Is your make-up bag bulging at the seams with products you never, ever use and probably never will? We answered a firm yes, and there’s no denying that when it comes to cosmetics the inner hoarder comes out in all of us.

A survey carried out last year by found that British women keep make-up for up to a huge six years after it’s expiry date. Not only are products much less effective past their sell by date, but they also become a breeding ground for bacteria.

The solution? We think it’s time to delve into the dark depths of our make-up bags and give them a good ol’ spring clean.

1. Throw it out!

Begin by checking the expiry dates of each product, and throwing out anything that has passed its expiry date (we were shocked at what we found lurking in ours!). Make-up that has separated or changed in colour or consistency since you brought it also needs to go. It is likely to be past its optimum shelf life and brimming with bacteria. And you don’t want THAT anywhere near your face!

2. Check your guidelines

From now on, try to follow the basic guidelines for replacing the contents of your make-up bag. Mascaras need to be replaced every 3 months, foundation after 1 year, lipstick after 2 years and facial powders and eyeshadows every 3 years. Ohhh go on then, if we must treat ourselves to fresh, new products!

3. Get your lippy on

Now we can get a good view of bottom of the make-up bag again, it’s time to move onto the products kept for best. By leaving them just for special occasions they’re likely to be out of date before they’re used up. Why not bring these products to the top of your make-up bag and start incorporating them into your daily routine? We guarantee a slick of the lippy you’ve been saving for your next night out will perk up a dreary Monday morning!

4. Keep brushes clean

Finally, if you can’t remember when you last washed your make-up brushes, they’re long overdue a clean! Brushes should be washed at least once a week to avoid the build up of dirt and bacteria. Save money on expensive brush cleaning solutions and use baby shampoo and warm water to cleanse your brushes before leaving them to dry naturally.

And – voila! Say hello to your freshly spring-cleaned make-up bag.

By Jessica Beech