Though summer is right around the corner, some of us may just be starting on the annual ritual of cracking down on dust bunnies under the bed. And though most people think of spring cleaning as airing out linens and cleaning closets, there’s another aspect of every woman’s life that needs periodic attention: her beauty cabinet.
Trends come and go, and it’s important not to fall victim to every self-proclaimed makeup miracle that rolls around. Think about all the once-or-twice-used products that have fallen to the bottom of your cosmetics drawer, never to be seen again. It’s time to chuck the rejected and figure out what you’ll stay loyal to for the rest of your life (or at least the next year or so).
First things first:
Remember that products have shelf lives and unseen bacteria can lead to nasty infections like pink eye and cold sores. It’s therefore very important to be aware of how long you’ve had all of your products.
A few quick rules:
Pencil eyeliners and powders can last for a couple of years. Liquids and creams (including eyeliner, concealer, foundation, blush, eyeshadow) are good for about a year. Lipsticks and lip glosses go bad after a year or two. If they start changing color or texture, it’s time to throw them out. Mascara lasts only a few months, and you should always wash your makeup brushes every two to three months.
You’ll probably chuck tons of products using these guidelines, but you’re not finished yet. Go through what’s left and decide if you’ll ever use them again. Be brutally honest. If you only applied something once, into the trash it goes (special occasion eyeshadow or lipstick excepted). Likewise, if the color is dated or simply wrong for you — time for it to go.
Now the nice part:
Do you use a product often? If so, you’ll not only want to keep it, but to stock up (within reason). It can be a drag to visit the store every time you run out of mascara, so buy two or three next time you go and you’ll be set for a year. Just don’t open them all at the same time! Ditto lipstick “ you never know when your favorite color will be discontinued. Also, buy your foundation in two shades, one each for winter and summer. Just remember to pay attention to the products’ shelf lives when stockpiling!