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If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock.
Her revolutionary cleaning and organizing technique, known as the KonMari Method, has taken the world by storm. It’s incredible that this feng shui approach to simplifying your life has gained such a hold on the Western world, considering how famous we are for our spending habits, our love of excess, and our hoarding habits.
Though Marie, and her method, have come under a bit of criticism since her Netflix show ‘Tidying Up’ aired, most agree that it’s a fresh approach to de-cluttering we all could use sometimes.
The KonMari Method
Marie Kondo is a huge fan of organizing but not a big fan of the organizational hacks we in the West have learned to live by. She doesn’t like so-called “storage solutions, as she said they contribute to hiding a mess out of sight or locking it away. According to Kondo, for an object to truly spark joy, it should be visible, accessible, and useful, while maintaining its proper place in the home.
Kondo is also not a fan of the “tidy up a little every day” method. Her radical clean-sweep method may feel overwhelming and emotional at the time, but Kondo swears that’s precisely how it’s supposed to work. According to her, the vast, emotional upheaval of getting rid of things you don’t love, while holding on to and cherishing things that make you happiest, will actually help you and inspire you to stay tidy. In her words, if you tidy a little every day, you have to tidy forever. We can definitely get behind anything that doesn’t encourage that!
KonMari and Beauty
Once you get a taste of how much energy and calm you receive from a tidy household, you might want to apply KM’s principles to other aspects of your life. For instance, beauty.
Marie is all about keeping things simple, clean, and bringing yourself joy. If you truly love all your beauty products, it’s understandable why you’d want to keep them. But who doesn’t have an expired foundation, a few samples you’re “saving” and at least two or face creams that absolutely are not your favorite brand, don’t multitask well, but were bought on sale?
Spark some joy by using Marie Kondo’s method to simplify your makeup routine and your beauty drawer!
Get Rid of Expired Items
This one seems obvious, but we’ve all done it. Held on to a foundation that’s looking a bit crusty because it’s the perfect shade, and you want to compare it with a new buy. Grabbed a great sample that isn’t right for you, but might make an ideal regift… someday. In most cases, however, the expiration dates run out before you put these thoughts into action. And that’s ok, we’re all busy, we all forget.
So get to know the expiry dates on your makeup. Most tubes have a stamped number on the bottom or lids. Use that to tell you how many months it’s good for. Most cosmetics can hold out for months, and some even years, but if you see lumps, separated oils, or anything smells weird, toss it.
Don’t Think of It As Waste
The KonMari method means picking up everything you own, individually, and deciding whether or not it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Yes, that means throwing away the $30 mascara you bought that you haven’t even opened. Yes, it probably means getting rid of more than you keep.
Even the most dedicated beauty lover is bound to have products you’ve never used, or bought on a whim to try out and hated.
But the crux of Marie Kondo’s method is about the joy we get from things, and though it may make you feel squeamish to think of the money, time, and plastic you’ve wasted, push past that and think how great it will be when you’ve freed yourself.
If you’re really struggling, organize a makeup party with your best friends afterward, and swap products you don’t use.
Keep It Simple
Marie Kondo herself doesn’t wear foundation. She believes it’s unhealthy for her skin, so she often leaves it behind. You don’t need to do that, but keep things simple where you can. For example, while it’s true the skin of your neck is a little more sensitive than your cheeks, it’s not by much. You probably don’t need twelve different skin and face creams.
And when you take this a bit further, you can view the ingredients used in your products the same way: what really makes your skin ‘joyful’? You’ll find that a lot of creams and makeup contain unnecessary fillers and other chemical products that harm the skin and cause for “skin clutter”: buildup and allergic reactions.
Choose something gentle and organic among your favorite face creams and skin care products and move on. Sticking to simple essentials isn’t just healthier for you, and contributes to less stress, but you’ll also find you have more time in the morning when you’re not adding every beauty product in your arsenal.
Buy Things And Then Use Them
The beauty in the KonMari method is that it can also make you more aware of who you are and what you think of as beauty. For example, Kondo doesn’t encourage getting rid of products that actually make you feel good. If you’re self-conscious of fine lines, or your smile, go ahead and get your wrinkle creams, or that whitening toothpaste.
What it does discourage is stocking up. It’s tempting, especially in the world of beauty, where new products and samples and changes in the formula are so widely available. If you’ve got a habit of hoarding makeup like you’re waiting on a Sephora Apocolypse, stop what you’re doing. Buy products you love, use them till they’re done, and then you can decide whether and when you need more.
The best way to minimize the makeup that ends up on your face is to find yourself some multitasking makeup options. Whether it’s lip stain that doubles as blush, or foundation that works well as a moisturizer, look for multitasking makeup options to de-clutter your makeup drawer, and minimize the products you’re using on your skin.
Don’t Give Up The Things You Love
Though Marie Kondo’s method is all about our emotional connection to things, years of decluttering methods have taught all of us to view any kind of declutter mission with suspicion. But stripping down to the essentials doesn’t have to mean sticking to neutral tones or skipping foundation. If you’re into bright lipsticks, and they genuinely make you happy, or you need a new smokey eyelash every other night? Go ahead and embrace that!
The KonMari method has never been about depriving people of their personality or joy. It’s all about giving you more of what you love, and a deeper appreciation of the things that make you genuinely joyful.
Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering methods help us stay on track at home, at the office, and while we’re on our side hustle. But if you’re a beauty lover like me, you might flinch away from applying the “toss it on the bed and hold it up to the light” method when it comes to your beauty drawer. And it can be even harder to cut down on our beauty routines.
Minimizing your makeup, in the home, and on your face, has plenty of benefits, from healthier skin to feeling less cluttered and constrained, to truly embracing your own kind of beauty. So take the plunge, and spark some joy in your own life!
When he’s not distracted by silly cat memes, Josh West writes for Savant Magazine, an outlet for his shopping addiction. He also enjoys photography, binge-watching historical drama series and visiting tiny museums.