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Clean Grocery Shopping: Your Cheat Sheet

We’re encouraged to make clean choices when dining out, and prepare clean meals when eating at home, but when a food journey begins at the a grocery store, that leaves a big (important) question: how does one actually shop clean?

“Clean eating” can mean different things to different people, but it’s important to clarify some of the basic elements so you know how to stock up on “clean” foods. As a rule, the term usually refers to eating wholesome, uncomplicated foods that look a lot like they did before they were put on your plate. Clean eating does not necessarily mean eating “raw” foods, but rather avoiding preservatives, artificial coloring, or other additives (like added sugar) and focusing instead on fresh, colorful groceries comprised of mostly plants and natural proteins. Clean eating is a great way to kick start a healthier, more self-care focused lifestyle, while enjoying more energy and mental clarity.

“The definition of clean eating is in the eye of the beholder and the company that’s creating the product,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. Although there is no formal definition as far as USDA or FDA definitions, Taub-Dix says: “For me, clean eating is not just about a short [ingredient] list … as much as what is actually on that list and where certain ingredients appear on that list.”

To learn more about navigating ingredient lists and grocery aisles, here are some tips from the pros.

How to Plan for Grocery Shopping

To begin, a shopping list is a great idea. Starting with a list of clean, unprocessed foods, including lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins, will help you stick to your plan once you get to the store. Also, pre-plan a few dishes for the week (zoodles, salads, soups and crock pot meals: we’re looking at you!), and stock up on what you need to execute, focusing on a few overlapping recipes that will get you more mileage out of your groceries. Additionally, fresh herbs are always a good idea, as they add flavor without relying on lots of salt or seasoning packets.

What is Shopping the Perimeter?

“This has been said many times before but it is true: shop the periphery of the supermarket. That is where the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and butcher are — stuff that needs no labels, because they are one ingredient.” says Danielle Hamo, RD LD/N. “I get most of my stuff from there. I load up on fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, skinless boneless chicken breast, eggs, plain Greek yogurt and nuts.”

On the flip side, be wary of the middle of the supermarket. That’s home to cookies, crackers, and all the packaged and boxed stuff. “I limit the things I get here. For sweets, I stick to plain dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or higher,” says Hamo.

If you do buy packaged products, note that the ingredient list is written in order of weight; the first ingredient is used in the greatest amount and the rest are written in descending order by weight. “You want to avoid products that name sugar, in any of its forms, as the first or second ingredient on a label,” says Hamo.

What Do Food Buzzwords Really Mean?

A product that boasts an array of dietary terms on its label could be costly, and doesn’t always mean that it’s clean. It’s important not to be duped into thinking that a product is healthy simply because of marketing terms on the label.

“A food ‘free from gluten’ says nothing about the food’s profile, meaning that it could be high in sugar, salt and additives and preservatives that are far from clean,” says Taub-Dix. Besides, unless you have a medical condition or intolerance that prohibits you from eating gluten, gluten is not a harmful ingredient. “A product that is ‘fat free’ could be overloaded with sugar,” continues Taub-Dix. “Something that is ‘organic’ could be filled with unhealthy fats and sodium.”


Taub Dix goes on to say that manufacturers can similarly use the term “sugar free” if the product has less than 0.5 grams sugar per serving. “Keep in mind that as your servings size goes up, so do your grams of sugar,” she says. “’Calorie-free’ means less than 5 calories per serving. Fat free means less than 0.5 grams fat per serving but, as with sugar, you need to pay attention to how many portions you’re having, especially when serving sizes on the label are unrealistic.”

Other confusing food terms? “Light” if you are referring to bread could mean that the light bread is half the calories of its counterpart, while light olive oil is lighter in flavor and color than the real deal, but the same calories. In other words, you need to look beyond a flashy front of package and read the nutritional facts panel and ingredient list to see what you’re really getting.

How to Choose Fruits and Vegetables

Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is an important first step in eating clean. This handy guide can help you navigate which produce to favor each season. And it’s more than being healthy — it’s also a better buy. In general, if produce is in season, it will be cheaper. For example, berries can vary from just a few dollars to double when they are not in season. Plus, in-season produce is generally more flavorful. When you’re making your grocery list, take a minute to research what’s in season, and you’re less likely to be disappointed by produce that’s wilted, low on flavor or out of stock.

When it comes to picking produce, most clean eaters would consider organic produce to be the way to go, as it’s grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. The word “organic” doesn’t speak to the nutrient profile of the food though — it’s all about the way the food is grown, and you can find that out just by reading that little sticker on the fruit or vegetable! “The codes on organic produce begin with the number 9. Conventionally grown produce codes begin with the number 4,” says Taub-Dix.

Should You Avoid the Deli Counter?

When it comes to deli meat, the combo of the sodium, sugar, additives and preservatives should give you pause. “Sugar and sodium both increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and hypertension,” says Taub-Dix, adding that a product is considered to be ‘low sodium’ if it contains 140 mg sodium or less per serving. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendation for sodium is around 2,300 mg per day, so those numbers add up quickly when an average slice of deli meat could contain upwards of 300 mg sodium per slice. “Nitrates and nitrites in deli meat need to be taken into consideration as well — most clean eaters try to steer clear of these preservatives,” says Taub-Dix. Nitrates or nitrites are used to cure processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and most deli meats. “In addition to imparting a salty flavor, they also keep meats from growing harmful bacteria,” says Taub-Dix. However, the World Heath Organization has issued warnings about deli meat being carcinogenic, so it’s definitely worth reading up — and potentially changing your habits. “It’s good idea to put deli meat into perspective. If you were eating deli meat containing nitrates and nitrites on a daily basis, perhaps you should consider changing up your sandwich or salad for something that has less of these potentially harmful additives,” says Taub-Dix.

Is it Safe to Eat Fish?

When it comes to choosing seafood, whether farmed or fresh, the benefits of low calorie, high quality protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids outweigh the potential negative risks. “Try to have a variety of the types of fish you consume and avoid those that are highest in mercury and remove the skin and visible fat,” says Taub-Dix.

Note that the USDA has never defined organic as applied to seafood, so it is an unregulated term. “Individual companies may choose to mention that their seafood is raised in controlled environments, free of antibiotics and chemicals and fed organic feed,” says Taub-Dix.

If you’re concerned about the source of your fish, and making ocean-friendly choices, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch provides a reputable tool where you can learn about the impact of different seafood on the environment, and other wildlife.

Embrace the Frozen Food Section

Frozen foods often get a bad reputation because of the association with old school TV dinners that were typically loaded with sodium and made with questionable ingredients. But the food industry has come a long way and many frozen foods are just as healthy (if not more so) than their non-frozen counterparts.

“You can find tons of very unhealthy and highly processed frozen foods, the same way that you can find very unhealthy and ultra-processed NON-frozen foods,” says Alix Turoff MS, RD, CDN, CPT Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant & Certified Personal Trainer. The truth is that frozen foods can make eating healthy so much easier and more realistic. Not everyone has the time (or desire), to whip up a fresh meal from scratch every day.

“Frozen burgers (chicken, turkey, salmon, veggie, etc.) are great to have in the freezer for a night when you don’t have any protein on hand. Read the ingredients and go with something that has good nutrition facts,” says Turoff. “Pair your burger with some frozen veggies (so many companies are making innovative blends and mixes, mashed cauliflower, butternut squash puree, cauliflower rice stir fries, etc.). You can then add a carb on the side to round it out (frozen rice, quinoa, a bean blend, sweet potatoes, etc.)”

The freezer is another place to get your produce as well. “I always encourage people to go for frozen produce because it’s picked at the point of ripeness and frozen so you’re getting the best quality without the hefty price tag!” says Turoff. Plus, if your local winter produce consists of apples and onions, this aisle is definitely one to keep in mind!

And with that, happy (clean) shopping!

6 Daily Tips for Finding Your Inner Glow

Our new Clean Glow collection lets you customize levels of color and illumination in three simple steps: bronzing and highlighting with glitter-free liquid and powder formulas, and awakening the skin with a Kombucha-infused setting spray. But when it comes to achieving an inner glow, feeling strong, at peace and in the moment are what will get you there. Here are our favorite tips for achieving a daily inner glow from wellness experts who radiate from the moment they wake up.

Embrace Positive Affirmations

“One of the hardest parts about being on the journey to living your best life is figuring out what it is that you want to achieve throughout your lifetime,” says Koya Webb, an internationally recognized yoga teacher, holistic health coach and author of the upcoming title Let Your Fears Make You Fierce: How to Turn Common Obstacles into Seeds for Growth.

We hear a lot about how a positive attitude can go a long way, but how does one begin to practice this? Write yourself a sticky note at the end of each day that says something like “You’ve got this!” and tape it to your computer. Prefer to talk things out? Schedule time on your calendar — whether it be early morning or midday — to go somewhere quiet and remind yourself that yes, you can work through even the most difficult of tasks. Record your words for those days when you need an extra push.

“It can be difficult to visualize your goals, but once you do, positive affirmations can bring you closer to achieving them. We’re all too familiar with the feelings of fear and doubt. Through positive affirmations, fear is driven away because you are replacing that fear with the power of self-love and acknowledging your worth,” says Koya. “This is why it is important to practice daily.”

Give Your Body a Reset Day

Just as you need to take a day off of exercise, you need to give your body the fuel and recovery time that it needs to push forward emotionally. “You can do this by cutting out the processed foods you eat … logging off of social media for a day to focus on self-reflection and what your soul really wants, spending time in nature to just observe the beauty and magic all around you, increasing your intake of water and submerging yourself in water via a warm bubble bath,” says Koya. “Even a cool shower will help you recover from a stressful day. These are all ways that you can reset your body … [and] take on life in a more balanced way.”

Practice Gratitude

A gratitude practice is the act of acknowledging the things in life that you are grateful for, either just by noting them silently, saying them out loud, or journaling about them. “My practice consists of thinking about three things I’m grateful for today such as the blue sky, my morning coffee [and] the friend that I spent time with last night,” says Chuck Rockey, a life coach and yoga instructor. “I try to choose things that have not been included in my practice before. This trains my brain to be on the lookout for new things to be thankful for. Then I think of three things I hope to be grateful for in the future. The wrinkle here is that I say them to myself in the present tense — as if they had already come true. This allows me to set those intentions without my mind automatically thinking about how I’m going to get there.”

“Experiencing more gratitude is easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time,” says Chuck. If you do it on a regular basis; it will improve your outlook and make your days more enjoyable as you start to think positive thoughts. It’s natural to focus on what’s going wrong in life. But where attention goes, energy flows. The more you express gratitude for what’s positive in your life, the more positivity you’ll feel and radiate, lifting others around you as well.

Be Aware of Your Breathing

The quickest way to muffle your inner glow and sense of peace is to succumb to stress. One natural, easy way to reduce anxiety and remind yourself to be present is to simply become aware of your breathing. One quick exercise to help get you there is called the Four-Part Breath, also known as Square Breath. “[This] is a great tool to re-center yourself, and helps combat physical and emotional stress,” says Lauren Zoeller, a life-balance expert and Motivational Speaker. This technique can be practiced both at work and at home:

1. Close your eyes and visualize the four sides of a box.

2. Breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, exhale for a count of four and then hold your breath at the bottom for a count of four.

3. While you practice this breathing exercise, visualize tracing a box with your mind’s eye as you breathe. This will help keep you focused.

Zoeller recommends setting a timer for two minutes, or completing three rounds total to minimize your stress and calm your nervous system.

Try Yoga-on-the-Go

If you have a moment at home, in a hotel or even a vacant meeting room, make like a butterfly. “Supta Baddha Konasana, also known as ‘reclined butterfly,’ is a great yoga posture to revive your mind and body, ease stress, and decrease anxiety,” Lauren says. She recommends starting or ending your day with this posture to help ease into your day or to get yourself ready for bed.

1. Lay on your back and place the soles of your feet together.

2. Let your knees fall out wide in a butterfly position. If this pose puts strain on the outside of your hips, you can place blocks or pillows underneath your knees to ease the pressure.

3. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and practice a breathing exercise. Four-Part Breath, as mentioned above, is a great place to start.

Fill the Energy Cup

Self-love is the most important thing you can do to maintain your inner glow. “Think of your available energy as a cup full of water,” says Lauren. “You are always in an act of giving or receiving energy. Each day, we are involved in activities that require us to give our energy away [and] drain the cup of water. The act of self-love … gives us the time to refill our energy bank: pour water back into the cup,” Lauren says. “Involve yourself in actions that will bring about these emotions on a daily basis.”

Although there are many ways to show yourself self-love like meditating, taking the scenic—albeit longer—route home or calling up grandma for a one-hour positivity sesh, it’s important to remember that loving yourself simply means refreshing your energy, which is needed to accomplish all that you do in a given day. Lauren recommends taking the time to treat yourself to a solo date, whether it’s at a local restaurant or ordering in your favorite meal. If you’re feeling particularly self-loving, put on your favorite music, grab your latest favorite read and/or tune in to that podcast you haven’t had time to finish and lay on the couch in a pool of your softest blankets or soak in a fragrant bath. The important thing is that you relax your mind and indulge in thoughts that make you genuinely happy. Need help finding your positivity center? Close your eyes and think of the last time you gut-laughed or felt completely at ease. Summon that feeling and go from there.

Earth Day Checklist: Little Choices You Can Make Today

With Earth Day approaching, it’s the best time to focus on creating a healthier environment and showing more respect to the earth. That’s wonderful, of course, but it’s also intimidating, so we’re focusing on small changes you can make today that build up to true lifestyle changes — and, ultimately, a big impact.

Eat & Drink Mindfully

It’s our job to protect the planet and leave it in good shape for future generations. One easy way to do this is to reduce food waste — especially since the USDA estimates that 30 – 40% of food supply in the U.S. goes to waste. “Before you go grocery shopping, check what leftover ingredients you have lying in the fridge or in your cupboards. Think of new, healthy recipes to take advantage of the food you already have, helping the planet and saving money in the process,” says Caleb Backe, a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. Naturally, you still have to buy some groceries even if you cut down. Luckily, the “milk man” model is coming back into style with companies like Loop that refill empty food containers, reducing packaging waste.

But it’s not just about buying less. Before you throw away your food scraps, see if they can be regrown. Even if you don’t have a garden, herbs can be planted in jars or pots. Your next best option is composting. Find your nearest community collection point, freeze food scraps to minimize the smell, and put a weekly drop-off reminder in your phone.

Just like food itself, keep an eye on your food-related waste. Most of us are aware that buying bottled water is bad. But morning coffee cups add up, too. Purchase a reusable travel mug that collapses for easy storage. Another bonus? “Most cafes will give you a discount for using your own,” says eco-conscious blogger Meera Jain of the thegreenmum.net.

If you prefer coffee at home, skip wasteful plastic pods and buy a reusable pod coffee filter. Alternatively, use a French press, pour-over, or moka pot for an artisanal, low-energy way to feed your coffee habit. You can also make cold brew in a French press, which doesn’t require the energy of heating water.

When dining out, say “Thank you, no thank you” to the waiter next time you order a drink. “Straws are made of plastic and are not recyclable,” Jain reminds us. If you’re not quite ready to give up your straw habit, purchase edible straws that make a nice snack once you’re done with your meal. (Seriously — they’re edible!)

Refresh Your Beauty & Wellness Routines

“A simple change you can make to maintain a more sustainable beauty routine is to swap out your exfoliating scrubs that may contain microbeads that are really harmful for the environment and sea creatures,” says Amy Nicole, founder of Chic Studios School of Makeup. Instead, shop brands (like yours truly) that are microbead-free, or create an all-natural substitute using ingredients you may already own. “A simple combination of raw sugar and coconut oil makes a great lip and body scrub that you can use without worrying about putting harsh or harmful chemicals on your skin,” says Nicole.

Unfortunately, not all beauty products have an easy DIY alternative. For items like sunscreen, look for ingredients that are safe for the environment. Chemical sunscreens can threaten corals and other marine life, so opt for mineral sunscreens like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide (the active ingredients found in our best-selling ORIGINAL Foundation).

Instead of tossing your empty beauty products, recycle them! bareMinerals has a program for Friends and Benefits members that allows you to bring your empty makeup containers to a store location in exchange for points toward your next purchase.

When it comes to personal care items, use recycled materials as often as possible. Opt for 100% recycled toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. You can also choose eco-friendly feminine products, like organic cotton tampons or reusable menstrual cups.

Shop Sustainably

When it comes to shopping for groceries (or anything, really!), always bring your own bags — you can even purchase reusable produce bags, and tuck them inside your shopping tote. To keep yourself from accidentally forgetting your bags, invest in the ones made from recycled materials that fold up and store easily in your purse.

As for food, furniture, appliances and more, “When you need something, make an effort to source it from a secondhand store,” says Jain. Resale sites are becoming more common for fashion, furniture and more. This will save you money in the long run too.

Greening your wardrobe can powerfully improve your life in several ways. “It minimizes waste and production of throw-away clothes. Also, buying clothes made from recycled materials, or with a commitment to sustainability, helps grow the industry and combat climate change,” says Annabel Hertz of Goodbuysugar.com. If you don’t luck out at a secondhand store, choose ethical brands that source recycled materials and promote clean practices. Unlike fast fashion realtors, brands like Alternative Apparel, Reformation and Outdoor Voices use sustainable materials and minimize their energy and water footprints.

Rethink Your Home Goods

Greening your home can have a big (and easy) impact. “See what you can do to save energy, from bulbs to heating settings and unplugging electronics when not in use, to replacing your standard cleaning products with green products, and recycling, composting and reducing junk mail — you will be making a difference!” says Hertz. If you can, air dry your clothes and use reusable cloths instead of paper towels.

Travel Smarter

Green your rides by replacing your drive with public transport, biking, walking or shared car service. If you work for a big company, suggest a Waze carpool, where you and coworkers can ride together (besides, driving can be a drag!).

Modern travel can be highly polluting. “Choose sustainable tourism options and carbon offsets (for flights) and carry a water bottle with a filter (so you don’t have to buy and waste plastic water bottles),” says Hertz. Plus, go by the same rules you have at home: do you really need fresh towels daily? Better yet, instead of staying in a hotel, try booking an Airbnb or tiny house, where you can control exactly how much energy and water you use throughout your stay. Not to mention the endless Instagram photo ops…

Spread the Word!

Every time you decline a straw or pull out your produce bags, explain your choice to any curious onlookers. “The more people are making these small, easy changes, the more of an impact we can have!” says Jain.

Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag – Part II

BEAUTY

This is Part II in our Spring Cleaning series. If you’re just catching up, be sure to check out Part I where we teach you to Marie Kondo your makeup bag.

So you’ve gone through and ditched your expired, passé and impossible makeup, leaving just the most beautiful goodness. Feeling better? We sure are. But your spring cleaning work isn’t quite finished. Today we’re here to tackle maintenance: how to take care of the beauties that were worth holding on to, ensuring the best results, and a clean, happy face. You do know to clean your makeup brushes regularly, right…?

BRUSH CARE BASICS
One of the reasons we love love love (and strongly advocate) using brushes is that it’s more hygienic than dipping your fingers directly into a product over and over again. But that’s only if you’re cleaning those brushes on a regular basis. We’d recommend a shampooing every 1-4 weeks, depending how often you use the brush.
How to Shampoo a Makeup Brush
You should wash a brush like you wash your hair: soak the fibers first, then lather it in a mild shampoo and rinse, pointing the brush downward and keeping all the bristles in one direction so the pigment runs out and the fibers don’t tangle.
To dry your makeup brush, press the water out, reshape it and lay it off the edge of your sink or on a towel so it regains its natural shape. Visual learner? Check out the video of this technique on our Brushes page.
Can you use dish soap to wash a makeup brush?
Nope—you wouldn’t get that stuff near your own hair, so please keep it off your brushes too.
Can you use facial cleanser to wash a makeup brush?
Sure, if it’s good at removing the makeup from your face. If you use a very mild cleanser post-face wipe (or three), it’s not a good choice. A good brush shampoo lathers well and is only lightly conditioning, so if you love our PURE PLUSH or BLEMISH REMEDY cleansers, go for it. On the other hand, OIL OBSESSED (which is amazing at removing makeup) shouldn’t be used on your tools—it contains moisturizing essential oils that are so great for your face, not so great for your brushes.
Daily Cleaning Tips
If you’re a fan of the smoky eye or have been working on your contouring skills, you probably learned this one the hard way: you should clean a brush every time you use it for a new color. Those gorgeous shades become grey if you mix them together, so be sure to use a quick change brush cleaner between every shade: spray a tissue until it is slightly damp and rub it lightly into the bristles—you should never spray a brush directly. If you find yourself smashing the brush into your damp tissue, it’s time for a good old brush shampooing (see above).
What Not to Do
Please don’t soak your brushes (if you want them to last). We recommend pointing the brush downward when you rinse it to keep water from penetrating and disintegrating the glue that’s holding that baby together.

MAKEUP CARE BASICS 
Your favorite makeup gets you through dream-job interviews, terrible dates, unexpected breakouts… time to give it a little TLC in return.
Caring for Loose Mineral Makeup
Our minerals need to stay dry to last, but we know that swirling in the cap can cause discoloration over time. Get that pristine, fresh-from-the-box look by wiping the inside of the cap (NEVER the top of pot) with a tissue spritzed with alcohol. Rubbing alcohol works well—make sure it’s over 70% alcohol to disinfect as you clean, and wait until it dries fully before closing the product.
Caring for Compact Powders
Keep. Them. Dry. This is absolutely key, but if you notice your compact has changed color, you spill a different product on it, or otherwise feel compelled to clean, spritz a tissue with alcohol and remove the upper film to uncover new product.
Caring for Eye + Lip Liners
Keeping pencils sharp prevents them from falling apart. But when you fish out your sharpener, only sharpen the pencil tip to about 90%. Otherwise, yup, you’re back to increasing the chance the tip will break off. If this sounds weirdly high-maintenance, don’t worry—if you apply your liner by gliding it at an angle, you’ll naturally maintain a gentle point. Just sharpen a little bit when you need to expose more product—which sounds/is way more manageable.
Caring for Creams
Wet products tend to expire faster, and the best way to slow this progress is to screw the cap on fully after every single use (no matter how late you are).
What Not to Do
Cleansing wipes can take makeup off your face, but you don’t want to use them on your beauty products. Not only are they very wet (without the fast evaporating quality of alcohol), but they contain humectants for retaining moisture, and you certainly don’t need to moisturize your makeup.

Happy cleaning!

Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag – Part I

BEAUTY

We’re here today to tackle a neglected (but necessary) Spring Cleaning activity: sorting through your makeup bag. We purge our closets, double mop our floors, cut out French fries and … keep putting expired makeup on our faces? Not OK.

Maybe you’re thinking, My makeup bag is on point, I fly through those products, I’m fine. But what about that drawer with your “backup stuff?” You know, the place you go for wedding makeup, your waterproof mascara for the pool… we’d venture to guess that some of those beauties have seen better days.

THE BASICS OF MAKEUP EXPIRATION
Faces get better with age, but your beauty products most certainly do not, and they have legally regulated expiration dates for a very good reason. (And it isn’t so companies can sell you more makeup). Over time, all products can change color, texture and consistency — especially products that are good for you, like the ones with added antioxidants, and that lack scary chemical stabilizers. Products can also start to smell. If any of these things happen, toss them immediately.

So how do you know what to expect and how to avoid being wasteful (and when to replace your lipgloss before it turns orange)? Take a product, flip it over and you’re likely to see a little drawing of an open pot and a number, like “6M.” That means that 6 months from the day you opened that product, you should be replacing it.

Now, let’s get started on cleaning up your makeup stash, and we’ll explain how paying attention to those little numbers can keep your body safe.

HOW TO CLEAN OUT YOUR MAKEUP BAG
(Plus, a few suggestions to fill your newfound space).

What to ditch: EXPIRED PRODUCTS
So you’ve gone through and ditched anything with a funky texture or smell, or that you can’t even remember buying (bravo!). There are two more essential steps to take for a safe beauty drawer:
1) Throw out aging SPF products ASAP.
If you only take one lesson from this guide, let it be this: SPF expires. After about a year, the mineral SPF in our foundations will be less effective, and (going into full PSA mode here) even your non-makeup SPF expires. So please do not slather 6-year-old baby sunscreen on your second child or, you know, yourself.
2) Protect your eyes—they’re delicate.
In general, the highest turnover items in your bag should be the ones you put around your eyes. First off, sharing is not caring when it comes to eyeliners, mascaras, eye brushes and shadows. You’re basically asking for an eye infection, so if you gave your girlfriend a swipe of mascara last night, dump the tube stat. Also, it’s spring, so you’re probably about to whip out last summer’s waterproof mascara. Don’t. Eyelashes may be flirty and gorgeous but evolutionarily, they’re actually present to trap dirt, not a significant other. So… if you’re brushing over your lashes with a wand, returning it to the tube and storing it for a year? Yikes. There’s a reason we recommend a 3-month cycle for mascara auto delivery.

Fill the void:
If you don’t have SPF built into your daily routine (or if you did, but just threw it away), new COMPLEXION RESCUE Hydrating Foundation Stick is ridiculously easy to use as foundation, concealer or contour and contains broad spectrum SPF 15. Looking to double up on protection? MINERAL VEIL Translucent Finishing Powder is also available with broad spectrum SPF.

For year-round dream lashes, we love LASHTOPIA Mega Volume Mineral-Based Mascara. It’s nourishing, smudge-resistant, flake-resistant, paraben-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free and dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested — and safe for contact lens wearers.

What to ditch: YESTERDAY’S TRENDS
In fashion you can just store those cropped, wide-leg jeans for 5 years until it’s time to dig them out again. Beauty has cyclical trends too, but you really don’t want to rub 5-year-old product on your face. Think about how many times you’ve washed your face in 5 years. Now think about how many times you’ve washed that almost-forgotten eyeshadow shade. Get it? Great. Now go through and say goodbye to all of those cringe-worthy trends of old.

Fill the void:
Every beauty bag should have a little fun, so find a new trend to test out. Matte lips are having a major moment and unlike the last generation of matte lipsticks, our Matte Liquid Lipstick is super moisturizing so your lips don’t have to suffer for fashion. Prefer a traditional lipstick bullet? BAREPRO Longwear Lipstick provides that perfect soft-matte finish in a lasting vegan lipstick formula. Highlighters are another hot topic, and our BAREPRO GLOW Liquid Highlighter is an easy to use (AKA hard to mess up), versatile formula that can be mixed with your liquid foundation, or dabbed on for a targeted glow.

What to ditch: BEWILDERING BEAUTY PRODUCTS
A wiggly liquid liner, that allegedly-easy contouring kit… if you’re physically incapable of good results, we recommend clearing it out of the way so you can see the fun stuff you have mastered. All this cleaning may be awakening your desire to simplify, so identify any impossible products and say goodbye to unnecessary beauty drama and clutter.

Fill the void:
Get back to beautiful basics with a GET STARTED Complexion Kit. Or streamline your mornings with COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer for moisture plus coverage in one step. And if you just dumped 5 years of eyeliner fails, try ONE FINE LINE Precision Eyeliner — it’s a twist up pencil with intense mineral color that’s super smooth and easy to use.

Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, learn to clean and maintain your makeup brushes, makeup and more in Part II of our spring cleaning series.