Spring clean your beauty bag

Spring clean your beauty bag

When make-up guru Bobbi Brown speaks, we listen. She recently told a British newspaper that this is the perfect time of year for every woman to overhaul her cosmetics kit.  

“I love the “back-to-school” feeling of September, and cleaning out your make-up bag is a great way to start,” Brown says. “Dump everything out on the floor and throw out anything that’s two years old or anything you haven’t touched for six months.”

Amen. And here’s what to do with the rest…


If you’ve been using the same mascara throughout winter it’s time to buy a new one. Be brutal and turf any tubes that have been open longer than two months. Really. Think how close mascara lives to your eyes and then take another look at that rapidly drying tube.

Besides, throwing out that old mascara means it’s time to buy another. So let’s go shopping. BADgal Lash from Benefit delivers seriously big, black and bold lashes while Cargo Cosmetics Mascara is a great daily choice. Natural looking and long-wearing, it’s also fibre-free so it’s suitable for contact-lens wearers too. Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara meanwhile has a pointed wand to reach little lashes in the corner while the bristles are beefy enough to give length and volume. Talk about clever.


Whether they’re made of natural hair or synthetic fibres, all brushes can be washed in warm soapy water. A gentle shampoo or foaming cleanser works well. Just remember to rinse really, really well in lots of clean water. Carefully squeeze back into shape and leave to air for at least a day.

Alternatively, there are speciality cleansers designed just for brushes that shorten drying time to a matter of minutes. Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser sprays on and tissues off while MAC Brush Cleanser disinfects and conditions on contact. Just wipe on to a tissue and see the colour disperse.

BTW, if your brushes are starting to shed or feel scratchy, it’s time to replace them. Check out Vani-T for vegan-friendly brushes, available separately or as the 10-piece Krush Minerals Brush Collection.


Wash sponges as above, ensuring you squeeze out all of the colour. Rinse each in plenty of clean, warm water and dry in the sun. If that sounds like too much work – remembering this really should be done weekly – just buy new ones.

MAC Wedge Sponges, INuovi Sponge Pack and SLA Pre-cut Sponge are all under $10 and contain eight or nine pieces each so you can always find a clean one. Oh, and if you want to keep free-floating sponges in great shape, slide them into Serge Louis Alvarez Sponge Protection envelope. It might just be the best $2.50 you spend this month.


Wipe pencils, including lids and the outer surface, with an anti-bacterial make-up remover cloth such as Clearasil Deep Cleanse Deep Cleansing Wipes. Finish by sharpening each pencil to reveal a fresh tip. Manicare Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener has dual slots to fit most pencils.


Shake compacts over the sink to dislodge any loose powder flecks. You’re going to need those Clearasil Deep Cleanse Deep Cleansing Wipes again to wipe the surface of your compacts, inside and out. Follow with tissue to remove any residue on mirrors and leave lids open for an hour to dry.

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