Spring Clean Your Beauty Bag

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Makeup Bag

Remember when you decided boysenberry lipstick was your true color? Then wore it once. There was also that time you declared turquoise to be the best eye shadow for summer—and never applied it past the 4th of July? It happens all the time. We try new shades, colors, and creams—some work, some don’t, and yet they all make a home in our beauty bag. Just like ridding your closet of old clothes, cleaning your makeup bag is necessary and therapeutic.


Quarterly Cleaning

“Cleaning out your bag every season is the way to go,” says Emily Aznavourian, makeup artist and owner of Cheekadee Makeup Artists. “As far as purging specific products, it depends. The general rule is that if it is a damp product, like mascara or liquid liner, toss every 3-6 months. Lipsticks and lip glosses are okay for 1-3 years, depending on the ingredients. You can hold onto dry products much longer—eyeshadow, blush, and powder can last years.” However, if you haven’t used a certain product in six months, you probably aren’t going to, so get rid of it and make way for new makeup. While makeup doesn’t grow mold per say, it does expire. Aznavourian advises, “You can usually tell if these types of products turn by the smell. It’s just

like an old beer—skunked! If the products develop a film on top, then toss them for sure.”



Brushes, unlike makeup, have staying power. “A good set of brushes can last you a lifetime, if you take care of them,” Aznavourian affirms. As a makeup artist, she cleans her brushes at the end of every client-filled day. Once a week, however, makes more sense for the rest of us. She recommends, “Get a big plastic Slurpee-like cup and fill it halfway up with warm water and a couple drops of shampoo. Swish it around for a couple of minutes, then rinse the brushes completely and lay them flat to dry on a counter surface. Do not leave them standing up in the cup to dry, as the stems of the brushes will rot.” But if the brush hairs have begun to fall out, it’s time for a new set.


In the Bag

Don’t forget to clean the bag itself. It’s got crumbs of every color, pencil marks on all sides and brush hairs galore. Turn the bag inside out and dump the scraps into the trash before giving it a good hand washing. Aznavourian suggests, “To get the pencil marks off, use an oil-based eye makeup remover. Or you could break out a cleaning agent such as orange oil. Oil breaks down oil and it will remove just about any makeup.” If the exterior of the bag is fabric rather than plastic, “I recommend spot cleaning that part with some oxy clean or warm water and soap.”


Spring Must Haves

Now that your beauty bag is clean, it’s time to refill it with new spring styles and reliable favorites. Here’s what Aznavourian recommends:

–       I love the new collection by Tarte Cosmetics. Not only are the colors vibrant and long lasting, their products are made with no harmful ingredients.

–       Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm is a staple both in my kit and on me. Since moving to California, I have to wear sunscreen every day (this has SPF 30) and it makes my face glow. I have weaned myself off of heavy foundation and couldn’t be happier.

–       Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden works well on most skin tones. It

–       neutralizes redness or veins on the eyelids. This product also doubles as a cover for those really red, hard-to-cover blemishes.

–       It’s true! There is no need to spend $30 on mascara when you can get a great one at the drug store (I won’t say this about most things). I go through mascara quickly and Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume is a powerhouse product.

–       Jouer is an up and coming makeup line that I discovered at the Makeup Show in LA this year. Their Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Sunset (shimmering pink gold) is creamy (not sticky at all) with vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba seed oil. It’s a real treat!

–       e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner in Dark Brown has the best texture of any of the cream gel liners that I have used, and the price cannot be beat.



Samara O’Shea has been blonde, brunette, and currently enjoys life as a red head. She is the author of three nonfiction books—most recently Loves Me…Not: How to Survive (and Thrive!) in the Face of Unrequited Love. Follow @SamaraOShea. Visit www.SamaraOShea.com.



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