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Lesson Learned! Check Expiration Dates Before You Get to Set

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As told by Indie Lee, founder of Indie Lee skin care

Last year I was invited to join a morning television program for a live DIY segment. The plan: I would show the hosts how to whip up easy, natural beauty products with food items already in your kitchen.

This was an out-of-town gig, so my team and I stayed at a friend’s apartment in the area, and went shopping at a local market to get all the fresh ingredients we’d need for the shoot, like oatmeal, fresh berries, yogurt, clementines, flour, and eggs. Everything was ready to go.

The early morning call time came, and we arrived at the studio to meet the show’s host, who had come sans makeup. She was excited for the segment and thought it would be fun if we put the ready-made masks on her, on-air. She also brought a friend with her since we were creating more than one mask and needed some extra “talent.” Great idea, I thought.

We started by making an egg white tightening treatment, easy as 1, 2, 3. On air, we put it on the host, and it went perfectly. Then we moved on to a cranberry yogurt honey mask, which we whipped up in 30 seconds. The second guest had an idea that it would be cute to lick the mask from her face to show how edible it was, which was fine. It was just those three ingredients, and we’d already done our homework to make sure no one had allergies to what we’d planned to use.

However the guest started to get the strangest look on her face, one where you knew she was faking the smile and wanted to spit out what was in her mouth—but we were on live TV!

Cut to commercial. The guest rinsed out her mouth and said, “I guess I’m not a fan of this type of yogurt.” Once the crew left, as we were cleaning up to go to another press event, that’s when we realized: we’d brought the wrong yogurt with us. This one had been sitting in my friend’s refrigerator for a few extra weeks and was long past its prime. It makes me feel nauseous just thinking about it. Regardless, the spot went off really well—we were lucky. Everyone loved the segment, and everyone’s skin was soft and glowing afterward.

But we learned our lesson: be sure you triple-check the ingredients you bring with you to any shoot, especially if you’re working with food or any product that can spoil. And you might just want to try it—or taste it—yourself before you put it on someone else.