Spring Cleaning Part 1
By Gretta Monahan
For lots of people, spring cleaning means top-to-bottom home sprucing and clearing out your desk so you actually know where your work is. But for others (like me) who are (proudly) obsessed with fashion and beauty, it’s all about reorganizing your closet and makeup bag.
I consider the process highly therapeutic — it keeps me honest about which clothing pieces and products I use often and love the most, and which have spent their time unnoticed at the back of the closet or at the bottom of my bag. It’s also a good chance to not just clean and reorganize a space, but also to do any maintenance on the clothes and products themselves, and get rid of or replace any as necessary (it isn’t hygienic to keep some beauty and grooming products for too long). And if you need extra motivation to do the deed, remember this: You can sell any old clothing and make money for new spring and summer pieces.
When it comes to clothing, I employ the ol’ one-year rule: If you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s time to give it the boot. You may have fallen in love with the piece at the store, but it hasn’t done anything for you in a long time, so say adieu and move on to items you’ll actually use.
Color code: This one might seem like a pain at first, but you’ll be thanking yourself later when you want to find the perfect outfit fast. Take the time to organize your closet based on color scheme. Spring and summer call for a wardrobe with pops of color, so knowing exactly where each color is will speed up your process dramatically. If you’d rather not organize by color, choose some other classification: occasion, for example, or from new to old, or by last worn to barely worn — anything to help you pick an outfit and remember what items you have.
Hanging shoe box/shoe shelves: Shoes are obviously an incredibly important part of any outfit, but sometimes you can’t see all of your options since they’re on the floor of your closet, or hiding beneath clothing in the depths of that closet. Enter the hanging shoe shelf. Invest in them, and you’ll suddenly be able to see what you own and get your money’s worth of wear time.
As for makeup, start by digging into that cosmetics bag of yours. Look for anything that’s past its expiration date and toss it. Although we’d all love our makeup products to stay rich, creamy, vibrant and clean forever, everything has its limit. (Make a list of those you get rid of, so you can easily replace them afterward.) The rule of thumb goes as follows:
Mascara and eyeliner: 6 months
Lipstick: 2 years
Lip gloss/liner: 1 year
Foundation/concealer: 1 year
Powder products: 2 years
Eyebrow products: 2 years
Moisturizer: 1 year
As for replacing them, go for some spring colors: Now that the weather’s warmed up, so can the tones you use in your makeup. Put away those darker hues and bring out the fun pinks, corals and purples. Switching to a lighter foundation-and-concealer routine will give you a lighter and brighter look. Let your skin breathe and enjoy a more natural look for warmer days.
It’s also important to make sure that your makeup products have some degree of sun protection in them, or that you’re applying an oil-free sunscreen to your face before applying your foundation, to protect against sunspots and wrinkling.
While you’re going through the makeup bag, it’s also time to make sure you’ve got the essentials in there throughout the day: nail clippers and files, tweezers for any suddenly discovered stray hairs, clear nail polish for on-the-go touch-ups, etc. All of the above will get you in the right place, armed and ready, to take on the new season.