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18 Jul 2012

How to prolong the life of your makeup


The EU Makeup Mountain
So.  You're a self-confessed makeup junkie with far too much product than you'll ever hope to use.  Or you "need it all" for your kit.  Or you are a sucker for LE products (Me? Never!) and have to have Every. Single. One.  Either way, makeup is not cheap.  So how do you make it last?

Your friendly neighbourhood bacteria
Essentially, this is a fight against bacteria.  Pure and simple.  So keep your products away from heat and humidity.  Bathroom cabinets: major no-no.  Beside the radiator?  Nope, sorry.  On your cute makeup stand, in the window of your east facing room?  Tut.  The cooler you can keep makeup, the longer it will last.

BeautySoClean:
product sanitiser
Clean products mean cleaning your brushes regularly.  It means having clean hands when you touch products.  It can mean (if you're an MUA or just OCD*) using sanitisers like BeautySoClean.  It means not sharing makeup with your bessie, no matter how much he/she whines and begs.  It means, categorically, throwing out stuff like mascara and pen liners after a few months.

* Or, as a friend of mine said to me lately:  I'm not OCD, I'm CDO.  It's like OCD but with the letters in the right order, exactly as they should be :-)

Hand sanitiser: Helps keep bacteria buggers at bay
(try saying that ten times quickly)
First, off, the obvious stuff....

Before you apply makeup, wash and sanitise your hands. (I keep a hand sanitiser with my makeup for the purpose).

And always start with a clean face; the more bacteria you have on your face to begin with, the more will get on your brushes and into your makeup.  The less bacteria you introduce, therefore the longer it will last.  

Don't sleep in your makeup.  Picture all of those products and pigments mixing with environmental pollution and dirt and your own skin's oils and sebum and all of the toxins that your body uses your skin to flush out of your body.  Picture those sitting on your face.  Gross, ne c'est pas?  (Good makeup removers?  Look here and here).

Foundation
Keep it in the fridge.  Keep it in the fridge.  Hey ho the derry oh, keep it in the fridge.  Got it?  Decant it into smaller containers and use these up, then clean out the container and add some more.  This will prolong the life of your foundation in a major way, especially if you have lots of foundation on the go at once.  At any one time I have probably two dozen different types of foundation, in multiple shades.  If you can, get yourself a small fridge dedicated to makeup.  If not, assign an area in the fridge (preferably away from the back, where it's too cold, and make sure it won't be dripped on either).

Powder products
Try to avoid too much over-and-back, in-and-out, back-and-forth dip-and-dip again with your brush.  You can use a very sharp blade to shave off what you need, and work from a palette if you wish.  Or you can just avoid too much double-dipping by say, loading up a brush, and working from the back of your hand.  Or you can sanitize periodically.  Be aware though, that frequent use of alcohol-based sanitisers will eventually change the texture of your powder product and make the surface shiny - no worries however, all you have to do is shave the shiny bit away using a (sanitized, of course!) blade.  At the very least, you can give your powder products a quick wipe with a clean tissue after each use.

Loose powders and pigments
Tip what you need out into your hand or onto a palette or a lid that you keep for the purpose, and work with your brushes or puffs from there.  Simples.

Pencil liners (eyes and lips)
Use them, then sanitise them (alcohol or aforementioned BeautySoClean for example).  Straightaway.  Try to keep them somewhere that is away from heat - don't forget that makeup lights can be quite hot!  Give them a quick shave with a topper before the next time you use, and don't forget to sanitize your topper too!!!  Otherwise, you've got a bunch of eyeliner clogs in your topper that contain bacteria, that then introduces this bacteria onto the next pencil you top.  Nasty.

Cream products (blushes, cream bases, cream pigments, gel liners etc)
Try to avoid touching the product directly with hands or brushes, and if you have to, then use a clean, sanitised hand or brush.  Better to scoop out a small amount with a clean spatula (or brush) and apply from the back of your hand.  This way you're avoiding adding bacteria by going back and forth and double-dipping.  Always keep the lid on cream and liquid products and - very importantly - keep them away from heat.

Liquid Liners
Throw them away after three - six months.  Never ever ever use eye products on yourself and anyone else, unless you're using disposable applicators each time.  It's not worth it.

Mascaras
Throw them away after three - six months.  Cost of a new mascara?  €6 - €30.  Cost of eyes that don't have ticks or conjunctivitis, skin tags or spots on your waterline or styes in your eye?  Priceless! Avoid pumping the wand up and down in the tube; instead, wriggle it up out of the tube to ensure you get as much mascara on the wand as you can.  Usually there's enough mascara on the wand for both eyes.  Give the wand at least a wipe with a clean wet wipe before you return it to its tube.  Never ever share mascara, unless you're using disposable wands.

Sponges that come with makeup
Avoid them like the plague.  Unless you want them to introduce the plague to your makeup.  Or, if you have to use them, throw them out after you do.  At the very least, don't store them back in with the makeup after you use them - clean 'em first.

Makeup brushes & tools
It's really important to clean your brushes.  Before you start to see spots appear on your face and wonder out loud if it's because your brushes are on the go for the last three years sans any washing.  Before you wonder if there's actually any bristles in there buried under all the makeup, sebum and dirt.   Yuck.  I wash mine after every use (kit brushes) and generally after every one - two uses (my own face).  See this post for more information on what to use and how to clean your tools :-)

UV sanitiser: For the mysophobes
If you want to be really OTT about it, you can always use a UV autoclave/steriliser to give zap the bugs.  If you have a lot of makeup, you're not going to do this very often (I have two of these and I use them for sterlising brushes, tools and, occasionally, powder makeup).

Essentially, that's it.  Keep your hands clean, keep your tools clean, keep your makeup clean and cool, don't share it with others.  Simple enough stuff!

If you want to know more about how to make your makeup last on your face, there's a post here.

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