Treat Your Makeup Drawer Like Your Closet

If you hired a wardrobe consultant, the first thing they would do is look at your closet. They’d ask you to pull out anything you haven’t worn in the past year and put it aside, then within that assortment to pull out anything you haven’t worn in the past two years. They would almost certainly tell you that those items must go. If you have had two summers or two falls to wear an item and each season you haven’t felt inspired to wear it even once, you never will. Sure, there are the items that make you think, “one day, I’ll fit into this again.” The problem is that by then, you will probably want something new that you haven’t looked at for the past several years. The clutter of all the items you don’t wear makes it hard to see the things you realistically choose from. Once you clear it out you have a much easier time seeing what you have available and, even more importantly, what you are lacking.

The same goes for your makeup drawer. If you have twenty different eyeshadows, but use only use one or two. those others just take up space and make it difficult to access the items you do use. I suggest that, much like your closet, you rotate your makeup drawer. I have two sets of make-up: Fall / Winter makeup and Spring / Summer. It may sound strange, but hear me out. I like cooler colors in the fall. I have lighter foundation, pink blushes, lighter shadows, and pinker hued highlighters. In the summer, my foundation is a shade darker. I use a bronzer and prefer peachier toned blush. My shadows tend to the copper tones, and my highlighter is golden.

I don’t want to reach into my drawer and pick up three blushes, opening each compact to find the right one. At the beginning of summer, I take out the deep-hued lipsticks and the cooler makeup and I put them in a cosmetic case in my closet. I then pull out all my summer makeup and put it in my vanity. I check it all. What is expired, what am I not feeling? I toss the expired items and anything I don’t intend to use. I then assess what items I need and make a list to get those items. When I go into my vanity drawer I have exactly what I use and nothing more. The mental serenity this gives is a nice way to start the day.

For those of you who say, but what about when I go out or that special occasion? Put all the unexpired makeup you think you must keep in a box in the closet. You know, the glittery purple shadow that’s just waiting for that night on the town. Tape a piece of paper to the top and each time you go into the box, write the date on the paper. If you check it in a year and you’ve written on it four or more times, keep it. I did this a year ago. I just looked at the box, and guess what? The paper was clean. I hadn’t gone into it once. I immediately taped up the box and sent it off to some very grateful nieces.

For some reason, people have a more difficult time purging makeup they don’t use than clothes. They look at a dress that they spent $350 on and think, I am never going to wear that again and send it to Goodwill without thinking twice. On the other hand, they hang onto $25 lipsticks they haven’t worn in years, thinking one day they will. Sometimes you need an objective eye, a wardrobe consultant of sorts. I invite you to bring your makeup wardrobe in its entirety to the store. Let’s figure out what you should keep and what you should toss. I won’t tell you the sequin pants in your closet have to go, but I may give the purple glitter shadow the ax.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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