By Gretta Monahan
Spring cleaning is one of those things that really needs to be taken in stages. There’s always a lot of it, and you can’t do it all at once if you’re going to do it right. So I usually like to focus it first on the thing I almost always have with me: My bag, and the makeup bag that lives inside of it.
As far as my bigger bag goes, I do a thorough check through every corner of it, getting rid of all the obvious stuff I don’t need—everything from random bobby pins and perfume samples to wayward receipts. It’s amazing what you can find that you thought you’d lost months ago. Then I bring it to my dry cleaner, who can take care of cleaning it without damaging it, and have it back to me within a week.
Then there’s my makeup bag overhaul. Like I always remind people: It isn’t hygienic to keep many beauty and grooming products for too long. So begin by looking for anything that’s past its expiration date and dump it immediately. If you can’t find a date on it, here’s the general rule:
Mascara and eyeliner: 6 months
Lipstick: 2 years
Lip gloss/liner: 1 year
Foundation/concealer: 1 year
Powder products: 2 years
Eyebrow products: 2 years
Moisturizer: 1 year
The best part is that this is your golden opportunity to replace the older products with new ones. Sometimes that means just buying the same product, if it’s one that works for you and stands the test of time. If not, then sometimes that means branching out and trying something new in a lighter shade for warm weather, like pinks, peaches, or lighter tans.
Switching to a lighter foundation will give you a lighter look—and as always, double check that it has sun protection built in. After all, sun is what the coming months are all about, so be prepared to enjoy it (safely) to the max.