Clean Out Your Makeup Bag
Being immured at home on a snow day can induce one to ponder the truly important things in life, such as the parlous state of one’s makeup bag. If your cosmetics are in a state of disarray, it’s time for a brisk spring cleaning. The current freezing temperatures notwithstanding, the vernal equinox is rapidly approaching and you’ll want to face the new season properly, i.e., with a tidy, organized collection of the most au courant spring colors.
First, empty the makeup bag and examine the bag itself — either give it a good scrubbing or replace it, if it’s beyond hope. I’ve accumulated a seemingly inexhaustible supply of makeup bags from innumerable “gift-with-purchases” but you non-hoarders may want to buy a new bag; there are many chic options to choose from these days.
Next, review your products. Purge any eye shadows and lipsticks that you never wear, or that may be past their prime. Although I think some of the guidelines for keeping makeup are a little excessive (I’m not convinced that you have to throw out a lipstick after only 12 months), it is important not to use expired products, especially on your eyes. As a general rule, replace your mascara every three to four months. Beyond that it can get dried out and clumpy. Furthermore, using the same brush every day over many months can be unhygienic and even lead to eye infections. Also remember to sharpen your eye pencils frequently to keep them clean. With proper maintenance they have a shelf life of two years.
Most liquid/cream foundations will last up to two years, so you can store your heavier, more emollient winter base and switch to a lighter product for warmer weather. A good BB cream can give you a nice light finish that’s perfect for a fresh-faced spring look. However, if your foundation is starting to smell “off” then toss it.
The majority of us have many lipsticks lying around that we seldom use. I suggest that you take a look at your collection and cull any shades that you barely touch in order to make room for spring’s new vibrant hues. If the lipstick shows any change in texture, color or smell, it belongs in the dustbin. Disinfect your lipstick periodically by first wiping off the top layer with a cotton swab and then dipping it in rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds. I recommend storing off-season colors in the refrigerator — this will extend product life up to three years.
I also like to give the powder eye shadows, blushes and face powder that have escaped my ruthless purge a good cleansing wipe with rubbing alcohol as well. Powder products can last longer but be careful — they do have a shelf life of two to three years.
Finally, extend your scrutiny to your beauty tools, e.g., eyelash curler and brushes. Make sure your eyelash curler is thoroughly clean and in good working order, and shampoo your brushes with a mild cleanser. Replace any worn out brushes and make note of any new brushes that you might need.
Once you’ve concluded your spring cleaning, the next step is clear — start shopping the spring makeup collections for fabulous new colors!