Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips

As you know this year I’ve been concentrating on purging and organizing small spaces in my home. Yesterday I decided it was going to be a cosmetics spring cleaning sort of day! It’s been awhile since I’ve tackled my ensuite bathroom and it was well overdue to be done. However to avoid overwhelm I decided to start with the makeup and brushes and then go from there based on my time and energy. But of course you know what happened once I got into it right? Yep I just kept right on going until I was done. Well not entirely done I guess, I still have to give the bathroom a good cleaning but there’s always tomorrow for that. Or the day after that ๐Ÿ™‚

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning

Makeup Brush Cleaning:

I’m terrible at remembering to clean my brushes but I always know it’s time when my makeup doesn’t go on as smoothly anymore. It’s also important to get it done because bacteria likes to do its thing over time, gross. The two tools I use to clean my brushes are this makeup brush cleaning bowl (affiliate link) and baby shampoo.

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

First, I pour some shampoo in to the bowl then add a little water and swirl my brush over top of the ridges in the bowl.

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

It’s quick and easy and the smell brings me right back to when my kiddos were teeny tiny. Gosh, I miss those days.

I dry the wet brushes by rolling up a hand towel and laying the brushes on it pointing down. I only know to do this because well Pinterest told me to ๐Ÿ™‚

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Makeup Purge:

So while the brushes were drying, I gathered up all my makeup and dumped it out on a towel on the floor to sort. My most often used makeup is kept on the bathroom counter in an acrylic divided container. I then also had a stash underneath the counter in some plastic drawers. As you can imagine the stuff stashed away hadn’t been touched in awhile. I grabbed the handy makeup expiration date cheat sheet that I keep tucked in my bathroom drawer and started tossing. And tossing. And tossing.

As a general guideline:

Liquid Foundation: 1 year
Powders/Minerals: 2 years
Lipstick: 1 year
Mascara: 3 months
Eye/Brow/Lip Pencil: 1 year
Concealer (liquid): 1 year

I also keep a mini Sharpie in my bathroom drawer and I try to remember to write the date on any new products coming in.

Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Also did you know that some products have this symbol on the back to indicate its lifespan. It’s handy but only if you can remember when you bought it. That’s where the Sharpie comes in handy.

When I turned 40 I realized the makeup I had been wearing up to that point was no longer cutting it for me. I needed more bells and whistles and promises to make me look 20 again. I bought into all of it. It took me a few years but I eventually found what worked for me and stopped believing the promises of pretty packaging with cleverly marketed words. Oy!ย  I’ve now got my few favorite products and don’t feel the need to venture too far from those anymore. I guess we’ll see what happens when I turn 50. Ha!

Here’s what I parted with. Goodbye and good riddance.

Hair Product Purge:

I was on such a roll that I then attacked all the hair products I also haven’t used in years. I used to be quite the hair product junkie (some of you that have been here awhile will remember my weakness) but since I discovered Kenra 25 Hairspray (affiliate link), my search for the perfect hairspray ended. It’s everything I ever wanted in a hairspray except maybe for the price. I wish it was less expensive but it’s so fantastic that I can’t give it up. I won’t. It’s made all my hairspray loving dreams come true, for real!!

Rearrange and Organize:

I ended up with a huge garbage bag full of crap that had to go. Gosh did that ever feel good. Letting go of so much also emptied quite a few of those plastic drawers in my cabinets underneath the sink. Woot, woot! That freed up all sorts of space that I could now use for other things. As I like to do when I do any sort of organizing project, I switchedย  things around in the cabinets so it all felt fresh and new and tidy.

My most frequently used products before:


The acrylic container I purchased from Dollarama here in Canada. I use some of these same containers in my bathroom drawer. Here’s what that space looks like now. Sorry I forgot to take a before for you.

The cabinets under the sink now look like this.



The above slide out stacking containers can be found HERE and the plastic drawers HERE (affiliate links).



Those cloths you see on the cabinet door are my favorite face cleaning cloths (affiliate link) that require nothing else but water to take off your makeup. They are just awesome! The baking soda is for my hair about once a month to remove hairspray build up. I still need to put the new labels on the drawers.

A couple of weeks ago Morgan shared her Five Tips for Bathroom Organization and one of those tips was to add a clock to help you stay on time. I couldn’t agree with this more and wanted to show you mine. It makes such a huge difference! The clock is from Winners.

So after a couple of hours, my bathroom was feeling so much lighter and I was feeling pretty happy with myself.ย  Oh organization. It’s such a beautiful thing!

Does your bathroom need a good cosmetics spring cleaning?

Related posts you may also like:

Yuni’s Makeup Organization & Expiration Guide

3 Different Ways to Organize Using a $3 Acrylic Organizer

6 Practical & Awesome Over the Cabinet Door Organizers

  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced.ย  A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you.ย  As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own โ€“ or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
Filed under: Bathroom, Before and After, Purging


9 Responses to Cosmetics Spring Cleaning: Makeup Purging & Brush Cleaning Tips

  1. 1
    meryl says

    I have an easier system of dealing with makeup, face creams etc. I just don’t use any. Unless someone has a serious skin problem – such as port wine stain on their face – which needs to be covered, most people look so much better when they are not wearing makeup. My SIL spends an hour a day putting on her every day makeup and she looks horrible. I have seen her with no make up when we had to run her parents to the hospital at night and she is so much prettier without it. Less storage, less money spent and more time for me.

    If I did have makeup it would need to be stored in the bedroom or hall closet and brought into the bathroom as there is barely space in the tiny bathroom to store what is needed in there – like soap – certainly not room for makeup and “lotions and potions”.

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Meryl, I didn’t really wear much makeup until I hit my 40’s. I definitely feel better with it on to give color to my face. Each person has to do what they feel most comfortable with for themselves. It’s a very personal decision for most people.

      • meryl says

        Hi Laura –
        I am in mid 60s. As a teenager I wore makeup. I was never good at it – my joke is that my sister and SIL wear eyeliner and look glamorous – I look like Gene Wilder. So I gave it up. My husband of 38 years (and we went together for 6 years before we were married) thinks I look much better without makeup, so why waste time and money – and space for it. Also, if I wore makeup it would have to find a place in my dresser and be carried into the bathroom each time to use it – and then returned to whence it came as there is so little storage in the bathroom. (Sorry for the delay – as an accountant I have been a bit busy the last week +).

  2. 2
    Michelle says

    I like makeup, perfume, hair products – all that girly stuff, but I finally realized that it’s better to keep it simple. I’ve got a few products that I love and will purchase over and over again. I used to love the free make-up gift with purchase, but I’ve even given that up. It’s tough to bypass all those pretty new products and colors, but my bathroom is a much happier place now that I’ve simplified my routine.

    • 2.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes I totally agree Michelle. I’m so happy I’ve finally found products that work for me. The searching process is terribly painful and expensive!

  3. 3
    Mary Meyer says

    Not a big deal, but I have the same fitbit watchband I see in the pictures. My favorite. … Thank you for sharing pictures. Never thought of putting baking soda under a sink before. That’s a great idea!

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I love wearing my Fitbit, it’s great motivation ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 4
    Melissia Bruehl says

    So…I’m turning 40 in a few weeks. What products did you find that work better? Growing older minds want to know ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hello! My favorites are Revlon Colorstay foundation, It Cosmetics powder, Mac powder blush, It Cosmetics lipstick, Marcelle eyeliner and right now I’m loving the new Burts Bees mascara ๐Ÿ™‚


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