When to Toss (or Keep) Your Makeup

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When to Toss (or Keep) Your Makeup

It’s that wonderful time of year when the weather’s getting warmer, the sun’s beginning to shine again, and the first day of summer is so close we can actually feel it. Which means it’s also that time of year when there are two words on everyone’s mind: spring cleaning. From your closet to the rest of your home (and life), everything’s getting freshened up, reorganized, and—in some cases—tossed out. And yes, that should even include your makeup.

Though you may not know it, your beauty products have a limited shelf life, meaning you can’t just stash them in your makeup drawer and use them (effectively or safely) year after year. In fact, makeup starts to get old the second you break the seal on it, particularly when it comes to liquid products like foundations, mascaras, and eyeliners. What’s more, each time you apply a fresh coat of the pretty stuff, you take the chance (a pretty high chance, actually) of transferring germs to your formulas.

So if you’re not quite sure how to know when your makeup goes bad, no worries: We have a quick, easy-to-understand guide on how often you should change out each piece of your makeup collection, with tale-tale signs that show you when they’re on the outs.

Cream Eyeshadow & Blush

You know it’s old when…it starts to dry out and harden.

To be safe, toss it…after 6 months or up to 1 year. If you’re using your fingers to apply the product, however, it’s more likely to breed bacteria and needs to be disposed of more quickly than if you’re using a brush or other tool to apply it.

Mascara & Liquid or Gel Eyeliner

You know they’re old when…the product is dry, flaky, and crumbly or causes any type of redness, itchiness, or other irritation around your eyes.

To be safe, toss them…within 3 months of opening the product. Because their liquids are so confined, mascaras and liquid or gel liners are known for breeding bacteria that can cause infections and irritation in your super-sensitive eye area.

Pencil Eyeliner & Powder Eyeshadow

You know they’re old when…they develop a shiny film that’s hard or impossible to remove, even after sharpening or wiping down with rubbing alcohol.

To be safe, toss them…after 2 years (unless you wet the shadow when applying, in which case you should toss after 6 months). For pencil liners, be sure to clean your sharpener with rubbing alcohol on a regular basis to avoid the transfer of germs from your eyes to the pencil.

Liquid Foundation & Concealer

You know it’s old when…the oils have separated or the colour has changed.

To be safe, toss it…about 6 months or up to one year after opened. (Unopened, these liquids can stay good for several years, which is great news if you’re the kind who likes to stock up on a much-loved formula in case it’s discontinued).

Lipsticks, Lip Glosses & Lipliners

You know they’re old when…the product dries out and looks cracked on lips rather than smooth and shiny.

To be safe, toss them…after 2 years (sometimes longer, depending on when they start to dry out or lose their creaminess).

Nail Polish

You know it’s old when…the formula becomes sticky, gooey, or lumpy and can’t be revived with the help of a few drops of nail polish remover.

To be safe, toss it…after 1 to 2 years (you’ll be obsessed with a new shade by that point anyway).

Powder Foundation & Blush

You know it’s old when…the powder starts to dry out and crumble.

To be safe, toss it…after 2 years max. Since most powder products don’t contain water, they’re less likely to breed bacteria and cause breakouts, meaning they have a longer shelf life.

Brushes & Makeup Tools

You know they’re old when…their bristles are fraying or starting to shed.

To be safe, toss them…only when they start to show signs of wear. Fortunately, the tools of the trade can last for years when well taken care of, so be sure to clean them about every two weeks with gentle soap or shampoo.

Thank you blog.wantable for these amazing tips!

Margaret Hirsch
Margaret Hirsch
Hirsch COO runs South Africa’s top independence appliance company that specialises in all appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding. They give the best deals and the best prices and everything is guaranteed.