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Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
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edge staff writer


When in doubt, toss that blue eye shadow

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We check the expiration dates of just about everything we put in our bodies - food, medications, beverages and more. But we hardly even give a thought to what we put on our bodies, especially makeup.

I bring this up because I realized the other day while putting on mascara that the waterproof brand I was using isn't even in production anymore. You'd think I'd just throw that away, but there was still some left - I rarely throw away makeup or other health and beauty products.

Yes, I know it's bad. My mindset has always been, "If I hardly use it, then it's good." Well, that unfortunately is not the case.

Products expire, go bad or sometimes accumulate bacteria and other harmful things, and it begs the question of how long you should keep your products. While the below are estimates from various online sources, it's unlikely you'll go blind from using two-year-old mascara no matter what anyone tells you.

- Eye shadow - powder 2 years; cream 12 - 18 months
- Concealer - 12 to 18 months
- Foundation - oil free up to 12 months, cream/compact up to 18 months
- Blush - powder up to 2 years, cream 12 - 18 months
- Eyeliner - pencil eyeliner keep it sharpened on a regular basis and it will last up to 3 years. Liquid eyeliner 3 - 6 months.
- Powder - 2 years
- Lipstick - 2 years (Extra tip from If you store lipstick in the refrigerator, it will last longer, so will nail polishes)
- Lip Gloss - 18 - 24 months
- Nail Polish - 1 year (see note above)
- Mascara - amazingly enough, this product expires the fastest. Throw out after 4 months. (Extra tip from If you don't want your mascara to expire faster than its fresh date, don't pump the wand in and out -- you're only exposing the product to drying air.)
- Cleansers and moisturizers - these often contain fatty acids, which can go bad quickly. Toss after 6 months.
- Sunscreen - according to the Mayo Clinic, sunscreen is designed to hold its strength for up to 3 years. Some sunscreens include an expiration date. Discard sunscreen that's past the expiration date, is more than three years old or has been exposed to high temperatures.
- Sponges - wash weekly and toss monthly
- Brushes - these can last forever if you wash every 2 months with mild detergent.

If a product is "natural," it tends to expire sooner since regular cosmetics are made with ingredients that prolong the expiration. Yet, if it has an horrid odor, throw it out no matter how long you've had it. Products can go bad, even before they expire.

If you can't remember when you bought it, also throw it out. You shouldn't have "fond memories" about your makeup.

Every woman (you know who you are) has a pile of makeup in her bag or drawer that she "sometimes" uses. Translation: never uses, but keeps just in case she finally learns how to apply that blue eye shadow.

You'll never learn, so just toss it.

Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2011 16:48


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