Oh it’s there, you know it is. It’s THAT mascara “you know the one we’re talking about“ the one that has been lingering somewhere near the bottom of your makeup bag for the last two years “just in case” purple mascara (which you adored in uni and which totally made your green eyes look killer) decides to suddenly come back into style.
Well guess what? That mascara is more than 18 months past its prime and is probably harbouring about as much bacteria as if you decided to wipe down the inside of your toilet with your toothbrush. Nasty right? And believe it or not, you are not alone.
The shelf life of makeup is something that is not discussed nearly as often as it should be and many women often have no idea just how long they should be keeping products for and when they need to be replaced. Well, you will be glad to know we are here to help, with an easy-to-follow guideline to your ultimate makeup cleanse! So grab those beauty bags ladies and lets get cleaning!
Always check your ingredients on foundations. Water-based formulations will last you for up to a year, while oil-based ones will be good for up to 18 months. Always use the product with a sponge or brush to avoid getting bacteria from your fingers in the bottle or compact and if the product begins to take on a clay-like texture or smells muddy it is time to toss it. Concealers should be wiped down after each use to avoid bacteria build up and should be tossed after no more than 12 months!
Time for a new foundation? Try Kevyn Aucoin’s The Liquid Airbrush Foundation, $49.50. Available on ebeauty.ca
If cared for properly, loose finishing powder can last a number of years. Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from moisture and you can enjoy up to five years with just one powder. Pressed powders are a little less resilient and tend to crack or cake after about 12 months. Never keep them for longer than two years!
Is your powder just about “finished”? Try Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, $30. Available on Sephora.ca
When shopping take into consideration that powder colours will always have a much longer shelf life than cream ones. Kept dry, powders can last you up to two years. Creams should be wiped down after each use to avoid bacteria build up and should definitely be thrown out after six months.
Replacement time? Try Paul & Joe Beaute Face Colour, $26.40. Available on ebeauty.ca
Like blushes and bronzers, it is always wiser to choose powder shadows than cream-based ones. Solid powders should last for at least three years (cracking or a chalky texture are signs it is past its prime!) and loose powder for at least five years (if kept dry and out of direct sunlight!). Toss cream formulas after approximately six months.
Searching for a new shadow? Try the Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethoven, $34. Available on Sephora.ca
Thanks to their wax base, eyeliners “and lip liners for that matter“ manage to stay relatively germ-free. Always keep them sharpened and ensure the cap is always on. With proper care your pencils can last up to 3 years.
Looking for a new liner? Try Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $18. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.
The shortest shelf life of any product, mascara wands tend to be chock-full of nasty bacteria and are coming in direct contact with the most sensitive part of your face. Change it every two-three months, six months MAX!
Time for a new mascara? Try CARGO blu_rayâ„¢ Mascara, $20. Available on ebeauty.ca
Try and stick with oil-based lipsticks, which don’t harbour as much bacteria. Keep them in the refrigerator to prolong their shelf life and toss them within two years, sooner if they start to smell bitter. Glosses should be wiped down after each use to avoid bacteria build up and should be chucked when they start to dry out or smell bitter (usually about 12-18 months).
Longing for a new lipstick? Try Too Faced Cosmetics Lip of Luxury Lipstick, $20. Available at Sephora
Depending on the quality of the polishes you buy they should last you up to 12 months. If they start to get sticky, change colour, or smell funky, toss them! Like lipsticks, keeping your polishes in the fridge will keep them fresher longer.
Primed for a new polish? Try Sephora by O.P.I ($9.50/each on Sephora.ca)
While most people are using makeup brushes these days, if you are using sponges or sponge-tipped applicators they should be washed once per week and discarded monthly to avoid nasty build up. Brushes needed to be thoroughly cleansed every two months with a mild detergent or brush cleanser.
Time for a cleanse? Try the Estee Lauder Makeup Brush Cleanser, $20. Available on Sears.ca