Clean Up Your Makeup and Get Ready For Spring
Feb 23, 2017 12:30PM
● By Melissa Gulden
Spring Into Beauty
Story by Melissa Gulden
It's that time again—going through closets and donating what you haven’t worn in a year. As you’re scrubbing the winter dust off of floors, cupboards and windows, so why not spring clean your makeup drawer, as well? Expired cosmetics can cause skin irritation and eye infections, so it’s important to replace them before they go south. Use common sense: if your gloss is goopy, your nail polish is separating or your lipstick has a funny smell, it’s time to bid it adieu. Certain things — notably mascara and anything else with a wand — should be thrown out after three to six months, makeup brushes should get the heave-ho when the hairs start to fall out, and everything else should get the smell test. When to toss? Foundation: One year. Concealer: 12-18 months. Powders, eye shadows and blush/bronzers: 18 months. Liners: 18 months (except creams and liquids: six months). Loose powders are really the only things with real longevity, and even these should be replaced every two years. Replace sponges every few days and sharpen lip and eyeliner pencils after each use to remove any moisture left behind from facial contact. So what do you really need in that drawer full of products?
1. Let’s start with brushes. You want to have two medium-large fluffy brushes, one for bronzer and blush and the other for translucent powder or pressed mineral base. A narrow, angled brush can be used for both eyeliner and eyebrows (stiffer, synthetic fibers work best with gel liners). Then, depending on your shadow routine, you’ll want a smudger brush, medium shader brush (our absolute favorite is Mac brush #239) and one semi-fluffy tapered brush for blending.
Clean your brushes at least every two weeks — and every week on brushes carrying emollient products. You can use shampoo and then lay them flat to dry on a towel; if you stand them up, the water goes into the glue and can make them fall apart faster.
3. Bronzer is essential when your face is lighter than your body, and it’s great to look a little more sun-kissed in the spring. Just make sure to use a light hand and choose a bronzer that’s not too shimmery — bronzer is easy to overdo! Try a little blush on the apples of the cheeks, too.
4. Eyebrows frame the face, so it’s important to fill them in or use a bit of brow gel to keep them in place.
The one basic staple is mascara. Don’t get waterproof unless your eyes tend to water (or for those special occasions), as it’s tough to take off at night. And eyeliner is definitely a personal preference, but is best used sparingly for daytime. Liners, gels or even liquid are all good options. Choose the formula best suited for your lifestyle.
5. For lips, all you really need is one sheer, shimmery gloss, a lipstick or tinted lip balm without a shimmer that’s one shade deeper than your natural color, and clear gloss. Layer lip glosses and liners to create more color options.
Keep your beauty arsenal stocked with everything you need to polish your look. It could be mascara, concealer, lip gloss or blush. Have that product available in both your makeup drawer and your purse, so you always have it for touch-ups.
Some cosmetics companies offer incentives for recycling old containers, so you may even end up with new lipsticks to replace those old ones—a win, win! •