Revamp Your Winter Makeup Bag with Zoe Clark
3rd December 2020
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So here we are exiting lockdown once again and masks are still the necessity as well as the rule.

Frankly, like the majority of us, I have barely been wearing any make-up at all during this COVID era. Let’s face it, wearing make-up under a mask isn’t appealing. If you have to wear a mask over your make-up for hours on end, your pores can block and blemishes may inevitably appear. 

Yes, you can use a primer, layer on your foundation, concealer and powder and spray on a make-up setting lotion (my favourite at the moment is Ireland’s own make-up artist Aimee Connolly’s ‘Sculpted’ ‘Hydrate and Hold’) in an attempt to help it last. But realistically the material will eventually rub make-up off no matter what you do, especially on places like around your nose and on your chin. 

The only way to keep things looking fresh is to touch up your base. I recommend using a powder foundation for touch ups such as MAC ‘Studio Fix’ Powder Foundation, which comes in a wide range of skin tones. Alternatively, if you prefer to support another local business, home-grown Irish make-up brand Fuschia has a ‘Mineral Foundation’, which is a silky mineral powder, also is available in multiple different shades. 

But my honest advice? Focus on defining your eyebrows and perfecting your eye make-up and avoid piling on a foundation around your nose and mouth area.

So I have been pondering, is it worth investing in make-up over this time, and when exactly should we refresh our make-up bags? Apart from my professional make-up kit, which I obviously keep up to date, my own personal, rather neglected make-up bag has been looking rather sad in the corner of the bathroom. So, just like my ‘corona’ wardrobe cull, I decided to give my little assortment of cosmetics a clear-out.

But the question is, how long do various cosmetics actually last? Unlike food and other perishables, the expiration date on make-up starts from the moment we open a product. I know it really isn’t the best feeling in the world to have to chuck out your coveted foundation or lippie in its pretty packaging, but cosmetics do start to trap bacteria, which in turn can cause itchiness, eye infections, bumps and blemishes and all those other nasty skin problems. Not ideal, right? And certainly not during these days when you have to fling a mask on top…

Each cosmetic should have an expiration date somewhere on its packaging, which is usually a small symbol that looks like a jar with a number/letter on the inside with, for example, ‘ex: 12M’. This means that a product has a 12-month shelf life upon opening. However, sometimes you’d need a magnifying mirror to see it! 

Overall, if your favourite foundation has started to smell a bit unpleasant and has perhaps started to separate, it’s gone off. In general, foundations and concealers can expire after 6 months to a year, lipsticks a year, blushers can be used up to 2 years, eyeshadows and eyeliners (particularly if they’re used regularly) from 3-6 months. The worst culprit of all is mascara, which should be changed as regularly as you can (a maximum of every two to three months). The rule of thumb is that if the product is used around the eyes, it should be replaced more often.

And don’t forget about your brushes and other make-up tools! You should never lend your pal your make-up brushes (I know this pretty much goes without saying). All your make-up tools should be washed regularly. As a make-up artist, I clean every brush after each use. I also disinfect each product each time, both inside and outside the packaging, with ‘Beauty So Clean’, a spray which is designed to effectively clean everything without damaging the integrity of the product or drying it out. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.

But if you are thinking of doing a make-up clear-out, I would recommend that you consider taking a private make-up lesson first to see if the products you have been using are the most suitable for your skin type, age group and colouring. It can save you a fortune in the long run. So many ladies have come to me with loads of products that they never use, which just sit gathering dust (and going off!). 

There are a lot of make-up artists out there, myself included, who offer one to one make-up lessons. Look for make-up artists who aren’t affiliated to any brands, so you can get an unbiased opinion on what really works for you individually. 

In the meantime, go on, grit your teeth and bin those ‘passed-it’ products. Your skin will thank you for it!

Contact Zoe Clark on 087 2649480

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About the Author

Zoe Clark Make-Up Artist

Member since: 23rd April 2020

Zoe Clark is one of Ireland's leading professional freelance make-up artists. Since the launch of her freelance career in Ireland in 1995, she has built up an impressive client list working in many areas...

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