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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Bathroom > Put Your Best Face Forward
By Debbie Lillard, Professional Organizer, Space to Spare

Did you ever have one of those days where you stay in your pajamas and pound away at the computer until you finally look up and the kids are home from school? Iíve had those too. And sometimes theyíre fun. But if you make a habit of those, you will eventually have to leave the house looking like you just rolled out of bed.

Absolutely OrganizedOn the flip side, if you get up early enough to get a shower, put on some make-up and a decent outfit, you can feel more professional and put together before you have to walk out the door. This is one of my absolutes or organizing: start the day off right Ė on your terms. (from my book Absolutely Organized- A Momís Guide To a No-Stress Schedule and a Clutter-Free Home)  In order to do this, youíve got to have a beauty regimen that is quick, easy and effective. As a mother of three who gets up at 6:30 am I know time is limited, and thatís why I have all the essentials at my fingertips and a method of getting ready in 20 minutes. So let me share my tips as both a Professional Organizer and a previous Mary Kay consultant:
  1. Use skin care products from one company: that includes your cleanser, moisturizer, any toners or masks that you may use and your foundation.  Skin care companies design these to work together and if you mix & match, you could have a chemical reaction right on your face.
  2. Clean out your make up on a regular basis. If you go to the dentist every 6 months, you usually replace your toothbrush, right? Use that day to replace your mascara and eye-liners too. You definitely donít want any bacteria going into your eyes and thatís about the shelf life of these items.
  3. Check for expiration dates and if you canít find them, use these basic rules of thumb for what to toss:
    • Perfume or white creams that have turned yellow
    • Sunscreen after one year
    • Powders that have a shiny finish to them (from facial oils)
    • Thick creams that have since become watery
    • Anything you donít remember buying!
  4. Brushes should be cleaned more frequently Ė about once a week. Think about this on a Sunday. Just run the brushes under warm water and rub them with soap, rinse and leave them in a mug or stand-up container to air dry. Theyíll be good to go on Monday morning.
  5. Keep everyday items in one container in your bathroom Ė preferably in a drawer or cabinet. My everyday items include:  concealer, foundation, eyeliner, mascara and blush. Lipsticks usually stay in my purse and get applied before I leave the driveway each morning. That way you have them handy for touch-ups.
  6. Keep your refills in another drawer or in a plastic bin in the linen closet. I think people often make the mistake of buying cute canvas or wicker bins for the bathroom but they forget that most of these products leak! So plastic or vinyl is the way to go for bathroom products.
  7. For traveling, find a fold-up makeup bag with several sections. I pack my beauty products the morning of my trips. As I use each item, I put it in the bag. That way I donít forget any of my essentials. The bag can lay flat so itís the last item to go into the suitcase. When I arrive at my destination, it gets hung on the back of the bathroom door. No unpacking & losing little items!
  8. Once your products are cleaned out and contained properly, take a look at your method. I like to treat the beauty regimen like a recipe. I put all my ingredients on the left side of my sink. As I use each item, it goes to the right. That way, if I get interrupted I remember to use everything. (donít you hate it when you forget the deodorant?)When Iím finished, everything goes back in its container under the sink.
So there you have it Ė eight steps to go from frumpy mom to professional woman! I think we all deserve a little time to take care of ourselves each day because when you look good, you feel good and that positive attitude will carry you through your day.

Special thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Debbie Lillard for contributing this article. Debbie is a Professional Organizer serving the Philadelphia area since 2003. Since starting her business, she has appeared on local and national television, including: HGTV'S Mission Organization, Hoarders on A&E, The 10!Show and Talk Philly. in Philadelphia She is a published author and nationally recognized expert on organization in the home. She is also an active board member of the National Association of Professional Organizers Greater Philadelphia Chapter (NAPO-GPC). Learn more about her organizing specialties on her website at www.spacetospare.com.