A Spooky Thought, Part II
These are general guidelines to the life line of our favourite products.
Concealer – that wondrous creation meant to cover our flaws and imperfections. Powder concealers and those in stick form should last up to two years, but the liquids should be thrown out after one.
Powders/Blushes/Bronzers – should last up to two years. Have a look at the listed ingredients though; many powders contain small amounts of water from botanicals which will lead to a higher growth rate of bacteria. Also watch carefully for a dull grey film to form on powder blushes or a white chalky layer on top of cream blushes caused by cross contamination with foundation. Tip: to help prevent this, wait a few minutes after applying foundation or moisturizer before applying blush or bronzer.
Eye Liner – Both liquid or pencil should be replaced every 3 months. They are applied near a sensitive area and can bring bacteria to the eye very easily. Pencils will last longer especially when sharpened regularly, but keep an eye out for a developing white film on the tip that can’t be sharpened off.
Eye shadow – Should also be replaced after about 3 months. Even though they may seem to have a similar chemical compound to other powder products, anything that has constant contact with your eyes should be replaced regularly. Cream based shadows grow bacteria even more quickly. And if you use your fingers, wash your hands well before applying.
Brushes/Sponges – If cleaned and stored properly, good brushes can last for years. If the bristles start to fray or fall out, it’s time to swap them out. For best results, clean them with a good brush cleanser. Don’t have a brush cleanser? Wipe them on a dry paper towel after each use and give them a careful cleaning every few weeks with a gentle hair shampoo. They should be dried upright, so they can air out and won’t be squashed or deformed. Sponges should be used only twice – once on one side and the second on the other.
Foundation – With the exception of (most) powder foundations, all brands are water-based and thus a breeding ground for bacteria and should be replaced between 6 and 12 months.
Lip Liner/Lipstick/Lip Gloss – I’ve read some mixed suggestions on the shelf life of lip products, anywhere between 1 and 3 years (or if you’ve been sick recently). Lipsticks don’t contain water so the risk of growing bacteria is low, but they do contain oily ingredients that start to smell stale or rancid after time. Also watch out for changes in consistency and texture when applying.
Mascara – no more than 3 months! If you ignore any of these suggestions, please don’t ignore this one! Each time the wand is taken out and applied to your lashes, it gains air exposure, collects bacteria and then brings it all back, contaminating the whole tube. Lingering bacteria can cause redness, itchiness, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and sties. Yuck! This is also why you should NEVER share mascara with ANYONE!
These are just estimations so you can get the best use of your favourite products, however if you notice a change in colour, smell, texture or consistency, it’s time to give up the ghost.