Make-Up Do's and Don'ts
Make up is an important part of any woman’s wardrobe no matter age, ethnicity or skin color. Here are the basic rules of storing, using and choosing your own personal bag of tricks.
Cosmetics can carry bacteria and should never be shared.
Young girls starting to experiment with color and style are often tempted to try a friend’s products but this is a bad idea for many reasons and mothers should caution them about the dangers.
Pink eye, oral herpes (commonly known as cold sores) as well as any other common cold or bug that is circulating can be transmitted through mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and even eye shadow. Products used in the eye and mouth area are the greatest disease spreaders.
Cleaning make-up brushes
Just like your hair brush and comb, your make-up brushes should be washed every so often. Some experts recommend once a week.
Take a solution of clarifying shampoo or baby shampoo to clean your brushes. Rinse thoroughly and lay flat to dry.
If you are traveling to a desert area or live in a hot climate it is a good idea to store your cosmetics in an insulated bag. Of course in an air-conditioned hotel or home you won’t have a problem but if your suitcase will be in a hot car or you are taking your carry-on with you out in the heat you will need to take precautions. Some make-up bags are insulated; you can also purchase an insulated lunch bag to keep them in. If you are going to be out for an extended period of time a freezer pack that helps keep foods cold will insure they stay fresh.
In an emergency you can get a cold pack from most pharmacies. You have to ask for them in the back where the Pharmacists are and often they don’t charge. They keep these on hand for diabetic supplies, which have to be kept cool.
Make-up shelf life:
We should also keep track of how long we have our make-up. Products expire after a period of time being exposed to air and our germs. I take an ultra-fine point permanent marker and write the day I opened the container on the back where the label is. This will help you remember when it is time to replace them. Keep a Sharpie in your make up bag.
Dry make-up usually lasts longer than moist so take that into consideration when purchasing. Never, ever add water or saliva to any product. This adds additional germs and shortens the life. There used to be eyeliner you added water to and they discovered it caused bacterial infections in some of their clients so major cosmetic dealers pulled them from the market.
Liquid Foundation- six months
Moisturizer (with or without SPF)- six months
Cream Foundation- six to eight months
Loose powder- one year
Lip gloss- one year
Mascara- 30 to 45 days, if it starts to look clumpy replace it. You can get pieces in your eye that can cause an infection.
Shimmer powder- one year
Make-up sponges- one week
Liquid eyeliner- six months
Lipstick- one year
Blemish gel- six months
Powder Blush- one year
Some make-up can be stored in the freezer but not all. Lipstick will separate from the container if stored this way so stocking up on that discontinued color might not be a great idea unless you don’t mind using a lipstick brush to apply it.
My favorite foundation.
Another one of my favorite products is Miissha BB Cream. It comes from Korea and can be ordered online.
BB Cream is a foundation that has 43% sun block, moisturizer and tightens the skin along with a make-up that covers well without being heavy. I didn’t like foundation and wouldn’t wear it until a friend told me about this product. There are several brands of BB cream and you can choose the one that works best for you but I prefer Missha brand. Young or old we all have areas we need to blend and cover whether it’s that tiny scar on your forehead you got as a baby, blemish scars, acne or hyperpigmentation (dark spots); foundation will smooth over these areas and give you a more even look.
Skin care and cleaning:
You should take your make-up off every night before going to bed, clean your face thoroughly and put on moisturizer. Dove make-up removal clothes are great, they come in a plastic bag you can take with you. They are disposable and easy to use. Most pharmacies and discount department stores like Target or Wal-Mart carry them.
Another of my favorite skin care products isn’t meant for dermatological use at all. I take a plastic kitchen scrubber and use it in the shower for my entire body and yes even my face. It exfoliates dead skin that causes blemishes and dry skin. After I dry off I use moisturizer.
Acne is caused by dead skin caught in our pores accompanied by oils and dirt. If you scrub these away you will have clean skin free of unsightly outbreaks. A washcloth isn’t abrasive enough to clean away the dead cells.
Moisturizers and tightening creams come and go and recommendations change frequently. There really isn’t such a thing as “wrinkle cream” once wrinkles have surfaced you can’t get rid of them without the help of a surgeon but there are products that will temporarily shrink tissue and give the appearance of smoother skin.
Keep out of the sun when possible, use sunscreen, don’t smoke and moisturize daily are the greatest defense against unsightly lines. Read Consumer Reports and online reviews. A product being more expensive doesn’t always mean a better result. Some over the counter lines you get at your local department store and pharmacy are every bit as great and sometimes better than the pricey ones you get from a dermatologist.
Choosing the right tones for you.
Choices of color are a unique and personal thing but I recommend getting input from friends, boyfriend/husband and family. What we see as a great eye shadow choice might not coincide with the opinions of the people in our life. We only look in the mirror a few times a day but they look at us all the time. What we thought was a great shade might not be.
Ask someone who will be honest. Some will say it looks fine just to be nice; make sure they are aware you want an honest opinion and they won’t hurt your feelings. After you hear the truth don’t get defensive, you wanted and needed to know. Some of us have a natural talent for color and some of us not so much. I’m a tad colorblind so I often have to get the opinion of others and welcome it.
Make-up counters sometimes have people who help you with makeovers and color selections but I don’t completely take their ideas and recommendations as the final word. Some are very good and have even gone to classes on shades and what goes best with different complexions but not always. Even the experts are going by their preference and it might not agree with yours or your significant others. Before you make a purchase, wear it around and get input from people close to you. This will save you from buying products you later decide aren’t really you.
Another of my favorite cosmetic companies is Mac. They have a wonderful selection of colors and if you return six empty containers you get a free lipstick. They call it their “back to Mac program”. I’m all for recycling so this is a plus in my book. If you purchase a lot of their products you can refill a palette kit and save money. They don’t have this where I live and you can only buy those in bigger cities or online. Personally, I prefer the individual compacts so I can take them with me when I travel but many like that aspect of the line.