We know that cleaning out your beauty kit can feel like a chore, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming thanks to our quick and dirty guide to de-cluttering.
When to toss old product
You have to let go of the old to make room for the new—and there are new products being released every day. Remember that beauty products do expire, especially the liquid ones like foundation, mascara, and skin-care. There should be a guideline on the packaging (it will look like a cream jar with a number on it—that number is the amount of months after opening that the product is good for), but if you can’t find it or don’t remember when you opened it, here are a couple of things to look out for.
Look for changes in consistency. Lumpy formulas or a separation of oil and pigment are red flags. If the smell resembles something rotting or the colour has darkened or oxidized in the bottle, it’s time to throw the product out.
If there’s a bad odour when you open the lid or the product is crumbling and breaking apart, you probably shouldn’t use it. Also, if you constantly have to scrape off a top layer of grime, throw it out.
If you detect a bad odour or if your lipstick is drying out or applying patchy, toss it. If your lip gloss is goopy and coming out in lumps, you don’t want to put that on your lips.
Quick tip: If you live in a warm climate, it's a good idea to keep your skin-care products in the fridge to preserve freshness.
There are times when you find yourself not using certain products because they’re stored in the backs of your cabinets or drawers. Out of sight is out of mind so get those products back in sight. Try pulling them out the night before and keep them on your vanity or dresser so you can remember to add the items to your rotation.
When to give away perfectly good product
If you’ve got products that are as good as new but you don’t find yourself using them, take a moment and ask yourself: Why did I buy this product? Why did I stop using it? Can I add this to my makeup routine or skin-care regimen?
Chances are if you haven’t used it yet, you probably won’t. Perhaps pass it along to a family member or a friend who might get better use out of it. Or even take a box full of your unused items to a women’s shelter. If you are going to donate, make sure your items are in clean and sanitary condition.
How to sanitize your beauty products:
For powder compacts, wipe the powder with a piece of Kleenex to remove the top layer. Then, take a new piece of Kleenex—fold it or cut it down to the right size—and place over the powder to avoid bacteria from getting into the fresh layer. If you threw out the box, seal with tape; no one but the new owner should be opening it. This works for face powders, blushes and eyeshadows.
For lipstick, lipgloss and other stick products, wipe them down with a piece of Kleenex sprayed with the cosmetic disinfectant. Once again, seal boxes or the products themselves with tape.
Always use a mini spatula for products that are in jars so you’re not dipping your fingers in there. Also, don’t throw away the plastic divider that covers the cream. When you want to give it away, all you have to do is seal the outside with tape.
Cosmetic sanitizers can be found at most beauty stores and makeup artistry stores. Always keep a sanitizer and a brush cleaner on hand.
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We asked experts your burning questions about fitness trackers. Here's how the wearable devices could make you fitter and healthier.
Wondering if a wearable fitness tracker will help you on your journey to get fit? We asked the experts whether the latest fitness devices can really help us get healthy.
How accurate are these trackers?
It may vary by tracker (wearable device or app), many of which have not been publicly tested. Research on some smartphone apps, for instance, has turned up discrepancies in distances travelled, with apps either over- or underestimating how many steps you're taking when compared with more sophisticated treadmill measurements. Be cautious about focusing on specific numbers, especially when it comes to calories, as studies show apps (and even treadmills, for that matter) aren't necessarily accurate, says Mary Jung, assistant professor and health researcher at The University of British Columbia.
That said, both types of trackers are useful for recording your own trends. "As long as you're comparing yourself with yourself over time, you're going to see changes in your life relatively accurately picked up," says Greg Wells, associate professor and physiology and kinesiology researcher at the University of Toronto. These changes might include increasing the amount you walk or run each day, improving your heart rate and reducing the amount of time you sit. Wells has had success with the Apple Watch while training for an Ironman competition, and using apps such as Runkeeper and Strava for cycling.
Do they help us get more fit?
The short answer is yes, says Wells, because the data can be motivating. Adds Jung: "They provide an opportunity to see whether you are doing more or less than you did yesterday, and reminders encourage you to get up and be active."
That's particularly helpful for sedentary people who want to be more active, says Wells. About 85 percent of Canadians aren't active enough to help prevent chronic illness. "Knowing how much you're walking and moving is powerful information," he says, "and most people need to improve those numbers."
When don't they work?
Another major critique of trackers is they don't yet offer context for the numbers they record—why are Tuesdays your worst day for walking or why did your running pace slow down over the week? Not surprisingly, about a third of devices get abandoned after six months. But, as Wells points out, that's actually not a bad statistic. "It means about 70 percent are still using them," he says. "That's a massive success story."
How can we overcome the devices' (and our own) shortcomings?
Choose the right tracker. "The best ones will provide users with weekly or monthly reports so they can self-monitor and use the data to self-reflect," says Jung. If you're honest with yourself, you can see if what you're doing is getting you toward your goals, she adds.
Do I have to wear my device every day?
No, you can wear it strategically—one day a week or even every two months. If you want to wear it daily, go for it, says Wells, "but if you feel it's onerous or annoying, put it in your desk drawer and set a reminder in your computer to wear it again in six weeks to see how things are going."
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, always looks camera ready—whether she's hitting the red carpet or travelling the world.
Track Kate Middleton's style file—from her star-studded (and trend-starting) wedding to her latest looks in 2016.
Kate wore a blue, printed Altuzarra dress in September 2016, accessorizing with L. K. Bennett heels and clutch.
On a visit to mental health charity Young Minds UK, Kate wore a scarlett dress by L. K. Bennett.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a favourite, L. K. Bennett, from head to toe. We've even seen this dress on Kate before!
Kate wore this stunning dress by Alexander McQueen to take in Andy Murray's win at Wimbledon in 2016.
At the 2016 Wimbledon tournament, Kate chose a bright yellow dress—a piece she wore to an event in Australia in 2014.
Kate joined in on the shoulder-baring trend, wearing this gorgeous white dress at the Natural History Museum in London.
At the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Kate wore a poppy on her elegant collared lace dress.
At the Royal Ascot horse racing event in England, Kate chose a crisp, white, lace Dolce and Gabbana number.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, the duchess wore a beautiful blue coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Kate stunned in this royal blue dress at a SportsAid event in June, 2016.
We love the outdoorsy feeling of Kate's appearance in British Vogue's 100 year anniversary issue.
Here she is in a simple striped top in British Vogue's Centennial issue.
The Duke and Duchess sat on 'Diana's bench' infront of the Taj Mahal, where Princess Diana posed for photos during a 1992 tour. Kate wore a simple frock from Naeem Khan's 2015 Resort collection.
Kate is wearing a traditional Bhutanese look to attend a welcome procession in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, and to later try archery, the country's national sport. Her "skirt" is actually a half-kira that has been elegantly paired with a Paul and Joe wool cape.
Kate attended the Bihu Festival celebrations in an Anna Sui silk chiffon maxi dress from the designer's fall 2015 collection.
Kate is sporting olive biker trousers from Zara and a ruffled button-down by RM Williams at Kaziranga National Park.
Kate narrowly missed a Marilyn-moment with this white Emilia Wickstead dress.
Kate wore a gorgeous two-piece ensemble by Temperley London in black and white for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration in India.
Kate wore a prinited red maxi dress by Anita Dongre for the royal tour in India.
Kate wore this stunning green Temperley London dress as she continued the royal tour in India.
Kate kicked off the royal India tour with this red, printed number by Alexander McQueen.
Kate wore Indian designer Anita Dongre and tried her hand at cricket while wearing this gorgeous printed midi dress.
Kate kept it simple while she fed elephants at Kaziranga National Park in this Boho-chic Topshop dress. The dress is accented with black embroidery and tassel-tipped ties.
Kate wore one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham, for her first formal, evening event in India.
This stunning royal blue dress with sheer detailing was a lovely look on the Duchess.
Kate wore an Alexander McQueen coat dress for the christening of Charlotte. The fit and flare style stayed true to Kate's preferred silhouette and the Jane Taylor hat completed the look.
Kate looked glamorous in Jenny Packham as she attended the London premiere of James Bond's Spectre.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore this lovely floral printed Erdem dress in late 2015.
The dress that launched a thousand lace-sleeved copy cats. Catherine married Prince William in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown fit for a princess.