Monday, April 4, 2011

How long is makeup good for?

Clear Cube

I'm not a hoarder by any means and am not one for clutter. In fact, I make several treks to the Goodwill to insure I will not become a hoarder.  Yet, when looking under my bathroom sink cupboard recently, I stumbled upon some old eye shadow and it got me thinking two things 1. "why would I ever buy this shade," and 2. "how old is this"??? So it got me thinking how long is makeup good for before it expires?

When you invest money into pricey cosmetics you hate the thought of just tossing it into the trash can (especially if there is still makeup in there), but sometimes holding onto that lipstick that you rocked back on Junior Year Prom is harboring more than just memories.

Not only can you do be doing harm to yourself by applying old, spoiled makeup but sharing makeup with a friend is a no-no too. You also increase your odds by sampling makeup at a department store or swapping makeup. When you share makeup you may not just be bonding over that too die for black liquid liner, but also pink eye (sharing is caring after all :) ).

Now that spring is fully upon us and you are doing your spring cleaning, don't forget to evaluate your cosmetics too! The rule of thumb is that anything that comes in a liquid form (think foundation, mascara, nail polish will expire quicker than a powdered substance (blush, powder, etc.)

So I've compiled a little cheat sheet on how long makeup is good for before it expires:

  • Mascara - good for 3 months
  • Liquid Eyeliner  - 3 months
  • Foundation In liquid form - 6 months
  • Powdered foundation - 2 years
  • Lipsticks - 2 years
  • Nail polishes - 1-2 years
  • Eye Shadows - 2 years
  • Eyeliner pencils - 2+ years if they can be sharpened

*Always throw away makeup that smells foul or has been used after you had an eye infection or cold sore, or you could run the risk of recontamination, and that's not cute. Clean makeup brushes at least once weekly too!*

Humidity can lead to cosmetics breeding bacteria. That is why the bathroom, although very convenient, is not the best option for storing our makeup (If only I could heed my own advice)! You should also store makeup in a cool, dry place, out of direct-sunlight, as the sun can accelerate breaking down of our cosmetics. Remember, if there is a foul odor or the makeup begins to separate, it's time to say "sayonara." Now, please excuse me as I throw away a 7 year-old eye shadow (blushes sheepishly) that I've (un)knowingly been holding onto. "Sayonara!"