Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When to Toss Makeup

Cleaning out your bulging makeup case, crammed medicine cabinet or jam-packed bathroom drawer? To help you find items that are past their prime (or squeeze a few extra months out of seasonal ones), here’s a product-by-product breakdown that can help you put your best face forward.

Cleansers, Moisturizers, Exfoliants

If a product has changed color or texture, separates after being shaken several times, smells strange or is missing its lid, toss it. As a rule, skin-care staples are good for a year after they’re opened. An exception: Products with vitamin C should be thrown out after six months.

Powder, Blush, Bronzer, Eye Shadow

All powdered items are safe to use for up to three years. Keep them fresh by gently scraping the surface of each with a butter knife, which will remove facial oils and restore the product’s original consistency.


No need to ditch this too quickly; lipstick is good for about two years. Try blending shades—layer a spring pink over a darker hue, for example — to get year-round use out of them.


Replace liquids and creams about every six months and powder formulas once a year. As the seasons change, you can alternate a more hydrating winter foundation with a newly purchased water-based or oil-free version; once your skin adapts, toss the old foundation and switch to the new one full-time.


Replace it every three months, but save the wand: Wash it thoroughly with soap and water, and use it as a brow-grooming tool.

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