Beauty Haul Clean Out: Quarantine Edition

how to clean out your beauty stash

Spring cleaning is more fun when you are not allowed to do anything else. Some states are letting people open back up businesses etc. but for those of us who are still on lockdown, and looking to be productive, I have the perfect project for you: Quarantine Beauty Haul Cleanout!  Why not clean out your beauty stash! Here is a helpful guide of when to toss those beauty products! 


Studies show 70% of women are using contaminated products. Yuck! 

Step 1. Take all of your products out. For me this is several spots. Empty your clutch, vanity, travel bags  so that you can assess what you have and put only the good products back. You may find your favorite lipstick was hidden away and that you have 27 of the same blushes.

Step 2. Toss everything that has gone bad. Using this guide.

messy makeup 1

How to Spot a Beauty Product Gone Bad?

Throw out anything that has changed color since purchase, has a smell or odor, has seperated, or is clumpy. 

Many products, especially ones with SPF have expiration dates on them. 

Lastly, if your product is labeled "preservative-free" you should definitely be more cautious, because without some kind of preservative system contamination happens quickly (think of how long a head of lettuce lasts in your refrigerator). Be wary of home made skincare, usually it needs to be used within a few weeks.

Cheat Sheet for When to Toss

While product types vary in their toss dates, so do the conditions that they are stored in. If you’ve been good about keeping the product away from the air and light, the container keeps your fingers out of the product, you never let them sit in your car on a hot day, and you don’t share the product (even with family members) you can follow the longest out use-by-date.


    • Mascara and liquid eyeliner: 3 to 6 months (always toss out dry mascara—never add water to extend its life)
    • Pencil Eyeliners 2 years
    • Cream, liquid or stick foundations/concealers: 6 months to 1 year
  • Powder-based products (including blush, bronzer, etc.): 2 to 3 years
  • Lipstick, gloss and lip pencils: 2 to 3 years


    • Cleansers: 1 year
    • Toners: 6 months to 1 year
    • BHA or AHA exfoliants: 1 year
    • Facial or body moisturizers and serums: 6 months to 1 year
  • Lip balm: 1 year
  • Sunblocks or any product with SPF in it only lasts 1 year from manufacture


Step 3. Time to organize like Items. 

After you can see what is still good I like to group items in categories:

Every day makeup

Special Occasion makeup

Skin care

Hair care

Body Care

If you are like me and have stocked up on favorite colors or products and have multiples. Group those together so you can see what you have.  


Step 4. Put the good stuff away. 

Utilize pretty jars or containers to corral disposable supplies and keep them clean.

I like to put my day and night skin care routine in an easy to reach place.  If you have multiple sets you can create a travel set / gym bag set/ or a back up area. 

I picked up the makeup bag below on amazon for under $20 and it's great for the gym. I keep everything I need in here in my gym bag and when I travel I just pop it in my suitcase. 


Put your daily makeup look in an easy to reach place. I use these organizers in my drawers to keep everything in place and make my daily routine super fast.

drawer organizer

You can use one tray for each look, if you like variety. If you have multiples of similar colors considering putting one full look at your vanity, one full look in a travel kit and one full kit in your gym bag. So you are never moving things around. You may also want a few essentials in a makeup bag for your purse. 

under sink makeup organizer

I put my special occasion products in this container, under my sink like the one above. Utilize whatever storage you have. Amazon has millions of options that spin, or stack or have drawers. My suggestion is figure out where you want to stash your special occasion makeup and then find the right organizer for the space. You may want containers that can be put in the dishwasher. Usually we leave more time to get ready when we have a special occasion so pulling out extra products isn't a big deal, but you don't necessarily want to go through them every day to put on your quick day to day makeup. Pull out those specialty products and put them in this under the counter or closet organizer, instead of at hand in your vanity drawer.    

I keep my hair and body products grouped and in my bathroom. If there are duplicates of these or things I dont use often those go in a cabinet or closet for back up.  I put my hair products under the sink in clear shoe boxes that way I can stack and slide them out when I need them. It allows me to corral all of the wires from my hair tools too. 

I also keep a clear shoe box of travel size items for when I need small sizes for trips or have guests and want to leave them travel sized toiletries.

Step 6.  Wash your makeup brushes properly! Its imporatant to do a quick clean of your makeup brushes with daily use, utilizing a brush cleaner, but you also want to do a thorough cleaning of personal brush about once a month.

Lilumia brush cleaner

To do a good cleaning, you can wash with a gentle shampoo in your hand over the sink. You can also use one of these mats in your sink.  Once all of the color is out, you can condition and reshape them. Let them air dry by laying them flat over the edge of the counter so that air can circulate the bristles. You never want to stand your brushes up when wet because the water will go down the shaft and loosen the adhesive and if they are wood brushes can warp the wood.  I purchased this Lilumia automatic cleaner to save myself time and I use the LAshX Lash Cleanse in there to clean the brushes. Note the lulimia is only good with the longer brushes, you still need to clean your bronzer and kabookis by hand. Still it saves tons of time. I have worked as a makeup artist for over 14 years and cleaning makeup brushes properly can be a pain. 

For daily brush cleaning make sure to choose an alcohol free product so you do not dry out your brushes. 

Store your brushes in a covered container or drawer to keep dust off of them. 

The DOs & DON’Ts of Making Your Products Last

Use these guidelines for prolonging the shelf life of your products.

DO store products in a cabinet or drawer.
DO wash your hands before using products
DO Use a spatula  or clean q-tip to remove products from jars so that you are not introducing germs or bacteria to your creams
DO tighten/secure the cap after each use.
DO consider how climate and humidity will shorten a product's shelf life.
DO toss out eye products after you've had an eye infection.
DO abide by the expiration dates on sunscreens, acne products, and prescription products.

DON’T store your products in the refrigerator. Skincare formulas are designed to withstand the average fluctuations in temperature in your home, but not long-term heat or cold storage—that means keeping your products in your fridge (or in your car on a hot day) will shorten their lifespan and stability.
DON'T store products in direct sunlight (for example, don’t keep them on a sunny windowsill).
DON'T share your makeup and skincare products with others. 
DON'T add water or saliva to thin out or remoisten products. 
DON'T "pump" your mascara.You push air and bacteria into the product
DON’T forget to clean the cap or lid if you drop it on the floor. Use soap and water or rubbing alcohol and dry thoroughly before replacing.

And remember, if it smells off, looks gunky or the texture has changed significantly—definitely toss it out! 

Now for the fun part! You have room for some new products and can see what you need!

My favorite brands:

Skin care: Jan Marini, La Mer, IS Clinical, Dermalogica, Dr. Lancer

Mascara: Max2, LAshX, Faux Cils by YSL, Reflecto Cils, Kevyn Aucoin, Lancome

Lash Serum and Eyeliner: LAshX

Foundation: Ellis Faas,Kevyn Aucoin, Dior Airbrush

Introducing a new full-coverage foundation! Foundation Balm is fortified with hyaluronic acid and bonus anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E! Get to know the new Foundation Balm! 

Concealer: Age Control Khuaira, Ellis Faas, Kevyn Aucoin, Benefit


Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Blush: Nars Orgasm, La Bella Donna, Julie Hewett

Wander Cream Eye Shadow

 Eye Shadows: Wander, Kevyn Aucoin, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown


Lipsticks and Liners: Julie Hewette, YSL, Chanel, Kevyn Aucoin

Glosses: Kevyn Aucoin, MAC, LA Bella Donna, BuXom, Julie Hewette

Sunblock: Jan Marini, Supergoop, Honest

Favorite Kids Brands/ clean products/ kids sunblock : Honest Company



 These are my true favorites and thank your for shopping them. I get affiliate compensation when you click my links before purchasing, so thank you for doing that! I would love to hear your makeup organization tips below! Many of the products without links we carry at Makeup Mandy and you can order by calling us 310-858-1970. 

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