Nothing lasts forever: when good cosmetics go bad

    I do private shopping and makeup lessons to a range of clients. Some are knowledgeable about cosmetics prior to meeting me, while others are inexperienced. I teach them the good, the bad and the ugly about all kinds of cosmetics, from makeup to skin care. More often than not, while they heed my advice on the majority of cosmetics, the one part they find boggling is that cosmetics DO expire.
    While life would be much easier not having to replenish the many items we use, your skin will thank you many times over when you throw out your products when they've expired . I've broken down the expiry dates for some basic cosmetics for you here but keep this in mind, if a product changes texture, smell or color, its gotta go!

    Foundation/Tinted Moisturizers: 1 year (it is formula dependent, however, the texture of foundation will change once it 'stops' working)
    Concealer: 6 months - 1 year (same as above, it also depends on what you use to apply your concealer with, ex: if you use your fingers in a concealer pot, you're transferring bacteria onto the makeup thus onto your skin )
    Powder: 2 years (if you start to see dry spots on the surface of your powder, its time for a new one)
    Eyeshadow: 2-3 years (eyeshadow can last a long time, however once you start to see bubbles on the eyeshadow, those are build ups of bacteria, its in your best interest to replenish)
    Eyeliner: 2-3 years (sharpen your pencil regularly)
    Mascara: 3 months (this product is the one that expires most frequently, I can't emphasize the importance of replenishing your mascara every 3 months-it dries out and can irritate your eyes and lashes)
    Blush: 2-3 years (similar to powder in texture, keep your eye on dryness and bubbles)
    Lipliner: 2-3 years (like eyeliner, sharpen regularly)
    Lipstick: 1-2 years (some say longer, up to 4 years but if it starts to smell, in the can it goes)
    Lipgloss: 1-2 years

    Face creams: 6-9 months; 12 months if in a pump (your fingers will transfer bacteria so be cautious)
    Sunscreen: 1 year (usually there is an expiry date on the box/bottle but if it starts to separate or smell, stop using)

    Nail polish: 1 year

    Fragrances: 2 years (spritzing causes oxidation (air in bottle) thus changing the smell which is no problem other than a change in scent)

    Sponges/Powder applicators: I personally don't like re-using sponges because I feel they can't be washed properly, i'd recommend buying a pack of non-latex sponges from the dollar store and throw out after every use (if you don't use a foundation brush that is!). Powder applicators can be kept as long as they are washed and dried, however, an investment is to purchase a velour puff (drugstores carry it as well as some makeup lines) and wash and dry every week--these puffs won't disintegrate whereas the powder applicators will

    Brushes: clean on a tissue after every use, clean with brush cleaner weekly (for personal use only--makeup pro's you know better ;-) ) and wash 1-2x month with a mild non-scented soap/shampoo (i prefer baby shampoo as it is gentle and doesn't dissolve the glue at the base of brushes)

    If your cosmetics have an expiry date, abide by the date but keep some common sense intact as well. If any product starts to change texture, color or smell, throw it out. If you're a budget-conscious beauty maven, there are a plethora of cosmetic lines that have affordable beauty products without breaking the bank.

    Any questions: ask The Makeup Junkie!!
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