"Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night sweating because of a recurrent nightmare, and the story never changes. Each time, I have an eyeliner wand in my hand, and my ability to draw the perfect wings is just gone. All I can manage is a weak black smudge. It ends with a lot of crying" - Somdutta Mazumder, on being questioned what her biggest lockdown-related fear is. Okay, but seriously, if there's one singular thing I have missed and yearned for during the past couple of months, it's my 20 minute morning makeup routine. Scratch that, I miss applying makeup, period. I long for days a morning shower used to be followed by dabbing on concealer, highlighting my eyes, giving my cheeks an artistic flush, and all those makeup steps that strike as soul-soothing in retrospect. It was my morning mantra, it was easy therapy. But now, my makeup kit probably feels as neglected as cable TV in a millennial's room.
If you relate to that sentiment more than you'd be proud to admit, I have great news for you. Fortunately enough, sooner or later we will go back to our favourite cosmetic pouches, concealer will roll over our dark circles just as seamlessly, and eyeliner will still make our eyes pop. But hol' up, wait a minute. Are you sure you want to put that beauty blender on your face? Yes, the same sponge that has now collected 3 months worth of dirt and bacteria? What about your mascara, did you check the expiry date, yet?
As you can imagine, revisiting our makeup kits after several months of non-use will require a couple of checks and maintenance steps first. So here we are with the list that will help you do just that. So let's dive head in, and figure out what we need to do to clean, sanitise and prep our old makeup kit for a new post-lockdown life.
1. First Off, Discard Expired Makeup
Of all the makeup products you need to worry about expiring, mascara and eyeliner are the quickest to stop being safe for use. Experts will always suggest replacing your mascara and liquid eyeliner every 3 months, and that's when you've used the product consistently. Our eyes are highly sensitive to developing infections so using liquid products that look or feel off is a big no-no. As a general rule of thumb, cream-based makeup products have the shortest shelf life, and if yours have been lying around without being used at all, it's better to be safe and check the expiry date before you apply them on your skin. Discard and replace all products that have expired, and are no longer feasible for use.
Image Courtesy - FASHION Magazine
2. Deep Clean Your Tools
This includes all the brushes you use to put on your makeup. You can wash your brushes in a gentle shampoo and water solution, gently rubbing the bristles to get any accumulated dirt and bacteria off. Follow that by rinsing the brushes under clean water, and then squeeze any remaining water out before putting it out to dry. As far as makeup sponges and beauty blenders are concerned, they are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria due to the moisture. Just replace those, seriously. Especially considering you probably haven't put them to good use in several weeks.
Image Courtesy - Today Show
3. Spray Cream Products With Alcohol & Wipe
Like we mentioned earlier, cream-based and liquid makeup products have a shorter shelf life than powder products, because of the moisture attracting bacteria. If you have a cream foundation compact or cream blush you rely on, you can quickly sanitise it by spraying on some alcohol spray (you can get one from a drugstore), followed by wiping the surface gently with a clean tissue.
Image Courtesy - Amy's Chapter
4. Practice Lipstick Hygiene
Not just important when you want to prep your makeup after lockdown, but also highly insisted upon as regular practice, lipstick hygiene is immensely critical to make sure you aren't applying something that can react with the sensitive thin skin of your lips. Especially because despite being warned against it, a lot of us tend to share lipsticks, making sure yours isn't carrying any potential infection is absolutely important. Just use a clean, wet disinfecting tissue and wipe off the topmost layer carefully.
Image Courtesy - The AvantGuardian
5. Sharpen All The Pencil Products
Pencil products are relatively easier to clean and maintain because most of them come with an inbuilt cleaning tool. And that's the sharpener attached to the cap! Even if yours doesn't have this tool, all you need is a clean sharpener to get rid of the top layer of accumulated dirt and bacteria. So get sharpening.
Image Courtesy - Younique Makeup
6. Wash & Air Dry Your Makeup Bag
Last, but by no means, the least, your choice of storage for all your makeup products, can also prove to be home to bacteria, and dirt particles that may get on to the products and tools, and cause irritation. Especially, if you use a bag or pouch to stash your makeup, now is the time to throw it in the washer. Before you do so, remember to flip it inside out, and wipe off any product remnants that might have smeared on the surface of your makeup bag. Once it's washed, put your makeup bag on a clean sanitised surface, under the sun to air dry.
Image Courtesy - Pexels
Wake up, and smell your make up! Weird stench? Yeah, that goes in the trash. Thank you, next.