Time To Spring Clean Your Makeup


A good friend of mine has started her spring cleaning today.  And I thought to myself, “I really need to spring clean my makeup.”

If you are like me, and you hoard cosmetics like you just might need to do the makeup for the entire cast of Cirque De Soleil one day…it might be a good idea to sort through your stash and toss a few things.

Ladies, listen up!  Like food, beauty products can go bad.  Eating bad food can make you sick, and so can old makeup.  It can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria; and at best it can cause minor skin irritations but at worst, you can develop serious eye and skin infections.  Yuck!

Here are a few tips on how to clean up that makeup bag, or bathroom drawer, or drawers in my case:


Wash them!  I don’t know why so many women don’t know, or never thought that it might be in the best interest of  good hygiene to wash their makeup brushes??!!  You wash your face everyday, why not wash your brushes?  Good makeup brushes aren’t cheap either, so you’ll be extending their lifespan by keeping the bristles free of excess oil, dirt, and makeup.  Your brushes will thank you and so will your face.  I wash my personal brushes every week or two.  I always wash my professional brushes between clients. There are many different brush cleansers on the market but I personally prefer MAC’s Brush Cleanser.  I also like to use a bit of shampoo and conditioner to keep the brush hairs soft and clean.  When you wash a brush, never get the entire brush wet, try to keep the top of the brush ferrule dry (the metal part). Always lay brushes flight to dry.


Toss time: 6 months for liquid or cream foundations and concealers, 2 years for powder. If the makeup is separating, or smells off, get rid of it.


Toss time: 3 months.  Mascara and liquid eye liner containers are dark, wet environments that can harbour all kinds of bacteria. This is why you should be replacing them every 90 days.  Women always complain that their mascara is clumpy. Well that’s probably because it’s older than 3 months!  Here’s a tip, avoid pumping your mascara wand as this forces air into the tube and can cause mascara to dry out prematurely.  Here’s another tip, when you first open a new mascara, smell it.  Become familiar with the smell of a new mascara so you can recognize when it goes bad (a very chemically odour).


Toss time: 2 years.  Pencil eye/lip liners have a longer shelf life since they are essentially rendered fresh and clean with every sharpening. It is a good idea to sanitize your sharpener with rubbing alcohol.


Toss time: 6 months for cream eye shadows, 2 years for powder. I am a huge fan of cream eye shadows as bases for my powder eye shadow.  Many women use their fingers to apply them.  To prevent bacterial contamination of cream eye shadows, or any makeup that you like to apply with your fingers for that matter, make sure that you wash your hands before applying them to your eyelids; or better yet, use a clean brush.


Toss time: 2 years for lipstick, 6 months to a year for lip gloss.  Lipsticks can dry out which is a sure sign to throw them out. Lip glosses on the other hand have a shorter lifespan because of their high moisture content which can also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.


Did you know that many of the containers your makeup comes in are recyclable?  So don’t be too quick to toss them in the garbage.  Better yet, if you are a MAC girl, you should know that MAC  has a recycling program called BACK TO MAC.  They are the only cosmetic company in the world that allows you to bring back your old plastic and glass containers for recycling.  But that’s not all, if you bring back 6 containers, they will give you a FREE  full-size lipstick, eyeshadow or lip gloss! (insert happy dance here)