I’ve got good intuition (or at least I’m tuned into it). It’s not unusual for me to know who’s calling before I look when I hear my phone ring, or to feel that something is bothering a friend before they tell me. And I have this sense about you, reader. I know what you’re doing. You’re holding onto an eyeliner, lipstick, or foundation because it was expensive, somehow sentimental, or really pretty/cool/different, so you’ll use it…someday. But someday might have already come and gone, and your product has died. Let it go, girlfriend. Or risk the consequences.
When To Toss Products
1) If you’ve been using a mascara for over three months, it’s got to go. Not only do the formulas tend to dry out and clump around that time, but the bacteria that’s been collecting on the wand has built up like crazy and is ready to infect your eyes. Pink eyeshadow can be cute, but pink, swollen eyelids are not. Same timeline goes for liquid eyeliner.
2) I don’t care how expensive that liquid foundation was–if you opened it more than 12 months ago, say bye bye bye. Foundations will generally last one year before they’re done. If your foundation begins to separate or smell rancid before then, its lifespan is over.
3) The ingredients in cream eyeshadows and cheek colors only keep them fresh for 12-18 months. After that point they’re likely to dry out, ruining the whole creamy idea. If you use them once they’ve started to dry out, they’re going to apply unevenly to the skin. And that’s not a good look for anyone. Plus, the bacteria from your fingers (which you’re probably using to apply the product) has been sitting in that little pot (if the product is in one), waiting to cause a breakout or other reaction.
4) Lipstick, lipglosses, and retractable lipliners are good for 12-18 months. Pencil liners will last longer because you need to sharpen them, and sharpening removes some of the bacteria. If you use a lip product when you have a cold sore, throw it out or risk re-infecting yourself.
5) That turquoise powder eyeshadow you bought when you were feeling bold one day? You’ve got two years to try it. Powder eyeshadows and pencil liners are fine to use for those 24 months without a problem. Same goes for any powder product.
If you notice any smell, product separation, or drying out of a product, even if it’s before the expiration dates I mentioned, get rid of it. It’s not worth having a reaction or (gasp!) having your makeup look streaky, patchy, or weird. To protect your makeup from an early demise, keep it out of direct sunlight and don’t share with friends. And if you don’t think you’ll be able to remember when you bought what, stick a dated label on each product or tag it with a permanent marker.
And little know fact: There is a jar symbol on the bottom of each beauty product that tells you in months how long that product is good for. See?
Now that you know the deal, take that lipstick from 2012–you know, the beat up looking one that’s covered in products that broke or leaked in your makeup bag–and throw.it.away.
Have a beautiful day 🙂