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Treat your makeup like you treat the food in your refrigerator  – dump it once it spoils! Makeup comes with an expiration date – though not written on the packaging, there a few tell-tale signs you should be aware of just the same for instance liquid  foundation turning clumpy and thick.

I’m sure that the mere thought of parting with that last smidgen of face powder that makes your face look absolutely flawless is terrifying because it was discontinued (a practice that isn’t so surprising) and you can’t find a similar shade anywhere. But however sad your plight is to seek out an equally-fabulous face powder, Simon says “chuck it” because when you first bought it, it was light brown but now it’s turned two shades darker – red alert!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution to determine when you should dump your color cosmetics because that’s decided in large part  by the product’s formulation and the method in which you store them which should always be in a cool, dry place. Because cosmetics manufacturers aren’t under a U.S. mandate to display expiry dates on their packaging, you’re then left with the task of adhering to loose guidelines doled out to us by these same manufacturers concerning the toss schedule of your products.

Liquid Liner & Mascara: Up to 3 months unless they begin to smell sooner. With all of the opening and closing of the tube and repeated usage of the wand itself, there’s a higher risk of bacteria being introduced, therefore increasing your chances of developing an eye infection or at the very least mild irritation so be cautious.

Cream Eyeshadow: 3-4 months

Powder Blush, Face Powder, Powder Eyeshadow, Eye Pencils: 6 months to 1 year – sharpen pencils regularly.

Foundations (Cream & Liquid): 1 year

Concealer: 1.5 years

Lipstick: 1-2 years

Lipgloss: 1 year

Note: Dirty makeup brushes carry bacteria so clean them regularly to extend the life of your makeup; also refer to my entry TOOLS OF THE TRADE to learn how to care for your brushes.

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