Helpful Tips On Cleaning Out Your Gross Makeup Bag (Plus How To Clean Your Brushes!)


Makeup is a beautiful thing but what lies beneath the surface isn’t so cute… Makeup and makeup brushes are some of the most germ infested areas. Not keeping these products clean or sharing them among friends can lead to a simple breakout or a serious infection. Either way no one wants to deal with either of those.

Just like food, makeup also has expiration dates. Obviously applying old makeup to your face will not make you ill like if you were to drink spoiled milk but it can cause breakouts, irritation and infections. Here are some helpful tips on when to throw out your old makeup and how to clean your brushes.


Has the shortest life span of 3 months. Avoid pumping the applicator in the tube and putting it on your lashes and repeating! Instead, before your first application twist the tip around to get more product. If your mascara dries out before your 3 months is up toss it out! Trying to add more water or saliva–yes people do that–will only increase your chances of getting an eye infection.

Eye/Lip Pencils

Can last up to 2 years if you sharpen them before and after each use.


Powder shadows have a 2 year expiration date whereas a liquid will have a 12 month shelf life.


Can stick around for 12 months, after that you’re running the risk of clogging your pores.


Cream blushes should be thrown out after a year and powders will last up to 2 years.


These will last you up to 2 years!

Makeup brushes should be washed once a week–but lets be real, ain’t nobody got time for that. Getting on a biweekly cleaning schedule will be just fine. Doing so will get rid of any dirt and bacteria living in your brushes. It will also get rid of product build-up on the brushes, therefore giving you an easier application. Also give your cosmetic bag a little love too: Use a Clorox wipe or soap and water and clean it out as well. Putting clean brushes back into a dirty bag will put you right back where you started.

How to clean your brushes (Product suggestions below):

  1. Use brush cleaner to remove any product out of your brush
  2. Rinse with warm water
  3. Like washing your hair; lather baby shampoo or antibacterial soap onto the brush and scrub (I prefer to use both because the soap with disinfect and the shampoo will help keep the bristles soft)
  4. Rinse again with warm water and wring out excess water
  5. Lay flat to dry overnight–make sure the brush hairs are unified

*** Try to stay away from drying your brushes upright in a cup, the water can loosen the glue that holds the brush and the handle together.

Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner: Industry standard brush cleaner. Works great, however, make sure to remove the cleaner out of the brush entirely or it can cause skin irritation. I only use this if I’m planning to do a full cleaning of brushes.

99% Alcohol: This is my secret to keeping all of my makeup and brushes in my kit sanitized. Pour into a small spray bottle and give your pallets a spritz or two of this and it will eliminate the germs and bacteria. Also a great alternative for cleaning your brushes.


Sigma Spa Glove: Great for a deep cleaning of your brushes due to the different textures on the glove.


Sigma Dry’N Shape: Great way to dry your brushes! Like the title, it shapes your brushes while drying them up side down.


Dial unscented soap: Great for disinfecting the brushes


Johnsons Baby Shampoo: Gentle on the skin and softens bristles

Featured image – Instagram/KimiDuncan