Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shelf Life

How do you know when your makeup isn't good anymore? I can't tell you how often I had women asking me this when I was working at the makeup counter, so I wanted to share some tips on how long to keep your makeup before it gets grody. These are general guidelines about shelf life of products, but always keep common sense in mind: if it smells bad, separates, or changes color, kick it to the curb!

Foundation: There are two different types of foundation: water-based and oil-based. These will last for 12 months and 18 months, respectively, after they are opened. If you notice that it starts to smell sour or turn off-color before then, head out to buy a new one.

Concealer: Can be used for up to 12 months, but toss it if it starts to look caked when you apply it under the eye area.

Powder: Loose powder will last up to two years. Pressed powder usually lasts only about a year, because the oils in the sponge break it down if the sponge isn't cleaned regularly. It helps to keep that little plastic barrier that comes with the pressed powder between the powder and the sponge.

Eye shadow: Can keep for up to three years. If it starts to get crumbly, treat yourself to some new eye brights.

Eyeliner: Will last up to three years, just be sure to sharpen them regularly. Twist-up liners sometimes tend to dry out after a while. If it's dry or tugs at your eye area when you apply it, then get rid of it. If it's the Laura Mercier Black ebony cake liner (like it should be), then you'll use it before it goes bad. Because it is amazing. Who isn't using this yet? We need to talk.

Mascara: Will last up to four months. If you keep it any longer the mascara can dry out and flake. Quick tip: do not pump the mascara wand because it pumps air into the tube, which in turn dries out the mascara. The best way to get more mascara on the wand is to twirl it around the tube, scraping the sides without lifting the wand out. Then, take it out and use one side of the wand for one eye and flip to the other for the other eye.

Lipstick: This one is up for some debate. Some experts say one to two years is as long as you want to keep it. The best way to judge is to smell it. If it smells rancid or different from how it originally smelled, pitch it. Besides, who doesn't like picking out new lip colors?

Cleansers and Moisturizers: Good for up to one year. Try not to stick your fingers into the jar. Use a cotton swab so that you don't contaminate the product.

Nail Polish: Up to 12 months if you keep it standing upright. If it starts to separate and you get a yellowish layer, then it's time to say goodbye.

Brushes: Great quality brushes will last a lifetime, and they should because they can cost a fortune! Wash them with a gentle face soap and dry by laying them down so that water doesn't leak into the brush handle. You should wash your brushes every two weeks, or three if you have dry skin. Oilier skin causes more build up on the brushes, so they may need to be washed weekly.

Hope these tips help, but let me know if you would like for me to clarify anything, or if you have a question about a product not mentioned!

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