Whether you want to try some of the season’s new trends, discover what suits you or simply give your make up stash a good seeing to, here’s how to #StartBetter…

When did you last clear out your makeup bag? On that note, how old is your makeup bag? Ever given it a proper wash? If your responses are ‘can’t remember’, ‘as old as the hills’ and ‘...no’, chances are you’re not alone. I am a self-confessed Makeup Maniac ; my emotional attachment to beauty products verges on the unhealthy, but even I come to question my reliance on old flaky friend mr mascara of 2007 come new year and imminent spring clean season. A good clearout and a few slick product updates will not only save help you to save face (that fossilised foundation is a bacterial breeding ground), but will also give you fresh ideas and ensure that you’re using your entire beauty arsenal to the fullest.

Step One- Clean up your act

Clinique  Colour Artist and makeup pro  Florrie White  has some strict no-grime guidelines:

“I believe that most makeup bags could do with a clean. My first priority would be to keep the brushes clean. As a professional I wash my brushes everyday but I think it would be more realistic for a non-professional to try and aim to wash them at least once a week, ideally twice. You will then be getting the most of your brushes and products. Oils from the face get collected onto the brushes and can then form a hard layer on top of powder products so you won't be getting any product onto the brush. Eye shadow and cream brushes also do not blend well if they aren't clean and dry.”

Depending on the material, give your makeup bag a whizz through the dishwasher (...empty it first) or if your trusty pouch is looking a bit dogeared, invest in a new one. You’ll actively want to keep it looking spotless. As for brushes, a good going over with warm water and baby shampoo should suffice, but if you’ve neglected your brush brigade for quite some time a  specialist brush cleanser  will dissolve gunk and residue in double quick time. Give tweezers and other tools a good once over, sharpen pencils and reunite floating products with rogue lids and proper packaging.

Step Two- Edit your collection

Spread all of your makeup out in front of you and assess what you have and use, and whether anything looks past it, either on a practical level ( pulverised eyeshadow and furry lipglosses are on the hitlist), or from a ‘suits you’ perspective (frosted lilac lipstick was never forgiving). Bin anything beyond saving, and if you have anything in good condition that simply isn’t your bag, put together a thoughtful gift hamper for someone who might appreciate your beauty cast-offs.

Step Three- Rethink your routine

Do you apply the same makeup the same way everyday, as if in a dressing table trance? If so, you’ll be surprised how much a simple formulation tweak, new technique or flash of colour can breathe new life into your daily face, not to mention grant you multiple compliments and boost your energy levels (a change is as good as a rest). Do a daytime  red lip , swap inky liner for flattering  black honey  (it’s been a bestseller since the 90s for a reason) or smooth on a dewy  CC cream  instead of full-on foundation (bare faced was not only a SS15 trend; it also saves precious time on manic mornings). Whether you add something, change something, or skip something entirely, you’ll break out of your beauty rut and open your mind to both new products and neglected bits and bobs hiding under the bed.

Is it high time you had a clear out? What new makeup do you plan on experimenting with this year? Tell us on  Twitter  or send us an  Instagram  image using the hashtag #StartBetter

This feature was written in partnership with  Clinique  #StartBetter


Anya Hindmarch neon makeup bag
 £195