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We’re all guilty of holding on to makeup and brushes for longer than we should for various reasons. Maybe there’s a mascara that cost so much, you only use it on very special occasions? Perhaps you’ve got one makeup sponge that always makes you look flawless? Or a lipstick so bright you only wear in the sun on your summer holidays?
However, just like the food in our fridges, makeup has a shelf life and it’s actually incredibly important that you adhere to them. Most of them don’t come with Best Before Dates, so we decided to list the expirations dates below just for you. We recommend printing this out and keeping it with your makeup.
POW_ER TIP: If anything looks or smells differently – chuck it out straight away.
Makeup sponges – These are seriously overworked products so are highly prone to housing bacteria if they aren’t cared for properly. Think about how often you use your Beauty Blender. They should ideally be washed after every. Single. Wash. We’re not kidding. After you’ve used them, use your shampoo, body wash or hand soap to clean them thoroughly. Then they should also be replaced every month.
Mascara – It’s so important that anything going that close to your eyes is in the best condition. Anything funky in your mascara can cause irritation and inflammation. They last for about four to six months.
Cream-based blusher and eye shadow - The thing about these is they contain moisturising agents, which make them a really homey breeding ground for bacteria. Yum. Plus you tend to apply these with your hands, so every time you dip your finger into them, chances are more dirt and grime got in. Throw these out after six months.
Eyeliner – Liquid eyeliners don’t last as long as pencils. Stop using these after four to six months. Pencils and lip liners, if their caps have been kept on tightly, can last up to two years.
POW_ER TIP: If you’ve had an eye infection, get rid of any eye products you used around that time as the bacteria could still be living in them.
Foundation – Liquid foundations are made with water, oil and other hydrating agents, which bacteria loves. So after a year stop using it. Powder foundation is less susceptible to bacteria and can last up to two years.
Lip gloss – Try and avoid pumping the wand into the tube too much, as this increases the number of air bubbles inside, which can dry everything out and encourage bacteria. If you avoid that, then it’ll last a year.
Nail polish – This is a big one. We’re 100% sure that you’ve got nail polishes from YEARS ago in your cupboard, because we do as well. But in actual fact they only really last for a year! Every time you open it, a little bit of the product evaporates, which eventually will destroy it.
Concealer – If you think about what you want your concealer to do – it’s mainly to cover up any nasty spots, which are made much much worse if they come into contact with bacteria. So do not use them to cover blemishes after about 16 months.
Powder – These could be your setting powder, eye shadows, blushers and bronzers and they last the longest inside your makeup bag. If you keep the lid on properly and don’t expose it to too much air, then it’ll last up to two years.
Lipstick – If you havea favourite lipstick that you wear every day, then it’s unlikely to last much longer than a couple of months, but if you only wear lipstick every so often, then it should be thrown out after two years. To keep it going for as long as possible, grab a face wipe and clean the top of the bullet every so often.
Fragrances – You fragrances will last up to ten years if you make sure they’re stored in a dark cupboard. If they’re exposed to heat or direct sunlight, then you can reduce the years by a lot. Heat and light both alter the scent.