Should we throw away our pre-lockdown make-up?

Make-up
Make-up
8:30am, Thu 29 Apr 2021
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As restrictions lift and we start to venture outside of our own house and garden more often, and even think about returning to offices, it’s likely we might start wearing a bit more make-up.

Diving back into our beauty bags may feel a bit alien, especially for anyone who’s all but given up wearing make-up over lockdowns. But importantly, should we even be bothering?

If you’re enjoying being make-up free – stick with it. There are no rules that say everyone who goes out to work needs to slap on foundation, mascara and lipstick. And everyone is genuinely used to seeing you ‘au naturel’ on video calls, so it won’t surprise anyone if you keep it up.

But if you do like being made-up, you may need to take a long hard look in your make-up bag. The pandemic began well over a year ago, and lots of products go out of date within 12 months, so you might genuinely need to throw it all away and start again (sob).

“A lot of people keep their make-up for years,” says Lisa Harris, celebrity skincare expert and founder of Lisa Harris Skin Science. “But if it’s out of date, you should throw it away.”

If you look at your products, usually on the back, there’s a symbol that looks like a tub with a lid, and it has a number – 6M or 12M for example – next to it. It’s called the ‘period after opening’ and basically means if it’s been longer than the specified amount of time since you popped the lid on that product, you need to bin it.

Harris stresses the importance of sticking to these rules, because bacteria will be spreading within the actual pot itself, even more so if you use your fingers to apply it.

“With all make-up, I generally tell everybody it’s about 12 months. It doesn’t matter if it’s powder or liquid when it comes to foundation, because you’re still applying it onto the skin.”

It’s not good news for anyone who can’t bear waste or hoards beauty products (guilty). But now is a good time for a re-fresh. We’ve all been wearing less make-up, so take some time to go through everything in your make-up bag(s), check the date, note how long you’ve had it and have a good clear out.

Know your skin type

Before splurging on new make-up, Harris suggests looking at your skincare, too, noting it will affect your overall look. “You’ve got to use the right creams and make-up for your skin type,” she says. “There’s a difference between an emulsion and a moisturiser – moisturiser will hydrate dry skin, while an emulsion tends to be for congested, oily skin. And if you need a moisturising foundation, try a hyaluronic acid hydrating one – that won’t dehydrate or dry the skin.”

If you’re not sure about your skin type, ask. You can discuss it with a therapist when you next have a facial, or even speak to one of the specialists at a department store counter (Harris suggests Clarins would be a good station to stop at). And remember, your skin will change – it changes with the seasons and also with age, and you need to adapt your skincare and make-up to suit.

New beauty products to buy now

So, once you’ve bitten the bullet and cleared out your old make-up, the fun starts. Set aside a budget and invest in some new products. And if you have been wearing less make-up, it’s likely you’ll want to buy different things anyway. “Many women have been using less foundation this past year,” says Trinny Woodall, TV presenter and beauty entrepreneur.

“At Trinny London, so many women have now been opting for BFF Destress and Just A Touch, as they don’t want to be wearing thick and heavy make-up. But as we go into summer and are lit up by the sun, we don’t want to feel like we’re covered in a thick base anyway. So now, as we come out of lockdown – and if you haven’t been wearing make-up – it’s a brilliant time to revamp your collection and wear skin-enhancing base products. Even better if you can find products with skincare benefits too, as you’re doing a two-in-one job.”

Try these light, easy and quick-to-apply suggestions for a spring revamp…

Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo - showing all 12 shades

1. Pat McGrath Labs’ Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo, £45, is formulated with aloe and argan oils, plus hyaluronic acid, for a dewy look.

2. Vita Liberata’s Beauty Blur, £29.95, Boots, is ideal for days when you don’t want to be bare faced, but don’t want to feel overly ‘done’ either.

Chantecaille Just Skin

3. Chantecaille’s Just Skin, spacenk.com, £72, is designed for men and women, perfecting skin whilst protecting it from the sun. It’s super lightweight and contains a blend of thyme and butterfly bush extract for antioxidant benefits.

Pat McGrath Labs' LiquiLust Legendary Matte Lipstick

4. Pat McGrath Labs’ LiquiLust Legendary Matte Lipstick, £29, glides on to drench lips with colour that’s wearable for up to 12 hours, without smudging – good for mask-wearing commutes.

5. Bareminerals‘ Original Liquid Mineral Concealer, £24, is a nourishing and made with fewer ingredients than other concealers, and without silicone, parabens, talc or oil.

6. Hourglass‘ Vanish Blush Stick, £45, is a skin-transforming buildable colour, which hydrates, whilst also helping reduce the appearance of pores.

7. Victoria Beckham Beauty‘s Satin Kajal Liner, £20, is so easy to use, it’s been a sell-out. Simply glide on, smudge to smoke, and add mascara. Available in five shades.

8. Trinny London‘s BFF De-stress Tinted Serum, £39, contains NP-TriOX technology to help combat the effects of stress on the skin.

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