Our very own make-up guru shares her tips in the first of a series of posts

First off, before I fill your heads with ideas of fun lipstick colours and crazy eyelashes, I’d like you to think about your make-up bags, drawers, cases – whatever you keep your cosmetics in, and think about all those goodies inside. Do you have lipsticks from long ago so bright you don’t dare to wear? Products claiming to do things that sound like foreign countries? Blusher that’s been in there so long it has followed your entire education, and stuff from Halloween three years ago when you were a zombie? Well, we all have those bits. The stuff you can’t throw away, in case one day you might just try it out.

However, it’s time to face facts. It could, and most probably is, hiding grotty bacteria and germs ready to attack your preened faces and cause infections, skin problems and even allergic reactions. You wouldn’t ignore the use by date on your food, so why ignore it on your cosmetics? After this date they start deteriorating, the pigment may change, the texture may alter, it may start to smell, but worst of all, nasties can begin to grow. So as I begin my adventure of teaching you all about the secret life of a make-up artist, I urge you to have a mass clear-out of those gross bits and bobs that deep down you know need binning. Use my handy make-up shelf-life tips below as it’s time to make way for some new ones; be ruthless!

Foundation – about a year, but bin it if it smells gross or its consistency has changed.

Mascara – 4 months, you can get every last bit out by immersing the whole tube (with the lid on!) in really warm water, it’ll melt the remaining product inside. As soon as it gets flaky, throw it out.

Any pencil products – as long as you sharpen them regularly, these can last as long as you want them to. Bin them when they go crumbly or are super difficult to apply.

Lipstick and gloss – one year. Scoop the bottom of lipsticks, mix with Vaseline and keep in a little airtight pot for your perfect coloured lip balm and no waste!

Concealer – one year, but it can last longer if you apply with a brush rather than your finger.

Cream products (blush, eyeshadow) – six to twelve months, again apply with a brush.

Powder products (eyeshadow, blush, foundation, pressed powder) – these last a year or more, longer if you use a clean brush and not fingers.

Make-up brushes – These can last you forever providing you clean them regularly (at least once a week) to keep all those nasties at bay. Clean with olive oil, a little squeeze of fairy liquid and warm water, then leave them to dry on a flat surface.

Top tips:

To really ensure your make-up is super long lasting, and most of all safe, minimise its amount of time exposed to air as much as you can, and to only touch the product with a clean implement such as a brush or sponge – never fingers if possible. This reduces the chance of your product drying out, and makes it less likely to harbour bacteria. Whenever you can, use make-up brushes; they’ll keep your products and face super safe, plus they’ll make applying your slap so much easier and precise. If you get a choice, buy a product with a pump, this is a great way to minimise the time things like foundations are exposed to air.

Please ladies, don’t share your makeup! This also applies with makeup in stores like Boots or Superdrug, please don’t stick your finger in the tester then swipe it on your face, who knows who has been there before! Higher end cosmetic companies like MAC or Bobbi Brown will sanitise their testers before allowing customers to try them out. Treat your skin like a beautiful haven, only the finest, cleanest things can even get close.

So now I hope all your makeup bags are cleaned out, germ free, and fit for a King!


Milly’s Make-up Mission of the Week

Each column I write I’m going to give you a makeup mission, and maybe some time in the near future I can start a make-up mission of red lipstick, and we can march in unison with our Marilyn Monroe-esque lips round St Andrews.

Mission: Try wearing lipliner. It’s not just for the older generation, it’s a makeup artists staple product. Wear it alone, with lipstick, or gloss. Either way, you’ll have longlasting colour and hot lips! Pop lip balm on underneath to keep lips nourished and full of moisture.

Emily Hague


Image: Flickr Creative Commons  http://www.flickr.com/photos/interact_album/3525878681/


For more info, check out Emily’s blog: http://millyandhermakeup.blogspot.com/

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