How to clean out your makeup bag

How to clean out your makeup bag

Author: Canadian Living


How to clean out your makeup bag

Admit it: you hold on to cosmetics longer than you should. So do I. Whether it’s frugality or plain old too-busy-to-notice syndrome (aka “motherhood”), many of us neglect to edit the contents of our makeup bags and medicine cabinets. This is a no-no, not only because it can result in some tragic beauty faux pas (mismatched foundation and skin tone, anyone?), but also because cosmetics can spoil, and to keep using them is to invite breakouts or worse.

So, park the kids in front of the TV (yup, we’re giving you permission) and spend half an hour gutting your makeup stash. Then, later in the week, hit the drugstore or department store for a couple of low-effort, high-impact cosmetics essentials that’ll see you from late summer through fall in chic-mama style.

Step one: Make room in your makeup bag by throwing stuff out
First, throw out anything that may be spoiled. According to Paula Begoun, author of Don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me, mascara has a three-month shelf life. Liquid makeup like eyeliner and foundation lasts up to one year. Powders like eye shadow, blush and face blotting powder can last up to two years -- though they might be sort of grotty before then.

Some easy rules:
• If you can’t remember when you bought it, or the packaging has worn off, ditch it.
• If you don’t wear it anymore but are hoping you might one day, cut your losses and just throw it out. 

Step two: Edit and update your cosmetics stash
Ditch: That old mascara.
Snag: Imju Fiberwig (available at, Japan’s top-selling mascara. This sweat-, water- and oil-proof jet black formula really means business, perfect for the doe-eyed, big-lash look. Pair it now with tinted moisturizer and lip gloss for a hot California-mom look. In the winter, add eyeliner, powder and lipstick.

Page 1 of 2What to toss and what to buy
Ditch: Your “regular” foundation. If you use the same foundation year-round, you’re wearing the wrong colour.
Snag: A better match. Even if you’re a judicious SPF nut, you’ll tan in summer and carry some of that colour into fall. Visit a cosmetics counter to find your true, current match. Or if you’re at the drugstore, try one of the hot new powder-format mineral foundations (L’Oreal Paris’s Bare Naturale is an excellent budget option). They brush on with ease and you can tailor the coverage.

Ditch: Glitter makeup. Or let your kids use it for arts and crafts projects.
Keep or buy: Shimmer cream. We’re talking sheer luminosity here, not glitter. (TIP: if you can see shining particles, it’s glitter.) Apply shimmer cream, lotion or powder with a light touch to eyelids, cheekbones, décolletage and/or shoulders, for a dewy summer glow that will carry through dressy fall nights.

Lip gloss. It’s a mommy staple (and a real beauty lifesaver since you can apply it without a mirror). Keep your tubes on deck for the rest of summer, and then stash ‘em in the glove compartment of your car in fall for when you just need a hint of colour to look more alive for the morning daycare drop-off, or for soccer practice.

Buy: Lipstick. This fall sees the return of grown-up, polished, rich red lips. It’s actually sort of exciting, if you’ve been stuck in a Chapstick/ponytail/yoga wear rut. Go for a flattering berry-undertone deep red like Estée Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Maraschino, or Shiseido’s The Makeup Perfecting Lipstick in Rouge Indulge.

It’s easy to subscribe to Canadian Living Magazine. Just click here to find out how much it costs and what you’ll get.

Page 2 of 2


Share X

How to clean out your makeup bag