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Getting a Head Start on Spring Cleaning? Start With Your Makeup Bag

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Spring is coming: The weather is getting warmer, birds are singing and flowers are beginning to bloom. And you know what that means — it's time to get started on spring cleaning. Start off simple and get your beauty stash in order with a few easy rules. It's more about giving your beauty arsenal a second look, getting rid of things and keeping only what's necessary. Decluttering may seem overwhelming at first, but things will be easier with this simple two-step strategy for purging the clutter from your beauty collection.

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Step One: Out with the old

Make things easy and get rid of expired beauty products right off the bat. The shelf life of a product depends on when it's first opened, the packaging and storage conditions. Keeping products way past their expiration dates can expose you to harmful bacteria and health problems. Let's be honest, all good things must come to an end — do not be tempted to keep a holy grail product way past its prime.

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When to throw away your base products

Liquid and cream products, such as foundation and concealer, can last up to 12 months. It's easy to tell when they should be thrown into the garbage bin: Dried-up product, uneven consistency and a foul odor are all tell-tale signs you need to get rid makeup. Powder formulas last longer — up to two years — as they don't contain water. If you notice excess build-up around the rim (which could be due to the minerals mixing with oils), better toss them out now.

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When to throw away your eye and lip makeup

Eye makeup tends to have a shorter life span. Liners and mascaras get crumbly fast and should be discarded after three to six months. Keep especially vigilant with your mascaras, as the bacteria from your lashes can easily get transferred back into the products, which can shorten their lifespan. You get a little longer with eyeshadows (particularly powder formulas) since they're dry products.

You'll also find that lip products, such as lipsticks, glosses and lip liners, don't hold much bacteria and tend to be safe to use for around two years. That said, if you notice any beading, chalky texture, film build-up and unusual smell on your lip product, that would be the time to break up with your fave lippies.

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Step Two: Give everything a scrub-down

Now that you've purged all products that were past their prime, move on to cleaning your makeup bag, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Spot clean any makeup smears with a makeup wipe before tossing it in the washing machine. Also, take the time to deep clean your makeup brushes with liquid soap and warm water, then rinse and air-dry to get them back in tip-top shape. And once you've cleaned everything up, make sure you keep your makeup bag away from humidity and heat to prevent increased bacteria build-up.

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