Spring Beauty Clean

By Juliana Day

Finally the ice is melting and the birds are singing, and many of us are inspired to embark on our annual spring clean. If your home is anything like mine, there is order and cleanliness (as much as can be expected), until you reach my bathroom. There you will find a hodgepodge of half-empty lotions, expired medicine and dried up nail polish.

This year, my challenge to all of us ladies is to tackle the seemingly impossible - our beauty drawers and cupboards. Following is a step-by-step plan to tackle even the most challenging of spaces.

You will need:

  • Several old shoeboxes, small plastic baskets (for inside drawers) and/ or small plastic boxes. Label them appropriately according to the volume in each category, i.e. Lotions, Cosmetics, Styling Products, Nail Polish, Feminine Hygiene, Medicines, Hair Accessories, Cleansing Products"

  • A note pad and pen to write down any items you need to replace.


Open all your beauty drawers and cupboards and leave them open until you are done. The mess will inspire you to keep at it until the job is done.


Label containers according to categories that match your personal inventory. Using separate containers will make sorting quick and easy and help keep your items organized.


Begin to sort! This task will be much easier than you think if your washroom is in the state mine is in… you will surprise yourself will all the treasures buried under no-longer-used items.


Set aside all cosmetics brushes and applicators for cleaning.*


Some higher end cosmetics, such as MAC, offer a recycling program for their empty containers. Find out if your beauty line offers such a program (you may be able to milk yourself a tube of lipstick out of all those empty toner bottles).


Toss everything that has passed its expiry date. (Most beauty products and medicines are still okay past the expiry date, but it's always better to play safe).


Toss or place in a give-away pile anything that you haven't used in the past year (unless it is an item that seemed to have mysteriously gone missing that you are happy to be reunited with). Many homeless shelters are in need of basic women's products. If you have an unopened item that you know you will not use, consider donating it.


If you simply can't part with that baby blue shadow from times past, simply label a box, "costume makeup" and store in a cool dry place. Your daughter may thank you one day.


Take everything out of your drawers and cupboards. (This will ensure you don't miss a thing).


Clean and sanitize the inside of your cupboards and drawers. These are places you don't want the germs running wild. Your facial skin is especially prone to roaming bacteria.


Now is the time to determine what happens to all those almost empty bottles of shampoos and lotions. If you simply cannot bear the thought of throwing a bottle away with only 3 ml of product left, consider merging bottles.

Grab a funnel and amalgamate all your products. If you are having trouble getting the product out, swish a little water around the inside to loosen, then pour. (A great place for these "merged" bottles of product is the guest bathroom. Hey, if your guests didn't bother to bring their own stuff, they surely won't mind a little potpourri of your own creation)!


Be choosey. You won't get a lot of cleaning done if you aren't willing to toss a few things, so if your nail polish is dried to the inside of the bottle, now is a good time to let it go. I know it's hard, but your drawers will thank you.


Now that everything is neatly organized into boxes and baskets, put it all back in, giving priority locations to items you use most, and stacking the rest under your sink or in another out-of-the-way place.

* Cleaning brushes and applicators:
Did you know this should be done once a week? This is to avoid breakouts and to ensure a truer application of color.

  • Make a pocket in the palm of your hand

  • Add just a dab of mild bubble bath or shampoo

  • Mix with warm water

  • Run brushes around the palm of your hand in a circular motion (Be gentle as it is important for brushes to keep their shape)

  • Run the sudsy brushes under a gentle stream of cool water

  • Shake out excess water over the sink (in a wrist-flicking motion)

  • Place on a clean, dry towel until all the brushes are washed. (Ensure brushes are not touching)

  • Cover brushes and gently pat dry

  • Let sit overnight or until completely dry

Now that you have a few guidelines, have fun cleaning. When you can readily find items in your perfectly organized drawers, it will all be worthwhile!

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