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.


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 a 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 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 to this, as eyes and skin around them is very delicate and prone to irritation.


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-organizing 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.


When I was throwing away a bunch of products a 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?