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When good makeup goes bad, and what to do about it!

by Patricia Dates O'Brien
December 1, 2001

Ask Trish - December 2001



When good makeup goes bad, and what to do about it!



Dear Trish—


I don't compete very often, so my dance makeup sits around in my makeup case, unused, for long periods of time. Last week I pulled out my super-duper extra lengthening mascara for a competition, and what came out of the mascara tube wasn't anything I'd want to put on my eyelashes!! Does makeup ever "go bad"?

—Lashless in L.A.


Dear Lashless—


Unfortunately, there is no expiration date on the back of my mascara, but I can tell you first hand that yes, good makeup can go bad! Mostly when it stays out too late…and drinks too much Thunderbird…..ooops, wrong column! Back to making your makeup perform as well as you:


There are two big mistakes people often make concerning makeup: one, not using clean brushes and sponges to apply the makeup; and two, storing makeup in your bathroom. Makeup—not only foundations, but lipsticks, powders, eyeliners, etc.—can be breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria once the air, and your fingers, come into contact with the product. Likewise, storing your makeup in a warm and/or humid place like the bathroom can cause the preservatives in the makeup to break down, further increasing the chance of bacteria reproduction.


What to do? First, always use clean brushes and sponges to apply your makeup. You can buy a professional liquid brush cleaner, but soap and warm water work equally well. An added bonus: by cleaning your makeup tools, you don't spread any bacteria to your face, thereby reducing your chances of breakouts! And your Mom was right—don't share your makeup, especially eye makeup, with others, for the same germ-fighting reasons.


Second, store your makeup anywhere else but your bathroom. Wherever you store it, make sure the room is cool and dry. I only use my performance makeup for performances, so I like to keep it along with my costumes and dance shoes, packed and ready to go in the hall closet.


Try to go through your makeup bag at least once every three months, and toss anything that's changed its color or texture, or if there is an unusual odor. For general "expiration dates," check this guide:


THREE MONTHS OLD:



Mascara
Eyeliner
Eye Shadow

Eye products can pass along infectious bacteria quite easily, and an applicator can pass contaminants from eye fluids to the rest of the product, making it easier to re-infect yourself. Don't use an eye product after someone else has without cleaning the applicator, or using a new one. And if you get an eye infection, toss your eye makeup out immediately and buy all new.


SIX MONTHS OLD:



Lipstick
Foundation
Powder compacts

Like the eye products, if you get a cold sore or other infection, toss the product and start fresh. You can prolong the shelf life of powders and foundations by replacing sponges and powder puffs regularly, like every three weeks. (Skin oils and bacteria accumulate on them, and can lead to breakouts.)



ONE YEAR OLD:


Hair Gels and Shampoos
Moisturizers
Sunscreens

Hair products may last longer than one year, but sunscreens and moisturizers should be checked for changes in color or consistency before using. Nowadays, most sunscreens have expiration dates on them, making it easier to determine the tossing time.


All this makeup-flinging starting to sound expensive? Don't fret—try my Makeup Pick of the Month: www.SallyBeauty.com. Sally Beauty Supply's new website has all the makeup and hair products sold in the nationwide chain of stores—including Sally's private label makeup, which is just as good as the top brands, for a fraction of the price. Look for the Real Colors Cream-To-Powder Eye Color (4 colors in one color wheel, very space-saving!), and the Real Colors Glitter Gel, in every imaginable color. They also sell a great professional-strength brush cleaner.


Sparkle on, and Happy Holidays everyone!

—-Trish



Now you can Ask Trish to do your makeup at Dancesport competitions! Beginning with the 2001 Ohio Star Ball in Columbus, Ohio, Trish will be on hand to apply makeup and give consultations. Email Trish at TrishDatesOBrien@aol.com for rates and scheduling. Looking great just got easier!



Patricia Dates O'Brien is a professional Dancesport competitor, and is the United States 2000 Rising Star American Smooth Champion. She also writes beauty columns for Dancesport Magazine and Dance Beat.

…Her husband gave up his shelf in the medicine cabinet long ago…

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