7 Bad Makeup Habits You Need To Break Today

by Lindsay E. Mack

Makeup is very personal. Whether you enjoy an hour of elaborate makeup application each morning, or you’re more of a gloss-and-go kind of lady, most women have set makeup routines to get them through the day. Many of which were probably established back in high school or even earlier, when you cared more about the taste of your lipstick rather than what it actually did to your lips. But some of these routines may irritate your skin, make you sick, or even cause a car accident. These are the bad makeup habits you need to break.

Now I won’t sit here and claim to be the Patron Saint of Cosmetics. I’ve committed more than a few makeup sins. I’ve been the woman furiously swiping on mascara at a stop light, having hit the snooze button one too many times that morning. I’ve slept in makeup a time or two. I am not here to judge.

That being said, I can attest that using clean tools and fresh products feels about a million times better than indulging in the following bad makeup habits. Read on to learn more about the hidden dangers of swiping samples and to read the harrowing tale of a young lady’s injury from an eyelash curler. 


Carelessly Using Testers

According to a study by rheumatologist Elizabeth Brooks, makeup testers are rife with bacteria, including E.coli, staph, and strep. Yikes! That’s not something I want to think about when ogling a Naked pallet. But if you’ve ever been in Sephora on a busy afternoon, you know those testers are handled over and over again.

So how can you swatch out the shades of a new blush without taking home a sample of E.coli? Your makeup shop should have applicators and alcohols swabs handy to sanitize products between testing. You should also swatch products on the back of your hand rather than your face. That way you can wash up once you’re done shopping. Lastly, most makeup counters are stocked with samples that allow you to safely try before you buy.


Using Dirty Brushes

Real talk: makeup brushes can get gross pretty quickly. And dirty brushes can hamper your makeup game, as well as irritate your skin. But remembering to wash your tools can be annoying for even the most dedicated beauty practitioner. After all, application is way more fun than clean-up. 

Luckily, there are some easy ways to wash your makeup brushes. Or you can invest in a makeup brush washing machine. (Personally, I’ll stick to the DIY version for now.)  


Sleeping in Makeup

It's a well-known fact that sleeping in makeup is bad for your complexion. But hey, it happens. Whether it’s been a long and stressful day at work, or you just stayed out too late goofing with friends, sometimes the thought of washing your face at night feels like an insurmountable task. Anything that stands between you and your bed is just not happening. 

You can plan ahead to give your exhausted self a break. For example, I keep a pack of makeup remover wipes in my purse so I can swipe off my face whenever and wherever – a lifesaver when I had night classes. And when you do have time to give your face a full scrub, make sure you’re washing your face effectively, so at least your time at the sink will be worthwhile.


Using Expired Makeup

I remember a particular tube of Maybelline Full N’ Soft that I used and abused throughout sophomore year of high school, even weeks after most of the product had long since given up the ghost. Too bad I didn’t know that mascara should be replaced every three months. A fresh tube would have saved me a few moments of angst every morning. Not to mention I ran several health risks by using an expired product, such as skin irritation or the growth of bacteria. Make sure to pay attention to makeup expiration dates, and replace your products as needed.


Pumping Mascara

I used to pump my mascara wand like I was inflating a bicycle tire. But according to a pro tip from Sephora, pumping your mascara wand can trap air and bacteria in the bottle. This can make your mascara dry out more quickly, which makes for a flaky application.


Applying Makeup In The Car

Here is yet another anecdote from high school. A friend of mine was doing her makeup in the car on the way to school. She had the eyelash curler clamped on tight, and when the car hit a bump, all of her lashes were ripped from her eye. The poor girl eventually recovered, but no one wants to suffer a few weeks of high school (or life) half-lashed.

While my friend was just a passenger in this incident, it turns out drivers who engage in grooming behind the wheel account for a form of distracted driving, which accounts for nearly half a million injuries each year. If you’re short on time, try to make your morning routine a little faster. Doing so can save you time, lashes, and maybe even your life.


Storing Makeup In The Bathroom

It makes sense to keep makeup in the bathroom, because there’s easy access to bright lights and a big mirror. But the bathroom’s moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria. At the very least, storing your makeup in the humid bathroom can shorten your product's’ shelf life. Consider investing in a vanity to keep your makeup – and your face – super fresh. From custom furniture to repurposed plastic bottles, there are loads of pretty ways to keep your makeup collection organized and out of the bathroom. Hey, your collection is fabulous, so why not put it on display?  

Images:; Courtesy of McLevn, Natasia Causse, Gerry Lauzon, Emily Cox, Whitney, ℒaura Tou, Haley Bolan/Flickr