A brush with the skin

Cosmetic safety

A brush with the skin

It’s rare to come across a woman who doesn’t have a fetish for clothes, bags and shoes or either of these. And almost impossible to encounter one who doesn’t use some or the other form of make-up.

Ask them about the contents of their bag and you will most certainly find a lip balm/ gloss, ‘kaajal’ and compact. Meanwhile, some of the more image conscious ones have elaborate vanity cases adorning their dressing tables. For grand occasions, a makeover by a recommended make-up artist becomes a must.

However, the quality of products used on one’s skin is of prime importance and using them before their expiry date approaches is quite crucial. Sometimes, even if the product comes from a known, high-end brand, it may not suit the person and turn into their worst nightmare.

Says Ankita Maheshwari, a 25-year-old professional, “A couple of years back, I got make-up done from a local make-up artist. She used the same brand of products that I had used earlier. But for some reason, it did not work out and the next day, I had boils and pimples on my face. I feel it was because the products had expired.” She adds that she has been extra careful since then. “I have upgraded to another brand myself and whenever I get make-up done at a parlour, I enquire about the brand they’re using and how recently the products were bought.”

Sarita Bery narrates a similar incident. “I know someone who had severe skin allergy. She later realised that it was due to her foundation that she knew had expired but had been using since it was very expensive. From personal experience, I can say that cheap nail polish leaves stains. Eyeliner and mascara easily contract bacteria and can be dangerous after the due date. Lipsticks and lip glosses come directly in contact with the mouth and become contaminated. They should be discarded as soon as the colour or smell changes.” She puts it that expensive does not necessarily mean more durable and that one must check for date of packing and use before dates.

Specifying what ‘good quality’ in the domain of cosmetics means, senior make-up artist Zarina Nissar, who runs ‘Zarine’s Makeovers Studio’, says, “It’s always better to invest in good quality cosmetics. That doesn’t mean very expensive or top-of-the-line products but medium range, affordable items with quality control. For this, one has to see the number of years the brand has been in the market and how it’s faring. I would say use your judgement and don’t go for the very new and upcoming brands that offer too many discounts and attractive offers to lure customers. And always discard expired products.”

One does make-up to look good and not to wake up with blemishes the next day, say Ridhi Malhotra and Annapoorna Narsepalli of ‘Bride With Pride’. They feel that while quality and expiry date are important aspects in any case, the responsibility of avoiding such mishaps rests on both the client and the artist while visiting a salon.

“As make-up artists, we know clients can be allergic to certain products or the main ingredients in some of them. They should pre-inform us if they are allergic to anything in particular so we can work around that and use substitutes instead. Some are sensitive to certain colours too and knowing that beforehand helps,” they state adding, “Make-up artists on their part should be well-informed as to where the main ingredients of various products are sourced from. For instance, the yellow pigment comes from the pollen of lillies and the red pigment comes from the carmine bug. So people allergic to pollen and red colour can be dealt with accordingly.”

Agrees Salma, a make-up artist with Wink Salon and Spa, “Clients should inform us incase they are undergoing any type of skin treatment to prevent any unpleasant after-effects.” Additionally, she advises that before applying make-up, a good moisturiser or make-up covering cream must be used and before going to bed, the make-up must be completely removed, the skin must be properly cleansed and night cream should be applied.

Whether it is at home or in the parlour, one has to use products according to their skin type and suitability. Else it may wreak havoc for them. Vanita Mathew, senior consultant dermatologist at Apollo Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, provides a few precautionary measures. “Never compromise on quality. If you’re using a new brand of cosmetics, always first apply the product on your wrist or behind your neck and wait for 48 hours to see if it suits you. Recently, I had a patient who was using a high-end cosmetic product and went into an anaphylatic shock (allergy with swelling of the face and difficulty in breathing) probably because the product did not suit her.

We had to treat her on an emergency basis,” she says adding, “Avoid psychedelic (bright) colours like orange, blue, black, yellow and green in nail polishes and lipsticks, as they contain a lot of toxins and can cause allergy. Colours like red, brown, pink and mauve are fine. Lastly, every product has a certain shelf life and must be used within that time else it has to be discarded without a second thought.”

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