Beauty Spring Cleaning: The Makeup Bag Edition

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For part two of our beauty spring cleaning series, Reader MrsMeltzer wanted to know how to actually scrub out her makeup bag to keep it clean. That’s when I called on pro makeup artist Emily Kate Warren — if anyone knows how to keep a makeup bag clean, it’s Warren. The girl travels back and forth from San Francisco to New York City often and makes many other stops in between, and she drags her makeup kit around with her to every location. So, you can only imagine how messy it might get — especially after working on client after client and photo shoot after photo shoot.

Here’s her advice for MrsMeltzer (and the rest of you):

First, you’ll know it’s time to clean out your bag when, “it starts looking crumbly or there is powder shadow clinging to everything,” says Warren.

Once you’ve decided it’s time to give it a good scrubbing, start by washing your brushes: “Use shampoo for [your] brushes, and let them dry flat over night,” says Warren.

Next, remove everything from your bag and use a makeup wipe (try Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Wipes, $6.99) to swipe out the interior of the bag and the outer packaging and mirrors of your products. “Make sure [you’re] carrying a plastic lined or easy to wipe/rinse bag if it gets really bad,” she says.

Then, before you put all of your makeup items back in your clean bag, make sure you’re not including any spoiled products that should be tossed. “It all goes back to smell,” says Warren. “If something smells, toss it! And, some water-based pencils will dehydrate and the tips will shrink. [It’s] time to toss them when that happens,” she adds. That’s it!

If you’re curious about the one product you should add to your makeup stash this spring, Warren says it’s “a dewy highlighting cream” (try Benefit Watt’s Up!, $30). You can blend it on the top of your cheekbones, brow bones, down the center of your nose and even on your cupid’s bow to give your skin a perfect-for-spring glow.


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