Spring Cleaning Your Beauty Stash

Even though it’s barely 16 degrees outside and a winter storm warning is out, most of my spring cleaning is finally done.

I told you guys all about my “beauty diet” and I gotta say- I never thought I’d be a be able to make it through April, but it looks like it’s happening! I’ve never been this excited about not buying makeup. First world problems here, I know.

While cleaning out our closets and kitchen cupboards (which I have yet to get to) is always both time-consuming but also rewarding, this year it’s the beauty product clean-out that took me a few days to complete. I don’t remember last time I’ve gotten rid of so many creams, lotions, foundations, lipsticks. And you know what? It feels pretty amazing.

I love that the only products I kept are the ones I actually use and reach for. I also no longer have to dig through 10 bottles of lotion to find the one I want to use. If you have a yet to do your beauty spring clean, here are a few things to keep in mind.

EXPIRATION DATES

This is something that I myself have overlooked for years- until I used an expired face primer and ended up with an awful allergic reaction. Most of your beauty products should have a “use by” date somewhere on the bottle/jar, if you can’t find it, try to locate this little icon that displays number of months for which is safe to use the product after opening it. I generally don’t pay attention to this with products that I use on regular basis, since I use them up pretty quickly. When it comes to products I know I won’t finish within 6 months, I’ll mark the date when I started using the product, so that I know when to toss it out, if I haven’t finished it. This is just as important with skincare as it is with makeup- you don’t want to put any expired product near your eyes or lips.

EYE MAKEUP 

Eye makeup products like cream shadows, mascara and gel liners tend to dry out over time. With products like gel liners, adding a bit of vitamin E or coconut oil can easily bring the creamy consistency back, but it doesn’t work with every eye product. Once the mascaras dry out, creams or powders change consistency- it’s time to toss them out. I pay very close attention this, as eyes and skin around them is very delicate and prone to irritation.

CLEAN + DISINFECT YOUR BRUSHES

I try to wash my brushes on regular basis but sometimes it goes like this: I use a few brushes and instead of cleaning them right away, I just reach for a *fresh* one and don’t wash them until I’m all out of clean brushes. That’s how you end up with needing to wash over 50 makeup brushes at once. Cleaning out and re-organzing your makeup is a good opportunity to clean and disinfect your entire brush collection. I usually use baby shampoo to wash them, add a bit of hair conditioner and use rubbing alcohol soaked towel to clean up the bristles and the brush handles. This is also a good opportunity to get rid of any brushes that shed or are falling apart. I recently had to get rid of my beloved F-80 which was one of my first “big girl” makeup brushes.

REORGANIZE + MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS MORE VISIBLE

When I was throwing away a bunch of products few weeks ago, every other thing that I picked up made me go “oh, I forgot I had this!” That’s what happens when most of your stash is hidden or put away- you forget what you have and don’t use it. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone, but it is for me. I like to make my most-used products visible, so that I see exactly what I have and what needs to be used up.

This is also a great time to re-organize your collection and change things up a bit. I always do this with nail polish and lipsticks first- while I love wearing black polish all-year-long, I know that I won’t be reaching for dark and moody plums or green any time soon. I also separate my cream shadows, lip products, cheek products- so that they’re all in one easy-to-find spot. This is actually something I do every couple of weeks.

Related post: My Makeup Storage

Makeup or skincare definitely isn’t the only thing I pay attention to when spring cleaning. I also clean all of my containers, brush holders, palette holders and make sure that everything has a home.

I had a really tough start to this year and I’m happy that I was able to stick to one of my goals, which was to control my beauty-spending habits. Seeing how much stuff I’ve thrown away over the last couple of weeks made me feel embarrassed, to put it plainly. It just felt like such a waste. I’m still very much beauty-obsessed, but I try to be more mindful about what I buy. I think that the impulse beauty buying is just something I grew out of. Seeing how much stuff I got rid of, how many products I bought but didn’t use (or didn’t finish using) was a bit of an eye-opener.

And this is why I love spring so much- it’s all about new beginnings, a fresh start.

Now, I just have to brace myself for those 18-24 inches of snow we’re expecting tomorrow.

How is your spring cleaning going?


  • Really, a snow storm? It is the loveliest spring weather around here, with sun and flowers, and snow feels like a distant memory. My spring cleaning has yet to happen though, I may try to get it done next weekend. My beauty stash is quite slim already though, being on maternity leave twice has made me mindful about my spending years ago.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Yes! It was pretty bad here, I was out of work for two days. Ahh that sounds amazing, I can’t wait for spring!

  • I really need to sort through my makeup collection! x

    wwwbymillie.co.uk
    http://www.bymillie.co.uk

  • Neelam Jayna

    This post has inspired me to clean my makeup stash out! I’ve been trying to get in the habit of changing my makeup products around every week so that I get more use out of eyeshadow palettes, blush and lipsticks!
    Great post!
    Neelam | http://www.neelamjayna.co.uk

  • Leanne Marshall

    I have recently had a clear out and I gave so much away. I also found some great products I found some products I had completely forgotten about!

    Lemblog.co.uk

  • Awesome tips Paula and I must say your make-up stash looks so neat (nothing like mine haha). I am very careful about eye products, especially after dealing with inflammation, I now never open several tubes of mascara at the same time and try to buy one cream eyeshadow at a time (otherwise they dry out or smell funny). I need to pay more attention to my primers too xx

    Naya // http://www.partyparrotblog.com

    • I doesn’t look like that all the time, trust me haha :) My eyes get easily irritated, so I have to look out for the same things as you!

  • Lisa Autumn

    I am sooo bad at keeping my brushes clean haha.. will do it today.. you motivated me :)

    xx Lisa
    lisaautumn.com

  • As soon as I get another day off I am definitely going to clean my brushes and reorganize my makeup organization. I am ready for a Spring clean for sure!

  • I really love a good spring clean!

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Lauren Molinaro

    That organizer you’re using looks like a dream. I need to find something similar so that I can actually see what I have!

    obsessedandoverdressed.com

  • Serein Wu

    I was so inspired by you last night that I started the process of the clean out. I also want to write a post dedicated to makeup and skincare expiration dates and when something truly is bad. Thank you for always being an inspiration!
    xoxo
    Serein
    http://sereinwu.com/

  • I love reading your blog! I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I still loved this post! It applies to a lot of other things in my life that I need to give a spring clean…
    -Maddy
    Cheers-Maddy.com

  • I like to use up my makeup, so I don’t do a clearout as often unless the product is expired. But these days it’s more about not buying new makeup (which I’m not very good at).

    Advaita | Blush Canvas

  • for me.. I do have the yearly project pan so, I don’t need too much spring cleaning.. what I need is to prevent myself of buying more beauty products… so far, it’s 2 mons now and I haven’t bought any beauty stuff yehey for me…

  • All spring cleaning – done! I kind of miss it though, may go for round 2… in May or something? ;) (is that cheating?)

  • Some great tips – sorry to hear about your tough year, there’s defo something very therapeutic about a good clearout.

    I get so overwhelmed with all my Beauty products I had a spring clean like a year ago, and now I have a one-in-one-out policy.

    It’s hard to resist when a cool new makeup product comes out, but it stops me from wasting my money and buying a product I’ll only use once because I already have so much…and then before you know it, it’s expired and I have to toss it.

    – Lubna | The Digital Review

    • Thank you Lubina!

      I definitely get overwhelmed at times too, having a good clean out helps a ton. New releases are always so tempting, but I try to buy only products I know I’ll use. x

  • Although I still treat myself to some new beauty bits every now and then, I buy much less then I used to and I’m also excited about slimming down my collection and actually using up the products I already have.

    I’m so excited for Spring! Fortunately we’re not expecting any snow here, haha! Hope it won’t be too bad where you live! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Ohh lucky you! It was pretty bad, I couldn’t make it to work for 2 days, the roads were that bad. It’s snowing again today, but I’m really hoping this is the last of it!

  • Some really great tips! It’s so hard to throw away makeup though haha x

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

  • I am LITERALLY off to start mine right now, as this inspired me so much! Haha :) I love a good clear out! xx

  • Ela

    I myself don’t have a hard time parting with products. If they’re still usable but I don’t like them for one reason or another, I’ll sell them or give them away so it doesn’t feel like such a waste. I do this around once a month so I makeup doesn’t expire on me.
    Ela | http://www.stealingyoursunbeams.wordpress.com

    • I don’t have too hard of a time getting rid of products I know i won’t use! I think collecting them just for the sake of “having” them, is such a waste.

  • Neha Gada

    I can’t bring myself to throw anything from my collection, but I agree with you about how totally embarrassing it is to see the amount of money I’ve put in versus the little use. Its time to take a step back.

  • This is such a good reminder!!! I need to clean my stash out :P

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  • Helen Qin

    Where is your acrylic storage from? I love it!

  • Dawn Craven

    Literally needed to read this post so much! Thank you for writing this because I have GOT to clean out my makeup severely.

  • Natalie Redman

    Great post! I have a similar beauty organiser, it’s so good for keeping every tidy!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • The Gossip Darling

    Omg! Amazing post! After my acne nightmare, I check every single expiration date! I also don’t buy as much makeup anymore after I realized how quickly things expire! I can’t use up 3 blushes in an 18 month time period. Expiration dates changed my life!!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com