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How do I know when to throw out my makeup?

How do I know when to throw out my makeup?

My current cosmetic bags
My current cosmetic bags

How do I know when to throw out my makeup?

When’s the last time you went through your makeup bag? If you’re like me, I have an everyday small makeup bag and a larger bag that holds all of my occasional makeup.

(I purchased the larger pink bag at H&M in Times Square! Avon had given us Makeup Mavens so much makeup that I needed something to hold all of it!)

Prior to NYC, we recently moved into our RV. Since I had to downsize my bathroom/cosmetic collections, I had to decide what to keep and what to go!

These tips definitely came in handy while sorting through my stuff.

Hope these can help you too!


First, to get the longest use and most value out of your makeup, always wash your hands before touching your face and makeup.

MASCARA every 2 to 3 months

This is one item you definitely need to know the time to toss. Eye infections are no joke. (I’ve actually had one before and it was painful!)

When  your mascara becomes dry, clumpy and/or smells, it’s time to buy a new tube!

TIP: Don’t pump the brush in and out of the tube, that will push bacteria and air into the tube.


FOUNDATION 12 months

Powder has a lifespan of two years but liquid and cream formulas only last up to 12 months after you first open them.

TIP: Keep foundations out of moist environments (such as your bathroom) and away from heat, as high temperatures encourage the growth of the bugs and can speed up the spoiling—true for beauty products in general.


BLUSH/SHADOWS  powder 2 yrs, cream 12 months

When applying the blush or shadow, don’t blow on your brushes to remove excess powder. Tap off the excess and then apply. This eliminates the risk of bacteria from your mouth getting into your product.

Pay extra attention to cream-based shadows, which tend to grow bacteria more quickly than powders.

TIP: If you use your fingers to apply, wash your hands before doing so, and be aware of any color switches or off-putting smells.


EYELINER 3 months to 12 months

Liquid liner is more susceptible to microbial growth, so it should be replaced every 3 months. Pencils will last a bit longer than liquid if you’re steadfast about regular sharpening.

TIP: You can disinfect your eyeliners, lipsticks and lip pencils by giving them a quick swipe of rubbing alcohol every week or two.


LIPSTICK/GLOSS  12 months or if you’ve recently been sick

You will know when your lip color goes  bad. The color won’t stick to your lips, feels cakey and is really hard or globby.

TIP: Have a lipstick that broke? Simply remove the broken piece with a tissue. Then light a flame under the broken piece until it melts a bit. Gently push the broken piece back only the base and swivel till it fits correctly. Keep in the fridge for awhile after to let it reharden!


NAIL ENAMEL  16 months

Polish doesn’t really go bad but it will dry out. If your polish begins to separate, shake together. If it doesn’t combine, it’s time to toss it.

TIP: When applying, if the polish is thick and clumpy, it’s got to go!


BRUSHES  years

Good brushes can last YEARS but when the hairs start to shed or fray, it’s time to get a new set.

It’s also best to wash your brushes weekly, but I usually wash mine every two weeks. I use baby shampoo but you can also purchase brush cleaner at certain shops. Once washed, lay them flat to dry.

TIPS: Your brushes should also be stored in plastic or glass jar. Sometimes you can find these at the dollar store.

My makeup brushes in a plastic jar


To prolong the life of all your cosmetics, try storing the color in a dark, dry place. The bathroom is not a good place to have your makeup since a lot of moisture hangs around and which can cause bacteria to grow in your products.

Hope that helps you take an extra minute to look over your products and order new if you think some of your items are ready to go!


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