Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring cleaning begins with the bathroom drawer

Spring is finally here -- at least according to the calendar. This is the perfect opportunity to purge those beauty items that you are not using, as well as those with expired dates. Here are five simple tips to jump start your efforts:
  1. Start with a clean container, drawer, or cupboard. This means taking everything out and wiping down all surfaces. I like using the Method wipes for this job.

  2. Organize items by category to assess what you own. In other words, group all of your lippies together and see if there are duplicates or unopened items that you have forgotten.

  3. Toss, toss, and toss again. It's a painful process, but it's so critical to throw out anything that is leaking, foul smelling, or passed its expiration date. For example, sunscreen has a limited shelf life and it may not offer adequate protection after a certain date. For those items without printed dates, consider these general shelf-life guidelines:
    • Mascara: 3 months
    • Oil-free foundation: 1 year
    • Cream foundation: 1 year
    • Concealer: 12-18 months
    • Powder: 18 months
    • Blush & bronzer: 18 months
    • Cream blush: 12-18 months
    • Eye shadow: 18 months
    • Eyeliner: 18 months
    • Liquid eyeliner: 6 months
    • Lipstick/lip gloss: 18 months
    • Lipliner: 1 year
    • Nail polish: 1 year
    • Bar soap: 2-3 years
    • Body lotion: 2-3 years
    • Sunscreen: See package for guidelines (usually 12 months)
    • Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel: 1-2 years
    • Hair styling products: 2-3 years 
    • Bath oil: 1 year

  4. Make a list of staple items that need to be replaced. Keep this list in your purse or wallet, so you know exactly what you need to repurchase. A list will also enable you to take advantage of sales and not overbuy!

  5. Pass along any extras to friends or family members. If you discover too many similar items or items you don't plan on using, you may want to pass along the extras to friends or family members. Of course, DO NOT share used mascara or other items that cannot be sanitized thoroughly. I've recently discovered as the perfect site for swapping items that I am no longer using in exchange for new-to-me treasures!
Happy cleaning!

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