Operation Makeup Cleanup

Of course, everyone has heard of spring cleaning but personally I love a good fall cleaning. Granted, I’m slightly impartial because fall/winter is my favorite time of year (chalk it up to me being born during a blizzard #sagittarius) but swapping out tanks and shorts for sweaters and booties gives me all the warm fuzzies. Now, I generally like to keep things clean and tidy, but I do have a confession: up until a year ago I had never had a makeup cleaning routine. I won’t spout stats on how much bacteria can grow on your favorite sponges or within expired mascara, but let’s just say, I read an article about a year ago that had me tossing pretty much everything in my makeup bag (including the makeup bag). It can be tricky to figure out things like how often should you clean your brushes? How do you clean them? When does mascara need to be replaced and so on and so on. I’ve decided to compile some of the more frequently neglected items in our makeup bags to help you FALL in love with a good routine (I hate myself).


Beauty Blender

Beauty Blender
Copyright © 2018 Sephora USA, Inc. All rights reserved.

Replace: Every 3 months

Clean: Everyday (but realistically, at least once a week)

How: Beauty Blender sells this amazing cleaning solution (which I use to clean my brushes as well) but if you’re looking for a simple, low-cost cleaning solution check out this article, courtesy of Bustle for some easy peasy DIY cleaning solutions



makeup brushes
Copyright © 2018 Sephora USA, Inc. All rights reserved.

Replace: Whenever a brush breaks, looks overly dirty, or does not work as well as when originally purchased

Clean (depends):

  Foundation/Concealer- once a week

Eyeshadow brushes every other week

Everything else once a month

How: See above!


Errythang Else


Now not everything in your bag can be cleaned, some just need to be tossed in the trash when they’ve reached their expiration date. See below for a general rule of thumb on when to toss which I’ve put together with the help of this lovely Shape article.

Mascara– Every 2-3 months; Note: if your mascara flakes, clumps, dries out, or smells at any point before that time period, make sure to replace sooner.

Liquid Eyeliner This has a similar shelf life as mascara (2-3 months). Again, if you liquid liner dries out or smell before this, replace sooner.

Eyeshadow- Palette lovers rejoice! These guys only need to be replaced every 1-2 years. However, if your eyeshadow crumbles, dries out, or seems to lose its pigmentation then it’s time to replace.

Foundation/Concealer- Every 6 months-1 year; Once your foundation starts to separate, smell, or change color, time to toss that bad boy

Lipstick- One year; Drying is an indicator of expiration, but smell will also let you know that it’s time for that lipstick to hit the bottom of the trash can

*I’d also like to note that if any product in your makeup bag starts to smell at any point no matter how new it is, it’s probably best to just toss. I’m not doctor or anything, but I have a feeling the science will back me on this suggestion.


And there you have it my friends! Are you gonna go on a beauty cleaning spree? What does you makeup cleaning routine look like? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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