Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home! Warmer weather means it’s also time to do a thorough clean out of your makeup bag, too.
Why go through your makeup? First of all, it’s a healthy habit: Exposure to air, moisture and the bacteria on your fingers can turn your cosmetics into causes of breakouts, irritation and even pinkeye. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to toss out-of-date colors and swap them for this season’s hottest shades.
We asked Las Vegas-based makeup artist Jonathan Seti, whose clients include President Barack Obama, Rihanna and Sofia Vergara, for tips on when to replace your makeup — and what to replace it with.
Lipstick and Gloss
- Toss it: Between 3 and 6 months
- Why: Lipstick should go on smooth and creamy. If it seems dry or starts to shrink in the tube, these are all tell-tale signs to toss it. “Lipstick has a sharpness to its shape,” says Seti. “When it becomes smooth and rounded, it’s generally a sign that the oils in the makeup are breaking down.” Lip gloss that’s sticky, cloudy or lighter-looking can be a sign that bacteria are starting to collect.
- What’s in: For a spring-ready pucker, hydrating glosses come in an array of fun shades for the season, including pinks, reds and nudes.
- What’s out: Although Seti says no shade is completely off-limits, you may want to swap last winter’s dark, bold colors for brighter, lighter spring- and summer-ready hues.
- Toss it: Between 3 and 6 months
- Why: Different problems can arise, depending on the type of concealer. Old powder-based concealers can harbor bacteria, while the oils in cream varieties can break up and curdle the makeup.
- What’s in: Luminescent or light-refracting products. “It’s the ‘smoke and mirrors,’ as we call it in the makeup world,” says Seti. “As the light hits the eye, it has a tendency to take away unwanted color and fine lines, almost like a blur.”
- What’s out: Heavy concealers. “They’re more likely to show fine lines,” says Seti.
- Toss it: After 2 years
- Why: Over time, exposure to air can contaminate the powder, leading to skin irritation or acne.
- What’s in: This spring calls for sheer tones: pure pinks for lighter skin, and purple-pinks for darker complexions. “No matter what your skin color, stay in the pastels,” says Seti. “It makes the skin look radiant.”
- What’s out: Say goodbye to heavy bronze shades.
- Toss it: Once a month
- Why: Eyelashes are a breeding ground for bacteria, and using a mascara wand for too long puts you at risk for eye infections. Mascara that clumps, flakes or goes on dry should be tossed immediately. “Even if it still goes on wet, replace it after a month,” says Seti. “And don’t share it.”
- What’s in: Mascara that promotes volume. Best of all, you don’t have to spend half your budget on expensive department-store brands; Seti says drugstore varieties are just as good. “Most mascara is created equal; it’s the wand that separates them.”
- What’s out: There’s really no “wrong” choice here. “It all comes down to personal preference,” says Seti.
Bonus Tip: While you’re refilling your makeup bag, be sure to include a tinted moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. “It brings moisture to your skin and adds a bit of color,” says Seti.
About Author: Rachel Naud is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor specializing in various lifestyle topics, from health to beauty to travel. She is a regular contributor to Postmedia News, the Calgary Herald and Canadian Real Estate magazine, and has also been published online at Chatelaine, Glow, Wish, Elevate and Oxygen. She is a frequent contributor to Life & Beauty Weekly.