You wouldn’t think of eating food past the expiration date, yet many women apply the same makeup for years. It’s unsanitary and bad for your delicate skin. “Cosmetics are made with organic materials so it’s important to clean out your makeup bag and cabinet regularly,” says Cindy Joseph, a former makeup artist and CEO of the cosmetics company BOOM! By Cindy Joseph. “Once the preservatives are past their potency, bacteria can grow creating possible infection – and natural makeup turns rancid even quicker. As a rule of thumb, if it smells funny or looks strange, toss it. Cleanliness plays a big part in your health which contributes to your beauty. Here’s a rundown on the shelf life of beauty products and some affordable replacements.
START WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION
Water-based foundation has a shelf-life of about a year. However, skin tone can change dramatically when a summer tan fades. So you may want to change it up twice a year. For an all-natural base that repairs fine lines and wrinkles, try Korres Wild Rose Foundation, which is formulated with Wild Rose extract, a potent source of vitamin C. It leaves a natural glow of color and a smooth, velvety finish. $30 from www.Sephora.com.
You can keep a compact cream foundation for up to 18 months, but that’s a stretch. It will be pretty yukky after a year. And what’s the point when you can swap it out for CoverGirl Aquasmooth Compact Foundation without breaking the bank. This handy compact comes with an applicator, which should be washed or changed frequently. It’s oil-free, hypoallergenic and available in 8 skin tones. $15 nationwide.
HIDE AND SEEK
Concealers last up to 18 months. Trade yours in for Neutrogena Visibly Firm Eye Treatment Concealer. This trusted product diminishes dark circles and puffiness and blends with your foundation for a flawless complexion. Only $5.95
Experts suggest that you replace pressed powder every two years, but it will be nasty long before that. Why wait when Almay Line Smoothing Pressed Powder is so inexpensive? In fact, change it up every six to eight months and avoid rubbing your sensitive skin with nasty bacteria. $13.49 at www.drugstore.com or wherever Almay products are sold.
BRONZE ‘N BLUSH
You’ll want to dump your old blush right now and not wait two years because this radical product from Lorac is a blush and bronzer in one. The Blush/Bronzer Duo can be used together or individually, depending on which sun-kissed look you want. Look radiant, fresh and healthy all year long. Comes in Hot & Spicy and Hot Flash. $30 at www.Sephora.com.
THE EYES HAVE IT
Although your shadow will probably last two years, you run the risk of contamination — especially if you’re prone to eye problems. With the Smashbox Photo Op Eye Palette, choose from six shades to enhance any eye color. The top row – ivory, champagne and pale pink – is perfect for daytime. Add the bottom shades of purple, sage and slate for the smoky come-hither look. Peel the back label for easy-to-follow application tips. $42 from www.Smashbox.com.
ENHANCE YOUR PEEPERS
Be a good girl and dump your old eyeliner for this BADgal Liner Waterproof Eyeliner from Benefit Cosmetics. It contains a unique formula that glides on smooth as butter and won’t smear. The blending tip lets you smudge your way to a perfect smoky eye. $20 from http://www.benefit.com
MASH THE MASCARA
Of all the items in your beauty basket, mascara has the shortest shelf life. Experts recommend anywhere from 6 weeks to a max of three months. Bacteria can collect quickly and breed even faster in the dark warm tube. So toss it out and try Lancome’s Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara. The magical S-shaped brush grasps and loads lashes for an eye-popping look. The creamy coating won’t clump or flake and it’s safe if you wear contacts. $25 at LancomeParis.com.
Lipstick can last up to two years – or so they claim. The truth is you wouldn’t want to keep passing your germs back to yourself. Anyone with cold sores should be especially vigilant about changing lipstick or lip gloss every six to nine months. And why not when Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick is so inexpensive? Approximately $6.50 nationwide.
Lip Gloss should be changed at least every 18 months. And with Stila’s Lip Glaze Trio, you can change it up every six months. This set of three delectable flavors and scents can be applied with one easy click. Add a splash of color and shine any time of the night or day. The set includes Grapefruit, Seashell and Raisin. A steal at $12 from Stila or www.sephora.com.
BRUSH BE GONE
While makeup brushes are usable until the bristles fall out, it’s wise to wash them regularly with mild soap and water. Or why not treat yourself with the MAC Hello Kitty Brush Set. It includes 7 brushes made of wool, pony hair and synthetic fiber. The wood handles are easy to hold and the leather roll-up carrying case protects them. $24.50 from MACcosmetics.com