Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lipsticks and Expiration Dates

Experts tell us to toss our makeup after a period of two months to one year depending on the product. It really ticks me off. I mean who are they kidding? How many of us really throw our eye shadows out after six months? I understand the reason is to prevent infections but I have yet to get an infection from makeup (crossing my fingers now that I've said it). I believe if they expect us to throw away our makeup after six months then they should produce products that are smaller and less expensive. I would be more willing to throw it away and buy a new batch. If I'm going to spend a pretty penny on makeup I'm going to get the most out of it and so I do keep makeup a few months past the recommended expiration dates. It's hard to throw away an eye shadow or lipstick that I've only used a few times. Now don't get me wrong I don't keep makeup for years unless it's a color that's discontinued. Then I keep it to use as a guide to find a similar color but I don't apply it to my face. Estee Lauder discontinued my perfect eye shadow seven years ago and I am still on a mission to find it's match. I take the eye shadow with me to makeup counters and just do the color comparision on my arm. Never on my face. I know it sounds gross, but it's really the perfect shade.

In the United States the FDA does not provide regulations for the expiration date for makeup ( but rather the expiration dates are simply "rules of thumb". So we are basically left alone to decide for ourselves or trust the experts. I've seen different guidelines for makeup so I always go with the one that gives me the most amount of time. I'm thankful that lipstick has the longest shelf life of 2-3 years. Since lipstick's longevity is significantly longer than mascara (4-6 months) it is difficult to keep track of when to toss it out. So I write the dates on the tubes when I start using them.
There's 2 lipsticks in there from 2008, definitely past expiration date. 

To be honest I don't always remember to write the date down. (Note to self: leave a Sharpie in the bathroom.) So when I'm unsure of the time frame of my lipstick there are 2 things I do to keep it germ free.

First, cut off the top of the lipstick. You can scrape a little off the top with a Q-tip but since I am not sure how old the lipstick is I'm making a larger cut using dental floss. I tried to slice it off at an angle but as you can see it didn't really come out that way. I will use a lip brush to shape it back into a usable form.

Secondly, dip your lipstick in rubbing alcohol. Twist the lipstick to fully expose the entire tube and submerge lipstick for at least 30 seconds. I just use a Dixie cup in the bathroom. I saw Dr. Oz on the "Today Show" affirm this technique (Dr. Oz segment on germy purses). I usually sanitize my lipstick using the alcohol method every couple of months.

If your lipstick has changed color or smells funky that is a definite signal to toss it out. Don't even bother trying to sanitize it.

Another way to get the most out of your lipstick is to blend the colors. I don't always like the shade of my lipstick. Usually the freebies from Lancome or Clinique don't match my skin tone. So I combine the too dark lipsticks with the lighter shades. Have you ever seen those lipstick pallettes with different shades? It's the same concept. I once read in a magazine that Marilyn Monroe used five or seven different shades of lipstick and gloss to achieve the perfect color.

One more word of advice, we all know this but I'm going to say it anyway: NEVER share your make up with anyone, even if it's your own daughter or best friend. The most common infection from sharing lip products is herpes simplex virus. Even though it's not visible it may be on the other person's lips and you can still contract it if they're shedding. A cold sore is no fun, no fun at all, and embarassing. Even if you stop a cold sore in 2 days it still has to go through the drying up and crusty stages. Not worth the trouble. If you can't avoid sharing your lipstick make sure to always scrape off the top and sanitize with alcohol.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Graduation Party 2013's an exciting moment in one's life. Freedom, relief, fear, joy and satisfaction are some feelings that graduates experience. For a few others it's also a scary and confusing time because so many life-altering decisions are expected to be made when they have barely experienced or lived a full life. I think Adam Kotsko summed it up perfectly when he tweeted,

"We ask 18-year-olds to make huge decisions about their career and financial future, 
when a month ago they had to ask to go to the bathroom."  

Graduation is also a time for celebration and to cut loose from all the stress school has caused both the child and parents. So naturally we had a party. Due to conflicting schedules my son's graduation party was scheduled the day before Father's Day and a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday. In order to make things easy, my family decided to combine all 3 celebrations (graduation, birthday, Father's Day) into one party. 

I'm a frugal person at heart and to avoid the cost of stamps on 2 separate invitations I decided to make these tags to be mailed along with the graduation invites. I know I could have really saved money by sending an electronic invite but I am old school and I still love paper. I shudder at the thought of electronic wedding invitations. I am sure companies like Josten's and paper companies are happy that people still mail graduation announcements too.

Note: I'm not being rude asking others to bring a side dish. We have a huge family and our gatherings are always potluck. For outisde-of-the-the-family friends I made a different tag that did not ask to bring food.

My son's name is Alec. I made a play on words "Such a Smart Alec" for a sign I placed above the dessert table where I also displayed mini copies of his certificates and awards. To be honest we were not even aware of some certifications.
As always we had so many desserts.

I made custom bingo cards using school references. In order to avoid having double winners in the same game I made 20 cards to have a good variety. While trying to make the cards my eyes started to get googly scrolling through 20 tables and I started to get confused. I noticed some of the cards had the same word on them. So I erased the words and started over. This time I made a list of words and then I scrolled through and randomly placed the words one at a time. This way I didn't have the same words on one card and had a complete list of words to call out during the game. For the game piece to cover the words I used mini stamp cut outs. I bought small prizes such as $5 Starbucks gift cards for the winners.  It was such a pain in the booty to make these so if you're interested I can email the Word file for these cards. Just leave a comment below or send a private message. 
playing bingo

To highlight moments of Alec's progress in school, graduation and our family life I hung pictures around the house. I used twine and miniature clothes pins to hang the photos. When the party was over family members were allowed to take whatever photos they wanted for their own photo albums.

Note:  I actually left the twine up and used it to hang up Christmas cards later in the year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Mischievous Graduate 2013

I'm listening to Third Eye Blind's "Graduate" song while writing this post for inspiration but after singing a few lines I realize that it's not really fitting the occassion, especially the "punk ass" part. Still a good song though.

My eldest son, Alec, recently graduated from high school. (Big sigh of relief.) We've been waiting for this moment since his first day of kindergarten. It's been quite the long and winding road for us. School has definitely changed since my husband and I attended and it has been quite a learning experience. Unfortunately for Alec since he is our firstborn we made most of our mistakes with him. We even messed up kindergarten. We were not aware that he was supposed to already know the alphabet and be able to count to 20 before he started kindergarten. No one told us. We just assumed that he would learn it in school. There was not a starter kit that told new parents what to do. Over the years there were many more slap our foreheads and "Why didn't anyone tell us?" moments. But despite our grandest failures and mistakes our boy made it and graduated #40 in class with honors and certifications in Adobe Photoshop and Graphic Design and Illustration.

I was going through some papers and found these communication notes from his elementary teacher. At the time my husband and I got a good chuckle, but we had to hide our amusement and instead show Alec stern faces and have serious talks with him about his behaviour. There were a few other incidents but he stopped getting in trouble because he learned how to hide his mischievousness. I know he was still a rascal because he would tell us every once in a while about stuff at school. Now that Alec is older we can laugh about these notes from his teacher together.
 Chasing another student after spitting on his hand to "touch him" with spit.
Tearing movie tickets so it reads "ASS" and passing it to other students. 
Out of seat during Social Studies, Blurting in class that Santa is gay, Disrupting class during presentations.

We've come a long way since Alec's pranking days and he put in a lot of hard work and effort to achieve his goals. We know his AP classes were not easy and neither of us could help with AP physics. We're so proud of him and we definitely wanted to celebrate it.  Next post is about his graduation party.

First day of school. We still have the Blue's Clues Steve shirt.
Typical teen on phone. 

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