Makeup Bag Minimalism : When To Chuck

January 25, 2015


Not everyone knows that makeup expires – I was reading an article that said some women admit to owning eye shadow that’s over 14 years old!! I wouldn’t be surprised if my mum had a few items in her collection that are older than me… But it’s important not to keep makeup past its use-by date because as soon as it’s opened and makes contact with the air, bacteria gets in and starts to breed. These bacteria can cause breakouts, rashes, irritation and infection. Eugh.

I always knew that mascara had a pretty short lifespan once opened – a tube that’s been open for more than a few months really stings my eyes – but I wasn’t really down on the deadlines for using up some of the other things. Here’s a cheat sheet:

.powder-based : 24 months
.cream-based (including concealer) : 12-18 months
.foundation : 18 months
.but oil-free : 12 months (the water-based products .break down more quickly)
.lipstick : 12 months
.lip gloss : 18 months
.pencils : 24 months (sharpening removes the outer, exposed layer)
.mascara : 3 months
.gel + liquid eyeliner : 2 months (who gets though a pot of gel liner in 2 months!!)

and a few more tips…
.gone off eye make up is one of the main causes of eye infections
.don’t pump your mascara wand to coat the brush, that only traps more air in the .bottle so it goes off faster
.store make up in a cool, dry place to help it last as long as possible
.store lipsticks in the fridge to keep them going longer
.throw anything out if it starts to smell funky
.check the container of you makeup, there should be a little “open jar” symbol with a number and M (stands for months) inside e.g. 18M. That tells you how long the product will last once opened. You can even put a sticky label with the date of opening to keep track
.nail polish also goes off, but it’s less of a problem because you’re not applying it directly to your skin. It just becomes pretty unusable, but you can buy nail polish thinners, like this, to bring them back to life.



A New Trend Piece

January 23, 2015


I’m streamlining my closet and building a capsule wardrobe, with a strong foundation of basics. I’m following the 5-Piece French Wardrobe concept of only buying five new trend or statement pieces each season. Read the full series here.

This jumper is super versatile – long enough to be worn on its own as a dress, or it would look equally chic paired with some skinny jeans. This look is just the right balance of scruffy and put together for me.

tunic | leather jacket | sunglasses | converse | clutch | lipstick


Makeup Bag Minimalism : #5 Contouring Basics

January 21, 2015

basic contouring kit

Contouring has been getting so much airtime recently, what with the Kim K selfie and youtube videos like this. I wouldn’t say my contour kit is a makeup bag essential. It’s definitely not part of my everyday routine, but on those special occasions when I want to look a bit more “done”, I whip out a few of my contouring basics. There are so many different ways to contour, and some of the techniques I’ve seen scare me a little. I like to keep it as quick and easy, and foolproof as I can.

.to contour, I use two shades of makeup (plus my base) – one slightly darker than my skin tone and one slightly lighter.
.I use the Sleek Face Form Palette, in dark, which comes with both bronzer and highlight shades. I also use my Nars Creamy Concealer, which is a little lighter than my base, as my lighter shade in some areas.
.you can use powder or cream product. I use mostly powder, because I don’t contour and highlight everyday and powders have a longer shelf life.
.you can use any bronzer that is darker than your natural skin and suits your colouring, or if you prefer cream products you can use a concealer stick, like this one, in a shade or two darker than your skin. I personally find powder easier to control.
.I apply the darker shade in areas I want to appear to recede – this will vary a little from face to face, but for me that’s the hollows of my cheeks and my jawline. I use a smallish fluffy brush (mine is the contour brush that comes in this set), and follow the line from the top of my ear to the corner of my mouth, stopping about two fingers’ width from my mouth.
.the key for me is to use a brush that’s small enough so that I can control where the product goes, and keep the line defined, but blended enough to look natural.
. I apply the lighter shade to areas I want to highlight, areas that light would naturally hit. I use concealer under the eyes and around the nose, and the powder highlight on my brow bone, cupids bow and the tops of my cheeks.
.the powder highlight is quite subtle – it gives me a dewy glow – so it’s hard to go wrong!

Is contouring part of your everyday makeup routine, do you dabble like me, or are you way too low maintenance for any of this?


Accessories Edit

January 16, 2015


I’ve recently changed my approach to my wardrobe: I’ve started streamlining – buying less, and making better choices. I’m developing my capsule wardrobe and following the 5-piece French Wardrobe concept: building a foundation of basics and only adding five new “trend” pieces to my wardrobe per season. I’ve also started defining my personal style uniform.

With my new, more focussed wardrobe, accessories have become a really important part of my outfits. They add a point of difference to my outfits and give me a chance to get creative. Plus, they don’t count towards the five purchases for the season! I still like to keep it minimal though. These are my five my most essential accessories of the moment:

1 | Oversized Black Scarf
2 | Statement Sunglasses
3 | Simple, Unfussy Jewellery
4 | Chunky Black Leather Belt
5 | Minimalist Watch

Images 1 | 2 | 3