Spring Cleaning 2019 Beauty Tips

Declutter your beauty essentials.

It’s spring cleaning season and that extends to what’s INSIDE your cupboards too. Your skincare and beauty products work hard to help you look and feel your best. This spring, take an afternoon to declutter, clean and organize these beauty essentials, and give them the care and attention they need to keep working for you.

Before starting, place all your beauty products in the middle of a room (on your bed works well) and organize everything by category: makeup, makeup brushes, hair products, skin care and nail polish. You will soon be making three piles: keep, donate and throw away.


Take your pile of makeup and sort it into foundations, eyeliners, powders, lipsticks and mascaras. While sorting, swatch each item to ensure it’s in good condition. If it’s not, then throw it away. There are four categories to consider when deciding what to keep and what to throw away:

1. Hygiene

When it comes to makeup, hygiene is key. Makeup with bacteria will cause irritations to both your skin and eyes. The types of containers a product is stored in, as well as the formula used, will determine its expiration date. Products that have a pump will last longer than potted products. Products that have a washable applicator (rather than your fingers) will last longer as well. Look for the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on the back that tells you how long the product will last after opening. If you don’t see one, the general rule of thumb is as follows:

Foundationsix months to two years
Eyelinersix months
Mascara  three to six months
Lipstick   two years
Powder (setting powder, bronzer, eyeshadow etc.)one to two years

2. Are they broken? 

Broken items are more exposed than others, leading to bacteria buildup, your product drying out or oxidizing and a mess. These need to be thrown out and replaced.

3. Are they outdated?

Sometimes something you loved six months ago doesn’t spark your interest anymore. Maybe you were into dark lips, whereas you only enjoy neutral tones now. Don’t hang onto it! Replace these items with new products you will enjoy and feel confident in wearing!

4. How many do you own?

Many of us hold onto duplicates, even if they’ve been opened, making it difficult to determine what is old and what is new. If you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s probably time to throw it out. Duplicates include similar items. If you have 12 items of the same or similar shade, pick your favourite! You aren’t going to use them all before they expire anyway.

Declutter Your Makeup Brushes

If you bought a set of good quality brushes, you’re in luck as quality brushes tend to last for years. If you notice the bristles are falling out and the brush isn’t applying product like it once did, it’s probably time to throw it away. If your brushes are in good standing, make sure you’re washing them regularly with a brush cleaner or mild soap.

Tip: When drying your brushes, lay them flat rather than facing upward to prevent water from seeping into the brush, thus, giving it a longer life!

Hair Products

Take each product out and open it. Do you enjoy the smell AND the results it gives you? Is it still in good condition? Is it something that works for you and is not expired? If so, put it in your pile of things to keep. If not, let it go. Thankfully, hair products have a slightly longer shelf life than makeup. But anything you continuously push to the back for another product should go. If you haven’t used them by now, you likely won’t.

Skin Care Products

Skin care is similar to makeup in the sense that the container the product is placed in will determine the longevity. Check expiration dates of products and only keep what works for you!

Nail Polish

This may surprise you, but nail polish only has a shelf life of about 18 months to two years! Open your product and see if it is still in good condition. If it’s thick, lumpy, dried out or separated, it’s time to throw it away. If it passes the quality test, ask yourself if this is a product you’ve worn in the past six months to a year? If not, then it may no longer be your style. Set it aside for someone else who would enjoy it.

Tip: Keep your nail polish in a dark, cool cabinet to extend the shelf life and prevent your polishes from expiring quicker than they should.  

Once you’re complete, clean off the products you’re keeping and organize them in a way that allows you to see everything you own. Next, sanitize and package up products that are still usable and either donate them to a local shelter, or invite your friends over to sift through and pick out something they’ll love. Finally, throw out your old, expired products and step into spring with a refreshed collection of your favourite products in your makeup bag.  


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About the Author

Nicole Sweetman-Rice

Nicole Sweetman-Rice

Nicole Sweetman-Rice is one of Vitalize Magazine’s premier beauty, and fashion writers! Knowledgable in all things makeup, fashion, and skin care, Nicole has a love for sharing her knowledge about up and coming trends, tips and more! Read Nicole’s articles and learn how to become your best and most beautiful self; whether it’s Targeting Your […]

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