Makeup Maintenance 101

Take a moment to think about the contents of your makeup drawer and cosmetic case. Right now you are probably thinking about how that highlighter you love really emphasizes your cheekbones, or how that new eyeshadow makes your eyes pop.  Maybe you are cringing over the way that foundation you took a chance on makes you look more washed out than you like. What you aren’t thinking about is the last time you washed your brushes, replaced outdated mascara, or the bacteria and dead skin cells that have accumulated in your favorite gloss. Learning new application techniques and staying up-to-date on all the latest products is the fun side of makeup. But, as everyone enrolled in Esthetician School Los Angeles knows, if not cared for properly, your makeup collection could cause real damage to your health and skin. Happily, maintaining your makeup is easy. Here’s what you need to do to keep your favorite tools and products in top-notch shape.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

Toss it out

If you are continually adding to your makeup collection without rotating older items out, you may be holding on to expired products.  Just like your favorite veggies and dairy products go bad over time, makeup also has an expiration date. This is especially true for liquid and cream products that can trap bacteria and contain oils that may spoil.  Mascara and liquid eyeliners are especially prone to harboring infection-deducing bacteria and can easily transfer it to your eyes. Plus, pumping a mascara wand into container forces air into the product and causes it to dry out. Shape suggests replacing these products every two or three months. Likewise, foundation should be replaced every six months, or as soon as the formula starts to separate.  On the bright side, power-based products last up to two years, which is good news for your massive eyeshadow pallet. Unfortunately, unlike the carton of milk in your fridge, makeup isn’t usually marked with a “best by” date. Keep tabs on the lifespan of your products by using a permanent maker to scribble the purchase date on the bottom.

Careful with concealer

Even if you are ruthless about saying farewell to outdated makeup, the way you use it can encourage bacteria growth.  Once blemish and infection-causing bacteria is introduced to a product it can continue to live there and then transfer to your skin each time you use the product.  To prevent bacteria growth, watch how you apply and use your makeup. Concealer, which is often used to cover germ-laden blemishes, is the largest concern here. Rather than touching concealer directly to the blemish, apply it to the back of your hand first and then use a disposable cotton swap to apply it to the area.

Keep lips luscious

You probably want moist, soft lips for the luscious look for them. But, there is another reason to keep lips supple. Dry lips can leave dead skin cells clinging to your lipstick after you apply it.  These cells introduce bacteria and can cause your lipstick to go on lumpy the next time you use it. Be sure to keep lips moisturized (check out Arbonne botanical skincare) and use a gently exfoliator before applying your pout.Clean it up

No matter how careful you are, makeup will always grab on to bits of bacteria. Glamour suggests that you can actually clean and disinfect your makeup each time you use it. The easiest way to do this is to the spritz your powder-based products, such as eyeshadow and blush, with an isopropyl alcohol spray. You can also pick up disinfecting wipes to run over your lipstick before applying it. For pencil eyeliners, sharpen them before each application to remove the outer layer.

Clean your brushes

The most important thing you can do to maintain your makeup doesn’t involve mascara, eyeshadow or foundation.  The tools and brushes you use for application go back and forth between your skin and your makeup containers, transferring bacteria, skin cells, oils and old makeup back and forth. Elle suggests that brushes should be cleaned every one to two weeks. Use either a commercial brush cleaner, or a cup full of warm water and gentle soap, swish and swirl brushes to remove all residue, rinse and lay on a clean towel to dry. Be sure not stand brushes up while they are wet as extra moisture on the barrel can loosen the bristles and rust any metal portions.