Let’s start with a public announcement. The next few paragraphs are for those of us who own a large collection of beauty products. If all you have is in your vanity is two palettes, one brush and three lipsticks, I only have two things to tell you: one, how the hell do you do that? The second is, save your time and go read what products really shouldn’t be missing from your life or the looks you should try out next season. Good, now that we got over the awkwardness of having to confess that we are beauty maniacs, we can embark on our mission. Now is the time for a good spring cleaning of your beauty collection! This is a fundamental step if you are feeling the urge to abandon your flat, suddenly evicted by the sheer amount of products you bought, or simply if chaos has finally taken over everything, and you can’t find your favorite lipstick anymore, because it is lost in a sea of other packets and cases.
Without this step, your battle would already be lost. Start with expired products, ça va sans dire. If the packaging doesn’t feature the little symbol with a jar telling you how long the product is okay to use, try to figure out when you opened it the first time around. As a general rule, powders last about 24 months, creams around 12 months, and organic skincare products last 6 months, or fewer. If you own a lot of natural products, be careful with those because they are usually the first to deteriorate, as their formulas contain no preservatives. Once you are done checking this, also try getting rid of anything that is showing its age: if something broke, if the lid doesn’t close properly, for instance, no more excuses, just get rid of it forever. One tip: when you throw your products away, try to properly separate the different materials making up the containers… Recycling matters! Some companies make it even easier for you by giving you a new product if you recycle. Have you ever heard of Back-2-MAC? Just collect 6 old products to get a new lipstick. 5 LUSH black jars will earn you a fresh mask: recycling has never been so useful!
Now let’s get on to those products that are the equivalent of that dress you just wore once, or even of that one that is still in your wardrobe, with its label on. There is no good reason to hold on to it, so please, just say goodbye to it and try to make your moms, sisters and friends happy with it: they will be glad to get this little gift! Another useful, wise thing to do is to look for charities that can receive a donation of sealed products that you never used before. There are a lot of people who can’t afford toiletries, and every small gesture can make a difference!
Now it’s time for the actual cleaning. Dust anything that has been on display, like perfume bottles, and wash your palettes and jars with a wet cloth, before putting everything back in its place. Of course, this would also be a good time to wash your brushes, which should definitely be cleaned more than once a year! To keep bacteria and germs away from your face, you should disinfect them and deep-clean them at least once every two weeks. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
I really recommend a trip to Muji or to IKEA. Buying a system that will help you organize your beauty products is the best way to stop entropy from taking over everything again in a very short time. Personally, I am a fan of acrylic boxes, because they allow you to see what is inside each box, and they also force you to stay tidy, since everything will be clearly visible. For a super low-cost solution, Tiger is also a good option with interesting products, otherwise, be prepared to spend the whole day scouring Amazon like I do, experimenting until you find the solution that works best for you. I think every time we find a good spot for something we own we contribute to the whole world being a little tidier, too, so this is the best and most satisfying step for me.
The icing on the cake of this whole spring cleaning business is that it will instantly win you extra space for new stuff. I am obviously not suggesting you substitute former chaos with a mess of new products, but after all this hard work, you will deserve a small prize. I filled our gallery with must-have products, and products that really shouldn’t be missing in the collection of a real beauty addict. Sorry, not sorry!