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Friday, 7 February 2014

spring clean: makeup bag

Spring Clean: Makeup Bag

I don’t know about you but nothing feels better than sorting out clutter. Tis the season to get spring cleaning, but its something that in theory we should extend to your beauty stash... not just your wardrobe or home. Today I'm looking at giving your makeup bag a little spring clean and talking makeup expiration. While I could talk about streamlining your stash... It's not quite something Im prepared to do yet so I shouldn't be the one to preach right now. So today I’m just gonna fill you in on spring cleaning your everyday makeup bag… not trying to decide which of your 238729871 brown eye shadows that should be passed on!


On average a foundation can last around a year to 18 months. If it’s in a pot you need to apply with your fingers then get rid of it sooner than you would a bottle with a pump. Bacteria from your fingers will contaminate the foundation.The best way I find is to check the texture and the smell. If it doesn’t look or feel right then toss it.

Powder Products

I'm talking eyeshadows, face powders, blushes, that sorta jazz! These products will all last a lot longer than cream and liquid formulations. I’d say two or three years maximum. But obviously if you’ve had that eyeshadow since 2005 and not used it then it might be time to toss it


Im incredibly funny with mascara and will routinely toss a product within about 2 months, but on average 3-4 is a good guideline. Overtime you’ll notice how a mascara can get clumpier as the air gets to it. Pro Tip: Dont have more than 2 mascaras open at one time and try to keep a record of when you’ve opened the last one. Just so you know when it's best to throw it away. However normally a good test is if it's really thick, dry or doesnt perform as well as it once did, then it's time to part ways!


Lipsticks have a shelf life of around 1-2 years, possibly more. If it smells funky or looks weird then pop it in the bin. Lip glosses go nasty very quickly and you can normally tell when they’ve gone off. Gloopy, smelly or a funny taste are all easy tests.

Eye/Lip Pencils

If sharpened and refreshed regularly then a pencil can last 1-2 years before drying out. Each time you’re sharpening you’re effectively getting a brand new pencil so it’s one of those products you don’t need to worry about. If it goes too dry, unsuable or starts to scratch you’re eye area, then to the bin it goes.

Nail Polish

Nail polish is pretty hard wearing and can last 2-3 years. When it starts to separate in colour or goes really gloopy and unusable it’s time to toss. You can always try and refresh the polish with a little bit of nail polish thinner or specialised nail polish revivers, but I feel it effects the quality too much and you may as well go out and get a new one.

Overall this whole post has been a drawn out way to say : Use your noggin'. Just use a little bit common sense and if it smells weird or looks not quite right then throw it out.  if there is ever a doubt about whether to keep it or toss it, I'd just throw it out. It's not worth it!

Do you have any makeup spring cleaning tips?


  1. Fab post I had a mega clean up a few weeks ago hate keeping stuff I don't use or wear. x

    Catherines Loves

  2. I read once if you pop your mascara tube in warm water once it starts to go clumpy, it helps it return back to it's original state!

    Jen xx

  3. This is a really useful reminder that I need to have a look through my make up! So easy to forget that you've had something far too long...

  4. Really helpful

  5. This post has given me the push I need to toss some stuff out ! I'm such an organised person usually but I just love to hoard make up!

    Alex Georgie

  6. Super helpful post. It's a sad affair when you have to part with your (gloopy) polish :( xx

    Eleri Roberts

  7. Very informative post, I am definitely guilty of keeping powder products way longer than it probably good!

    Lottie x - UK beauty and lifestyle blog

  8. I always forget that makeup have a sell by date just like food! I should defo have a look at my bits!

    xxx | daisydaisyxxo

  9. I'm useless when it comes to getting rid of make up, I just hate the idea of parting ways with things I don't feel I've had enough use out of :/
    Megan x | MeganRoisinn

  10. i still have to organize my makeup bag

  11. Thanks for this post~ It has made me want to go through my make-up stash and bin anything that is way too old to use, or likely to have gone off! I really ought to sort out my make-up bag soon too, i have just been cramming everything in there and i have been carrying around unecessary stuff with me :p

    Thank you for the post, i hope you have a lovely day ^^ <3

    Ying ♥ || *- YingcBeauty-*
    X x X x X

  12. i need to get rid of some nail varnish, i hardly wear it and it's too thick :( thanks for the motivation
    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography -

  13. this is such a handy post - i never wanna chuck out old products in case i may need them at some point but this has definitely motivated me to get rid of so much stuff!

    love Katy @ THE RAWRDROBE

  14. such a needed post! never know when to toss

    xx Milly

  15. I managed to get rid of two shoe boxes of makeup the other day, it felt so good!
    Lizzy | elizabethsophiee x

  16. Helpful post. I hate getting rid of makeup though!

    Amelia Rose | Beauty Blogger

  17. great post, this shall definitely be useful! x

  18. love this post, defo need to start smelling my products more often!
    rabia from RepeatPiece

  19. I went though my polish collection last night - dont think I have ever cleaned it out before!

  20. Loved this! I always find it hard to part ways with makeup products - even if I never use them! Great post! xx

  21. awesome post Lily, I never used to know when make-up expires but this helped a lot, definitely will be spring cleaning my make-up stash <3

  22. I'm too efficient with make-up, whenever I stop using a product it goes straight in the bin!

  23. that's a sign: I've been thinking about throwing away some of my nail polishes the whole week and now I read a post about that subject. Time to throw some old stuff away!

  24. Great tips, I really need to be more organised with my makeup collection and have a spring clean! x
    Freya's Fashion Chapter

  25. A really helpful post :) I need to chuck some bits and bobs soon! ♥

  26. Great post, I guess this is the downside of having to have 5934732543 different products on the go at once... I definitely forget when I first started using what!

  27. Oh God, I have such hoarders shame! Let's never speak of this.

    Aimee - AroundTwenty x

  28. Great tips! I don't really need a spring clean makeup wise though x

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Fashion Blog

  29. beautiful!!



  30. I've been wondering about these things for ages now! Nice to be told all the deets :)

    Shaun Nolan // Shaunyland

  31. This is such a good idea! I love spring cleaning, definitely been inspired to clear through my make up bag :)
    Sophie Clare x


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