Forget the idea that Sunday is a day of rest. Sunday is a day to organise. To clean. To right the wrongs the week has wrought upon your life, and, more specifically, upon your make-up bag.
I spend a good deal of time pawing through others’ make-up bags and in so doing am often met with caveats: ‘it doesn’t usually look like this,’ ‘I know that’s gross,’ ‘I still haven’t replaced this bronzer which is why it’s crumbling into the bag and mingling with everything to create this mush.’
I beg of you – no more. Declare this the day of reckoning for the dirty, the caked and the lidless offenders currently lurking in your make-up bag. Cast them out and let your face become a harbour of grotty make-up and filth no more. Here are ten commandments to make it all a little easier:
2) Throw lidless compacts away / This happens to the best of us, it really does. I understand that plastic lids break off their hinges terribly often, but carrying around a lidless compact in your bag will attract copious numbers of skin-damaging bacteria all looking for a place to multiply before the inevitable crumble of product that will besmear the other contents of your bag. Just get rid of it. If you can’t bear to, leave it out your make-up bag and use it while at home until it finishes.
3) Dispose of disposables / By disposable, I mean anything that came with the product that isn’t the product itself. Most free applicators – sponges that sit on top of compacts being the worst of the offenders – apply make-up appallingly and just contribute to dirt and product flying around your bag. Instead, buy either disposable applicators you will actually use or carry a few cotton buds and dispose of them after use. One use. Or maybe two. No more.
4) Invest in brushes for on-the-go / And then use these to apply product, not fingers, if disposable applicators won’t do. Fingers dabbed on make-up dabbed on the face and back and forth only promotes bacteria and compromises the quality of the product (unless you’re rigorous when it comes to cleaning hands and palettes). Perfect brushes for this purpose? Try Ecotools’ Eye Brush Set, which comes in a dinky travel case with mirror, the Hourglass Kabuki Brush for blusher and bronzer or brushes with pre-loaded product – my favourites are Eve Lom’s translucent powder and bronzer.
5) Then wash those brushes / Boring, yes, but the cosmetic equivalent of washing your underwear – utterly necessary. Click here to watch my video on washing brushes.
6) Get pencil happy / I’ve been obsessively collecting eyeliner pencils for years. They are ideal for travel due to their lightness and ease of application. Their pencils dispense colour on one end and have a good quality brush on the other to blend so take care of two jobs in one. Thankfully you can now get eyeshadow and lipstick pencils, too. My favourites for eyes are Laura Mercier’s Caviar Eye Sticks and for lips you can’t beat Clinique’s Chubby Sticks.
7) Acquaint yourself with products that have inbuilt applicators / Subtly different from the above point, if you like glossy products, the easiest way to carry them around is in a tube that comes with an applicator. Top buys here? Trish McEvoy’s Liquid Face Colour for cheeks and anything by Ellis Faas, who has created a collection of the most skin-flattering shades all in tube applicators
8) Dispose of anything you don’t use / Even if you might use it one day. You won’t. The reason you use the products you use every day is because they make you look good. If you had a wonder product stashed away, you’d use it. So chuck it. Or give it to a friend – they’ll probably love you for it.
9) Make sure you’ve packed essentials / I often find that while on the go cotton buds, tissues and blotting papers are invaluable. I particularly love using individually wrapped cotton buds with make-up removing properties – DHC make excellent ones. I also always have a face spray to freshen up make-up (usually Caudalie’s mini Beauty Elixir).
10) Do all the above monthly at the very least / Perhaps that’s little draconian, but you know what I mean. If your make-up bag is caked, chuck it. If your products are past their best, they’ll do your face no good. Happy cleaning, folks.