Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag

The start of a new year is the perfect time for an early spring cleaning on your makeup bag. From expired lip gloss to caring for lash curlers, South Hill Gene Juarez Makeup Artist Jessica Black walks us through the cleaning essentials.

Start with the bag: This is your perfect excuse to pick a new bag. But, if you love your current clutch, take a moment to remove all the product and swipe a baby wipe inside and out. Now you’re ready to tackle products! Here’s how to make the call.

Liquid foundations: Usually good for six months to a year after opening the bottle, two years if unused and kept in a cool place. If you’re using an airless pump bottle or regular pump bottle you’ll get longer life and less product waste Includes: mousse foundation, beauty balms (BB), color correct (CC) cremes, concealers and primers.

Powders: Good up to 18 months. Most powders (especially pressed powders) should be tossed if you start to see a film building on the surface – that’s bacteria transferring from the brush to the powder – or it starts to crack or clump. Includes: pressed powder foundation, loose mineral powder, eyeshadow and blush.

Mascara: Toss at least every other month. You can sanitize your wand before and after use to keep it up to six months.

Liquid Eye Liner: Like your mascara you want to clean this out of your makeup bag after six months use. If unopened its good up to a year if stored in a cool, dry place. Toss as soon as you see it separating or oozing white or oil substance, this is a no bueno!

Pencil liners: Keep these up to a year. Again, please detach yourself from a liner that starts to harden or if it starts to pull away from the pencil itself… not good!

Lipsticks & lip gloss: Your favorite lipstick or gloss only lasts about eight months and then it’s time to part ways. Break up before then if it starts to smell rubbery, get clumpy, starts to look like the blob or resembles Play-doh.

Lash curlers: Change the rubber, plastic or silicone band on your lash curler every six months. This will keep lashes from sticking to the curler (ouch!) Toss your lash curler out after one year. Who knew, right? They aren’t made to last forever – in some, the metal degrades or the screw comes loose with frequent use.

Brushes: Your brushes are good for only a year. And the ones you DO NOT use for any crème products might last you 18 months. To keep your brushes long lasting, clean them with shampoo and conditioner that you use on your hair. Simple as that! Follow with an anti-bacterial soap (this is a must for brushes used for foundation, concealer, and other crème products – these produce bacteria the quickest). I highly recommend laying your brushes (bristles down) at a slant so the water doesn’t run into the handle. This will prevent mildew and any other scents that stale water can produce.

Expired Products: This is the last step, if the item is labeled with SPF, look for an expiration date (usually two years from the day you open it) and toss if passed.