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04-04-12 | Posted by

As you tackle your spring cleaning agenda, make sure to add your bathroom vanity and makeup bag to the docket. Cleaning out your product stash and sanitizing your tools is critical. Clearing the clutter of unused beauty supplies will help you to streamline your routine, tossing funky old stuff will keep you healthier, and cleaning gadgets and tools is just good hygiene. Best of all, an honest confrontation with your product cache will make you a savvier, less wasteful beauty shopper.

Pitch It We’ve talked about the perils of past-due product. Germs! Risk of infection! Ew. Many lines are imprinting “best by” dates or indicating shelf life on packaging. When in doubt, let common sense prevail: if the smell, color or texture has changed then out it goes. Odds are that your natural beauty buys will have a shorter shelf-life than others; those parabens that so many consumers are trying to avoid were developed to prohibit microbial growth. Without them, products may go bad sooner. Be vigilant about mascara; once opened, it’s good for a maximum of three months. Eye infections are the worst, and not worth chancing it. What about the things you never use? Maybe the color’s all wrong or the formula isn’t right for your skin. Toss. Buyer’s remorse?  Banish it. The space and lack of clutter is way more valuable than the product itself.
The perils of past-due product

Clean It Now that you’ve done away with your old product, make sure that you’re working with sanitary beauty tools. Brushes should be washed regularly with mild soap and water. A cleaning spray is great between washes to keep colors from mixing. Invest in a roll to keep brushes organized and protected from airborne bacteria. Eyelash curler pads should be replaced every 4-6 months. Clarisonic devotees ought to replace brush heads every three months, and the head needs weekly cleanings with antibacterial soap and warm water.

Do Better Next Time Don’t make the same mistakes over and over. Take time to survey your beauty missteps. What are your biggest beauty traps? Colors that wash you out? Trends that aren’t true to your style? Fragrances too heavy for your personal taste? Make a mental note of what went wrong and vow to make better choices next time. If you find yourself cringing over money wasted on trendy colors and products, make sure to try new things with a budget brand then upgrade if you find that it suits you.

When you open something new, date the packaging with a sticker or grease pencil for an easy reference point. Be honest with yourself about beauty buying and usage habits. Products that make you look and feel great are worth the investment and equally worth replacing when the time comes. If you wear mascara every single day then $70 a tube doesn’t seem quite so crazy, once you figure out that over three months your daily cost per use is less than $.75. Then again, if you only wear mascara on special occasions then a drugstore brand makes better financial sense. Whether you spent $5 or $50, you need to toss it when the time comes.

A take-no-prisoners beauty purge and cleanse can be tough, but it paves the way for better beauty purchases and practices. Put your health first by establishing and maintaining good hygiene, and edit a beauty arsenal that works best for you.

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