by | February 2015 | NAPLES DAILY NEWS | 0 comments

A few years ago, a friend of mine went to an ophthalmologist only to be told the sharp pain in her eye, which had been bothering her for years, was not a tumor, but rather a piece of glitter, which had actually solidified and grown into a ball the size of a BB pellet, and yes, surgery was the only solution. Guess who went home and immediately purged every single container of sparkly eye shadow from her cosmetic drawer?

When it comes to cosmetics, the old adage, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is my organizational mantra. To help you organize your cosmetics, here are a few hints:

Empty it: First things first! Remove every single item from your make-up drawer (eye shadows and pencils, foundations, nail polishes, lipstick, eyeliners, hairpins, hair elastics, department store samples and make-up brushes, to name a few).

What’s left will probably be those annoying wood shavings from the last time you sharpened your eye pencils; some loose strands of hair and lots of glitter, powder and make-up residue.

Clean it: This one’s a no brainer! Clean the drawer and make-up organizer (if you have one) thoroughly with a strong disinfecting wipe, such as Clorox brand’s wipes. My bet is you’ll be so grossed out by the icky stuff left in the drawer organizer that you’ll want to start fresh and buy a new organizing tray, which I strongly suggest you do since it’s virtually impossible to clean old lipstick smears and eye pencils marks.

Sort it: Lay everything from the drawer onto a flat surface. Be judicious when sorting through your make-up. Remember, you put this stuff on your eyes and face, so if it’s old, dried up, crusty and/or gloopy, get rid of it. Also, if you don’t like it, don’t use it or don’t want it, pitch it.

Toss it: Women of a certain age should avoid lip-gloss at all costs (and glittery eye shadow). In other words, if there’s not a “teen” in the number of years you’ve been on this earth, pitch the gloss and glitter.

Store it: Personally, I prefer a non-mesh drawer organizer, such as the adjustable bamboo ones sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, not just because they look nice, but also because they fit “just right” inside almost any drawer. There are also plastic drawer organizers available in myriad shapes and sizes, but I’m all about aesthetics and would rather spend a few extra dollars on a really nice organizer. Be sure to store all cosmetics in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Stand it: Keep jars of foundation and lotions upright and keep them clean. Be sure to wipe the schmutz off of the inside of the cap, as well as off the twisty grooves.

Label it: Since most containers by the same manufacturer are virtually undistinguishable from one another, the only solution is to label each one. I also suggest marking your mascara, which should be pitched 3 months after opening.

Brush it: Store make-up brushes upright in a wide-mouth container/jar. Avoid having the brushes touch one another, especially if some are for your eyes and others for your face. The easiest way to do this is to fill a container three-quarters of the way with lentil beans and stick the brushes, one at a time, into the jar.

Wash it: Clean your make-up brushes at least once a month. Shampoo works just as well as the “specially formulated” make-up brush wash, but for a fraction of the cost.

Resist it: In closing, stick with the basics and remember, today’s trend is tomorrow’s trash.