My skin is sensitive. My skin is so sensitive that it’s one Jewel’s “Foolish Games” listening session away from a complete emotional collapse at any given time.
My skin is so sensitive that your mama jokes make it cry because it loves its mom so much -- and when a rabbi, a priest, and a Buddhist walked into a bar, it became nervous because it doesn’t like conflict and isn't sure where it stands on religion.
My skin is so sensitive that when I’m getting ready to do something like go on a job interview or a date it will conjure up one insane hive, so that I might look my most socially-anxious when meeting someone new.
“What? This? On my face? Oh, no, I always have that. Permaherpes. I mean. It’s a burn from an iron. I mean -- I AM A TEAM PLAYER.*”
Over the years, I have a developed a rigorous, deeply boring skin care regime. I have washed my face with the same thing for roughly eight years (Cerave non-foaming, if you are DESPERATELY curious) and moisturized in the am and pm in much the same fashion. (Also with Cerave, AM and PM respectively, although sometimes when I am drunk or tired I have subbed in AM for PM and then gone to bed quietly furious that I smell like sunscreen and also Scotch.)
Because I am a product fiend who has never met a dollar lipstick that tastes like crayons I didn’t love, I am less saintly in my makeup applications. It’s pretty hit or miss. I can buy some el cheapo items and go about my business, say, quietly bronzed with no ill effects.
Or I can innocently put on a new eye shadow and half an hour later find myself prone over the kitchen sink working my eyeball loose with a splintery chopstick. You know. Because of skin discomfort.
Recently, I came across this article that says 82 percent of women keep their makeup well past its expiration date. Between the roulette wheel of misfortune that is my skin, and my near-clinical inability to determine whether or not perishable items have gone bad, it was only logical that I volunteer to try a bunch of expired makeup and see what would happen. I leapt at the chance, Claritin and a damp cloth at the ready.
I don’t really use foundation at all anymore -- and this is from someone who once couldn’t get through a day without repeat applications of MAC Studio Fix. I am one of those BB Cream converts now. That said, I have nightmares of waking up in a world with no way to disguise the size of my pores.
As such, I decided to begin with an expired bottle of Revlon Age Defying DNA Advantage Foundation. It squirted into my hand in separate but equal parts beige sludge and burned-olive-oil-looking sebum. I blended them back together as best I could while commanding them to “live, LIVE goddamn you.” Then I applied as usual.
The coverage was okay, and initially I thought I’d be fine, but after 10 minutes and the application of the other products, I noticed a tingling at my jaw line.
Up next, I applied a stick of eyeliner in a coppery shade that was old enough that all of its information had worn off. To be totally honest, it could have been a real pencil meant for math and such and now I’m probably dying.
After I sharpened it with a kitchen knife (absolutely a thing that happened), I applied it onto my top lids. Even though I kind of went bananas with it, you couldn’t really tell I had done anything, other than my eyes were watering from undue pressure. Still, if that was the worst result, awesome. Because I’ve been using my eyes to see things and have grown fond of them.
For mascara, I did what so many of us would do if challenged to apply a buttload of expired makeup. I dug up a tube of Great Lash that I’m pretty sure my mom gave me when I was 12. It was totally dried out, so I had to add some water to it.
Surprisingly, this gave me a nice, natural looking coat. As I blinked and adjusted and examined, I felt my chronic left-eye lower lid eczema flare up -- because I am 800 years old and the sexiest person you will ever see.
To be fair, this happens occasionally even when I use my magical hypo-allergenic mascara, so I won’t hate on you, GL. Note: My eyes continued to water like they do during that phone commercial where the mother keeps touching her red-haired son’s face.
I found the best expired eye shadow you guys, oh my god. Question. Have you ever dreamed of looking like maybe you have tuberculosis but are also married to a Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt? Then do I have an eye shadow for you! It’s MAC’s shadow in Amber Lights! Ha, ha, oh my god I looked like I was dying.
But I will say this for our friends at MAC, the shadow went on smoothly and cleanly as ever and my eyes did not swell shut. That said, as I type this, I cannot seem to “remove it” from my body. So that might be a problem, or make me the fanciest girl at yoga this afternoon. BOOM.
My jaw line was still itchy from the foundation, but I decided to go for the blush anyway because I am a loner, Dottie, a rebel. I smeared a bit of Nars Cactus Flower cream blusher on my cheek apples while muttering, “Damn girl, you fine" at myself.”
The color has dimmed from what it was on purchase, but no ill effects as of yet! I remain fine as hell.
Now for the lips. Oh, dear lord, the lips. I bought this stain, called simply Stainiac, years ago. Its color has changed from the brighter truer pink it once was into something I like to call “rat organ magenta.”
The smell has changed too, from nothing at all to grape Kool-Aid that has been poisoned by the leader of a cult. I stopped using this stain because it really dried me out, as stains will do. It would also creep off of my mouth onto my upper lip no matter how rigorously I applied lip liner and/or duct tape. I held onto it for the same reason I hold on to all lip products: “Hm, I can probably layer this with something else and then it will be perfect and every boy will want to smooch on me.”
This was the only product that I actually had qualms about applying. It was gooey and rank and took several sticky dehydrating layers before it even imparted any of its pigment. Weirdly, I like the color now more than I ever did before, but every breath I take tastes like an old man’s rotting teeth (holla) and I kind of want to die.
Silver lining: My lips have not fallen off of my face.
What old, expired-type products do you hold onto beautywise? What's the oldest thing in your makeup bag? Have your lips ever fallen off of your face? You know what I mean when I talk about that rotting tooth smell, right? Tell me in the comments! Troll me on Twitter.
*I say this even if it’s a date, not a job interview, because it’s a good life-skill to share with people you want to get to know better. Also, I do not date very often.