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Give your makeup bag an early 2021 spring clean makeover

Updated: May 31, 2023

My top five easy steps to put the spring back into your makeup bag!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2021!

We may be back in lockdown, but what better time to have a makeup bag refresh! Because like many people I speak to about what’s in my makeup bag, I’m as equally guilty about hanging onto old/unused/wrong products ‘just in case!’

Just in case what? In case the look of 1989 decides to make that much of a comeback? Hmm…here’s the part where, if I’m honest with myself, I’m never going to use that oh-so-trendy teal green mascara I wore on holiday in 2006…if I didn’t use it for last year’s Halloween makeup look (which I didn’t!) it really has to go.

(Plus, it’s ridiculously out of date. Yip, makeup goes off, believe it or not.)

If you read my blog ‘Three reasons to fall back in love with makeup during lockdown’, you’ll have seen me tell you to Marie Kondo everything (Marie is a tidying/organising expert.) That part remains true for this makeup bag makeover. Dig out everything you have. It’s actually soooo much fun! But also, important! Because this is where you start your makeup bag makeover.

So, here’s my top 5 easy steps for making over your makeup bag (and the reasons to do it!)

1) Get digging for buried treasure

Put the kettle on, grab a snack and dig out all your makeup goodies, spreading them out on the table/floor/dresser (lay a dark towel down to catch any pesky drips, spills or unwelcome puffs of powder.) It doesn’t matter if it’s two or two hundred things. Get it all out! This is treasure hunting at its best, you may just unearth some seriously good makeup you forgot you had! (Below is some of my personal kit, in case you're wondering where the rest of it is...)

2) Group your makeup items

Next, let’s make sense of what you’ve got. You might want to group them into the following as a starter – and don’t worry if you don’t have everything in every category. Quality over quantity for sure at this point.

· Primer/foundation/concealer/powders

· Eyebrow powders/pencils/pomades

· Eyeshadows/eyeliners

· Mascara/curlers

· Bronzers/blushers

· Contouring/highlighters

· Lipsticks/glosses/pencils/balms

· Setting powders/sprays

3) Work out what you use and what you might be missing

We all do it – we gravitate to the same makeup items every day (and it’s one of the reasons our makeup styles/looks don’t really change.) Look at your groups then make a separate pile of the items that you use regularly, grouping them in the same way as before and see what you’re left with. Don’t panic if you don’t have something from every group – you may, in fact, not actually need it, or you actually have something in your kit already that you can double up on, for example, a cream blusher that doubles as a cute lip stain.

4) Look at what’s left

And ask yourself if you really will use it again. If you know you will, set it aside in a separate ‘keep’ pile (for example, it might be a darker foundation that you only wear in summer so pop it away in a cool, dark place until you're ready to use it again.) If you know you won’t use it again, check its condition (and age!) and decide if it’s for the bin (or you can sanitise it and give it to someone you think would love/make best use of it – makeup upcycling at its best.)

Warning – you might need a bigger makeup bag at this point, lol….

5) Enjoy as you refill your made-over makeup bag

Et voila! Now that you’ve got your essentials in check, and you’ve maybe discovered some other lovely treasure that you forgot you had, you can repack your made-over makeup bag, knowing that what’s in it is what you love and is in tip top condition! Yay!

The lovely multi-functional bag featured in the picture above is called 'The Original' and is by local Scottish Borders company AR+CO and is featured on my 'Product of the Week' video on my instagram.

Have fun, enjoy and stay safe!

Nicola x

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