makeup your mind

Picture this: You’re walking through a department store, and you see a tube of red lipstick. You’ve always wanted to buy a red lipstick, and this particular shade looks amazing on the model (natch). You swipe it across the back of your hand and decide you must have it. You buy it, take it home, try it on once and there it remains — a fixture on your vanity, never to be used again. We’ve all been there and have had those impulse purchases that got the better of us. But one girl’s beauty blunder could be another girl’s newest obsession.

As a new spin on a girls’ night in, have your friends bring over their cast-aside products to swap with other guests. Add a few finger foods and a little background music, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged party — a little beauty swap meet, if you will.

In your Evite invitation, be sure to include info on what to swap and what not to swap. All the products your guests bring should be “gently used,” as in, pretty much new. Stick to things that you’ve tried once or twice and didn’t work rather than products you’ve used to death and have grown tired of.

There are lots of beauty products that are fine to swap because they’re easily sanitized:

  • Anything in powder form — eye shadow, blush, face powder
  • Anything in pencil form — eyeliner, lip liner, brow definer
  • Products in tubes or bottles where the product is dispensed via squeezing or spraying (i.e., you don’t have to put your fingers into the product itself)
  • Brushes

On the other hand, there are some products you shouldn’t swap because they can’t be sanitized after they’ve been used:

  • Anything in wand form — lip gloss, mascara, liquid eyeliner
  • Anything in a pot where you have to dip your fingers in to get the product. This can include everything from face creams to hair masques to lip glosses.

Then there are a couple judgment calls:

  • Nail polishes can’t be sanitized like wand products, but in general, fingernails are less likely to be affected by bacteria than the eyes or mouth. If you or your friends aren’t comfortable with, for instance, using the polishes at a nail salon, then skip swapping polishes.
  • Creamy products like lipsticks, cream blushes and cream eye shadows can be wiped clean, but you still face the concern that bacteria can cling to the moist surface. However, most experts will tell you that a good spritz of rubbing alcohol will kill almost all the bacteria.

Before you let the swapping begin, make sure all the products are sanitized and ready to go to their new owners.

  • Wipe down the exterior of all packaging with a rubbing-alcohol-soaked cotton pad.
  • Swipe the surfaces of any powder products with a clean, dry cotton pad.
  • Sharpen all pencils, and make sure to clean the sharpener before starting on a new pencil.
  • Spritz makeup brush handles and bristles with a little rubbing alcohol, then wash them with warm water and a mild soap or baby shampoo. Squeeze out all the excess water and let the brushes air dry.
  • If you’re swapping lipsticks, dip them into rubbing alcohol and wipe off the tip with a cotton pad. Likewise, spritz the surface of cream blush or cream shadow with alcohol and wipe clean.

Happy swapping!

Send out a corresponding Evite invitation with the Girls Night Theme. Click here for a closer look at the one below.

Evite Girls' Night Invitation