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Your Makeup Stash Should Look as Good as You Do

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Today we bring you a special spring cleaning edition of the Racked newsletter by professional Clean Person Jolie Kerr. You can find all her Racked cleaning columns here, and tweet her your spring cleaning questions here.

What to read today if…

You're ready to put your winter sweaters into seasonal storage:
Cheap Ways to Care for Your Fancy Sweaters

You still haven't organized your closet, which you resolved to do in January:
This Is the Year You'll Clean Out Your Closet, for Real This Time

You’ve done a closet cleanout and now have bags of clothes to contend with:
You've Cleaned Out Your Closet — Now Where Should All That Unwanted Stuff Go?

Your shoes are trashed after a long few months of snow, sleet, slush, and sludge:
How to Keep Your New Shoes Looking New

You need help figuring out where those newly clean shoes should go:
Racked, We Have a Shoe Problem

The Pure Joy of Spring Cleaning a Makeup Collection
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Photo: Getty Images

In January, I found myself cultivating an obsession with makeup and skincare. This newfound devotion to vanity was almost entirely accidental; at the start of each year, I opt out of drinking for the month, which meant that this year, while my entire social circle was drowning the loss of hope in booze, I was as sober as a deacon.

Laying off the alcohol was, I believe, the key to surviving that terrible month. But this year, unlike Dry Januarys past, I needed extra distractions, and I found them in Sephora and Ulta and deep dives into beauty blogs and subreddits. When Twitter got to be too much to bear, I browsed for beautiful makeup brushes; when Facebook was more than I could stand, I got lost in K Beauty Empties.

There was another welcome side effect of this burgeoning interest: Suddenly, I had a whole new set of things to organize! And, oh man, I love organizing things. Bringing order to chaos is deeply satisfying for me, and it provides another favorite escape from an often overwhelming world.

As my collection of eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, lotions, and potions has continued to grow, I'm due up for a reorganization project this spring. I could not be more thrilled! Styling my vanity, playing with my paints, and spending a few hours prowling the aisles of T.J. Maxx looking for the perfect caddy to house my Sephora samples (those Sephora samples are precious, we can't have them getting lost deep in cluttered drawers!) have become favorite activities. Time spent focusing on color-coding my eyeliners is time when I'm not thinking about the deeply disappointing state of the world.

I know I'm not the only one! I've heard, in emails and tweets and epic blog posts, from so many people who have said that cleaning or organizing projects have helped them regain a sense of control during a time when many of us feel helpless. It's a nice reminder that life goes on, that there's still beauty in this world, and that it's okay to take time for frivolities that bring you joy. Plus, I look so good, seriously, you guys.

Send this to a friend who needs some help jumping on the spring cleaning bandwagon!

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Just One Thing
The Solid Cleaner That Keeps My Colorful Makeup Brushes Looking Brand New
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One of my weaknesses is fancifully colored makeup brushes. I mean, look at this beauty! That brush in particular is so lovely that it took me almost a month after purchasing it to actually press it into use. As ridiculous as that is, I don't even mind admitting it to you because I know that, on some level, you'll understand me completely.

It was the purchase of that brush that led me to the discovery of this Solid Clean brush cleanser by Sephora. It makes me actually want to wash my brushes — which is good, because most of us, myself included, aren't washing our makeup brushes enough. The official party line on how frequently brushes should be cleaned is once a week. Did you just blanch at that? Yeah, me too. And I'm supposed to know better! (In fairness, I do know better. I just don't always take my own advice.)

So, look, realistically bathing our makeup brushes a once a week is probably not going to happen, but I swear to God, that solid cleaner is so easy to use and somehow so deeply satisfying that it's led me to really up my brush maintenence game. To use it, you'll unscrew the lid and remove the nubbly silicone pad, which I like to place in the basin of my bathroom sink. Then, wet the solid cleaner and the brushes in need of cleaning. Swipe the brushes across the bar to pick up some of the cleanser and then, with the brushes under running water, sweep the bristles back and forth across the silicone pad. The sweeping releases a stream of brightly colored makeup runoff, so you can see it's working.

When the water begins to run clear, give the brush one final rinse, squeeze out excess moisture, reshape the brush, and lay it flat on a towel to dry. Voilá! Clean brushes in less time than it takes to do a smoky eye.

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