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Spring Clean your Makeup

I can literally hear the birds tweeting outside my studio today and I have all the windows open letting in some fresh Spring air. It feels so good to be done and dusted with our horrible winter and now we can look forward to warmer weather and sunnier skies. It’s also a great time to check in and hit restart on a few areas of your life, and your beauty bag is a great place to start!

First, collect all your beauty products in one area so you can take stock of what you have. I’m guilty of moving on to something new before I’ve used the old one up so it’s a great time to see what you can still use, or what needs to be thrown away (recycle if possible). If it’s something you’ve barely used, and you know you probably won’t, consider donating it to a local women’s shelter so someone else can benefit from it.

Check the Expiry Dates

Most products should have an expiry date on the packet but once you’ve opened it, what you actually want to look for is a little icon of an open jar with some numbers inside (6M, 6M, 12M, 24M, for e.g). This tells you how many months the product will last after you’ve opened it. The risk is really only most important with cream or liquid products which apply directly to the skin (mascara especially but also foundations or concealers with a brush applicator, lipsticks, glosses) and these tend to have a 6 month to 12 month life. Most powders you can keep for 2 years or slightly more. SPF only tends to be valid for 12 months, so any sun protections where you’re actually relying on that SPF factor should be replaced every year.

Urban Decay Lipsticks

Sanitise your products

Invest in a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol from the pharmacy and lightly spritz eyeshadows and lipsticks with it to kill any bacteria. I then like to wipe around the compact/container (not over the actual product itself) with baby wipes. If you keep your makeup and brushes in a bag, throw that in the wash, or if you keep things in jars, then run those through the dishwasher. If your lipsticks are looking a bit worse for wear, use a craft blade to shave off the very top layer of lipstick and not only will you instantly sanitise them but you’ll leave a nice crisp shape for perfect application the next time you apply it.

Clean your brushes

In all honesty you should be doing this step regularly anyway but I know that’s not always the case so it’s a good time to get back into good habits. Go through your brush collection and sort out any brushes that have had it, then make a list of ones you need to replace. If you wash your brushes regularly and look after them, decent brushes should last you a very long time. Brushes you use with cream or liquids (e.g foundation brush) need to be washed at least once a week, ideally twice. Powder brushes can go a bit longer, but every fortnight is good. Beauty Blenders should be cleaned before every use as you use them wet anyway.

Wet each brush just on the bristles and use a small amount of dishwashing liquid in one hand while you circulate the brush in it, then rinse until the water runs clear (you may need to do this 2-3 times if it’s been a while). Apply a small amount of hair conditioner to the bristles and rinse that out after 1 minute. Gently rub bristles on a towel and then leave the brush lying flat on a dry towel overnight (if you have an airing cupboard, pop them in there). Never leave them standing up when wet as this will ruin the glue that keeps the hairs in place. A clean brush will perform so much better and you’ll drastically reduce your risk of contracting a skin infection or breakouts.

Clear out your handbag

Go through all your regular handbags and clutches too and clear out any forgotten lip balms, lipsticks or other items. Toss anything that’s out of date and make a list of anything you need to replenish. I suggest keeping the following in your main bag:

  • Small packet of tissues

  • Small pack of cotton buds

  • SPF Lipbalm

  • Nude Lipstick

  • Bright Lipstick (coral, pink or red - you choose)

  • Anti-shine powder compact or oil blotting sheets

  • Mints or gum

  • Handcream

  • Small tube of facial sunblock

  • Eyedrops if you need them

One of the looks from NZ Fashion Week this year featuring sheer skin, brushed brows, nude eyes and a bright lip \ using Smashbox cosmetics \ model Grace from N Model Management

It’s also a great time to update your makeup routine as well. Try going a bit sheerer on the foundation (maybe a BB cream) and try out some softer, warmer tones for Spring/Summer. If you find you need a little more help, check out one of my private makeup classes for one-on-one guidance.

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