Skin care and cosmetics, especially liquid, usually come with expiration dates.
If you are like many of us women across the world who collect countless lipsticks and eye shadows, and have more pencil eye liners rolling around your bathroom drawers(even the ones down to a nub)than you could name, there is a time to throw it away.
Beginning with lipsticks: One year is the general time frame. Yes, I have some over two years old, but I wipe them down regularly with alcohol, I smell them to make sure they aren't rancid, I can even taste them, if they are bitter, they've gone bad. Most the time though they don't make it past one year. DON'T share lipsticks, highly NOT recommended to anyone. Cold sores(Herpes) are easy to transfer and once you contract Herpes you are prone to it forever.
Your eye and lip pencil sharpeners: Should be separated! Meaning, a separate sharpener for eyes, and another for lips. The quickest way to pink eye, sharpen your black kohl eyeliner with the same sharpener that you sharpen your lip liner with (especially if you've had a cold sore before), and play Russian roulette with an eye infection. SO MANY have fallen victim to this mistake.
Liquid foundations can last quite a long time (estimate 2-3 years), especially if they are in a pump format. No air is getting in to contaminate and oxidize the product. But, if you have to constantly touch the base with your fingers whether from a pan or pot, no matter how clean you think your hands are, you're contributing bacteria and unwanted microbials every time you open it up. Give that foundation no more than three months. Trust your senses (common helps too), look for, sour or bitter (smell), color change (sight), and texture change (touch), these will be your best remedies in detecting if something has gone bad.
Eye shadows as well as powder blushes can last you years, especially if they are oil-free. If they aren't moist, nothing is growing on them. Take good care of your shadows, keep them covered and in a place where they can't get jarred (to prevent breakage), and you can enjoy them for probably a good five years or more! I have come across some heavily metallic shades that gave off an odor, in that case toss it! Let's say your shadow or blush did break. You don't want to throw it away just yet. Get yourself a small pill boxes or containers (CVS, Bed Bath& Beyond, etc) and crush the rest into it and it's now in loose form.
A real fun thing to do with your make-up (This could take an afternoon):
Fetch yourself some brightly colored labels. Collect all your cosmetics and place it in front of you. Go on, dig it out of the bathroom drawers, dump it out of your makeup bag(s), pull open your makeup case and separate it all in these categories:
- Treatment (moisturizer, eye creams, SPF)
- Base (liquid, cream foundations)
- Lipsticks (stain, matte, cream, sheer)
- Gloss (pot, tube, wand)
- Eye Shadows (liquid, pressed, loose)
- Lip liners
- Blush (cream, powder)
- Tools (brushes, tweezers, sponges)
- Eye liners (pot, liquid, pencil)
- Brow (powder,pencils)
- Powders (translucent, bronzer, foundation, contour, highlighters).
Place them ALL in their own piles. Note the most recently purchased to the ancient. If you're looking at something that you're not sure why you still have it, TOSS IT!
Open up those lipsticks, if they are at the nub, and or smell funky, TOSS IT!
If your mascara is one or all of the above: more than four months old, smells bitter, doesn't make that moist sucking sound when you pull the wand out, or makes your eyes sting while applying or wearing it, TOSS IT!
If your eye shadow takes more than three tries to get any color effect on your lids, TOSS IT!
If there is a giant hole in your powder, blush or eye shadow compact, TOSS IT!
If you have a cream or lotion longer than six months (unless it's in a pump or squeeze top), TOSS IT!
If you have a brush or tweezer that doesn't do it's job, bristles are falling out or scratches your skin, TOSS IT!
If your brushes are just dirty, cleanse them with shampoo, and even conditioner! (Lay them flat to dry on a clean towel). If your pencils are shorter than two inches, TOSS IT!
Otherwise sharpen them and even dip them in alcohol and leave them to dry. (Don't forget to have a separate sharpener for lip and eye). Dip the sharpeners in alcohol too, wipe with a Q-tip and dry off immediately.
Once you've cleaned, "weeded", and organized your makeup and accessories; label anything liquid with your best knowledge of it's expiration date(or, the longest you feel you would keep it). Whether you have a makeup case or just store your cosmetics in drawers, separate it in the above given categories, using cosmetic bags to storage cubbies.
Create a personal, bag or case of all the products you use and rely on, on an everyday basis. Store this at arms length from your bathroom sink. So right after you wash your face in the morning, you reach for your "Go-to" bag that you can trust in having exactly what you like and need daily. No more digging around and wasting time guessing what to put on.
Stick those pretty brightly colored labels on each bag and or cubby to label your newly organized cosmetics, and if you're a makeup connoisseur like me, you may even enjoy the realization that it's time to go shopping for a new mascara, or fresh lip gloss to update your collection!