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Sneaky But Common Makeup Myths

Sneaky But Common Makeup Myths

Makeup can be one of life's greatest joys. Anyone can be their own artist creating looks that are unique to their identity, and when it comes to creating, there are an abundance of products and tools available to work with and enjoy. Whether you're just starting out, like to keep it simple, or can contour like a Kardashian, there are a few myths floating around that might be cramping your style. Let's bust those myths so you can keep creating with artistic abandon.

Myth #1:Only Matte Finish On Mature Eyes

We've all seen the magazine articles and have heard this advice repeated over and over by the various people that we know but let's bust this myth. While it's true that matte eyeshadow is overwhelmingly flattering on mature eyes, a little bit of life giving shimmer never hurt a soul. We're not talking about frosty shades here. Those should be avoided like the plague. A nice demi-matte or light shimmer being used strategically to make eyes come to life and sparkle is precisely what the beauty doctor ordered.  

As you can see on our lovely model Cora, a touch of Fitglow Beauty's new Multi-Use Pressed Shadow + Blush in Golden Hour on the high point (near center) of her lower lid brightens up her look. The key is keeping the shimmer away from the inner and outer eye area where the bulk of our expression lines fall. As we mature, the skin around our eyes becomes "crepey" in texture allowing the skin to gather as we make expressions. This is where we want to avoid placing shimmer or metallic-finish products. Side note: I do highly advocate for lining mature eyes with metallic-finish products like Fitglow Beauty's Lux Bronze or Lavender Plum. Just keep your work tidy with a quality brush.

You may have maturing skin but don't let rigid rules keep you from having fun. It's all about being strategic. 

Cora is wearing: Vanilla Matte Creme as a base shadow colour, Sunkissed in her crease, Jono to deepen her crease and lightly line her eyes, Golden Hour over the center of her lower lid, Deep Peach Correct+ under eyes, Face Glow and Vita Set + Perfect Translucent powder on her complexion, Dark Brown Plant Protein Brow Gel, and Good Lash + Mascara. Note that Cora has permanent makeup lining her eyelids and eyebrows. (Thank you for being our model, Cora!)

Myth #2: I Don't Need To Use Sunscreen If It's In My Cosmetics

For most people, mornings are busy and time is of the essence, so it's understandable that when you find a way to save some precious time, you seize it without giving it a second thought. If you've been skipping your daily sunscreen application in favour of cosmetics that contain SPF, this is one beauty myth that should give you pause.

There are a few reasons why your cosmetics are not giving your skin the level of sun protection it deserves. According to one of our favourite cosmetic chemists, Dr. Michelle Wong, not all cosmetics offer broad UV spectrum protection, meaning that your skin is only being protected against one UV wavelength. The other major issue is user error. According to the Academy of Dermatology, "Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen." That's using actual sunscreen. When you factor in how the average woman applies foundation, which often contains a lower SPF rating than a sunscreen specifically formulated for the face, you are looking at a very small measure of protection being applied.

Generally, most experts and dermatologists recommend applying 1/4 tsp of sunscreen to the face (this is excluding the neck and ears). When translated into how much that means in terms of your foundation application, I don't think you are prepared for how that is going to look. Professional makeup artist Wayne Goss has made several videos illustrating what this would actually look like. Here is Wayne in summer 2020 applying the proper amount of foundation if using it as an SPF. Not only is it simply too much, it is extremely cost prohibitive.

As tempting as it may be to save time with this seemingly 2-in-1 product solution, the long term effects to your skin's health and aging process is not worth it. If you are looking to save time and reduce steps in your morning routine, skip your moisturizer and reach for one of these SPF products from Coola: Matte Mineral Cucumber SPF 30 for Face, SPF 50 White Tea Organic Lotion, or SPF 30 Sun Silk Creme. Need to touch up throughout the day but wearing a full face of makeup? Try this awesome SPF 18 Refreshing Water Mist.

Myth #3: It's Okay To Apply Cosmetics To My Waterlines For Tightlining

This feels like controversial territory here, but I've got to give you the cold hard truth. Applying cosmetics such as eyeliner and eyeshadow to your eye's waterlines (ie. inner rims) isn't a new makeup technique. In fact, applying white or beige liners to starlets' lower waterlines was in heavy rotation in old Hollywood. It imparts an awake and wider-eyed effect. Darker liners do the opposite and are used for a smokier look. But chronic employment of this technique is not without consequence.

Although our waterlines may seem like inert skin that separates our face from our eyeballs, they actually play a very important role in our ocular health. Lining the length of our waterlines are a series of glands called meibomian glands. If you gently lower your lower eyelid and look closely, you'll see a bunch of white tunnels. These tunnels, or glands, actually carry oil to the surface of your waterlines which you blink onto the surface of your eyes. When mixed with your tears, these oils help create a protective film on the surface of your eyes, preventing dry eyes and irritation.

When you place cosmetics over these glands, they can become blocked and dysfunctional. Not only can you experience infections, it can lead to dry eye conditions, and, in the long term, meibomian glands can atrophy or experience what is called dropout, where you lose glands.

There are plenty of cosmetic brands out there that say their products are safe to use on waterlines. Eye health experts say not to apply products to waterlines. I've worked in spaces that don't allow the application of cosmetics to waterlines. I know it's a popular and favourable makeup technique. So... what does one do? To be transparent, I don't know if there is a safe minimum usage to be able to recommend this technique. Your best option is to consult your optometrist and receive direction from them. They can even use a device to check your meibomian glands. If you already experience dry eyes or wear contact lenses, it's probably best to skip tightlining.

Myth #4:It's Okay To Stretch My Cosmetics Past Their Prime

All good things must come to an end, and that includes the goodies found inside your makeup bag. A surprising number of people don't realize that beyond their mascara, cosmetics do have a shelf life. If you have makeup sitting around that smells or looks "off", chances are it's actually miles past its prime. Save your skin and ditch these duds. Recycle the container components you can and return the pieces you can't to us at ShopEco and we'll place it in our TerraCycle bin. TerraCycle is capable of recycle items that your local municipality isn't.

Using expired cosmetics should be avoided to preserve your skin's health. When you use expired products, you're leaving yourself susceptible to various eye and skin infections, as well as breakouts and skin irritation. Another issue with using expired makeup is that you inevitably cross-contaminate your fresh cosmetics as makeup brushes glide across your face and various makeup palettes. You work hard for your money. Don't throw it down the drain by ruining fresh makeup!

Here's what to keep in mind for best hygiene practices:

Period After Opening Symbol - Also known as the "open jar," this handy symbol tells you exactly how long your product will stay fresh once you open it and start using it. Look for it on the actual product or its retail packaging. There will be a number followed by the letter 'M' indicating the number of months your product will be usable. The formulator has done the thinking for you and has figured out exactly how long the product will stay fresh before too much bacteria builds up. You can also find this symbol on the labels of your favourite skin care products.

Expiration Date - Some cosmetics and skin care products have expiration dates. You'll notice this more so if a product contains SPF. Just follow the indicated date and pitch it when it's time.

Period After Opening Symbol + Expiration Date - If a product has both a Period After Opening symbol and an expiration date, follow the guidance of whichever one comes due first.

Fastest to Expire - Most mascara expires around the three month mark. Liquid eye liner and lip gloss generally expires around one year from opening.

Slowest to Expire - Powder products usually last the longest with dates that range from 12 to 24 months.

Wash Your Brushes - Wash your makeup brushes weekly using this gentle, locally-made soap to prevent your makeup from spoiling before its time. The higher the bacteria load on your brushes, the faster your makeup will expire (ie. you'll see and smell the funk long before the Period After Opening comes due).


Melissa Menard is a certified aesthetician with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. She enjoys all things French lifestyle, flowers, and a good lipstick (despite the mask mandate).

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