Spring Cleaning for Your Makeup

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • During the spring months, we open our windows, clean out our closets, bring in fresh bright colors. We throw out the old and bring in the new. We spring clean. But do you think about spring cleaning your makeup and accessories?  Chances are you don’t. Old makeup, brushes and other accessories should be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis and what better time to do it than at the change of seasons, when it is time to freshen up your look.

    The following are tips for spring cleaning your makeup and accessories:

    Disinfect your lipstick - to clean your lipstick, twist it up and use a Q-tip to gently wipe off the top layer. Dip the lipstick into rubbing alcohol for about 30 seconds. Let it air dry before twisting it down and putting the cap on. When buying new lipsticks, go for the metal containers as they don’t hold the germs as much as plastic lipstick tubes do - although all lipsticks should be cleaned off once a month.

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    Clean your brushes - Fill a bowl with water and add a few drops of shampoo. Drop all your brushes into the water and let them sit for 10 minutes. Lay them out on a towel and let them thoroughly dry before putting them away. Another way of cleaning your brushes is to keep a spray bottle with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol and spray the brushes after each use.

    Clean powder makeup including eyeshadow, blush and bronzer - Use a butter knife to scrape the top layer of the powder into the trash. Be sure to scrape gently or you will break up the powder. The shiny area on the top is created from the touching your fingers to your skin and transferring oils to the product. Scraping away the top layer gives you fresh, clean powder.

    Wipe down cream based eyeshadows - Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and twist it over your cream based makeup.

    Toss old mascara - Mascara can’t be cleaned. It usually lasts from four to six months so if you have been using the same mascara all winter, it is time for a new one. Mascara tends to clump when it is getting old.

    Sharpen your pencils - The best way to keep pencils clean is to sharpen them before each use. If you use a retractable pencil, use the same method as cleaning lipstick - open it and hold it in rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds and then let it dry.

    Check your sunscreens - Sunscreen starts to lose it’s effectiveness after about a year. This includes sunscreens in moisturizers or foundations. That means anything containing sunscreen that you bought last summer should be replaced.

    Toss out of date makeup - While there are no hard and fast expiration dates on makeup, the following is a guideline of about how long makeup lasts and looks fresh:

    • Mascara - four to six months
    • Eyeliner - one year
    • Foundation - one year
    • Concealer - one year
    • Lipstick - six to eight months
    • Cream eye shadow or blush - one year
    • Powder eye shadow or blush - two years

    You can extend the life of your makeup by keeping lids tightly closed and keeping them out of direct sunlight and heat.

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    Clean makeup cases - Take everything out of your makeup case and wipe it down with antibacterial wipes. Use caution when wiping down the outside of the bag as wipes can damage the finish. Instead wipe down with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Clean the lids to your blush, eye-shadow and cream products the same way, wiping with an antibacterial wipe.

    Taking a few minutes once a month to clean your makeup not only keeps it sanitary, it extends the life of the makeup and helps it stay fresh looking longer.

Published On: February 18, 2014