Should You Be Throwing Away Your Pre-Lockdown Makeup?

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pre-lockdown makeup
Photo: Courtesy of @rosiehw

As restrictions lift and we start to venture outside our own countries for the summer, it’s likely we might start wearing a bit more makeup.

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

If you’re enjoying being makeup-free – stick with it. There are no rules that say everyone who goes out 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 makeup 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 The pandemic began well over a year ago, and lots of products go out of date within 12 months, so you might genuinely need to throw it all away and start again (sob).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 makeup 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 “But if it’s out of date, you should throw it away.”

pre-lockdown makeup
Photo: Courtesy of @bridgetsatterlee

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 makeup, 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 makeup, so take some time to go through everything in your makeup bag, check the date, note how long you’ve had it, and have a good clear-out.

Know Your Skin Type

Before splurging on new makeup, Harris suggests looking at your skincare, too, noting it will affect your overall look. “You’ve got to use the right creams and makeup for your skin type,” she says. “There’s a difference between an emulsion and a moisturizer – moisturizer will hydrate dry skin, while an emulsion tends to be for congested, oily skin. And if you need a moisturizing 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. And remember, your skin will change – it changes with the seasons and also with age, and you need to adapt your skincare and makeup to suit.


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New Beauty Products to Buy Now

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

“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 makeup. 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 makeup – 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…

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