Makeup class: January is a good time to ‘spring clean’ your cosmetics drawer, and refresh - The Buffalo News

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Makeup class: January is a good time to ‘spring clean’ your cosmetics drawer, and refresh

Suffering from the January blues? A dab of “Bombshell” pink or “Lovers Coral” lipstick might lift your spirits. A fresh new eye shadow can do the same. Or a nail polish in an unexpected shade – possibly something in a pretty nude.

January is a good time to treat yourself to some new cosmetics. A tube of lipstick is less expensive than a new outfit, but it can refresh your look in an instant.

If it’s trend news you’re after, orange lipstick, bright-blue eye shadow and touches of metallic makeup were three that emerged on the runways last fall, when fashion designers unveiled their spring 2014 collections. Yes, these looks were rather dramatic – after all, these are the runways – but it can all be toned down for real life. In Style magazine notes that matte lipstick in shades of orange can work on a broad range of skin tones, for instance.

In Style this month also devotes a page to violet eye shadows, noting that the mix of cool and warm undertones makes violet flattering for many. And Radiant Orchid – Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year – certainly spills over into makeup, with colors from the pink and purple families including fuchsias, violets and magentas.

A more subdued trend for spring: nude nails. They made Maybelline New York’s list. Its trends report from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week called the look “fresh and modern” and “a major departure from the over-the-top nail art looks that have dominated recent seasons.”

Locally, it’s caught on. “Nude nails are in and also still the pastels – the baby blues and light greens. Shorter nails are in, and the French manicures never go out of style,” said Mary Bonner, owner of the Main Attraction, 5355 Main St., Williamsville.

Another popular product: tinted foundations with SPF.

“It doesn’t look like you have on makeup at all, but it tints your skin with a little color,” Bonner said.

Customers also are still going for extended eyelashes. “Eyelashes are your main focal point – for all ages. It’s a very natural look worn with a little eyeliner and a soft lipstick. Or even a bold lipstick,” Bonner said.

January also is a good time to dig deep into your makeup drawer and assess what needs to be replaced or simply tossed. Think of it as getting a jump-start on your spring cleaning – and so much more fun than chasing dust bunnies.

What to toss? Pull out those old tubes of mascaras, for starters. Bacteria buildup is bad. Here’s an explanation and guideline from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “The shelf life for eye-area cosmetics is more limited than for other products. Because of repeated microbial exposure during use by the consumer and the risk of eye infections, some industry experts recommend replacing mascara three months after purchase.” Many guidelines also recommend you toss liquid eyeliners after three months as well.

The FDA also advises discarding mascara after it becomes dry; never using water or, even worse, saliva to moisten it and consulting a physician if you develop an eye infection.

As for other cosmetics, you’ve probably come across the various timetables in magazines on how long you should use them before tossing. Powder-based blush and eye shadow products often are said to have a life span of about two years. Foundation, about a year. Lipstick, one to two years. Also, makeup brushes need to be cleaned regularly and replaced when need be.

Of course, products vary, and much also depends on how you store and use them. Sunlight, steam and heat negatively affect products. (Good Housekeeping suggests a cool, dry linen closet as a good place to store your cosmetics). Leaving off lids, sharing products or applying with dirty makeup tools or unwashed hands are all to be avoided.

Besides following some rule-of-thumb guidelines, use common sense. According to the website, named for Paula Begoun – known as the Cosmetics Cop — and author of many books on skin care and makeup as well as the founder of a skin care/cosmetics line: “If a product seems unusually discolored, runny or lumpy, has separated, has a strange odor, or feels different on the skin, then it should absolutely be thrown away. Packaging that has expanded or has signs of deterioration is definitely a warning that something is wrong inside. A product doesn’t have to be old to have gone bad or have been exposed to bacteria, so you should always pay attention to how your products are holding up every time you use them.”


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