How to's, Make-up

Spring cleaning; organizing your make-up drawer

make-up drawerJust like your wardrobe needs sorting through once in a while, so does your make-up need the same.  What haven’t you worn in a while?  What is at the bottom that you had forgotten you had? What is past the expiration date?  And other than good neutral colors—like your skin tones, shade of your hair and your eye color (or your personal style statement colors)—all else is a whim of fashion and should be ditched when out-dated.  

Do we  r e a l  l y  want to look like a 1980’s glam rocker?  Eeks.


  1. Throw out anything you have not worn in 1 1/2 years.  Other than your neutral colors [as defined above] if you did not wear it this season and did not wear a-year-ago-this-season chances are you never will again.
  2. Throw out anything you do not feel comfortable in.  Did you get “sold” something that really isn’t you?  Don’t hang on to because it only clutters your thinking and slows down your daily make-up choices.
  3. Throw out anything that is trend-specific from past trends.  The extended cat eyeliner trend is on its way out right now as is a lot of glitter.  Wearing trendy make-up is fun but looks awful once the trend has past.
  4. Throw out any liquid, creme or gel make-up that touches the skin older than a year to a year/half.  Bacteria from our own body fluids breed in room temperature damp environments so any moist product that touches eyes or mouth area should be discarded after one year.  This means mascara, roll-on/stick make-up foundation, concealers, creme eyeshadows, gel liners and even lipsticks or lipglosses.

If mascaras dry out within 1 year, you may a drop of two of distilled water to loosen it up again.

If you do not use up your concealer or make-up foundation during the season, put it in the refrigerator to halt bacteria growth so you can get longer than a year out of it.  Start the clock again when you remove it from the frig.

Lipsticks can last longer if refrigerated also.  Do the sniff test to see if they have gone rancid though; natural oil lipsticks do not last as long as chemical lipsticks.

Since lip/eye pencils are sharpened, the bacteria is removed each time so last until they dry out.


Many of us do not find the commercial make-up organizer trays to be helpful; they don’t have the correct configuration of slots.  Susan and others use a tackle box….DSC06419

I use a drawer in my bathroom with a sliding tray system (originally made for kitchen purposes).  I label my make-up foundations and face them upwards to I can choose quickly…DSC06429Because my lipsticks are numbered rather than named [who can tell the color from those crazy names anyway?] I group them by shade.  I love recycling the foam material that comes from electronic packaging.  I cut wedges of it to create dividers in my drawer organizers all over the house.  It snugs into the space and keeps the lipsticks up straight.  Keep trays clean of make-up residue with rubbing alcohol or De-Solv-it or Goof-Off.


I keep my brushes and pencils out for quick accessibility.  Some may argue that brushes kept out may collect dust rendering them unsanitary but I find the ease is a great trade-off for more frequent washing.  I use hair shampoo to clean my brushes.DSC06433

The ritual of taking care of one’s self should be pleasurable.  This is my new bathroom where I used an antique chest of drawers to house my make-up, jewelry and scarves.  It makes taking care of myself fun!  Happy organizing!DSC06426




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