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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shelf Life of Makeup

Somebody at the office asked me yesterday how often I change my mascara. It made me think for a minute...and I started asking myself, was there any significant change with how my lashes look for her to ask me that? But anyway, as she explained herself, what she was really meaning to ask was, how long can she keep her mascara and when is she supposed to discard them.

Hmmm...well I keep telling them better to ask than to assume so I was more than happy to explain it to her. And I was thinking of making some quick post about it here. In fact, I will not just talk about the shelf life of mascara but shelf life of makeup and makeup accessories and applicators.

How many women out there do keep makeups in their drawers but rarely use them? I'd say alot! And when I say rarely, chances are some of them just use it once...just when they tried it or worst, they are just keeping them 'til the time comes that they are certain how to make that smoky eyes, right?!

Well, for the information of those who do not know yet, makeups just like anything else have shelf life...which means, they do expire. If you have been keeping a set of makeup with you and that prompted you to start asking yourself if it has been expired...most likely they are.

 So let me enumerate some with corresponding shelf life estimates. Please take note that these are estimates. (And if ever you do use an expired makeup, you're not going to die or lose an eyesight because you use an expired mascara, but then, you may not want to risk eye infection as well, you will know why below.)

Here goes...
  • Powder  can last for approximately 2 years.  
  • Concealer, about 12 months. 
  • Foundation you may want to check ingredients. A water-based foundation can last up to 12 months, while an oil-based can go as far as 18 months. (I usually keep several shades, at least since I tend to get more tan on summer.)  If your water-based foundation dries out and it's not its expiration date yet, just add a few drops of alcohol-free toner and shake to mix it in.
  • Pencil eye liner can last up to 3 years, just sharpen it regularly.
  • Eyeshadow will also last up to 3 years. And as I've mentioned before dark eyeshadows can double as eyeliner, in fact, most makeup artists use them as eyeliner. You will need a super-flat eyeliner brush for this, get it a little damp and dab in dark eyeshadow, wiggle it into your lash line focusing on the space between your lashes, then sweep the color just above your lash line.
  • Cream and gel cleansers don't last beyond a year.
  • Brushes just make sure you wash them at least every 2 months with a mild detergent.
  • Sponges I usually wash weekly and replace monthly.
  • Lip liner can go for about 3 years. I rarely get the push-up lip liners, they're just expensive, tend to break and I don't really get to know how much is still inside 'til it's no more! With that said, I'd rather invest my cash on other stuff like foundation.
  • Lipstick last longer ranging from 2 to 4 years maximum. What I consider as a tell tale signs (which most agrees) is its smell. If it give you an awful rancid smell, then you know it's time to throw them out. I store most of my lipstick in the fridge and they are more likely to last longer.
  • Mascara has the highest turnover rate for they usually don't last beyond 4 months. Well for the ones left unopened, they may last for a year or so, but once opened, you can only keep them for 3-4 months or as soon as they clump which sometimes are too soon for some brands and specially when you keep putting out the wand as it dries too quickly. Also I usually tend to replace my mascara after 3-4 months regardless if they clump or not because sometimes they are good host for bacteria which might cause your eye to itch and get irritated.
  • Nail Polish they say can last up to 12 months, depending on the quality and how the number of times you take them on a plane (for whatever reason the cap always unscrews on me during flights, leaving my purse a -- fume-y -- mess! LOL) But just like the mascara, the more you expose the wands in the air the faster it dries and clumps.
So that's it. I hope you learn something for today's post. Happy cleaning your makeup closet/ drawer! ;)

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