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Buying quality cosmetics can quickly add up on the register, especially if you’re a religious wearer of a high quality brands. Women who beat their faces less frequently often find themselves penny pinching, trying to save that mascara until the very last lash is lifted. Holding on to a few dollars may be jeopardizing your health. Take note of this list of the shelf life for common types of makeup. Then, go through the bottom drawer in your bathroom. Bring the trashcan with you.  Makeup has an expiration date.

Eye Shadow

One of the longest lasting types of makeup, with proper care you can hold on to your eye shadow for about 2 years. (Some sources say 3 or 4!) Once it becomes dry and flaky, breaking for no reason, it’s safe to say the eye shadow has come to its end. Using a cosmetic sanitizer and frequently shampooing your makeup brushes will cut down on bacterial transfer, helping it last longer. If you happen to get an eye infection, just toss all of your face products and start over it again. As painful as it may be, you don’t want to risk your health.

Lip Gloss

Your lip gloss stops poppin’ after about a year. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself differently, once your favorite shade gets super sticky and won’t blend on your lips, it’s time to trash it.

Lipstick

Lipsticks last a bit longer than gloss, most agree they are good for 2 years after opening. A special tip is to keep your lipsticks in a cool place, some like to use the refrigerator. The low temperature minimizes the spread of bacteria. Once the lipstick becomes dry and brittle, you should get rid of it.

Mascara

This type of makeup has the shortest shelf life. No matter how much is left in the tube, the mascara isn’t any good after about 2-3 months. Rebel makeup wearers claim to be able to hold on to their mascara safely for 6 months. Regardless of whether or not you like to walk on the wild side, if the mascara is clumpy or has an odor, it’s done. Remember, when using mascara, twist, never pump. The pumping action forces air into the container, making a playground for bacteria. Another way to make your mascara last longer, don’t share with your friends. Swapping bacteria from eyelid to eyelid isn’t sanitary and multiplies your mascara’s chances of going bad faster. If you must use the same tube for multiple people, only do so with disposable applicators.

Powder

If it hasn’t irritated your skin, powder face makeup should last for a year. Frequent wearers will run through their foundation well before it goes bad. For those who switch bronzers and blushes with the seasons, if you keep your materials clean, you may be able to resuscitate your favorites for up to 4 years. These timelines may sound golden, but use your better judgment. If it smells funny, becomes clumpy, develops a shiny film, or suspected mold, you know where it needs to go.

Cream Foundation/Shadow

6-8 months is the general rule of thumb when it comes to cream based makeup. Those who are prone to breakouts or frequently dab during applications are safer leaning towards the shorter end of the scale. Pump containers protect the makeup’s preservatives a little better, those users should be good following the 8 month plan. If it starts to change colors or doesn’t apply the same as when you first purchase it- into the trashcan.

Liquid Foundation

Depending on use, packaging, and care you can get a good 6 months to a year out of your liquid foundation. Varying on ingredients, oil based foundations outlast water based varieties, normally lasting for 18 months. If the water based foundation dries out while its still some good (are you sure?), add in a little alcohol-free toner and shake it together. Your foundation should be good as new. Separation is common with oil-based foundations, that’s why remembering when you purchased it, and being aware of changes in the product are vital to knowing when it’s expired. For a longer shelf life, keep the liquid out of sunlight. The harsh UV Rays will attack the foundation’s preservatives, making it spoil faster. A cool, dry place is the safest choice.

Pencils

If you sharpen your pencils before each use, you are likely to keep them around for 2 years or longer. Sharpening cleans the tip of the pencil off and extends its shelf life. Make sure to disinfect your sharpener as well.

Makeup manufacturers aren’t required to label products with their estimated shelf life. Be careful where you purchase your cosmetics. Super sales are often overflowing with items that are already expired before you buy them. Never purchase makeup that is already open and be careful where and how you store it. These simple tips will extend the relationship between you and your favorite shades for as long as possible.

Resources:

http://beauty.about.com/od/makeuptrickstips/a/shelflife.htm

http://makeup.about.com/od/facefundamentals/qt/TossMakeup.htm

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/makeup/expired-beauty-products

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-long-should-you-keep-your-make-up.html

 

 

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