Spring Cleaning: Makeup Edition

Minneapolis-based event personality Hillary Kline touches on makeup cleanup, organization, and more

Makeup brushes in mason jars in black and white filter

I’ll be honest—I love spring cleaning. There’s something so therapeutic about deep cleaning a home, getting rid of unnecessary items, dusting, sweeping, and giving your home a thorough once over. With the help of Netflix Original’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, cleaning your home—and purging the items in it—is definitely “in” right now. (How many people have you seen post their newly folded T-shirts in the past two months? Yeah, it’s a lot.) Through her best-selling book and popular Netflix show, Kondo has shown the world that cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore and it isn’t always just rearranging your belongings with an occasional dusting. It’s purposeful. It’s joyful. And it should often touch every corner of your home, which means your crazy, out-of-hand, extensive makeup collection is no exception.

To help inspire your spring cleaning endeavors, we’ve touched base with Minneapolis-based event personality and blogger Hillary Kline, Q&A style. Read below for her tips, tricks, and favorite beauty products and then get to it! – Katie Ballalatak


Girls—in my opinion—are the worst at hoarding makeup. I myself just purged my stash not too long ago and found stuff from probably three years ago (I know … yikes). What are your three main tips for someone trying to clean out their makeup collection?

I do believe that we are the absolute worst when it comes to hoarding makeup. Trust me ladies, I was right there with y’all with keeping things for far too long, [items] that clearly needed to be pitched. I was also the girl who would continuously buy more red lipsticks or nude glosses to add to my collection, knowing very well that I had 10 to 15 others that were similar in shade (oops!). Here are my top three main tips for someone trying to clean out their makeup collection:

1. Organize everything by type and line ‘em up. Lump all of your items together: foundations, cleansers, mascaras, lipsticks, serums, etc. By doing this, you can see how many items you really have and then reassess what needs to hit the trash and what will go back in your drawers or makeup bag.

2. Keep your daily makeup in an easily accessible place. My biggest tip is to keep all the products that you use daily within arms reach of where you are getting ready. I like to store all of my extra items in a drawer. Get ready for less clutter!

3. Label things! By clearing things out, you’ll have less clutter and you’ll make room for new makeup. Make your life a little easier by labeling drawers for ease of access in the morning or when you’re creating a new look.

When is it time to throw something out?

Makeup does not last forever, although I am sure many of us wish that it would, right? Products do have expiration dates/shelf life, so here are my suggestions:
Foundation, primer, blush: can last for up to two years
Eyeshadow: can last for up to two years
Lipstick: good for about one year after you’ve opened it
Mascara: replace every three months
Liquid eyeliner: replace every three months

What’s your preferred method for cleaning brushes and applicators?

There are quite a few different ways you can clean your makeup brushes. My favorite method is to use baby shampoo and a bowl. Honestly, if baby shampoo works wonders on sensitive and delicate babies, it can work just as great on my makeup brushes. What’s nice about using baby shampoo is that it conditions the brushes’ bristles all while cleaning them and removing any product build-up. I also like to mix a little bit of dish soap into the mixture. This kills off any bacteria on the brushes.

Do you have any organization tricks or containers that you love for ease of accessibility or for makeup lovers that have to work with limited space?

My greatest tip for organizational tricks is to get creative! I have used potting tins (you can find them for $1 at Target) as a way to store my brushes. I have used bins from IKEA. You can go thrifting and pick up bins or drawers. If you are dealing with limited space, it’s a perfect time to downsize to only the essentials.

Marie Kondo is all about simplifying and finding joy in your belongings: What products do you especially love right now?

I could list off about 50-plus products that I am especially loving right now! Here are two of my favorite products at the moment:

For skincare: I am completely obsessed with Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel. What I love most about this exfoliation product is that you can visibly see it working—it sloughs off the dead skin right before your eyes (literally—it looks a bit strange but it works) and leaves behind a smoother complexion.
For makeup: Filmstar Bronze & Glow by Charlotte Tilbury. This contains two products, a bronzer for contouring and a highlighter for extra glow. I love both of these products, but the bronzer especially because it’s perfect for sculpting and is super easy to blend.

What about products that have simplified your beauty routine?

I am always on the hunt for products that can help simplify my beauty routine and get me out of the door more quickly (or let me catch a few more ZZZ’s in the morning). Two of my favorite multi-tasking products at the moment have to be:

Glossier’s Balm Dotcom: This is a staple in my makeup bag and is affordable at $12. I use it to hydrate dry skin and chapped lips. I also like to use it as a dewy highlight.
Tarte 4-in-one setting mistI love how this mist acts as a primer, setting spray, hydrating mist and a skin refresher. It screams multi-purpose!

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