clean makeup
If you are like me, you are likely to have a drawer full of half-used makeup. Chances are some of that makeup has probably been there for years (gross girl fact of the day). Well, did you know that makeup actually has a shelf life? It’s true.

That means a lot of that ‘I’ll use it someday’ makeup is probably expired and ready for replacement. That, my lady friends, is why I have compiled the following list of popular cosmetics and their approximate expiration dates. Read it and weep:

Concealer and foundation will both last 12 to 18 months from the date you open them. Water-based foundation could dry out before it expires, at which point you can either throw it away or try to refresh it with a few drops of alcohol-free astringent or toner.

Face powder generally lasts two years from the date you open it. Scented body powder could last two years but it depends on the perfume. If the perfume starts to smell noticeably different it’s time to replace it.

Lip liner and lipstick can last one to three years depending on how much oil they contain. The best way to tell if your lip product is bad is by smell – expired lipstick will smell ‘off’. The odor could be sour or it could be a sudden change in its normal fragrance. Regardless, if your lipstick smells different it is possible that the oils are rancid and it’s time to throw it away. Even if it’s your favorite shade of coral and the manufacturer no longer makes it, you have to throw that sucker away.

In the future, if you need to stock up on a favorite colour, simply store unopened tubes in an air-tight bag in the freezer. Freezing will prevent the oils from going rancid and extend the life of your lipstick. Start the clock from the time you open/thaw out each tube and throw it away within three years or, as mentioned, when the scent starts to shift.

Eye shadow and eye liner will last up to three years. Mascara, on the other hand, is only good for about four months.

If your liquid liner or liquid mascara dry out before they have a chance to expire, you might want to adjust your application methods. With mascara, many people pump the wand in the cylinder which exposes the product to more air and makes it dry out faster. If you want to ensure the applicator is coated, roll the container between your palms with the top on, then screw the lid off and pull the wand out.

Wash your makeup brushes every 2-3 months (minimum) in mild, soapy water. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry them. Replace them if they start to smell of mildew or if the bristles start falling out. You wash makeup sponges once a week and replace them once a month, but if sponges or brushes are used daily you will really benefit from a daily rinse at the very least.

Thankfully, once you have culled your expired makeup and supplies you now have an excuse to go out and replace them all! As always, before spending all of your money at a department store makeup counter, I suggest considering looking up online deals and discounts. Cosmetics shops and bath and body stores also advertise specials and deals which means – particularly online – you can find Sephora, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, and Ulta coupons, as well as deals for individual manufacturers like MAC and Estee Lauder.

Cleaning out your makeup drawer can be a liberating experience. It lets you get rid of items that don’t really work for you, or that you have outgrown, to make room for things that might be better suited to you.