Houston, we have a problem.  The problem is that I have makeup from the last time I lived in Houston, which was 1996. When I wear makeup, and that is not a daily occurrence, I only wear the same few things.  Why do I have all this junk in my drawer?

This is my makeup drawer.

Problem is, is that it’s not all junk.  I paid a lot of money for this makeup that I don’t wear.  Here’s how I knew I had a problem.  I went on a few trips recently and everything I wear fit into a tiny makeup bag.  When I packed that tiny makeup bag three times in a row, I thought “why do I have a whole drawer of makeup that is old and I never use?”

This is what I aspire to be.

Hello, my name is Heidi Potter and I am a makeup hoarder.  I use about 20% of my makeup.  The remaining 80% I hang on to for sentimental reasons.  I don’t wear it; but I think about why I bought it or what I wore it to in the past and I cannot throw it away.  Why? Why? Why?

So, I dumped the whole drawer out and started going down memory lane and making myself throw things away.  It’s painful to throw away a Christian Dior powder that you bought for $50.  But when that powder is 15 years old, it’s over. Here are some basic guidelines I used when purging my drawer: (I was REALLY lenient with the guidelines. Some have you throwing away lip glosses after three months. )

  • Mascara: 6 Months
  • Foundation: 1 Year
  • Eyeshadow/Blush:  2 years
  • Lipstick/Lip Gloss: 1-2 Years
  • Lip/Eye Pencil Liner: 1-2 Years


Want to walk down memory lane with me?  Get ready for a good laugh or an “eeeew” moment.

These shadows from my smokey eye phase. Does Bed Head even make makeup anymore? Bought all this at during a work conference in Indianapolis, 1998. The eye shadow applicator has practically disintegrated in the case.

Three powders. Two loose powders are almost empty, and the pressed powder has the texture of marble.

There’s not a palette from Bobbi Brown that I didn’t buy.

Seven mascaras.

Do you think this one is bad?

Two Bobbi Brown lipsticks from 1996 makeover in Chicago. These smelled FUNKY, probably because I bought them before I ever met my husband, 16 years ago.

I lost count at #6 sponge.

After about working a solid hour, I threw it all in the garbage except what I needed daily and what I needed to get dressed up.  I promptly took the garbage outside so that I wouldn’t rescue my poor lip glosses from the Laura Mercier Holiday Collection 1999.

So, I know what I wear, but I wanted to double check with the expert, Sloan Winters from the Beauty Bar at Circe, to make sure I had covered all my bases. Here is Sloan’s list:

Ten Things Every Woman Should Have in her Makeup Bag:

The first five items are what I consider to be the must haves for everyday. The rest of the list are things you will need if a woman wants or needs a more finished or glam look.  Also you may check out my post on the Beauty Bar Facebook page about Make-up in Five Minutes or less.

1.   A good moisturizer and eye cream – Take good care of your skin, hydrate it and you will not need to use a lot of foundations and powders.

2.  Concealer -Quick and easy way to hide dark circles, blemishes, sun spots, and red areas.

3.  Brow pencil – Brows frame the face.  Keep them shaped well and fill in where needed.

4.  Mascara – Mascara will pop the eyes enough without doing a lot of eye shadow or liner for daytime.

5.  Lipstick or Lip gloss – Adds moisture to the lips, making them look fuller and youthful.

6.  Blush or Bronzer – Blush for adding a little pop of color to the face or Bronzer to warm up the complexion.

7.  Good brushes – you really only need about four brushes but a Blush/powder , concealer and the flat eyeliner brush are the top 3 to have.

8.  Foundation – This is something you don’t have use everyday, just when you need to look a little more polished or if your complexion truly needs to be evened-out due to serious redness.

9.  A neutral eye shadow palette – I know a lot of women think they don’t look good in neutrals (browns/creams/taupe) these colors simply put make you look polished and natural looking.  They do not compete with whatever you are wearing, so they are a safe “go to” when you aren’t sure about your make-up.

10. Cake liner sealer – This miracle product allows you to turn any dark eye shadow into an eyeliner. Once it is dry it becomes water resistant – you can swim, play tennis and it’s not coming off. Use it with the flat eyeliner brush for a tight clean line close to the lash line making making lashes look fuller and longer.


While you are purging your drawer, take a minute and wash your brushes.  I know for a fact it has been at least A YEAR since I bothered to do that.  A dirty brush has diminished performance and it is just brushing more dirt and germs on your face.

Wash with baby shampoo or Ivory and set to dry.

That’s the color of the water left behind after washing.

I put all my everyday things into one container. Then, I filled another container with special occasion makeup.

Feels and looks so much better.

Everything I need in one container.

Well, I did it myself and it was relatively painless.  Now I can find everything . Going to go throw away my application to Hoarders on A&E.  I had a real shot to get on that show.

Here’s a funny find I’ll leave you with.  When you clean out your drawer, you’re bound to find some strange things.  These are my favorites: my baby picture, a $15 gift card to a now defunct music store, an “Obama for President” 2008 sticker and a bathroom towel from Kentucky’s Governor’s Mansion.  If that doesn’t qualify me as hoarder’s status, I don’t know what does.


I’m holding your hand here while we do this friends.  Email me with your funny stories about your makeup hoarding–I know you are out there.  Or, even leave a comment under a fake name.