Wednesday, March 20, 2013

spring cleaning: when to toss your makeup

It's here! Today is finally the first day of spring. Of course, we have some snow on the ground, so it's not really looking like spring yet. But, the sun is out and the snow is melting away. So, it's a start anyway.

With spring comes spring cleaning, and I've been doing a lot of thinking about spring cleaning. Note that I actually haven't done any spring cleaning. Just thinking. Eventually I'll get around to it. I do kind of enjoy cleaning out stuff. There's something really satisfying about purging and getting rid of a whole bunch of clothes that you never wear, or clearing out all the junk that's piled up under the sink in the bathroom (I totally toss things under the sink just so that I can close the cabinet doors and pretend that there isn't a disastrous mess). One thing I definitely need to clean out is my makeup case. I always wonder how long makeup products last and when they should get tossed. And then I never remember to look it up, and then my makeup continues to sit in my makeup case, and then I continue to wonder when I should get rid of my makeup...anyway. So, here's a handy-dandy list of when to toss out your makeup (in case you were wondering, too!)

Powder: up to 3 years
All other formulas: 6 to 12 months

All foundations are water-based (except for powder foundations), so it's an ideal spot for bacteria. An unopened bottle of foundation can last a couple of years, but once opened, foundation should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Foundation should be stored in a cool, dry environment (i.e., not the bathroom. I definitely keep all my makeup in the bathroom. Oops!) If the ingredients have separated, or there is a change in the color or consistency, or if it smells funky, then it's time for some new foundation! 

Powders and sticks: up to 2 years
Liquids: 1 year

You'll know it's time to toss your concealer when there is a change in the color. Just like powder foundations, powder concealers can last a long time. Liquids should replaced after one year. 

Face Powder
2 years

Powders last a while, but some may contain some water from botanical extracts. Water means the potential for bacterial growth, so be sure to store makeup in a dry environment. Ingredients like oat extract, aloe, and chamomile may contain small amounts of water.

Powder: 2 years
Cream: 1 year

Again, powder blush can last up to two years, just like face powder. However, cream blush should be replaced after a year. In order to make your blush last, store it in a dark, dry place and clean your blush brush (try saying that ten times) regularly. Moisture and oils from lotions and foundations can stick to the bristles on the brush, which promotes bacterial growth. So, after applying your moisturizer/foundation, wait for a few minutes before putting on your blush. You can also use a blotting sheet to get rid of any excess oil. Once you've applied your blush, wipe the brush with a dry towel to remove any residue, moisture or oil.

Eye Shadow
3 months

Though eye shadow is generally a powder formula, they should be replaced more frequently since they're in contact with the eyes. If the color of your shadow changes or if there's an odd smell, it's time for some new eye shadow. 

Mascara & Liquid/Pencil Liner
2 to 3 months

Liquid-based mascara tubes are the perfect spot for bacteria to grow. Since mascara is applied to the eye area, you really don't want to mess around. Itchy eyes, sties, and conjunctivitis are no fun. Once mascara has gone bad, it emits a gasoline-like smell. And, of course if you develop any itchiness, sties, or any symptoms of conjunctivitis, throw out your eye makeup.

Both liquid and pencil liners should be replaced about every three months because -- you guessed it -- they're used in the sensitive eye area. Pencil liners might last a little longer if you sharpen them regularly. A white film at the tip of the pencil is a definite sign that it's time for some new liner.

Lip Gloss and Lipstick
1 year

Lip gloss and lipstick last a while because they don't contain water -- which means less bacteria growth. Look for changes in texture with your glosses and lipsticks. If your lipstick has hardened, it's no good anymore. If your lip gloss has globs in it, then it's time to toss it.

Nail Polish

Nail polish can last seemingly forever. However, the formula will eventually dry up. If you shake your nail polish bottle and the polish remains separated, then it's time to say goodbye.

And, while we're on the topic, here's a quick list of skincare products and their expiration dates:

Primers, eye firmers and other silicone-based products
12 months 

Cream cleansers, masks, moisturizers and eye creams
4 to 6 months

Gel cleansers, masks, acne treatments and eye gels 
6 months

Water based toners (you can keep in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life)
4 to 6 months

Cream or gel scrubs and shower gels 
4 months 

Serums and boosters
4 to 6 months

Generally, sunscreens have an expiration date of two years, but it's recommended to replace sunscreen every year

So, in conclusion, store all your makeup in a cool, dry, dark environment (like in a box in your closet) and keep all tools and brushes clean. In order to keep track of when to toss makeup and other products, you can get those little round stickers (like these), stick 'em to the bottom of your makeup/skin care product and write the date that you opened them. Or, even better, write the date that they should be tossed.

Now, I've got move my makeup out of the bathroom and clean some stuff out! And just think, if you have to toss some stuff, then that definitely means that you can buy some new items. Right? Oh yes.

Sources: Allure, Fitness Magazine, Parade, Tips on Home and Style, and Parenting

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the encouragement to throw a lot of stuff out!


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