Dance Health

Fresh Start Makeup Tips

From Christine Dion of Mode Dion

Start the year off fresh. Now is the time to review your makeup tools, clean out makeup cases and wash makeup brushes. Begin by clearing out old products. It is not always easy to know when the end has come, so here is a time line of expiration dates on your favorite cosmetic must haves:

Facial Foundation and Moisturizers– Up to 2 years. Most last only about a year. When it starts to separate, change consistency or smell funny then it’s time to toss it. You can extend the life of these even longer by dipping a clean Q-tip into the product for application instead of your finger.

Concealer/Cover up– Lasts a year or two longer than foundation.

Face Powder– Loose powder can last up to 3 years or more if it doesn’t begin to smell bad. It’s loose dry formulation prevents bacteria build up. Compact Powder can harden and change color from your skin oils getting onto the surface.  Bacteria can also form. Refresh compact powder by using a toothbrush to scratch the bad surface layer off. This can help it last up to to 3 years.

Cheek Color/Blush– Like a compact powder, bacteria can build up and powder can harden from facial oils. Treat with the toothbrush technique and keep for 2-3 years.

Mascara– 3-4 months after opening, mascara begins to have bacteria build up that can cause infection and eye irritation.

Eye Shadows
– Keep the top layer clean and these should last up to 3-4 years. Look for color changes, bad smells, and itchy eyes to point the way to the trash.

Eye and Lip Liners
-these can last a long time if you keep them well sharpened. For lip and eye pencils look for moldy build up and a change in texture to signal if they’ve gone bad. Liquid liners last about 1-2 years because of a higher risk of bacteria build up. To keep these fresh longer use a separate clean brush for application instead of the one that goes back into the container.

Lipstick– After 2 years color and texture changes and bacteria starts to build up. A chemical smell is another sign that it’s time to toss it.

Face Masks -(creamy)- 6 months to 1 year.

Nail Polish– 2 years, give or take. Adding a little nail polish remover can help thin out old polishes that have become thick, but bubbles can form when polishes are old, so it’s best to buy smaller polishes and throw them out after 2 years.

Fragrance– Perfumes aren’t really a beauty tool, but are an important part of beauty. So keep your fragrances out of light in a dry, cool place. Most people keep their perfumes in the bathroom, which is the worst place of all! Fragrance should last from 3-6 years if taken care of correctly. If you notice an off odor, then toss them.

How to care for your products and keep them fresh
Store your products in a cool, dark place like the fridge (cold inhibits bacteria) or a box. Keep them out of sunlight and warm humid places like the bathroom. Shake liquids up every once in a while. If pigments separate and don’t shake back together, then it’s time to throw them out. Avoid touching products with your fingers -use sponges, brushes and Q-tips whenever you can. Keep lids closed tightly and never share products.

Remember to keep make-up brushes clean. With daily use, wash brushes a few times a month or weekly if you’re prone to breakouts.

How to wash your make-up brushes:

1. Fill the bowl with warm water.

2. Add one squirt of dish-washing liquid.

3. Swish brushes into water and gently work soap through hairs.

4. Empty water and fill bowl again with fresh warm water.

5. Repeat until water is clear and brushes are clean from soap.

6. Pat onto dry towel and lay flat on dry towel until dry. Tip: Never dry brushes standing up. The moisture can drip into the base where the hairs are glued and start rotting. Soon the hairs will come loose and fall out. Never pull on brush hairs.  Always pat them dry.

Christine Dion has worked internationally as a makeup artist in fashion, print, television and stage.  She has been in the beauty industry for over 30 years as an artist and educator.  Check out her website for more information.

Top photo:  © Tomasz Tulik |
Second photo: © Vitalii Netiaga |

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