When last have you cleaned out your make-up bag? We know how hard it is to part with all your pretty and often pricey goodies, but it’s time to assess your trusted stash and see what can stay, and what has to go (like two months ago!). After all, make-up can expire just like milk, and if you have too many products lying around – most of which you don’t use, you could be missing an opportunity to try something new.
The purge before the splurge
When you go through all the bottles, tubs and lotions, keep an eye on the expiry dates. They might not last as long as you think. A giveaway would be their odour, a colour change, or a different texture.
Repeated dipping into open make-up containers may cause an unseen build-up of bacteria, and no woman wants to battle an unexpected rash when the warm weather sets in.
To give your make-up a makeover, first ruthlessly get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. Yes, those eyeliners that just lie in the bottom of the bag or a particular eyeshadow colour that looks great in the pan, but you just never reach for.
Guidelines for cleaning out your make-up bag:
• Eyeliner: Liquid eyeliners generally have an expiry date of 3 to 4 months. Always make sure you’re very diligent when replacing these products to prevent any unwanted infections or contaminations.
• Eye shadow: Your eyeshadow is reliable and powder products will last up to 3 years. Cream eyeshadow will last between 12 and 18 months. Powder eyeshadow will last a long time, but this does not mean you can use it without caution – always make sure that containers are properly sealed.
• Blush: This is one of the more popular make-up products you’ll find in every make-up bag. Powder blushes generally expire after 2 years, while crème blushes will expire more quickly, in about six months to one year.
• Bronzer: Your bronzer should last for about one year. Since it’s a powder-based product, bacteria can easily set in so be careful and use this while it’s still fresh and new.
• Foundation: Oil-free foundation will last you about 1 year, while moisturising, cream or compact foundation will last for a longer period of about 18 months to 2 years. Oil-free products tend to dry out quicker, which is why they last less than a year.
• Lipstick: Lipstick has a shelf life of 2 years. This is largely due to the way the pigments are bonded together. If you see any bubbles on the surface don’t be put off, these are just moisture drops and can be wiped off.
• Lip gloss: Your lip gloss should last you between 18 months and 2 years. It’s formulated in a different way than lipstick, so it won’t last as long. Always remember to wash the lip brush at least once a week and wash your hands if you are using your fingers to apply.
• Mascara: You should use your mascara fairly quickly after opening it, as it has a shelf life of roughly 3 to 6 months. You can use one mascara product at a time, to avoid having to throw away more than one product and wasting your money in the process.
Always make sure you close your make-up when you’re done and keep it out of direct sunlight. Both air and UV rays can degrade your products’ ingredients and destroy their preservatives, causing them to lose their efficacy and expire even faster.
If you have an eye infection or cold sore, don’t use any eye make-up on the affected area. If, however, you really can’t face heading to the office without a slick of mascara or a bit of lippie, make sure you get rid of it the moment you start to heal.
Now that you’ve got a bit more space in your beauty stash, consider trying new exciting beauty products and formulas that you haven’t experimented with yet. For example, if you’ve always used matte foundation, consider trying something with a glossy finish – or try a matte finish lippie. You never know, you might just find something you didn’t know you adored, so go wild and have fun!