When it comes to looking into your make-up collection sometimes your best friend could be your worst enemy. One word could be all the motivation you need to have a good de-clutter of your make-up. That word is ‘bacteria’.
I’ve personally never been one to hoard make-up, when I run out of something I replace it – simple, but make-up does expire and although all cosmetics should have their shelf life written on the packet, once you have discarded that packet it can be hard to monitor.
On some products you may find a picture of a lid with a code inside it e.g. 12M means twelve months, but as only we know when we started using the product, it’s up to us to keep track. There are a few ways to do this. You could keep a note in your diary, e.g. on the date 6 months from purchase write “dump Blush Rose lipstick” (but that’s far too organised for even me!). I think the easiest way is to keep a piece of paper in a tiny clip-lock bag in with your makeup for easy referral. On this you can note down the product alongside the purchase date. It can also be handy to write down place of purchase just in case a few months down the line you have trouble replacing a favourite colour lippy. The clip-lock bag is basically to protect the list from dirt & wear.
So how long should we keep our make-up? Well here is a guide via some online research I’ve done based on shelf life after opening. Of course every brand has it’s own set of chemicals and this can cause variations in shelf life. Make-up with natural ingredients may expire quicker due to having natural or no preservatives. Rule of thumb, if in doubt – contact the manufacturer.
• Blusher Powders: 18 months
• Compact Powders: 18 months – 2 years
• Concealer: 12 months
• Eye Pencils: 18 months – 3 years
• Foundation: Water based up to 1 year after opening, Oil based up to 18 months
• Lip Liner: Up to 3 years
• Lipstick: 1- 4 years (will last longer if kept in the fridge)
• Liquid eyeliners: 3 months
• Mascara: 3 months, and never mix with water or saliva to help stretch it (blah!)
• Nail Polish: up to 12 months depending on how many times you open the bottle.
• Powder eye shadows: up to18 months
Also it’s worth remembering that brushes should be washed every 2-3 months and that sponges should be washed weekly and thrown out monthly. All can be washed in a mild detergent. Lip and eye pencils should be sharpened regularly to prevent bacteria build-up. All of this will help to keep make-up and faces germ free. Common sense should also tell us that if make-up changes in appearance or smells odd, let it go.