Cleaning Day: What to Toss After Your Holiday Shopping Spree

Ladies, if you’re more excited about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales than roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, welcome to the club. It’s time again to stock up on your beauty faves, try out a little something daring and new, and snag up beauty bargains for gift-giving. That delicious trio of Michael Kors metallic nail polishes you’ve been eyeing? Score one for you and your bestie during Macy’s Cyber Monday sale (click here for a preview). That darling cosmetic bag at Sephora? Make it yours and buy one for mom too and force her to replace that tired Ziplock bag she’s been carrying around.

But first, you’ve got some cleaning up to do, girlfriend. Make room for your new beauty booty by tossing those things that didn’t work, didn’t flatter your complexion or are just plain suspect. Grab the garbage can and let’s get tossing.

Funky nail polish colors

Seriously, green nail polish? What were we thinking? While it may have been the color of the year, emerald green does not bring out the best in most skin tones (with the exception of course of the Wicked Witch of the West—now there’s a woman who can rock bright green). Toss it and make room for the metallic and gem hues of winter.

Unidentified mascaras

While that latest, greatest mascara may have worked like gangbusters the first three times you swiped it across your lashes, it’s now swimming in the sea of your makeup drawer when it was replaced by the newest latest, greatest. The simple rule of mascara is that when in doubt, toss it out. Way out. The FDA recommends ditching mascaras at the 3-month mark because of the repeated “microbial exposure” (i.e., ewww factor) that carries with it a high risk of eye infections. Besides, there’s always another latest, greatest mascara awaiting your adulation.

Jars of creamy things

Good things come in pretty little jars. Except when icky stuff starts growing in said pretty jars. Skin creams that require you to dip in for a dollop can introduce bacteria into the product. My girl over at Beautiful with Brains gets into the nitty gritty details but let’s just agree that if you’ve double dipped one too many times, you’re better off pitching it. When a skin cream that I absolutely adore becomes suspect, I’ll use it on my legs and feet until it’s gone.

Mangled brushes and combs

It may be your favorite brush ever but if the bristles are mangled or misshapen, you could be damaging your hair. Your post-shower comb missing teeth? Same deal. Say goodbye and replace them during the holiday sales. If the bristles are still in good shape, clean out your brushes. Product build-up can also muck up tresses.

Gummy hair sprays

These useless spray cans are just taking up precious space. If your favorite hair spray is coming out in sporadic bursts, it’s not doing you or your bathroom floor any good. Here’s a trick to try before you toss it: Run the nozzle under warm water and then wipe with a clean towel. If, after a few tries, the nozzle is still clogged, it’s a lost cause.