March 30, 2011


It's officially spring and now is the perfect time to take inventory of your beauty and skincare products. Time to weed out the cosmetics duds that you never wear, toss containers with barely any product and to throw out makeup that's past it's prime. To help you with your beauty task I'm enclosing some helpful guidelines on expiration dates for your beauty products.  Note there are no federal guidelines when it comes to makeup expiration dates but these are recommended guidelines you should follow.  It's also a good idea to go through and review your makeup collection at least every six months.

Makeup Expiration Guidelines:
    * 3 - 6 months:  Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner
    * 6 months - 1 year:  Gel Eyeliner and Moisturizer
    * 1 year - 18 months:  Liquid Foundation and Lip Gloss
    * 18 months - 2 years:  Cream or Mousse Foundation, Concealer, Cream Blush, and Cream Eye Shadow
    * 2 - 3 years:  Face Powder, Powder Blush,  Powder Bronzer, Powder Eye Shadow, Lipstick, Lip and Eye Pencils

Products without water (like powders, eye shadow and bronzer) can last for two years or more, as can pencils that can be sharpened. Everything else should be monitored closely and thrown out immediately if doesn't seem normal. Product separation, weird odor or a change in color or texture -- uncommonly thick or watery -- can all be indicators of a product that's gone bad. Of all products, mascara has the shortest shelf life. Toss it immediately if it develops a weird smell or color. To keep mascara from drying out quickly make sure you don't pump the wand in the tube -- you want to use more of a circular swirl motion. And make sure to close the top securely/tightly after each use.  That goes for all products in pots, jars and bottles - close it tight!

In general cream and liquid products expire more quickly. Old cream blush will get a chalky white film on it that tells you it’s time to dump it. Also, if a product looks hard and doesn’t apply correctly then it’s probably best to get rid of it. Cream eye shadows are more likely to grow bacteria than powder so look for any change in the texture and color. To extend the life of your cosmetics DO NOT introduce water or saliva into the product because it will cause bacteria to grow. Use brushes, not your fingers to access products in jars. And it's best not to share your cosmetics, especially eye or lip products, with others.

PRO TIP: Keep your makeup in a cool location, away from moisture and heat, which are both factors in bacteria growth. So storing your makeup bag (or giant kit if you're makeup obsessed like me) in the bathroom is a big no-no!

It's also important to clean your makeup brushes and sponges on a regular basis.  For synthetic brushes that you use to put on your concealer and foundation I'd say clean it weekly but for your powder brushes you can clean them on a monthly basis.  My preference for cleaning synthetic brushes is Dawn dish-washing liquid, that's right, the one you use to clean your dishes. It breaks down cream and oil-based products wonderfully and it's anti-bacterial.  For hair brushes you can use any clear shampoo or brush cleanser. 

PRO TIP: Make sure that you dry your brushes laying horizontally on edge of table or counter. Drying them standing up causes water to run in the ferrule and loosen the glue holding the hairs in your brush. Good makeup brushes are an investment and you don't want to ruin them!

Well my lovelies, I hope this post has been helpful. I want all my "Karen's World of Beauty Readers" to look beautiful but most of all stay healthy. And if after cleaning out your makeup stash it's looking a bit empty what better excuse for doing alittle makeup shopping? You can start my reading up on the latest Spring 2011 Beauty Trends and Makeup Collections right here!

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