Out With The Old: FBP’s Spring Cleaning Tips For Tackling Your Beauty Stash
Gummed up nail polish bottles in colors you still love.
That Chanel shadow palette with two shades you never use.
Makeup brushes that haven’t been washed since when?
Ok babes, when was the last time you really checked your beauty stash? Are your cabinets overflowing with almost-empty bottles or products you thought you’d love…but don’t?
Spring started Tuesday, not a moment too soon for decluttering, tidying and yes - cleaning your tools and brushes so they work efficiently. Similar to a posh resort spa, where every sense is immersed and each object has its proper place, your beauty storage areas deserve to be clean and organized space.
One of our favorite FBP sayings is “time is money.” By investing a little effort and elbow grease to clean and organize, you might save precious moments by being able to easily find your stuff and actually using it.
Channeling Heloise, here's a helpful hint: ridding clutter first eliminates quite a bit of cleaning while freeing space simultaneously. It helped me discover my assorted IT Cosmetics application sponges that desperately need a soak, finding a WET Detangling brush last seen post-Irma and my splurge-worthy TEK boar-bristle brush buried in the back of our dental hygiene drawer, home to ten sizes and types of floss, assorted toothbrushes, pastes and picks.
Leave No Stone Unturned
Nodding to legendary VOGUE editor Diana Vreeland: the eye has to travel! Open every bathroom cabinet and drawer one by one. Then hit the shower: how many shampoos, conditioners, body washes do you really need in there? Think about combining bottles of the same product.
Time to check your guest loo too: Yours Truly is guilty of storing stuff someplace I can’t see it, despite the fact that I always think I’m going to use it…someday.
Last, don’t forget your bags: if you switch between a daytime tote and a smaller evening clutch, clutter and dirt can accumulate rather quickly (I’m looking at you broken minty individually still-wrapped Lifesavers!)
Taking Kues From Kondo
Best-selling author Mari Kondo espouses putting your hands on everything, then ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it. Once your most joy-giving belongings remain, think about vacuuming each area first, then putting every item in a place where it’s visible and accessible.
Having just purchased a tiny new turquoise dryer and curling iron set this Christmas, do I really need the three others nesting in the large guest bath drawer? I first grab the Japanese ionic dryer perfect for touch-ups and de-frizzing already-dry locks with two converter/adaptors and two styling attachments: one for adding bends at the ends, the other for straightening. At this point, it’s celebrating its sweet 16, still works AND it was $300 back then.
Ok, it still sparks joy. But two old space-hogging dryers can go buh bye, while I keep the new-ish cheapie for guests. Two sets of hot rollers that I might use once or twice a year - I’ll keep the newer mini-set and toss the unevenly-heating oldies out.
A note here: Collier County requires ALL electrical products to be picked up separately. FBP suggests calling or Googling your local sanitation department rules so you don’t get fined.
Moving on to the nail drawer, which also stashes the last of my Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker collection. (Bought every single one I could find along the East coast when the company announced it was closing a few years back, then my good friend Thadine covered California and graciously sent a gift box.)
Dana thinks I’m wasting money on premium polishes but this girl can’t help it. Show me a resort collection from Lancôme or Chanel in Florida-friendly colors, and I cave. Experience shows I’ll use the polishes once or twice, then revisit in a year; by that time their consistency has changed, resulting in streaky applications. I say bye to five and rearrange my drawer while hoping not to be tempted anytime I pass a cosmetics counter.
The drawer also has assorted remnants of no-longer-needed sanitary stuff, hotel-branded toiletries (think five wrapped Q-tips, oh-so-old body moisturizers, etc.), a mini case of Altoids from who knows when, and tiny product samples. What's missing: nail clippers. I check the garage as my husband has been known to take them on fishing excursions for God knows what reason. Bingo.
Tip: Pack still-usable/presentable things in a cosmetic bag and place them on a shelf in the guest bathroom closet as ICOE (in case of emergency) items.
Next up - my all-encompassing messy middle drawer, home to skincare and makeup, only to discover tons more lip and nail stuff, which is promptly moved to their proper home. I grab each remaining item, inspecting how much is left and how old it is. That great Kiehl’s line-reducing concentrate turned brown some time ago and is tossed. Same for old mascara and a few unused swag bag and GWP (gift with purchase) lipsticks. I find a much needed orange button for my favorite sweater and tape it to the hanger for sewing later.
After finishing that drawer, I start obsessing re all the tossed plastic, making note to try purchasing new stuff in eco-friendly packaging when possible. I then hit up the glass cabinet, home to bath, hair and taller products like the glorious L’Eau d’ Issey that don’t fit in drawers. I don gloves to protect my mani and remove each item, wiping the bottoms where spillage has occurred, then Windexing each mucky glass shelf.
Taking all this on but only allocating a day can be overwhelming and downright unrealistic. Ideas for tackling these tasks:
- Separate cleaning and de-cluttering.
- Divvy your to-do list, e.g., organize one area at a time and finish what you start.
- Drawer-space permitting, lay products on their sides with labels facing up.
- For cleaning makeup brushes and sponges, try a gentle shampoo or a small dot of concentrated Dawn. (Hey, it worked on the Gulf Coast oil-ladened birds!) Then rinse thoroughly and dry flat on a clean towel. Once dry, consider storing them in a tall vase, brush ends up.
- Hairbrushes: Most of you FBPers might not have amassed my collection (now numbering 18). I always remove extraneous hairs after use but infrequently wash those with plastic or ceramic bases since they’re always used on clean locks. If your wood-handled brushes need a more thorough treatment, gently lift and loosen hair with a clean wood cuticle stick, then gently rinse. This time, stack a few paper towels and place bristles facing down to dry. Learn from my mistake and don't use your best real towels for this; my precious Sferras got permanently stained from contact with wet wood.
- Don't forget to toss old sunscreen especially any tubes exposed to heat.
Now go outside and spark some joy!