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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Amy Dray, owner of Blush Me, says spending some time sorting through your makeup bag is a good idea.
What to buy and when to toss it

Give makeup bag a makeover

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Powder makeups should be thrown out after two years.
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation
Dray suggests Maybelline Great Lash.

When I bought my new makeup bag, I promised myself I wouldn’t litter it with near-empty mascara tubes and bottles of foundation that matched seamlessly until I actually applied it to my face.

Unfortunately, every morning I still find myself digging for brushes I’m pretty positive are being held for ransom by my stacks of cracked eyeshadow.

Amy Dray, owner of Blush Me, has built up quite the wedding and special occasions clientele since she started in 2009. Training with MAC Cosmetics and TEMPTU Airbrush, Dray offers professional airbrushing and makeup application for $50 or less for clients. Since she is working with various faces, it’s important to keep the application of make-up as hygienic as possible.

“After wedding season, I toss everything,” Dray says. “Even though I spray my brushes with antibacterial cleaner and (spray) alcohol on all of my lipsticks, I still have to throw everything out in a year. There’s really nothing you can do to extend the life.”

Embrace the power of the purge with these tips.

Keep a calendar

Remember this rule of thumb: Liquids get one year, powders get two years and mascara gets three months. Dray says you should be ready to pitch out lipsticks, liquid foundation and concealers after a year, while you can hold on to eyeshadow and blush for a little longer. Since mascara brushes come in contact with eyelashes, germs and bacteria from your eyes quickly build up in the tube.

“Mascara is the big one. That’s where all the bacteria is,” Dray says. “That’s why I always tell people don’t spend your money on mascara, it’s not worth it.”

Dray suggests Maybelline Great Lash Mascara available in retail stores in either a brown or black for a natural look.

Know the necessities

Drays says the people who complain about their makeup not staying on didn’t start with the basics. She says she didn’t learn until her makeup training that layering a primer, foundation and concealer will keep your makeup right where every one can see it. Replenish your bag with a primer that fills in your pores, giving an even surface to apply foundation and concealer. Apply a setting powder to seal everything in, even if you have dry skin.

“Your face is your canvas. Think of it as getting your canvas ready,” Dray says.

Dray says to match makeup tones with your face and neck in natural daylight rather than the store’s fluorescent lights. “Since you’re not supposed to try it on in the store, most stores will take back makeup even if you use it,” Dray says. If you’re on a makeup budget, Dray suggests Covergirl Outlast Foundation that has a built-in primer.

Take the time

After you have set up your canvas, add color with pigmented eye colors, eyeliner and cheek stain before applying a makeup setting spray. While you can purchase these items in retail stores, Dray says a splurging for cosmetics such as MAC will give you more pigments for a vibrant application. If this seems like a lot to add to your morning ritual, Dray says investing time into your makeup will reap some big rewards.

“You can still do your makeup (in less than) 10 minutes even if you add a primer,” Dray says. “Taking a couple of minutes for your makeup will make it last for hours.”

But for those quick runs to the store or laid-back weekends, Dray says beauty or blemish creams, also known as BB creams, are the new trend for a nude face. BB creams are similar to tinted moisturizers with a kick of anti-oxidants, anti-aging ingredients and a range of sunscreen protection. In lieu of foundation and concealers, apply BB cream, dash on a little mascara (add eyeliner, if you want) and smack on some lip balm for an easy, breezy look.