Does your nose run every time you apply make-up? TikTok thinks it knows why

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of applying make-up only to wonder why your nose has suddenly chosen that moment to run? A drippy nose is irritating at the best of times, and especially so when you’re trying to blend foundation and concealer around that area.

You might have thought that you were the only one it happens to, but #BeautyTok is assembling once more to shed light (in short video form) on a conundrum that many of us are apparently facing. More and more videos on the subject are appearing on the For You page of anyone with a keen interest in beauty, with plenty of users asking if anyone can confirm whether or not the process of applying make-up might be linked to feeling sniffly.

“Can someone please explain to me why this happens? Why does my nose run whenever I’m doing my make-up?” one user asks, while a second videos herself with a bit of tissue stuck up each nostril, captioning the clip: “That after make-up nose run”.

So has TikTok gotten to the bottom of this question? We believe it has. Several viral videos (pun intended) suggest there are two reasons why your nose waters when you’re doing your make-up: either the products you’re using are out of date or you’re allergic to them.

“So you’re telling me the sniffle I get after applying make-up is because I’m allergic to something I put on my face, or I’m allergic to it?” one user says incredulously.

An “allergy” is a strong way of describing slightly snotty symptoms. It might be more accurate to say a “sensitivity”, which could be due to an overly-perfumed product. As for the claim about out of date make-up being able to cause a sniffle, this theory does have legs.

Jamie Long, make-up expert lead stylist atHD Brows, explains that not only can unwashed brushes, beauty blenders and dried out mascaras be less effective, but they can cause irritation and even infection.

“As a general rule of thumb, you should probably let go of anything that’s been taking up your beauty bag for longer than a year. However, there are certain products such as mascara and liner that should be thrown out much quicker,” he says.

Interested in the specifics? Here’s how long, according to Jamie, you should keep each opened product before replacing it with a new one…

Mascara: 3-4 months

Foundation: 12 months

Concealer: 12 months

Powder: 12 months

Blusher/Bronzer: 12 months

Eyeshadow: 12 months

Eyeliner: 6 months

Lip Gloss: 12 months

BRB, we’re just off to take a deep dive into our make-up bags!


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