We all aspire to an immaculately curated makeup bag but reality for most is a scruffy mess filled with half used mistakes (emerald eyeshadow for work?), pencil stubs and semi fossilised sponges.

Unsurprisingly make-up hygiene (or lack thereof) is a huge factor in the appearance of skin. So here’s a quick primer.

  1. Wash your hands before you handle makeup or skincare products.
  2. Ensure that makeup is non-comedogenic (does not block pores).
  3. Communal make-up is a mortal sin – even on that hen weekend when you forgot your own supply. There is no excuse given the proliferation of fantastic affordable makeup ranges available.
  4. The lure of the beauty counter makeover is a potent one but don’t be shy about insisting that sales assistants use disposable applicators and antibacterial sprays. You may emerge looking like Elvira – mistress of the dark but at least you won’t contract conjunctivitis.
  5. Make-up should be kept in a cool dry area – if your bathroom resembles an Amazonian rainforest for humidity store it elsewhere.
  6. Brushes should be disinfected with alcohol spray after every use – and washed once a week. ELF produce an affordable spray and I use Baby shampoo as a brush cleaner.
  7. I do not use sponges as they are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you must, wash after every use (I do not possess the self discipline).
  8. Sharpen eye/lip pencils before every use to remove any adherent bacteria.
  9. Adhere to recommendations for make-up expiry dates. In general that means 3 months for mascara, 6 months for liquid eyeliner, 2 years for dry powders, 6 months for creme shadows and 6-12 months for liquid foundations.