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What to do at home: Spring clean your beauty cabinet


By Wei Yeen Loh

What to do at home: Spring clean your beauty cabinet

It’s day one of WFH (work from home) and if you’ve already addressed all these questions and cooked yourself an easy breezy meal—but to find yourself bored to tears (even after keeping yourself entertained with memes), worry not!

Here’s what you can do tomorrow—and for the rest of the two weeks that you’ll be cooping up at home: dedicate much-needed time to spring clean your beauty cupboard, tools, and even your mirror. Take a breather from your con-calls and video meetings by spring cleaning your beauty space—four tips ahead on making the most out of your WFH time:

Makeup tools

One of the basic rules we learned in beauty hygiene: always wash your brushes after using them once or twice. An easy way to keep ’em check is to use two different brush holders to label which is clean vs dirty. Use a brush-cleaning product or gentle soap/shampoo to thoroughly clean your brushes, and lay them flat to dry (avoid stacking!) right after.

Check out our guide to cleaning your makeup brushes here, as told by a pro makeup artist.

One often-overlooked tool that you may leave out from the cleaning roster is your makeup sponge. Your BeautyBlender is likely to breed an unhealthy amount of dirt and grime—if not more—than your brushes. Wash it daily (at the very least, weekly) should help with keeping bacteria at bay; don’t forget to replace it every three months.

Hair-styling tools

When was the last time you actually cleaned your hair straightener? If your answer is along the lines of “never” (eek!), here’s why you should get on it, stat.

“Ceramic plates of straighteners can harbour grime if not properly cleaned. Hairspray, oils and other heavy products can build up not only on your hair, but on your tools too, on top of oils that are secreted from your scalp, which can damage your locks if the device is not regularly cleansed,” says Steve Elstein, Vice President of Product Development and Research at GHD.

After turning off and unplugging your straightener, use nail polish remover on organic cotton wool to wipe down the ceramic plates. Let it dry for a few hours before using it—and make sure it’s thoroughly dry before you do!

Another important tip: “You should never use water or water-based cleaners to clean your styler—this is a very dangerous practice. Also, we wouldn’t recommend wipes unless they are organic and biodegradable since they typically contain plastic,” says Elstein.

Beauty shelves

Have you taken a closer look at the nooks and crannies of your beauty shelves and drawers lately? One thing we’re not aware of as we replenish our beauty stock is to literally clean out the shelves—especially when it’s filled with trapped dust and hair in the corners.

Here’s how to spring clean your beauty stash:

  1. Remove everything from your dresser, makeup bags, kits, and the like.
  2. Lay it all out on a clean surface to ensure that there isn’t any dirt/dust bunnies clinging onto the base of your products, then clean them properly.
  3. Categorise accordingly, from skincare and hair products to makeup and body care.
  4. Put aside products that have been around for more than two years—if it didn’t cross your mind to use ’em during that time, you will likely not use it anytime soon.
  5. Throw out expired goods or anything that looks dodgy—separated foundations and nail polishes, lipsticks that have beading/moisture on the top, powder products that have formed a hard rim on the surface, etc.
  6. Rearrange and store everything according to said categories—we recommend transparent boxes for easy perusal.

Reminder: It’s best to keep your products away from heat and humidity (your bathroom isn’t the best idea too), especially skincare products that have photo-sensitive ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol.

 Don’t forget your mirror

After peering close to your mirror as you apply mascara, fill in your lash line, or even to pop that stubborn zit, you ought to be wiping it down to prevent streaks, grime and even a buildup of calcium deposits.

Here’s how: Wipe down your vanity mirror with a microfibre cloth and warm water (regular washing solution if there’s stubborn dirt on the surface). Also, the good ol’ newspaper buffing trick works wonders in giving your mirror zero streaks.

To keep your mirror fog-free, rub a bar of soap or shaving foam all over, then wipe away with a microfibre cloth and voilà—no steamed-up mirrors after blistering hot showers.

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