Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag


How long has it been since you spring cleaned your makeup bag? I’m talking emptying everything to check if it’s still in date? YES, make up expires, and if you can’t remember how long it has been then that’s a clear sign that you’re in need of a good spring cleaning session.

Put a towel down on your dressing table, floor or bed and tip out the entire contents! Don’t be scared! We recommend a towel because you can have a rainbow of loose powders, eyeshadows and god knows what else lurking in the bottom. Makeup doesn’t have unlimited freshness, so if there’s some nasties in there that you haven’t seen for a couple of years, be prepared for brutality. How do you know how long makeup lasts and if it’s ready to be disposed of? Here are our top tips and advice.

Foundation and Concealer

Liquid foundations and concealers should last 6 – 12 months. If the product starts to separate, or becomes dry or clumpy, its a sign that it needs replacing. In addition to this, if the product changes colour or begins to smell then replace it immediately.

Powders, Blushers and Bronzers

Pressed powders lasts around 2 years if you take good care of it. Loose powders last around 3 years and doesn’t tend to dry, clump or smell. Creme blush and bronzer falls into the same category as liquid foundations and concealers – if the texture, colour or smell starts to change, bin it.

Mascara and Gel Liner

Mascara is a pretty easy one to tell when its time is up. Oxygen effects mascara and dries it out, whichmakes it a cosy home for bacteria. As soon as it goes clumpy or dry, time for a newbie! Gel Liner is the same, oxygen dries it out very quickly. When you’re using gel liner, make sure you turn the pot upside down to prevent air from getting inside, and always keep the lid fastened tight. TIP: Don’t pump your mascara wand in and out of the tube, twist it; this stops air from getting trapped inside and drying it out even faster.


Brushes are your tools! And a workman must always take care of his tools. You should bedirtymake up brushes washing your make up brushes at least once a month; more if they are looking dirty or clogged. Wash your brushes in luke warm water with something gentle like a baby shampoo. Massage the bristles and ease the product out gently, don’t rub or scrub or pull the bristles about as this just depletes their life span. If the bristles start to fall out or become mishapen, or the wooden handles start to loosen, soften or rot, replace immediately. TIP: squeeze excess water out of the brushes and lay them on a flat surface with the bristles hanging over the egde. This allows them to dry and retain their shape without ending up with a flat side or splayed bristles! 


The best idea would be to buy cheap, disposable sponges, and throw them away at least once a week. If you have spent a bit more on a beauty blending sponge then make sure you wash it throughly as you did with the brushes. Use a gentle baby shampoo and rinse it, squeezing the soap all the way through until the water runs clean.

Lipstick / Lipgloss

Lipstick and lipgloss has a shelf life of up to a year, depending on how you take care of it. It is best not to share your lip products as this is a sure fire way to spread bacteria, but if you must, make sure you use a lip brush. If your lipsticks or glosses start to smell unusual, or they changed colour, throw them out immediately.

Lipliner and Eyeliner

As with lipsticks, eyeliner and lipliner should not be shared as they can spread harmful bacteria and causing infection. If you must share them, make sure you fully sharpen the pencils in between uses, this means it is a new tip every time.


Eyeshadows are probably the longest wearing, hardest working products in the business! With a staying power (providing they’re not smashed) of upto 3 years, they are probably the least of your worries. Unless something looks awry, they should remain in perfect condition until they have been used up! Creme shadows are categorized alongside creme blush and bronzer – after a year, review their condition and replace if necessary.

Happy Spring cleaning and we hope you enjoy the new lease of life that you have given your make up! Or why not tweet us with updates on your big clear out and exciting new purchases!

Published by Laura Henderson

Make up Artist and Blogger!

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