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De-Clutter Your Make-up bag.

Aug 25, 2008
Take a good look at your make-up and the bag you keep it in. If they are not looking their perfect - that is to say if products are missing lids, brushes are matted and puffs & sponges are in need of a clean, if you have make-up in there that you haven't used in ages, then it's time to reassess and de-clutter your make-up bag. Even the appropriate, most expensive make-up won't look wonderful if it's past it's sell-by date. Or applied with dirty brushes, sponges and puffs. Worst yet these products could cause loads of problems that perhaps you weren't even aware of.

Initially if your actual make-up bag is looking dirty or generally unkempt, then either clean it or buy a new one. Your new /clean make-up will only become contaminated if put into a dirty make-up bag. So give what ever make-up you love and want to keep a wipe before putting it back in. If you've got makeup brushes then keep them in optimum working condition by cleaning them regularly. Make-up artists invest in good brushes which with proper maintenance last for years, mine are over 10 years old and still look great and work beautifully. But if your brushes look more like a cat's chew toy then it's time to throw it away. Dirty, grubby brushes, sponges & puffs could be the reason your foundation, eye shadows, blushers and powders may not look as good as they could. It will cause your make-up to go on blotchy, uneven and discoloured. They could also be the main cause of some skin irritations, as a result of bacteria breeding on them. Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rashes and conjunctivitis can develop, become worst or constantly reoccur as a result of using dirty tools and products past there sell by date. The other problem that arises is you can sensitise your skin to any future products you buy.

I clean my 'working' brushes each time I use them but my own 'personal' brushes once every 3 to 4 weeks. Which is what I would suggest you do as well. Sponges and foundation brush really should be washed after each use. It's easy to clean your brushes, just wet the bristles thoroughly with warm water. Then wash them with what ever shampoo you use (as long as it's not a dandruff one). That way too you'll know that you clean your brushes with won't irritate your skin. Once they're debris free rinse them in lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Now gently squeeze out the excess water ( I find using paper towel works well). Reshape and lay flat on a paper towel to dry. I usually wash my brushes in the evening so that they're ready the next day. Alternatively you can invest in brush cleaner. These are now widely available.

Now for the actual makeup. You may have noticed an open jar label on your make-up, this means that once opened that product will be at its optimum appropriate for how ever many months it says. Once opened: - Mascara should be replaced after three or 4 months or sooner if it's lost it's 'pop' when opened. Remember not to pump your mascara, this pushes air into the tube making it dry out quicker. Old mascara can harbour bacteria that causes eye infections. Never share your mascara.

- Foundation (oil-based) around 18 months, (water-based) up to 12 months. - Concealer 18 months - Blusher (powder) 2 years, (cream) 18 months. - Lipsticks & Glosses should last a couple of years, but keep them out of the heat this changes their consistency, colour & texture. - Eyeshadow (powder) 24 months, (cream) 18 months, as long as you shut the lid tight. - Lip & Eye Pencils about 2 years as long as you keep them out of the sun and sharpen them regularly. - Liquid Eyeliner 12 to 18 months. - Face Powder 36 months. As long as the brush or puff you use to apply it is kept clean. - Nail Polish about 12 months, longer if you keep it in the fridge. REMEMBER when applying make-up with your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Top Tips: If it's lost it's top/lid throw it out!! If it smells odd throw it out!! If you've got a cold sore don't use your lip colour straight from the tube or wand, use a clean cosmetic bud each time. If you've got an eye infection do not use any eye make-up.
About the Author
Before you buy anything online, be sure you check Ariane Poole's excellent helpful tips advice on wedding make-up , and
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