Tuesday, March 27, 2012

<< beauty / when to say goodbye >>

I'll be the first to admit it: I still have glow-in-the-dark nail polish circa 1997 and a purple eyeshadow quad that probably hasn't been touched in 10 years. My cosmetic hoarding comes down to two factors:
1) you never know when you will be invited to a 80's theme party and;
2) I hate to throw things out when there is nothing wrong with them.

During a recent spring clean of my vanity table I realized I had a serious problem. LipSmackers necklaces were fighting for premium drawer space against MAC lipsticks. Enough was enough. I decided to do a little research to find out what the shelf life of makeup really was. Turns out I should have bid farewell to a lot of my products a loooong time ago.

Unfortunately, cosmetics manufacturers aren't required to print an expiration date on their products. However, many do use a symbol like the one pictured right. This lets you know how many months of beauty bliss you have after opening. If you have trouble remembering when you started using a product, you can write the date in sharpie. Not ascetically pleasing but it does the trick. Get rid of anything that changes color or consistency or smells funky. That goes without saying.

When it comes to tossing out your products, the general rules of thumb are as follows:

Brushes >> At the very least, brushes should be washed using brush cleanser every two weeks. Baby shampoo works too in a pinch. If you care for them correctly, good quality brushes should last for years and years.

Mascara >> This product expires the fastest. Never keep a mascara going more than 3 or 4 months. The tube is a total breeding ground for bacteria, and prolonged use can lead to a nasty eye infection. No thanks.

Foundation >> Check the ingredients on this one. If it's water based, toss it after one year. Oil-based foundations can last up to 18 months. Keep your fingers out of the bottle to keep it squeaky clean. Use clean brushes or makeup sponges instead.

Concealer >> These last between 12 and 18 months. If it uses a self-contained applicator make sure you clean it frequently.

Powder >> Since powder doesn't contain any water, it lasts between one and two years. Same goes for blushes, bronzers and other powder products.

Eyeliner >> If you sharpen it regularly, these can last up to three years. Score!

Eyeshadow >> Good news for giant palette enthusiasts, eyeshadow will last up to three years as well (as long as you use clean brushes)!

Lipstick/Gloss >> These usually last one to two years. If you want to increase their shelf-life, store them in the fridge. Who knew?

Cleansers/Moisturizers >> A majority of these products contain fatty acids which can go rancid quickly. Toss them after six months if they haven't been used.

Nail Polish >> This depends on the quality, but for the most part it's time to say sayonara to your polish after two years at the most.

Perfume >> This discovery totally saddened me. Apparently the chemical makeup of perfume begins to break down three to four years after it is manufactured. So, if you splurge on an expensive fragrance don't save it for a special occasion!

That's all folks. My vanity is feeling much lighter and organized which is a huge plus. That also means I have more space for a few springtime goodies. What's on your springtime beauty wish-list?


1 comment:

  1. this is a realy helpfull post i dont think people realise that cosmetics go out of date as well