What’s in your Make-up Bag?


 I would like to advise all my brides once and for all on what we should and shouldn’t have in our make-up bags.

 I can safely say that there is probably not one of us product junkies out there that has bought some cosmetic like perfume,  face cream and especially make-up that is hiding away in some make-up bag you forgot you owned or a drawer or cupboard packed with items you’ve bought over the years that you swore you would use someday! Now the question is did you? The answer is most likely to be “NO”. We have all seen a lovely eye shadow or new shade of lipstick that we think will come in handy for some out-fit in the future but you didn’t know how, When, Or where To use it. So no doubt it’s still sitting there with all the other forgotten and neglected cosmetics.

Not only is it a waste of money sometimes things are on sale for a reason and we have to pull back and say do I really need this or am I just buying it because its 75% off.  Set yourself an evening or the next time you’re bored at home with all the wedding plans go through everything, if you come across something that’s there that long you can’t remember when, where, and why, you bought it ‘bin it’. Most of us have been given a gift of some cosmetic shape or form at some point that we just didn’t really like or knew there was no way we would ever use it but of course we kept it and its sitting there gathering dust, well it’s time to ditch them and make way for new, exciting products that are right for you that you will use and love with no regrets.

Most cosmetics have a shelf life that tells us how long it’s safe to use and when to dump it and buy a new one. You will see a small jar with an open lid with 3-36 months stated on it.

Organic and natural products shelf life is usually shorter due to the lack of preservatives. Products that are un-opened and stored in a cool dry place can stay perfect for 3-5 years unless stated on packaging

Products can be a breeding ground that will thrive on bacteria so take note of signs that you can see when routing through your products.

Here are some guidelines to follow to help you.

Face & Body creams/Lotions up to 12m

Face and body creams can last up to a year once opened, but if you are using them regularly as directed you should be replacing them every 3-4months on an average 50ml jar or tube. Try not to use your fingers when taking out of jar most come with a small spatula or spoon. Creams can change colour and consistency if you’re unsure bring it to the shops and check it against a tester to see or ask one of the girls behind the counter they are there to consult you and help you so don’t be afraid to ask.

Exfoliaters/face scrubs   12months +

These can vary from sugar scrubs to ones with a grain, most will dissolve with warm water, with exfoliaters they tend to be thick and sometimes hard to squeeze out of tube, give it a good shake before you use it and if it comes out watery it may be a sign that it’s gone off.

Foundation Water based up to 12m/Oil based up to 18m


Give your foundation a good shake before use to prevent separation. Tubes and pumps are more hygienic and safer against spillage, but if yours has a jar or a glass bottle use a cotton bud to take a small amount of product at a time. Some new foundations have a brush attached so rinse it with hot water and a light shampoo every few weeks to keep it fresh and prevent brush strokes marks.

Eye shadows/Blushers 2yrs

Compact powders 2yrs+

Loose Powders and body shimmers 3yrs+

Compact powders can last up to 2 years, if you’re using a sponge or a powder puff always place them dirty side facing the mirror so that the clean side is always on the powder so no oil/dirt can sink into powder running it.

Loose powders can last up to prevent drying out. Don’t use eye shadows if you have an eye infection and wait until it’s cleared up to use again to prevent contamination.


Sticks or 3in1 products like under eye liquid concealers with brushes attached don’t keep as long try to renew after 6 months.

Eye Liner/Lip Liners up to 3 yrs          

Try using pencils you can sharpen rather than retractable they are more expensive and don’t last as long give your pencil a little twist before every use to sharpen and peace of mind knowing it’s clean. Keep the lids on don’t use lip or eye liners if you have had an infection or cold sore as it could spread them.

Lip Gloss/ Lip sticks 1-2 yrs

Use a lip brush with lipsticks and put some gloss on back of hand and use clean fingers to apply and don’t share your lip products keep them all to yourself. You don’t want to catch anyone’s germs. They can smell rancid when they are gone off which makes it time to treat yourself to a new shade for the summer.

Mascara 3months at most.

Mascaras are the one thing that I would tell anyone to replace quicker than all your make-up, they are a breeding ground for bacteria. Never share it with anyone guard it like a pair of lou boutins it belongs to you and only you the reason for this is you can very easily catch infections like conjunctivitis that nobody likes to have. Every 4 weeks or so to maintain your mascara you can clean the wand with hot water never adding water to it doesn’t make it last longer! Dry out want completely before replacing it into the tube before using it.

Eye cream 1 yr

As its being used so close to the eyes there is a higher risk of infection or reaction if it is gone off so replace it yearly just to be on the safe side.

Perfume 3 yrs

Keep all your fragrance out of direct sun light, bin it if it changes colour especially if it darkens or you notice any skin reactions when using it.

Lastly always wash your hands and make-up tools /brushes regularly and replace your brushes every 3-5 years if you can and clear out your make-up bag and get a new one every year or so to keep everything nice and clean. Store all your cosmetics’ in a cool dry place.

Top Tips to remember

1.We all know that day and night creams can be pretty pricey depending on what brand you go for but I find if you can buy your day one month and your night the following month the wont run out at the same time, or even better find out when your skin care brand goes on promotion so you receive a gift with every two products, this will be a guilt free purchase knowing that you got a few freebies most cosmetic houses tend to go on ‘gift’ as it’s called 3-4 times a year so if you plan it right you would be on to a winner.

2. Wash your hands before using anything

3. Keep the lids on and closed.

4. Store in a cool dry place away from direct sun light.

5. Use cotton buds to take small amounts of product at a time ensuring no waste and no dirt getting in from hands.

6. Try not to buy in bulk it only takes up room and you might fancy a change of cream offers are on the entire time now so just wait for products to run out before buying more.

7. Try using products with pumps and tubes these last longer due to the air not reaching the product.

8. Try using a spatula to loft out body creams/exfoliaters etc instead of using fingers to prevent bacteria and dirt from spreading throughout the cream.

And finally ask yourself these Questions and answer them honestly

  1. How long do I have this?
  2. Was it a present or did I buy it myself?
  3. What is it worth; did I buy it on sale?
  4. Have I ever used this?
  5. Will I really realistically ever use it?
  6. Does it smell rancid and different than when I bought it?
  7. Has it lost it’s colour changed in any way?
  8. Has the consistency changed or creams separated or hardened?


I hope these are helpful, if you have any questions please email me on [email protected]