There comes a point when you have to let go and accept the reality that your favorite beauty products eventually become breeding grounds for bacteria. Here’s how to know what’s still good and what’s past its prime.
As the brush is taken out, applied, and put back in the tube, it brings with it any bacteria that has collected along the way. Lingering bacteria can cause redness and itchiness, or even conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pinkeye) and sties. Switch mascara every two to three months to be safe. “It will also have a distinct gasoline-like smell once it’s gone bad,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff.
This is meant to cover blemishes, not cause them—which is what can happen if you use a concealer that’s too old. “You’ll know it’s gone bad because the color will start to shift,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. Concealers in powder and stick form can last for up to two years, while liquids should be tossed after one.
Liquid or pencil, these eye definers should be replaced about every three months. Pencils will last a bit longer than liquid if you’re steadfast about regular sharpening, but you’ll know they’re dead once a white film starts to develop on the tip that can’t be sharpened off, says Dubroff.
Lipstick and lip gloss
Allure magazine suggests replacing lip products after a year, or if you’ve recently been sick. Lipsticks and glosses contain oily ingredients that start to smell like stale cooking oil over time, according to Dubroff, who also says to look out for changes in texture. “You’ll know a lipstick has gone bad when it gets hard and you can’t spread the pigment on your lips; lip gloss will feel streaky and globby if you try to apply it.”
It won’t go bad from bacteria but eventually lacquer will dry out and become thick and clumpy, with the pigments settling along the bottom of the bottle. Shake it, and if the formula remains separated, it’s done. SEE THE REST HERE!