Since my makeup drawer is a daily stop in my getting-ready routine, it gets put through a lot… spilled powder, lipstick smudges and collections of makeup counter samples and bobby pins thrown into the mix. As much as I’d love to keep a pristine space, I’ve got to admit that this drawer doesn’t always get the highest level of TLC in the form of organization, so in the spirit of spring cleaning I’ve decided to restore it to tip-top shape. We turned to resident beauty expert Martha Lynn to nail down the do’s and dont’s of brush care, clutter control, makeup expiration, and more…

1. First thing’s first: how often do I need to clean my makeup brushes?
It’s a good idea to clean them once a week unless then get tons of use (like mine!) Then every few days is best.

2. Do I need a special brush cleanser, or is soap and water good enough?
If you’ve invested in really good brushes (they’re well worth it, I might add) then a special brush cleanser is a good idea. For a great alternative, really gentle baby shampoo will do the trick! Beauty Blender  makes a BlenderCleanser that works great for brushes, too.  Make sure you lay them out to dry flat in the shape of the brush, so they don’t lose their shape.

3. How do you organize your makeup? By product type, color, day and night…?
I think accessibility is key to keeping your makeup organized.  The easier it is to access, the more likely you are to put it back where it belongs and keep it tidy. I like to group like things together (like all my pencils with a rubber band, all my glosses, etc.) and since I rely so much on my 5-minute-face products, I keep those separate so I can grab them in a flash!

4. How long should I keep makeup items – how do I know when it’s time to toss?
Most items will last about a year with the exception of mascara, which should be tossed every few months. Using makeup past its prime not only can spread bacteria, it also tends to dry out and won’t give provide the same effectiveness as it did brand new.

5. Any creative storage ideas to help reduce clutter?
I love using pretty containers to keep my storage decorative – they help turn the morning routine into something that feels enjoyable and even luxurious! I pulled together these ideas for some of the prettiest cosmetic storage out there.

6. This one’s for all the minimalists out there: if I only have 5 items in my makeup drawer, what should they be?
I’m always a fan of the “no makeup makeup” look.  Foundation, concealer, blush, mascara, gloss… okay and maybe one more… eye liner! You’ll be set to go.

*photos by Paige Newton Photography

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