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How a Beauty Editor spring cleans her beauty stash

A new season is just around the corner, and here’s how Donna Francis prepares 

Beauty Collective
Makeup has an expiry date too
Donna Francis
Contributing Editor US
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It’s great to have a good old clear out every once in a while, especially with your beauty products, as if you’re like me and have lots of different makeup and skincare on the go, you can often forget how long you’ve had them for. It also allows you to clean up your brushes, tools and accessories too. 

Don't know where to start? Here’s how I spring clean my beauty stash…

Start with the makeup bag

I don’t mean just cleaning and editing what’s inside the bag, I clean the actual bag too. I turn it inside out and wipe it over with an antibacterial wipe or a flannel, making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices where powder and foundations tend to accumulate. Then I’ll wipe down the packaging of all my products, including cleaning my tweezers and eyelash curlers with an antibacterial wipe as they can get really grimy. 

Clear out expired products

All beauty products have different shelf lives and will often have labels showing how long they’ll stay fresh once opened. But if you can’t recall when you first used a product, the general rule of thumb is: if it looks dry or congealed, has changed colour or smells funny, it’s time to bin it. 

But also it’s worth noting that even if a product looks ok, it doesn’t mean to say it’s not harbouring any bacteria. I am always extra cautious about keeping any products that are used around the eye area for too long, as it’s an area more prone to infection. Plus anything hanging around in a damp shower can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive so make sure to regularly machine-wash any flannels or shower puffs. 

Makeup has an expiry date too© Andrii Anna photographers
Makeup has an expiry date too

For makeup, I stick to these time frames when clearing out my essentials:

Bin after 3 months: mascara, liquid eyeliner

Bin after 6 months: liquid foundation, concealer

Bin after 1 year: Lip gloss, cream eyeshadow

Reorganise to remember

Finding the right place to store your products can be the difference between using them and letting them gather dust. I often forget to use top-up items like hand cream and face masks because they’re not kept in the cupboard with my daily beauty essentials. So move them to a place where you will actually see them every day and remember to use them. But don’t store any products on your bathroom windowsill as direct sunlight makes them go off quicker. 

NEED TO KNOW: I’m a Beauty Editor - and this is the high-street skincare brand that I swear by 

Use a cotton bud to clean these items:

Hairdryer: Remove the dusty lint that can block the airflow at the back of the dryer and make it run too hot.

Nail polish bottles: Dip a cotton bud into some remover first and then use it to remove the sticky gunk around the lid that makes them tricky to open. 

Makeup sharpener: clears any shavings from the blade without slicing your fingers. 

Donna clearly loves to clean up her beauty stash
Donna clearly loves to clean up her beauty stash

Don’t forget to clean your sponges and brushes

If you haven’t washed your sponges or brushes for a while, make it a priority as they are likely to be full of old makeup and bacteria. You don’t have to buy a special gadget or solution to wash them either. 

For brushes, swish the bristles around in a mug filled with water and dishwashing soap, rinse thoroughly with cold water, sweep the brushes across a clean kitchen towel and then leave them to dry on a flat surface. 

READ: How I use my morning self-care routine to hack my happiness 

For sponges, pour some micellar water onto the sponge, rub it in, rinse with water and leave to dry on a kitchen towel.

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