Jackie from the Home Shopping Network recently contacted me about a post Lara from the Glossarie did called “Save Makeup Save Money” and suggested I add a response.
My initial gut feeling was that the idea of making my beauty products last was kind of contrary to my dedication to natural and organic beauty products. For goodness sake, I’m trying to run away from parabens and everything that allows beauty products to sit on shelves for 2 years without growing bacteria!
But of course, similar to what Lara says, my beauty budget definitely rivals my clothes budget (it’s not even a fair fight), and with all of the beautiful ingredients and products that are cropping up these days, I want to make the most of my products while they last and finish them in the appropriate amount of time they are supposed to last to avoid waste. Thus, I present two parts: How to make your products last, and how to use them up.
Tips on Making Your Beauty Products Last
1. Cap your products after using them
I am a hard multitasker, especially during my beauty routine. While I’m waiting for my face serum to sink in after a shower at night, I’m applying my body oil, then by that time my face is ready for cream moisturizer, and this whole time I’m calling my mom and telling her that as usual, I went to class and practiced piano and cooked this and that for dinner (livin’ the life). In this hustle and bustle of overlapping steps, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the morning to find that I forgot to cap my body oil. Or my face oil. Or I don’t notice at all, and later when I go to use the product again, I spill it over (cue Noooooooooooooooo!). Though my dresser and my bookcase may thank me for being exquisitely well-oiled, for the sake of preserving the integrity and efficacy of the product and avoiding any contamination, cap that product after you use it!
2. Store your products in a cool, dry place
Every over-100 degree day this past summer in California found me rushing these two products to my fridge after morning application. Heat and sunlight spoils products like no other, hence the beautiful Miron glass containers that brands and I love to use that prevent rays from damaging the beautiful oils and extracts that brands have worked so hard to formulate and put together. I store most of my products in my bookshelf which naturally shields them from the sun, my pots in a box leftover from a May Lindstrom purchase (multi-use for the win!), and my makeup products on plates behind the box. Putting products in the fridge is more of a summer thing for me, though I’ve heard cold eye cream in the morning is a good way to wake up.
3. Dip and apply with clean hands and/or brushes
Do you want to rub dirt (and I’m not talking about May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt
) on your face? What about germs from the bathroom? The subway? The bus? Right. Wash and dry your hands and brushes before dipping and applying. Germs love wet places (ask my humidifier when I forget to clean it–nasty!) and so many of these brands make an effort to make beautiful waterless products, so keep it that way. Bonus points for whoever can name these pots-y products without peeking below. (Sidenote
: this is why I’m wary of dipping a wet BeautyBlender in makeup compacts)
And now for the other side of the sword. I look back on my early green days with much fondness, and remember how when I first bought the rms beauty ‘un’ cover-up
, I thought, “This pot is so small for the price! This won’t last me long.” And then it lasts me two years and I’m past the expiration date. Because so many of these products are so amazingly concentrated, a little goes a long way, maybe even too long of a way, and the whole while, a clock is ticking until the time that the product will spoil. Hence…
Tips on Using Up Your Beauty Products
1. Put them on display
If you see it, you’ll be more likely to use it. Also, what better way to show off the “Cartier” of makeup, Kjaer Weis? Also a great excuse to buy cute, decorated plates. Ps. Spot any of your favorites here?
(Pictured: Kjaer Weis, rms beauty, W3ll People, Sappho Cosmetics, Nvey Eco, R.L. Linden and Co., Osmia Organics, S.W. Basics)
2. Take them with you
This is a tease photo since the lovely Mary from Makeup by Mary B. tagged me in the “Spill it: Come As You Are” tag and I don’t want to give anything away yet (watch this space!), but the idea is here. Bring your products with you so that you can and will use them on the go. Lip products are great to carry along since they seem so easy to accumulate (how does that happen…) and you can switch up your look during the day as you like. I’ve been known to apply red lipstick in the practice room midday to get myself in the mood (and then run into classmates who say, “Jade…did you go home and apply makeup??” No…… “Jade, why did you randomly put on makeup?” Because I wanted to…)
(Pictured: Swag pouch from a recent hackathon, Baggu Small Leather Pouch in Persimmon, and mystery products)
3. Watch expiration dates
One thing I love about NuboNau is that they send these little “Date Opened” stickers with every purchase to help you keep track of how long you have been using a product, and thus you will know when it’s time to throw them out. Watch those expiration dates, and when it’s time to throw them out, throw them out no matter what. My parents conditioned me on the evils of waste (memories of them making me finish my cereal as a young child…), so even I was finding it hard to throw away a half-full bottle of the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (because it’s so good!), but I think you have to realize after the expiration date, the product is no longer your beloved product…it is an enemy. Exterminate!
(Pictured from left to right: Studio 78 Paris Chamelion Foundation, Absolution La Solution + Éclat, Studio 78 Paris Luminous Primer, Absolution La Solution + Contrôle)
4. Sample first, don’t spring immediately for full-size
To avoid waste, sample, sample sample. This is my main mantra of 2014 (along with “I love and accept myself”) to avoid the paranoia of “Am I going to finish my rms beauty lip shine before expiration? Pulling out the bright magenta in the winter!”. Luckily, many green beauty shops have great sampling programs these days, such as Spirit Beauty Lounge, NuboNau, FreshFaced, and recently Clementine Fields. Brands like W3ll People, One Love Organics, and Osmia Organics offer sample packs or single samples of their products which give at least a week’s idea of how their product works with your skin (The W3ll People sample of Narcissist lasted me months! And then I purchased it).
So that’s my spiel. What do you think of these tips? Have any more to add?
I am not being compensated for this post in any shape, manner, or way. I thought this would be a fun challenge to take on, and I wanted to put in my word how it’s not always the best idea to make your products last. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Jackie has asked me to share the following links–feel free to peruse the following pages and check out the new layouts at your own leisure. While they don’t carry any of the mentioned brands in this post, they do carry a range of makeup tools as well as VMV Hypoallergenics, which is carried in BeautySage‘s edited and tested collection.
Home Shopping Network’s Makeup Page
Home Shopping Network’s Beauty Page