How To Tell If Your Makeup Has Gone Bad

I seem to start every new year by going through everything I own and throwing away the things that no longer work for me. 
I love the idea of starting a new year with a clean slate.
Maybe everyone does it?
Every year I get bombarded by friends and acquaintances asking me if they need to throw out their makeup, so this year I’m getting ahead of the curve by writing a post about it.


How Do I Know If My Makeup Has Gone Bad? 

Have you ever noticed that the loudest voices telling you to throw away makeup come from those with a vested interest in selling you more?

I always think that makeup is so full of preservatives that it lasts a super long time. However, I spend a small fortune and endless time taking care of my skin, so I am about the last person on earth who would ever risk getting a breakout from using product that has turned bad. Also I can hardly turn up to a shoot with an eye infection, so I just won’t take the chance. My advice to you comes not from any scientific background, but instead solely from a place of vanity.

It Starts With Cleanliness…

Before we go any further you should know that the mileage you get out of any makeup product is largely dependent on your personal hygiene and how you handle your makeup.

If you put your fingers in your makeup, blow on it, don’t keep your brushes clean, leave lids off of products, you are fast tracking their use by date.

Keep your fingers out of your makeup and use clean brushes and sponges and your products will last longer.

Don’t tip out foundation then scoop what you don’t use back into the bottle – you are adding bacteria and lord only knows what else back into the bottle.

Make a priority out of keeping your brushes clean and cared for.

Store Them Properly

Don’t leave your makeup products in direct sunlight, or in warm, humid environments. Don’t leave makeup on the bathroom counter (especially with the lid off!) and then have hot, steamy showers running. Instead store it in dark cupboards, cabinets and drawers, away from heat.

So Has it Gone Bad?

My general rule for gauging if makeup has gone bad is if it meets any of the three following criteria.

* Does it look different?

Has it started separating, does the color look odd, does it have a white film on the surface, is there anything growing on it, does it just look funky? Some products are designed to separate, but other than that if it looks wrong I’m not going to put it on my skin.

If pencils have a white film on them you can try sharpening them down a centimeter or so and see if they look normal, but I personally wouldn’t use a pencil I was unsure of around my eyes. To me it’s not worth the risk. If you are regularly sharpening your pencils and maintaining them hygienically they are not likely to go bad.

*Has the texture changed?

If any cream or liquid products change their texture I throw them out. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a powder change, but who knows? Maybe it could.)

I normally find that cream eye shadows and cream/gel liners start drying out half way through the jar. Because by nature they are supposed to be glossy and rich I tend to replace them when start looking dry. Some products you can rejuvenate with mixing mediums (more on the pro end though), but in general always put the lid back on immediately to prevent them drying out prematurely, and toss them when they start getting dry.

When mascara starts to dry out it’s time to replace it. 

*Does it smell wrong?

If a product smells different, especially if it smells funky, it can be an indication that it has turned.

How To Choose A Concealer ~ Beauty Tip Of The Week #39


Concealer is one of those fantastic makeup products that can make a huge difference in your beauty game.

By making our dark circles disappear and brightening our under eyes we not only look like we’ve had a good night’s sleep, but we also make our eyes look brighter and whiter, and along the way make ourselves look younger.

When it’s done correctly that is.

The information out there can be super confusing though. Using the wrong shade of concealer can make your under-eyes look grey and heavy, making you look tired or making you look white around the eyes.
The wrong weight of concealer can be really aging.
So let’s see how to choose a concealer:

Get The Color Right

The first big mistake girls make is getting the color all wrong.
Ideally you want to look the same color from the hairline to your chest. If your concealer is too pale you wind up having that weird, 2 toned look where your under eyes flare white and your face looks tanned.
As we lose some of the volume from under our eyes the area hollows out and sucks in shadows, making the under eye look darker than it is. By making the under eye area just a little lighter you can create the illusion that the shadow isn’t there, and that the face is all one color.

Color Correct It

Putting an ivory or porcelain toned concealer over dark circles won’t make them disappear, it will make them look a flat, sickly grey. A yellow based concealer placed over dark circles will make them look a sickly green grey, like the tail end of a bad bruise.
Think of mixing paint colors together. if you take a deep blue/grey and add a pale creamy white you just get a paler version of grey.
If you take that same deep blue/grey tone and mix in yellow you get a paler version of a greenish grey.
Neither are flattering.

If you have dark circles that need erasing, instead of reaching for an ivory hued concealer, neutralize them with a color corrector. Pink and peach tones will cancel out the blue/grey under your eyes.

Get The Weight Right

If you get your makeup tips from Instagram and YouTube you probably are hearing about baking your concealer. This is an old drag queen trick to lighten and lift, and it’s great. For Drag Queens.
Extreme contouring and baking the makeup are great drag makeup tricks to take a man’s stronger, heavier face and refine and reshape it into more classically feminine looking features. But its really intense and really heavy makeup.
Much drag makeup is done for nighttime viewing – in clubs and reviews where the lighting is low, which seems to escape the IG/YT makeup crowd. Getting heavy handed with weighty concealers never looks good in daylight, and for most of us it doesn’t look good at night either.
The skin around your eyes is some of the finest, thinnest skin on your body. If it gets too dry the effect is super aging. If you weigh it down with makeup that is too thick it makes the under eye look heavy, and you look tired. And old.

Choose the weight of your concealer based on how much correction you need in the area, how dark your under eye circles really are.

Light Weight Concealers


YSL Touche Eclat is really lightweight. Essentially it is a combination of moisturizer, color corrector and luminizer. The Touch Eclat pen is ideally suited to throw in your handbag and use as a touch up product as the day wears on. 
It is the perfect pick-me-up when you are going out after work, as the moisturizers breathe life back into the skin under your eyes, the color corrector picks up where your morning concealer is wearing off, and the luminizers brighten the under eye area.
Unless you only have very pale under eye circles Touch Eclat is perhaps a little too sheer to be your only concealing product.

Medium Weight Concealers


Makeup Forever Lift Concealer has been around forever. It combines a lifting action with color correction that you can blend so that it doesn’t get cakey. Designed for professional makeup artists it has incredible lasting power and a really beautiful finish.

Heavy Weight Concealers 

If you have really dark circles that keep showing through the color correctors and concealers that you’ve been using, you may need to go for a full coverage concealer.
The Amazing Concealer combines intense pigment with a very blendable texture, so that you can get coverage but not have to deal with thick product under the eye. It’s super concentrated so a little bit goes a long way.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is a full cover concealer and foundation and is much heavier, but can be sheered out with a little moisturizer if needed.

Paint It Black ~ A Guide To The Perfect Eyeliner Wardrobe – Beauty Tip Of The Week #37

With party season here, there’s no better time to think about restocking the foundation of your makeup arsenal: your collection of black eye pencils. Check out these major eyeliner picks from makeup artist Mark Carrasquillo, found in an interview with him on

image source:

A Pro’s Guide To Painting It Black

Still fixated on the wave of darkly modern eyes spotted on the runways this past September in the form of pixie dots at Vuitton and graphic arches at Fendi, we turned to editorial makeup artist Mark Carrasquillo, who shared his advice on assembling the ultimate dark eyeliner wardrobe and the absolute best pigments to invest in. That is, with one noteworthy exception. “I am saying no to gel liner!” Carrasquillo admits with a laugh. “You never get a straight, smooth line. It just complicates the matter.” All the better to make room in your makeup bag for those eight new black pencils you just ordered.

The Goal: A Smudgy Waterline

A sooty, lived-in waterline etched in kohl—or “an updated version of how you imagine Kate [Moss] used to look back in the ’90s”—is Carrasquillo’s current obsession. “I was working on set with this girl who can close her eye on the pencil and run it back and forth, so she gets the top and bottom at the same time—it’s a very sexy way to do liner without looking retro at all.” Carrasquillo recommends formulas with a drier consistency, like NARS Black Moon pencil or Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eye Pencil for waterline coverage, since they have the right equation of slip versus hold. “If it’s too wet, it just moves all over your face and then it’s a big mess—you look more Alice Cooper than sexy.” Chubby kajal sticks are also a great tool for any eyeliner novice aiming for this look, according to Carrasquillo. “A fat pencil gives you a little bit more leeway in handling it.”

The Goal: A Graphic Liquid Flick

Forever a fan of liquid formulas and graphic looks, Carrasquillo leans toward Make Up For Ever’s inky liners across the board and loves 

Tom Ford’s dual-ended Eye Defining Pen. “If you’re really good and you have a steady hand, you use liquid eyeliner—that’s a staple. Every girl wants to be that girl.” His 19-year-old daughter, Nico-Lou (@NicoLouMonheimCarrasquillo), a black eyeliner enthusiast, gives Sephora’s Long Lasting 12HR Wear Eye Liner five stars for staying power. No matter which brands he gives her to test, says Carrasquillo, “she always calls me later and says, ‘You know what? The Sephora one just doesn’t move, it’s perfect.’ ”

The Goal: A Soft, Smoky Haze

For a Bardot-inspired French girl line, a powder eyeshadow—applied with an angled brush—keeps the borders hazy and romantic. “I actually like pressing powder along the lash line if you want something a little fuzzier and a little softer—not a hard edge.” Kevyn Aucoin’s Essential Eyeshadow in Blackest Black works wet or dry when applied with an angled brush. Carrasquillo warns that whatever you do, make sure that the pigment absolutely hugs your lash line. “The thing I hate is when you don’t get the black really close to the lashes and you see a separation of a little bit of skin.”