Making the most of your make-up
When is the last time that you sat down and went through the contents of your make-up bag? It’s probably filled with once must-have shades of lipstick, eyeshadow and eyeliner, that were barley used before being consigned to a cosmetic graveyard with so many other creams, mascaras and foundations.
And although you think that probably one day you will use that shade again, it’s worth bearing in mind that make-up not only goes out of style, it also goes out of date, so do check the labels.
If you use natural products, or anything formulated without preservatives, double check the use-by dates as they tend to have a shorter lifespan. Try and make a note on the bottles of the date you opened them, or list them in your diary to remind you to replace your products, because it’s easy to forget exactly how long you’ve had an eyeliner or facial oil.
Although there are guidelines on expiry dates, a good way to tell if your make-up is out-of-date is to see what it looks and smells like. If there’s a change in texture, colour or smell that’s usually a sign that your product is past its expiration date. And don’t tamper with any of the formulas (adding water to a dried-up mascara) to make them go a little further, you’ll just add more bacteria.
To help you decide when it’s time to replace your products, here’s a guideline of how long they’ll last and remember, don’t panic. With new collections launching all the time, there is always plenty of fresh product to replace them.
Mascaras/ liquid eyeliner - expiry date: 3/6 months
Cream eye shadow - expiry date: 1 year
Eye shadows - expiry date: 2 years
Would you put something dirty near your eyes? Of course not, but mascara wands can attract bacteria as they are dipped in and out. If you have an eye infection, make sure you throw away your mascara and eyeliner, and only use new products when the infection has gone. Also, make sure to never share eye products.
Liquid/cream foundations and concealers - expiry date: 6/12 months
Skin products last a maximum of 12 months after opening and that is supposing that you have used a brush and not your fingers to apply. The dirt and bacteria on your hands can be added as an unexpected ingredient to pot formulas. Remember also that oil free foundations, BB cream and tinted moisturisers will not last as long as others. If it looks like it has separated or smells then into the bin it goes.
Pencil eye/lip liners, lipsticks, lip glosses - expiry date: 1 year
Like clothes that you have not worn for six months, unwanted lipsticks should be relegated to the bin or recycled. Embrace seasonal trends and replace the old with new colours. Always sharpen your lip and eye pencil so you are using a fresh part of the colour. And, as with mascara, be wary of infection. The water content in lipsticks and lip glosses mean they can also harbour bacteria, so don’t be tempted to hang onto them.
Loose/pressed powders - expiry date: 2 years
Although powder cosmetics have a longer lifespan than their cream-based equivalents, the moisture and oil from your skin are transferred to the formulas, even if you do use a clean brush or sponge, so keep an eye on how long they’ve been in your make-up bag.
Make-up brushes/applicators - clean at least once per week
Clean your brushes, it keeps them fresh and free of bacteria making them last longer. Try a gentle soap or baby shampoo and rinse, then lay the brushes flat and allow them to dry. There's also this super brush cleanser balm from Japonesque - it feels like a wax but isn't oily, and is made with goat's milk which is great for sensitive skin. Just add a little water to make a foam and swirl your brushes inside. We have spray-on brush cleansers too.