Tips to Organize and Clean Out Your Makeup Bag

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If you’re anything like me you could probably spend hours in the cosmetic aisles at any grocery, drug or department store. I love looking at makeup. Even better than looking at it, I love trying it out (but unfortunately that requires buying it so if anyone wants to sponsor this controlled addiction, let me know). While I can’t buy all the makeup I want right now (baby girl needs diapers), I can take care of what I have and keep it organized. You know, prove myself that I can handle more. Like a kid with a fish who wants a puppy.

Never mind. Let’s get to it.

Do NOT Try to Extend the Life

There are all these hacks to keep your makeup lasting a lot longer than it should (eye drops in your mascara). DO NOT DO THIS. It’s not sanitary. It’s about as smart as adding water to dried out yogurt and then eating it. Like, who would do that? Beauty products have expiration dates for a reason. Abide by them. It’s pretty important considering you’re applying these products on your face, around your mouth, and near your eyes.

Chunk the Old

First things first. Get rid of all your expired makeup. You may be surprised at how much you have, and this should be exciting because it means you can go shopping for more.

Not sure if something is expired? Check for the little “6M” or “12M” on the product. This indicated how many months you should use the product once it has been opened. If you can’t find that reference, write the date on the product the day you open it by following the guide below.



Wash Your Makeup Bag

If you don’t already have a machine washable makeup bag, I highly recommend getting one! If you don’t care to have a machine washable makeup bag, you can sanitize yours with alcohol wipes or wet ones. I just think mine comes a lot cleaner if I put it in the wash. Makeup always makes a mess so every 6 months or so I like to clean my bag.

Clean Your Makeup Brushes

How Often

I’ve heard you should do this once a week but I feel like that’s expecting too much out of us. I’d say if you shoot for once a month you’re doing alright. This is just me.


Cleansing Solutions

There are simple at home cleaners you can use, but of course there are big name store bought ones. I’ve used hand soap and it worked just fine. Baby shampoo is also a favorite of many.

Cleaning Mat

If you don’t have a brush cleaning mat, just swirl the brush gentle in the palm of your hand with the solution you chose and rinse dry under running water. Repeat these steps fi necessary until the water runs clear from the brush.

How to

Gather all your makeup brushes, choose your cleansing solution, go to town (cleaning them all that is), allow to dry completely before next use.

One In, One Out

Use the old one in, one out rule. When you buy a new product, get rid of an older, less utilized one. I know it’s hard. Especially if you like to collect makeup like me. If you can at least use this rule with your makeup bag it will help keep it organized and you can have a basket of extra makeup you keep separate in your bathroom.

To clarify, when I say makeup bag I’m talking about your every day makeup essentials. It’s the bag of makeup you would take with you on a trip. This doesn’t include your bathroom collection but you should be applying these tips to that as well.

Organize That Mess

It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep everything in the same place in your makeup bag day in and day out. It’s a bag. Things are going to shift around. What I do is use the larger, sturdier items to give the bag structure and help keep the little things in place. For example, I keep my eye shadow pallets at the back, my foundation compacts at the front, and all the little things like mascara, eye shadow brushes, eyebrow marker, and eye liner I keep in the middle.

What’s going to help most is following the one in, one out rule so your bag never gets cluttered and overflows.

Try Samples

Lastly, if you want to try something new but don’t want to commit to spending the money on it before knowing that you’ll like it or you simply don’t have room for more at the moment, see if it’s available in a sample or travel size. This is a great way to try something out inexpensively. Some companies will send free samples in exchange for your email and shipping address.

A lot of places will allow you to return a newly opened beauty product as well. I recently tried a new BB cream that helped me look like an Oompa Loompa. I took it back to Target with the receipt, told the customer service lady I had just opened it, tried it, and it didn’t match my skin. She was happy to refund me and thanked me for being honest. You don’t need to lie about opening/trying the product. I’ve been able to return many products in this way and stores don’t usually have an issue.

Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful and you give your makeup bag a little makeover! Comment below and let me know what you always keep in your makeup bag.

Connect with me on Instagram @darlinglittlelessons


Here are some of my favorite beauty products that I wouldn’t take a trip without!

Photos by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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