Cleaning Your Makeup Bag

Toss anything expired! Do this now. Start with mascaras and toss out anything that is more than 8 weeks old. Old makeup is the most likely thing to cause problems ranging anywhere from skin irritations, pink eye and, in the most severe cases, blindness. Try Covergirl’s professional mascara line — they are all water-resistant. They even have a formula for sensitive eyes, and a great washable waterproof. These mascaras can be found in most drug stores and are around $6, so there’s no excuse to have an old one around causing problems!

The shelf life of cosmetics depends on formulation and packaging. Anything that you dip your fingers into is something to be extra careful about, since the bacteria from your fingers remain in the product once you close the lid. Always make sure you have clean hands or a spatula to remove the product from the jar. Pressed powders typically do not contain water in their formulations and therefore have a longer shelf life (one year). On most packaging, you can find a symbol of an open jar with a number followed by the letter “M” which represents “Month.” The number represents the number of months the product is good for once it is opened. Throw away anything that has been sitting in your makeup bag for too long! It’s time to invest in some great brushes and high quality makeup if this is something that you are using on a daily basis. Brushes are another important tool in every makeup bag. Start with getting a nice dual-fibered foundation brush, which applies foundation quickly. You can adjust the coverage by using more or less pressure, so it saves time, and the application is flawless. It’s a must-have. From there, you can build up your brushes based In what you already have. Keep your brushes nice by gently washing them weekly with a gentle, unscented shampoo and conditioner and lay them flat to dry. This keeps them clean and prevents buildup in the bristles.

Anything that has changed color or smell should be tossed immediately. Always remember to store your makeup away from heat (including direct sunlight) and never share lip products or mascaras.

Need help? Honey Salon located in downtown Bellingham is now carrying Smashbox Cosmetics and offers makeup applications as well as lessons and bridal services. This is a great opportunity to learn some new tricks and refresh your makeup bag.

Beach Worthy Makeup

Lighten up! A lightweight tinted moisturizer or a BB cream — rather than a heavy foundation — will give you an even skin tone that is hydrated and protected with SPF. Sometimes a quality mineral foundation is a good choice since it is very breathable and the coverage is buildable. Then spot treat any imperfections or dark circles with a concealer.

*Pro Tip—when choosing a concealer to correct under-eye circles, look in a mirror and determine if the dark circles have more of a purple or green tint. If you are correcting purplish under eye circles, then you should opt for a yellow tinted concealer, and if you are correcting green under eye circles, you should choose a slightly pink concealer.

Brighten up! Bronzer and cheek color will give your skin that summer glow that we here in the Northwest have been missing since last October. Invest in a bronzer that is the correct shade for your skin (not orange!) and learn how to apply this correctly. A little bronzer can go a long way! Lip stains are also a great alternative to lipsticks, and won’t budge for hours without feeling heavy. Most lip stains work well when dually used as a cheek stain.

Mattify! Take away any shine with a sweep of blot powder. On hot and humid days this is essential. Apply a thin layer in the morning to set your foundation and reapply throughout the day as necessary. If you are heading straight from the beach to a barbecue then this simple touch up can make you look more polished and put together.

Waterproof it! Switch your mascara and eyeliner to a water resistant or waterproof formula. This will prevent any unwanted raccoon eyes, and help your makeup stay in place through hot days, swimming and, of course, our lovely Washington rain. If you want a complete look there are plenty of waterproof cream shadows, brow products, and lip and cheek stains.

"Brighten up! Bronzer and cheek color will give your skin that summer glow that we here in the Northwest have been missing since last October. "