I’ve never been a big makeup girl. Sure I love getting all dolled up now and then for a night out, especially now that I’m a mom, but on a regular day I’m more of a Burt’s Bees chapstick and lip balm kind of gal. It’s not a “mom thing,” I’ve always been this way. In fact I didn’t wear makeup until I got to college. (Is it too much to ask that Annabelle does the same?) Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. The first time I really tried makeup was before college, for my High School prom…
(If this were a movie, this is when the screen would go all wavy and blurry until it refocused in on a sixteen year old me.)
It’s a few hours before my Junior Prom. I’ve just gotten my hair done in that classic prom updo. You know the one I mean. I’m in a long black gown with simple black flowers on the neckline, a gown that took my mom and I countless shopping trips to find. I put on my carefully selected costume jewelry and look at myself in the mirror. Something is missing, I think. And then I have a crazy, radical, totally wacky idea.
Tonight, I’m going to wear makeup.
Of course I don’t ask my mom for help, even though I have no idea what I‘m doing. I go into my parent’s bathroom and sit down in front of the mirror with my mom’s floral patterned makeup box. I start pulling out all the little plastic boxes and bottles and tubes and brushes. Since I don’t know what to do with any of it, I decide to apply ALL of it, aiming with untrained hands for something subtle. (It’s like a bad sitcom where the main character takes dating advice from his idiot best friend. You’re screaming at the TV in frustration because you know exactly how this scene will play out, and yet there is nothing you can do to stop it.) When I’m done applying, I stare at my new colorful face in the mirror and feel giddy. I look so…so…FANCY!
I shyly walk down the stairs to show my mom. She tells me I look beautiful. (I mean, that’s what mamas do, the good ones at least). Then she leans in close and says all hush-hush, “You know, today is a special occasion. You can put on some makeup if you want to.”
When I tell her I already DID put on makeup, she peers closely at my face searching for signs of the powder and blush and eye shadow I so carefully applied. Finding none of it she says, “Well you don’t need makeup anyway. You look beautiful.”
Quick blurry screen and we are back to a present, chapstick wearing me. Apparently subtle makeup has always been my style. So, while I can occasionally pull out something slightly resembling smoky eyes (or like I got into a fight), as a day-to-day rule, makeup is not really my thing.
So it’s surprising to realize just how much of it I have, and embarrassing to wonder how long I’ve had some of it. So I decided to make a little Nap To It! challenge for myself and gather it all up in one place and do a huge purge.
I found makeup in a plastic bin in my linen closet, in a woven basket in my room and of course, in my makeup bag. I laid it all out and this is what it looked like:
Surprising for a chapstick girl, huh?
I then decided to do a little research to see just how long makeup lasts. I know that you should replace your mascara often to prevent eye infections, which I do, but I’m not sure about powder and lipstick and all that jazz. But I’m guessing that the fact that I remember wearing some of this literally a DECADE ago, means it’s expired. Not the stuff in my makeup bag of course, that stuff is (relatively) new, but the stuff from the linen closet, the stuff I kept just in case one day I felt like rocking red lips, that stuff is ooooold!
According to this article on marieclaire.com, in order to avoid getting infections from bacteria and general yuckyness in your old makeup, here’s how long you should be keeping a particular product once it’s been opened:
Powders and Shadows: 2 Years
Cream Shadows: 12 to 18 Months
Foundation: 1 Year
Lipstick & Lipliner: 1 Year
Mascara & Eyeliner: 3 Months
Oh crappity-crap. Guess it’s time for a BIG purge.
ALL of this, had to go. Not a huge loss considering I haven’t worn this stuff in YEARS. It actually felt kind of great to let it all go…
And this is all that remained.
Ah. It felt kind of liberating, as purging always does. If you think your makeup stash could use a little, er, makeover, and you’re up for playing along, here are the steps. Ready, set, GO!
- Gather: Gather all your current and old makeup from any drawers and closets, nooks and crannies, that it may be hiding in and lay it all out in front of you.
- Purge: Get rid of anything that:
- You never wear
- You can’t remember when you bought it
- Smells funky or looks odd (yikes!)
- Clean and Put Away: Give all the makeup that you are keeping a good wipe down with a damp paper towel, and put it away. You might want to throw your makeup case in the washing machine (if it’s washable).
This little purge made me realize that I really need to be a lot more conscious of when my makeup is going to expire. Now, I just need to find some time for a little trip to Sephora to replenish some of the stuff that I tossed!
So, do you have any old makeup lurking in your makeup bag? Any pink frosted lip-gloss hiding in your linen closet? Would a little purge like this do you good?