When You Need To Throw Away Old Makeup, By An Expert


by Daniela Morosini |
Published on

We get it. When you finally find that one perfect lipstick, you don't want to let go of it. That goes double for something limited edition. But the real dirty truth is this: if you think about it, anything you slap on your face really should be kept fresh and clean, or it doesn't bear thinking about the germs you could be spreading around your lovely complexion. And then there's the shudder-inducing thought about how much lipstick and lip gloss we all inadvertenly eat.

We spoke to Bobbi Brown Pro Makeup Artist (and all around lovely human being, check out her Instagram) Hannah Martin to get the scoop on how to keep our kit fresh - and when we should really kiss goodbye...

How long does makeup last once opened?

"Most products will have guidelines on the packaging for how long they should be kept but as a general rule, liquid/cream products are best used within a year and powder products within two years. Mascara however, is one of the exceptions and really is at its best for the first two months and should be replaced after three months."

Is there anything we can do to keep our makeup fresh for longer?

"Unless otherwise stated there is generally no benefit to keeping skincare products in the fridge, although a cool eye cream does feel divine! It is better to store your foundation away from bright light as some formulas are photo sensitive and can turn darker in direct sunlight. I often keep my foundations in the box they come packaged in to help prevent the colour from changing."

As a general rule, how often should we be buying new products?

"I recommend you replace your foundation within 12 months of purchasing. You can be more lenient with lipstick but if it starts to smell off then it's time to get rid. The same can be said for cream blush. Longwear shadows and liners are also at their best for the first 6 months, they may get dry after a year as they are liquid products and may be worth replacing. Saying that, I use a gel eyeliner most days and it never gets a chance to dry out! I also keep them airtight at all times to preserve them. As I suggested earlier, mascara has a pretty short shelf life and whilst you might be able to make a tube stretch to four/five months I'd say they're best replaced every three months. Nothing beats the first few applications of a fresh mascara! "

What makeup product could we get away with using for a little longer?

"Powder products such as face powder, bronzer, blush and eye shadow will last longer than cream/ liquid products, however it’s important to regularly go through your makeup bag and give it a spring clean. Being a self-confessed makeup hoarder, I know it’s so much easier said than done, but if you’ve had a powder product for a couple of years, it may be time to get rid."

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