TLC for your make-up kit

Make-up doesn’t last forever.  Taking care of your kit can extend its lifespan – but you should also know when to say goodbye… Store it correctly.  Keep your make-up in a cool, dry environment – in other words, the bathroom shelf is absolutely the wrong place, because heat and humidity can affect (and even destroy) it.  Ditto:  never let make-up freeze in a car, or melt in a beach basket, because it affects the consistency of a product and tampers with that smooth, glide-on consistency.  (If you’ve ever defrosted and re-frozen a tub of ice cream, you’ll know what we mean.)

Come clean.  So:  when was the last time you cleaned your brushes?  Took a wet wipe to your palettes?  Even the best tools don’t erform well when they’re grubby.  Synthetic brushes should be cleaned every week, at least.  Apply a gentle eye make-up remover to the bristles, wipe them clean with a paper towel, then wash with a facial soap and water.  Leave them to dry on a flat surface, with the bristles hanging over the edge.  If you don’t have time to do this, smoosh the bristles on an antibacterial wipe.  (This is also good if you want to switch shades.)

Natural bristle brushes hold onto bacteria and grime differently, and don’t need to be washed so often:  once a month is fine.  Swoosh the head around in a dollop of baby shampoo and water, rinse under a warm tap and pat gently dry with a towel.  (Don’t rub or squeeze or you can distort the shape.)  Lay the brushes down to air-dry – once again, with the brushes hanging over the edge of a ledge/shelf.

Resuscitate your favourites.  Reach for your pencil sharpener and rescue all those gnawed stubs, restoring the tips.  (Then blunt a little, for a softer effect.) If the tip's too soft to sharpen, stash it in the fridge for an hour and have another go.

If in doubt, throw it.  Use your nose.  Does a product smell 'off'?  The sniff test is a pretty good pointer to whether or not a product is safe to use: if you get even the merest whiff of something 'odd' or 'off', ditch it.  Shake all nail polishes and if they're gloopy or remain separated after shaking, they've got to go, too.  And remember:  treat yourself to a new mascara every three months, minimum, for safety.

Sometimes you don't need new beauty products.  Sometimes, revisiting your favourites and getting them in tip-top nick is just as satisfying - if not more so...!  (And definitely cheaper.)