palette bought for a festival you never went to, the body glitter from a bridal shower 3 years ago, the black lipstick from a short-lived goth phase… They must go.
Leave the unopened boxes within expiration on the side for now.
2.3. Third Pass
is when we get serious and honest with ourselves. This right here is where heroes are made. If 3 out of 4 red lipsticks make us feel meh, the three go. We’ve been hanging out with ourselves for long enough to know we’ll end up using only the one we love…. every.freakin’.time. Go through all of it. You’ve got this expensive face cream, but your skin hates it, or a luxurious shampoo makes your hair weirdly heavy… Gift them! You know why you don’t use them. Yes, you do.
3. Tools, Brushes & Devices
The master is only as good as her tools. There is no way we’ll get professional results with amateurish care or choice of tools. When was the last time you washed your brushes, sponges, and applicators? Don’t worry. I can’t remember either. Get rid of all the scruffy stuff, and clean what can be cleaned and what IS dirty BECAUSE it is used. Look at the pile of devices, big and small. The old epilator that doesn’t get the job done as it used to, the works-if-it-feels-like-it electric toothbrush, the weird face wash tool that feels like sandpaper… Au revoir!
4. Plan a Routine & Sort What’s Left
Now, if we’ve been honest throughout this process, we should be left with mostly well-used and necessary things that flatter us and meet our quality standards. It’s time to make a plan. We can take the scenic route of planning an elaborate skincare routine we’ll abandon in a few days or just go realistic straight away. The chances that any of us are going to take an hour each morning and evening for a skincare routine are bbbbbb…. baloney. We’re never as good at lying as when it is to ourselves. Make a simple basic plan and focus on the issues that are most important to you (your skin).
4.1. Foreo’s Swedish Beauty Routine
FOREO had exactly this in mind – a simple, elegant, hyper-effective, and sustainable routine that will not monopolize your time. It turns out it took packing a decade of research into a few devices to create the most effective 3 (and a half)-step core self care routine. It takes only 7 minutes to deeply cleanse, lift, hydrate, and smile. We can expand and adjust based on our personal needs, but we’ll be just fine with the following four steps:
Step 1: LUNA™ 4
Cleanse & Massage (1-2 mins)
Clinically proven to remove 99% of dirt, oil, and impurities.
Goal: Get the makeup and daily gunk off your face & boost microcirculation.
If you skip the cleansing step, you might as well just call it a day because nothing else will work. The barrier of dirt and sebum will sabotage all you do, gunky SPF will mock you from the pores, and flaky makeup will make you look dull & tired.
For hard-to-get-rid-offs like waterproof makeup and SPF, there’s the LUNA™ Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Balm – a lightweight waterless balm that melts into a silky oil and serves as a perfect 1st step in double-cleansing routines. Follow with LUNA™ Micro-foam Cleanser 2.0 as a 2nd step. LUNA™ facial cleansing massage brushes transform the Cleanser’s cream into micro-bubbles, preventing inflammation & breakouts by dragging out impurities from within pores, perfectly prepping for post-cleanse skincare absorption.
The first silicone sonic facial brushes in the world, LUNA™s cleanse and massage, removing 99% of impurities. 35x more hygienic than their nylon-bristled predecessors, they are also ridiculously soft to protect natural skin elasticity, and getting one will be enough. No replacement brush heads are needed, and the battery of the latest models lasts up to 600 minutes per charge.
FOREO wants us to have a life, not to be servants to the charging schedule of our devices. So, let’s make a mental note of where we put that charger. We won’t be seeing that sucker for a while.
Step 2: BEAR™ 2
Lift (3 mins)
Clinically proven to significantly improve wrinkles & firmness in 1 week.
Goal: To firm, tone & contour, regardless of the scribbles on your birth certificate.
Harnessing electricity changed the course of history, and it can change how we see aging, especially for those of us reluctant to let scalpels slice into their flesh.
BEAR™ is a microcurrent toning device, a safe and painless alternative to facelift surgery without any discomfort or recovery time. Anti-Shock System™ will ensure our treatment is zap-free & pleasant as we tone the muscles and stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin. This makes the muscle support the skin on top of it better, as the skin itself visibly shows fewer fine lines and wrinkles. You know that move you make when you’re alone in your bathroom – pulling at the temples just to see what you would look like with a bit firmer face? No need to do that anymore.
Respect the electron, be safe, and use microcurrent with a conductive medium, and- if you want more from life – you may as well aim for improved results with SUPERCHARGED™ Serum 2.0. You’ll be perfectly safe with your BEAR™. FDA said so.
Step 3: UFO™ 3
Hydrate (less than 2 minutes)
Clinically proven to increase skin moisture by 126% in just 2 minutes.
Goal: Drench your skin to slow down signs of aging. Oh yeah! And save on salons.
A lot of the issues we associate with visibly aging skin are due to simply drying out. The skin fails to hold on to moisture, losing elasticity and compromising the barrier function, further degrading the systems that keep a youthful plump. So isn’t the simplest solution just plain old hydration? Yes, yes it is. But we’re fighting a mighty opponent here – time – and creams won’t do. There is just not enough absorption for any significant results – unless we help a bit.
UFO™ may look like it’s just back from a crop circle session, but it was actually running laps around dehydration. It pushes skincare actives deeper into the skin more effectively and in 2 minutes, boosting moisture levels by 126% after first use. Moisture is the holy grail of youthful skin, making lines and wrinkles less visible in a week. FOREO has also made sure to provide a wide range of UFO™ Activated concentrated face masks to serve all of the most common skin needs/problems accompanying dehydration.
Step 3.5: ISSA™ 3
Oral care (2 minutes)
Clinically proven to reduce plaque and improve oral health by 140%.
Goal: To make you laugh and smile with confidence.
ISSA™ 3 sonic toothbrush is step 3.5 because oral care is not technically skincare, but it is self-care, and it counts. With a history dating back to 3500 B.C., the toothbrush had changed very little, apart from its materials. Electric toothbrushes have remained pretty much the same since the first models were developed for people with compromised hand/arm mobility in the mid-20th century.
ISSA™ marked the era when we stopped stockpiling bacteria. The first line of toothbrushes was created out of medical-grade silicone, with soft bristles that are 10,000 times more hygienic than nylon bristles. They channel T-Sonic™ energy – a fancy way of saying that micro-sweeps travel along the tooth surface, breaking down 30% more plaque than a manual toothbrush, preventing gum recession and tooth enamel damage. Not bad for a sleek, soft little thing.
Step 4 (Optional):
Targeted treatments of choice for
We won’t go into detail about each one of these. You know what you need. Feel free to explore.
5. Donate What You Can, Bin The Rest
During the visit of minimalism’s greedy you-have-to-collect-them-all Pokemon brother, we’ve probably accumulated items we’ve never even cracked open. Consider finding a local organization, a shelter, or a women’s house, or gift them to a friend or family member. Your “trash” could be someone’s treasure. Be realistic; you’ve forgotten you had this, meaning you don’t need it, plus you’ll feel good for having helped someone.
6. Location & Organization
A large chunk of our self-care or makeup routine is automated, especially the daily stuff we use as we’re getting ready for work or when we’re still booting up, all gunky-eyed come dawn. The well-rested weekend us may have great plans for this face, but the weekday us smirks at this silly 12-step plan. The reality of life always trumps the unrealistic workload in the end. So figure out your daily essentials and most frequently used items and give those the most accessible real estate in your bathroom. No one wants to riffle through towers of stuff to get to a basic.
7. Confront the Inner Hoarder
A proper declutter will put some pep in our step, and we’ll feel as light and in control of our life as when our panties, bra, and socks match or that all-is-right-in-the-world feeling of going to sleep on fresh linens with freshly washed hair. Yet, we know this order is temporary because a one-time fix is not enough. It’s about the habits. If things are to change, we’re going to have to change. Ewww. I know.
We hoard for various reasons. We impulse buy when we feel sad, lonely, depressed, bored, when we need a change, to fill the void, to treat ourselves, because we can, because it is convenient… and the industry knows it. “Buy only what you need” – is easier said than done. The good news is you don’t need to be perfect, just better.
Lists help. Split the list into daycare, nightcare, weekly care, monthly care, and special occasions. Keep track of what you used up and what didn’t pass the test in real life. There’s no use in keeping the cream blush that requires breakout damage control, the bronzer that gives you an Oompa-Loompa shade in daylight, or an eye pencil that smudges in 2 hours.
We’re all guilty as charged (to our credit card) for the YOLO impulse purchases cheered on by the capitalist free market logic of more, more, more. But as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, Mies van der Rohe, said – less is more. This is not only meta true, but good for the soul, mental health, cathartic, and certainly good for your bank account. Thank you very much for joining us, and I wish you an organized, elegant life filled only with what you need and love.