Spring Cleaning: Your Makeup Bag

Filed under Look Your Best Makeup & Skincare on Mar 03 12 by

It’s spring cleaning time—and do you even remember the last time you cleaned your makeup bag? Chances are, your beauty arsenal is harboring plenty of outdated beauty trends and harmful bacteria. Here are three simple steps for ensuring that your spring look is fresh and clean.

Step One: Begin with clean tools

If you use your makeup brushes frequently, you really should be cleaning them once a week. Using dirty brushes can cause breakouts. Rinse brushes in warm, soapy water to remove all of the build-up before it starts forming bacteria.

Items such as tweezers, manicure tools, eyeliner sharpeners, and contact lenses cases should also be kept clean. Sterilize these items by placing them in boiling water for at least five minutes. Then, rinse the items in cool water and dry them with a washcloth.

Step Two: Figure out what to toss

It’s time to purge your makeup bag of all unwanted items. Here are a few of the things you should be tossing.

1. Expired makeup

Your makeup has an expiration date! Toss anything that has dried up, changed color, or crumbled. If you aren’t sure how long to keep your makeup, here are some common items and their typical lifespans:

Mascara: 3 months
Liquid liner: 4-6 months
Lipstick and gloss: 1-2 years
Eyeshadow: 6 months – 2 years
Foundation: 6 months – 1 year
Powder: 1-2 years
Concealer: 6-8 months
Sponges: Toss weekly
Blush: 6-12 months

2. Outdated trends

This spring, get rid of your dark, heavy lipstick, neon eyeliners, and heavy or cakey foundations.

3. Broken or frayed brushes

If your makeup brushes are falling apart, it might be time to invest in a new set. My favorite brushes are the Studio Tools makeup brushes, available at Target stores. They are inexpensive, but are great for applying makeup (I especially like the eyeshadow brushes!).

4. Dried up nail polish

Sometimes, you can salvage your nail polish using nail polish thinner (here’s a great how-to for restoring your polish). But if it’s really dried up or the color is outdated, toss it for a newer version!

Step Three: Figure out what to keep

Here’s what SHOULD be in your makeup bag:

1. Metallic eyeshadow

Shiny metallics and smoky eyes are the look of spring. My Victoria’s Secret shadow in First Glance has just the right amount of shimmer.

Victoria's Secret Silky Eyeshadow Duo in "First Glance"

2. Red lipstick

Spring runways reveal lips in all shades of red! Always a classic, red lipstick is sexy and simple when paired with minimal eye makeup. Try Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in True Red.

3. Tinted moisturizer and concealer

Instead of heavy foundation, try tinted moisturizer. The light coverage is the perfect way to even your skin tone and camoflauge redness without completely hiding your skin. I use Tarte Smooth Operator, which is free of mineral oil, parabens, fragrance and dyes, and sodium laurel sulfate. For times when I need extra coverage (think girls’ night out with lots of flash photographs being taken), I add Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Concealer to my undereyes.

4. Liquid eyeliner

The cat-eye is still in, and is a popular look this season. Check out three modern cat-eye looks that you can create with your favorite liquid eyeliner.

5. Pore Strips

I absolutely LOVE these! They are a great way to gently remove blackheads and unclog pores (without all the squeezing—which is bad for your skin). Biore Pore Perfect is my go-to brand, and they provide nose strips as well as face strips, which can be used on the forehead or chin.

Biore Pore Strips

5. Oil Absorbing Sheets

As the weather gets warmer, skin tends to get more oily. I like to keep Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets on hand for a quick way to banish shine.

6. Mango Burts Bees

Burt’s Bees is a staple in my makeup bag. As a chap stick addict, I take the stuff with me wherever I go. Recently, I discovered Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter and I’m in LOVE.

You should always keep your supplies in a cute bag! I’ve found that stores such as Marshalls or TJMaxx are the best places to find inexpensive and stylish bags. But you don’t necessarily have to use a “makeup bag”—I use my metallic gold clutch from Express to tote my makeup items.

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.