Thursday, May 1, 2008

when to say goodbye to your makeup

I have spent the last few weeks researching how long to keep makeup. This all started a few weeks ago when I saw an article in the May issue of Shape magazine. And I was talking to my husband on how this is one of those topics where everywhere you look there is a different answer to the long should you keep your makeup?

So, after countless google searches and several differently worded searches on, I have been able to come up with good idea of when to keep and when to throw away the products.

Keep in mind, these are just guidelines. And to be honest, I don't follow most of them myself. There is no way I am going to pay $40 for a foundation and throw it away because I have had it a certain number of months. Although I recently came across a concealer that had made it's way to the bottom of my bag. I went to try it again and it had a funky smell. I know enough to know if it smells weird or the consistency has changed it needs to be thrown away.

Most of the "expiration dates" are fairly reasonable and if you wear makeup everyday, you probably go through the products fast enough that you don't need to have the tearful goodbye. I took the most reasonable date ranges and listed them below.

So here we go...

Mascaras and liquid eyeliners - 3-6 months. If it starts to dry out or smell, toss it.

Liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers, concealers - 1-2 years. Yes, years!! I was surprised by this one. But if you use your fingers to apply, it may go faster, and again, if it smells or dries out, it's time to go.

Lipstick, glosses - 1-2 years. Again, if it starts to smell or dry out, toss it. Or if the color changes.

Nail polish - 18 months. I am so guilty of not throwing out nail polish. I have had some way longer than 18 months. Longer than I am willing to admit to. I did just go through my stash and throw out the ones that had gotten thick and gunky, but there are still some around, that were here before the husband (we got married almost 5 years ago).

Powders (eyeshadow, blush, pressed, bronzer) - 2-3 years. I saw a couple sites that said 18 months for this group. Cream shadows - probably less than a year or when they start to dry out.
Lip and eye pencils - 2-3 years. If they are the kind you can sharpen, they will last longer since you can get rid of the old stuff and keep them clean by using the sharpener.

Skin care (serums, moisturizers, eye creams) - 1-2 years. So there is hope for the stash of moisturizers I have in my closet! Just know that any active ingredients become less active as they get older.

Fragrances - 1-7 years. Wait, what? That doesn't really help with anything. If your perfume bottles sit in direct sunlight, like mine, they will go faster than those kept in cooler, darker places. I also saw something that said the more air in the bottle the quicker it goes, as well. I saw a couple sites that said 2 years, but if kept dark and cool they could last a little longer.

Shampoos and conditioners - 3 years. So there is still hope for my insane collection sitting next to my moisturizer stash out in the closet.

I hope this helps somebody out there!

I complied all of my information from numerous google searches, but this is where most of the tips came from:, May '08 Shape magazine, May '08 Town & Country magazine and

photo courtesy of, picture is of Stila's Best of Stila Gift of Glamour Set, limited edition, sephora exclusive, $60 with free shipping.


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