Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New

So it’s a new year, time for some new beauty resolutions. When was the last time you cleared out your makeup bag? Are you still using ancient eye pencils and mascaras that are long past their best? If so, harness those New Years good intentions; it’s time for a beauty overhaul.

Firstly, empty out your entire makeup collection on to a table. For some this may mean a mountain of products and for others barely any. The same rules apply though; you need to build your capsule collection of good products that are working for you not against you. You need to have faith that the key products in your makeup bag are truly doing something good for your face. Pretty packaging is one thing, but it’s fairly useless at making you look good. It’s what’s inside that counts, so only keep something if you really love how it delivers. Tough, but fair!

Look at your foundation and ask yourself are you really happy with it? Is it improving your skin? Is it the right colour? Is it the right coverage for your skins needs? If the answers are no, then throw out what you have. Be ruthless, it’s better to have no products rather than bad ones.

Now, look at your concealing products. Do you have a good under eye brightener to disguise shadows? Do you have another one with more coverage for blemishes? Again, if yours is not performing – ditch it!

Have you a light textured setting powder in a shade that matches your skin tone?

Look at your eye shadows next; how many of them do you actually wear? Are they all variations of brown? Have you got purples or greens?

Separate them into colour families – all the neutrals together, all the vibrant shades together, all the smoky, dark tones etc. If you see that you have multiples of the same shades, put them aside to give to a friend, sister or niece, You should only need a few shadows in your collection that have specific effects. People tend to buy the same shades over and over because they like them, but they are not getting any new looks, just re-hashing old ones. If you’re stuck in a colour rut; vow to do a makeup course or lesson to get some new ideas.

Mascaras should only be used for 6 months at a maximum. Any longer and the mascara itself dries up so is ineffective and you also run the risk of getting conjunctivitis…not a good look for Spring!

Take your eye and lip pencils and sharpen them. Make sure they are all still soft and haven’t hardened with age. Check you have basic shades such as a good nude, berry and red tone for lips. For eye pencils everyone needs a good inky black and a grey or dark brown for softer, daytime definition.

Review your bronzers and blushers bearing in mind the roles you require of them. Bronzer is to brighten your skin, not make it look dirty as many dark bronzers can. Keep the colours peachy and you will look great. If your current bronzer is too dark – you know the drill; ditch it!

Likewise, blushers are designed to add a rosy, healthy glow to the cheeks so anything too brown, too orange or too red has to go. Keep to baby pinks, rose tones and soft peaches and you’re looking good.

When it comes to lips, I think it’s very personal. Some people feel good in dark tones, some hate anything on their lips but Vaseline. So figure out what you like and stick within your comfort zone. On my makeup courses, I get people to try on lot’s of new colours, as you won’t know what you think until you try and so many people vow their loyalty to a particular shade only to be blown away by something else that they never would have picked up at a counter. Lip colours are where you can really change your look and I recommend that everyone should have a nude pink, a soft berry and a classic red. These colours can be in a full lipstick format for the fearless or in glosses for the less brave.

Now that you have given your makeup collection a full review, you should fill your day to day makeup bag with the 10 or so products that you will be wearing most.

(I wrote this article for the January issue of Irish Parent magazine)

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