While we wish our favorite cosmetics could last forever, alas, we sometimes have to part. After a certain amount of time, our lip colors, blushes and more, succumb to things like bacteria that can cause breakouts or irritation, as well as funky rancidity of oils contained within the formulas.
Mascara can get clumpy and harbor bacteria, causing eye infections.
Foundations can separate.
Lipsticks can start to smell "off."
These are all signs that it is time to let go.
Conventionally preserved cosmetics tend to have a longer shelf life than those that are naturally preserved - or not preserved at all. Products that are powdered or contain only oils, without water being present, will last longer. Products containing water grow bacteria significantly more quickly.
But, as a rule, follow these guidelines for when to toss your stuff:
Liquid Makeup & Concealer: 6 Months to 1 Year
Lipstick / Lip Gloss: 1 Year
Lip Liner: 1 Year
Eyeshadow: 6 Months to 1 Year
Eyeliner: 6 Months to 1 Year
Mascara: 3 Months
Blush / Powder: 1 Year
To increase the shelf-life of your faves:
- Keep your brushes and applicators clean by using a natural, disinfecting brush cleaner once a week or washing with a mild shampoo (being careful to wash only the bristles).
- Never dip your fingers directly into the product container (although it is ok to remove some product with a clean spatula and apply it with fingertips).
- Do not use cosmetics when you are sick or have any sort of skin or eye infection. If you do, they need to be chucked asap.
- Do not share your makeup directly with others. Offer to give them a small bit in a sample jar if they'd like to try out the shade, because you are a good friend. :)