Judging by the weather it would appear that Spring is finally upon us. Some of you may be threatening to give your house a good old spring clean (out with the old and in with the new I say!) but have you thought about applying this principle to your beauty bag?
With hundreds, if not thousands, of new and innovative products hitting the market each season it might feel vital to get your hands on that “must have” product, you know, the one that gives you a spring in your step and a flush in your cheeks. Pretty packaging, amazing marketing and Joan from Accounts who suddenly looks ten years younger are all reasons why we get bogged down in a quagmire of products and end up spending money on things we don’t really need and probably won’t use.
Did you know that the maximum shelf life of most cosmetics ranges from 6 to 24 months? Did you also know that continuous use of out to date products can cause you actual harm? Mascara, for example, should be changed every 2-3 months due to the intense build up of microscopic nasties that cling to the brush and transport themselves to your lashes, causing some highly unattractive infections. Not what we’re aiming for is it?
Don’t panic! Start by ditching old makeup products. Go on, get ‘em out! Does it smell? Has the consistency changed? Is the packaging illegible? If so then it needs to go. Be ruthless. Here are some simple steps to help you keep on top of the longevity of your lotions and potions:
1) As a general rule of thumb lipsticks and glosses last for around 8 months. If it tastes substantially worse than usual or has altered in colour or separated then it has turned against you and must be consigned to the bin.
2) Expect to be able to use oil based foundations for approximately 8 months and water based for up to a year before they start to separate and work against you.
3) Blushers, powders and eye-shadows boast the longest shelf life amongst your make up products, staying loyal to your fine face for at least 2 years.
4) Often overlooked, it is vital to keep on top of the implements you use to apply your favourite products. Sponges and brushes should be washed in warm water and mild shampoo on a regular basis to avoid smearing a variety of bacteria over your face each time you apply. They should be stored away from direct sunlight, somewhere dry and cool to ensure they don’t become crusty or lose hairs. If this is the case, give up on them and throw them headlong into the big make up case in the sky.
Now that you have cut out the undesirables and purged your huge collection of makeup ‘mares, you can move on, take a deep breath and hit the shops. Woohoo!
Choose staple products that you need and can guarantee their use before they become your cakey, gloopy mortal enemy. Go for products that multi-task to avoid a make up case that looks more like a weekend bag and, to ensure value for money, hurry yourself along to a make up counter and reap the benefits of a tester session.
Some of my favourites include:
Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer – lighter coverage than foundation and moisturises all day long .
Bobbi Browns Retouching Wand – can be used like a foundation where you need it and on blemishes as a light concealer.
Benefit Rush Hour doubles up as a blusher AND bronzer. You can even use it on your lips!
Clinique All in One Colour Make-up Palette – this product includes five long lasting lipsticks, four eye shadows, a blusher and a foundation.
Double up your favourite lipstick by dabbing some on the apples of your cheeks for a healthy flush of colourMake