Renowned make-up artist Bobbi Brown has said, “Beauty is a lifestyle.”  She’s right. It’s why we’re on the constant hunt for the next perfect product- the one that makes us younger, more beautiful, irresistible to the opposite sex.  But stack up the years of hunting, gathering, and hoarding, and we usually end up with a make-up drawer chock full of product gone bad (or horridly out of fashion). 

No need to be ashamed. We all do it. But spring is almost over, and if you haven’t cleaned out your make-up drawer yet, it’s time.  We replace our toothbrushes and toss out moldy food.  Why should the products we put on our faces fare any better?  Expired cosmetics can cause skin irritation and eye infections.  Once makeup is opened it’s exposed to bacteria and germs.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure longer lasting product: close tops tightly, store product away from sunlight, and make sure when you clean your brushes you allow adequate time from them to dry.  However, all cosmetics – no matter the cost- need to be replaced. Don’t think of the below as the golden rule, but a fair guideline. Opinions vary, and if I buy a $30 eye shadow, I don’t plan on tossing it after 18 months, but that goopy rainy-day lip gloss in the bottom of my bag, and the electric blue eye shadow hiding in the far back corner of my drawer, have met their end. That goes for anything that smells funky or is molding.

Suggested Timeframe:

Powders and shadows: 2 years

Cream shadows: 12 to 18 months

Foundation: 1 year

Lipstick & lipliner: 1 year

Mascara & eyeliners: 3 months

Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent

Makeup sponges: Replace weekly, or when sponge becomes dirty

-Arianna Schioldager

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