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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Milner

Spring Clean Your Makeup Kit

For today’s guest post, my friend and professional makeup artist Steven Shayle Rhodes is back! Read on to see what he has to say about cleaning out your makeup kit -

For packrats – like myself – no two words strike more fear into our hearts than these two: SPRING CLEANING.

However, when it comes to your makeup kit, de-cluttering is not only a good idea – it’s essential for your health! Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of how often items in your kit should be replaced (or trashed).

Foundation – Liquid and cream foundations should be replaced yearly; pancake foundations can go longer, but to be safe, I recommend trashing after a year as well. Helpful hint – NEVER use your fingers to dig out foundation from the container. Instead, use a cosmetic spatula (you can find metal ones at Norcostco; disposable plastic ones are available readily at most beauty supply stores). Remember to clean your Beauty Blender sponges regularly; disposable application sponges should be thrown away at least once a month.

Concealer – Cream concealers are good for up to one year, while liquid concealers should be replaced every 6 to 8 months (especially those with the wand-type applicator).

Powder – Both loose and pressed powders will last you up to 2 years. If you're like me, you like to buy your favorite loose powder in the big containers. A great way to save coins, but not so much on the fitting into your kit. A small leftovers container or even a sturdy plastic baggie is a great way to save space in the old makeup box.

Press Eye Shadows, Blushes, Bronzers, Contours, Etc. – All of these (which admittedly will make up the bulk of your kit) will last you up to 2 years. That is, of course, if you don’t “hit pan” before then!

Lip Color – One year is a good rule of thumb when it comes to the luscious colors for your lips. This goes for lipstick, pots, gloss, etc.

Pencils – Makeup pencils (both lip and eye) tend to get used up most quickly, so this usually isn’t a big issue. However, 3 to 6 months is a good guideline for the life of these items. Helpful hint – Never share your lip and eye pencils. NEVER. EVER. PERIOD.

Mascara – Mascara should be replaced every 3 to 6 months (I tend to replace mine at the 3 month mark). Again – NEVER share your mascara with someone else. Ewwwww, gross!

And one final item – makeup brushes. Replace these babies after 3 to 5 years. And be sure you keep them clean! An inexpensive way to clean brushes is with Dawn - yes, THAT Dawn! Just put a drop in a bowl with lukewarm water, and swish the brush around for about 30 seconds, then rinse in cool water until the water runs clean. Shake the brush and then squeeze it in a dry towel. Shape, it and then lay the brush on its side and allow it to dry completely before using it again.

And remember – if it starts smelling funky, TOSS IT!

I hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful. If you have questions, please post in the comments section below. And if you've got tips of your own, by all means, share!

See ya at the stage door!

Besides being an actor and singer, Steve's also a trained and licensed hair/makeup/nail technician. Some of his work has been seen on stages for Dallas-area theatre and dance companies; by day, he's a computer nerd for a large federal agency. In addition to being licensed in the beauty industry, Steve also possesses a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Dallas, concentrating in Arts Management.

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