Submitted By: Cassandra Frank

When is it Time to Throw Out Your Makeup?

All make up expires at some point and should be discarded due to health and quality concerns. Despite preservatives, bacteria will grow in makeup especially if it has not been stored properly. Bacteria can cause several mild and more severe health issues which are easily avoidable. Old makeup also lacks the smoothness and quality of new, bacteria free, makeup.

Old makeup can cause new or more severe skin problems such as mild rashes and acne. If you are experiencing an increase in either of these symptoms there is a chance that it is time to toss your old make-up.

There are some very clear visual signs that your makeup is too old:

  • Cracks appear in your powder or compact
  • Liquid foundation begins to separate
  • Sponges look dirty or soiled
  • Creams or mascara begin to dry out
  • Eyeliner becomes crumbly
  • Gloss becomes goopy
  • Brushes start losing hairs and their stiffness
  • Product changes color

Remember, if anything smells bad or looks “off” it should be tossed right away.

The Life Span of Makeup

Below are the suggested lifespans of various products, after this time makeup should be thrown out:

  • -Lipstick & Lip liner: 1 year
  • -Foundation (liquid): 6 months after opening
  • -Eyeliner (pencil): 2 years, sharpening helps remove bacteria
  • -Eyeliner (liquid): 6 months
  • -Mascara: 3 months, no exceptions!
  • -Eye Shadow (powder): 18 months - 2 years
  • -Eye Shadow (liquid): 1 year
  • -Blushes & Powders: 18 months – 2 years
  • -Concealer: 1 year
  • -Sponges: 1-2 months
  • -Brushes: 2 years, if cleaned with a mild soap or shampoo on a weekly basis

Sharing Makeup

To make it short and sweet, do NOT share makeup! Especially avoid sharing products that are used on the eyes and lips where infections are more likely. Sharing eye makeup most often leads to the spreading of a very contagious infection called pink eye. Pink eye causes the eyes to become red, itchy and watery for up to two weeks which can be treated with eye drops. Sharing lip makeup can lead to the spreading of a more serious virus, the herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores. There is no cure for the herpes simplex virus and it can be spread even if the carrier does not have any visible sores. Just one incidence of sharing your lipstick can lead to a lifetime of contending with the condition if you contract the virus.

Tester products in the mall or at your local drug store are meant to be used on your hands and never your face, eyes or lips. The purpose of the tester is to compare the color with the skin on the back of your hand. If you choose to sample tester products, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use.



About the Author

Cassandra Frank is Alberta's Athletes' Representative. She twirled competitively for eight years with Loranne Meek, and has been coaching for five years. Her most memorable twirling moment is winning BN Solodance at her first nationals.

Thanks to Cassandra for supplying the very first article!

Submitted By: Sara Thibeault

Sometimes competition can be stressful, but if you know how to handle it, a little bit of stress can be helpful!

First things first: remember why you are working hard in practice. If you are working hard in practice just because “mom dropped you off and she’ll pick you up in an hour,” that’s not a very good reason. Think of all the things you love about baton: it’s so much fun, your friends are at baton competitions and practices, it’s exciting to learn and master a new trick, you are really proud of yourself for working hard to get really good at what you do, you love to perform for everyone, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes just taking a second to grab a drink and think about how much you love to twirl can be the extra spark it takes to get that one really tricky part of your routine!

Don’t forget to remember how hard you worked in practice. Sometimes it is easy to forget all the hours spent at practice. If you are feeling nervous about a trick, remind yourself that you have done a billion of that trick in practice, and this is just another one of the billion times that you are doing that trick. Be confident in what you are going to do. The old cliché that “whatever you say you are going to do (succeed or fail) is how you will do” is still true. Believe in yourself and all the time and effort you spent! (And don’t forget to thank your coach for being there for every second you spent working hard!)

Last, but not least, remember that you are in control of your performance. You don’t get to decide who wins, how your competition does, or whether or not the floor is too slippery. Those are things you can’t control. You can control what you do in practice and out on the floor, and you control how you feel before, during , and afterwards. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Do what feels right for you, and you’re way more likely to have a good twirl.


  • Concepts of Physical Fitness: Active Lifestyles for Wellness, 15th Edition (2009) by C. Corbin, G. Welk, W. Corbin, and K. Welk.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology: A Canadian Perspective, 2nd Edition (2010) edited by P. Crocker.

About the Author

Sara Thibeault is the CBTF Athletes' Rep. She has been twirling competitively for 15 years. In addition to twirling, she enjoys assistant coaching with the Sundown Optimist Buffalo Gals. Currently, Sara is studying Education at the University of Regina.

Submitted By: Danielle Priel

Have you ever been nervous to twirl in front of judges or a lot of people? Well, you’re not alone.  Many other twirlers feel the same way.  Here are some mental training suggestions to boost your confidence.

The Sport Science and Medicine Council of Saskatchewan provides a mental checklist to help you become mentally prepared for any obstacle (Sport Medicine & Science Council of Saskatchewan (1998). Mental Training Checklist. Retrieved from

  1. Motivation – Have the interest and desire to be the best athlete that you can be. Be determined and committed in accomplishing your goals, which will allow you to become your overall best. The metaphor, “the sky is the limit” encourages one to reach for their goals.

    “Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  2. Confidence – Believe in yourself. Even though baton is a competitively judged sport, it is important to remember to go out on the floor and perform for only yourself. Have faith that you will put on a great show.

    "What lies before us are little matters compared to what lies within us". ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
  3. Habits of Thinking – Always think positive. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Prove to yourself that you know you can do it. Of course, nothing is impossible. “The impossible becomes possible” when you are optimistic. 

    My motto is to ‘believe in yourself, and anything is possible.’  And ‘you can do anything you want, if you just put your mind to it’.
  4. Focus – Concentrate and tune out distractions. If you see one of your competitors doing a trick that you have difficulty doing, ignore them. You should only be worrying about what you are doing. Best chances are that you can do a lot of things that they have a hard time doing. Everyone has their strengths. Focus on what you have been training on and show everyone what you’ve got. Try to stay away from things that take your attention away from your objective. Keep your head in the game.

    “Success is focusing on the full power of all you are on what you have burning desire to achieve.” ~ Wilfred Peterson
  5. Visualization – Seeing a picture through your mind’s eye. Find a quiet place, close your eyes and think of doing perfect routines by yourself or as a team. You don’t have to listen to your music, but it might be easier to get the full picture. You can use imagery in practice, when you’re at home, when you’re lying in bed before you go to sleep; visualize the night before the competition, on the way to the competition, in warm-up, or before you go out to perform. Try to do it as often as you can. The purpose of doing visualization is to maximize performance, build confidence, correct skills, and motivate.

    “Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.” ~ Bo Bennett

This mental checklist is a tool for you to be confident, positive, and focused on your performance. Motivation encourages you to strive for your best, and with visualization your goals come into sight.

Please note: This is only an opinionated article. Seek professional advice from a sport psychologist.

About the Author

Danielle Priel is Saskatchewan’s Athletes’ Rep. She is currently studying Accounting at University of Saskatchewan. She has been competing in twirling for seventeen years and has been coaching for five years. Her most fond baton memory is twirling in the semi-final round at the 2007 World Baton Twirling Championship in Hamilton, Ontario, where she competed for the first time in the Senior Women’s Freestyle division.

Submitted By: Cassandra Frank

Importance of a Good Training Diet

There are no miracle meals that can be consumed prior to, during, or after a competition that will compensate for a poor training diet. Athletes should always eat a well-balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates to prevent chronic energy depletion and nutritional deficiencies. Along with proper nutrition athletes should always consume lots of water to remain hydrated when training.

Pre-Competition Meals

Pre competition meals are designed to maintain normal sugar levels and prevent hypoglycaemia which can cause light-headedness, blurred vision, fatigue and poor coordination. They also help settle the stomach, end hunger feelings and most importantly provide energy to fuel the muscles.

The goal of the pre-competition meal is to increase stamina and endurance without causing stomach discomfort. Eating too much can cause nausea and stomach cramps while eating too little can cause a lack of energy. It is important to know your body and how much food you can comfortably consume. Athletes who develop a sensitive stomach due to nerves and stress should make a special effort to eat extra food the day before so that they are well fuelled for the competition.

Carbohydrates (breads, bagels, potatoes, pasta, fruit, etc.) are the best pre-competition food because they are digested quickly and readily available for fuel. Protein rich foods (eggs, tuna, steak, chicken, etc.) take longer to digest and may increase the need to urinate. Fats (fried foods, peanut butter, burgers, etc.) stay longer in the stomach and may feel heavy and uncomfortable.

Timing of Pre-Competition Meals

Timing a pre-competition meal is important. For morning events eat your pre-competition meal for dinner the previous night along with a bed-time snack. In the morning eat a light meal 2-3 hours prior to the competition. For afternoon events, eat a hearty breakfast and a light carbohydrate filled lunch 2-3 hours prior to exercise. In general, allow 3-4 hours for large meals to digest, 2-3 hours for smaller meals, 1-2 hours for liquid meals and 0-1 hour for a small snack.

Avoid the Sweet & Sugary “Quick Energy”

After you eat concentrated sugars (pop, candy, donuts, etc.) your body produces insulin to carry sugar from your blood to the muscles. Exercise also helps carry sugars to the muscles; the combined effect can cause your blood sugar to drop abnormally low. As a result you may feel light headed, shaky, tired and uncoordinated.


About the Author

Cassandra Frank is Alberta's Athletes' Representative. She twirled competitively for eight years with Loranne Meek, and has been coaching for five years. Her most memorable twirling moment is winning BN Solodance at her first nationals.

Thanks to Cassandra for supplying the very first article!