Are you a Spring cleaning fanatic? Like most people, during this time of year... everyone pulls out their brooms, mops and dust pans and cleans like a frenzy for the Spring Season. But, Spring cleaning shouldn't stop at your closet or storage. I make it a habit each year to do some sorting and discarding of beauty product at least once a year. Beauty products should be thought of and compared to perishables... because they can be one of the number one reasons for germs, bacteria and other problems. If you are unsure as to how long to keep your makeup, six months is always a safe bet - especially when it comes to items like Mascara. If you use your fingers to touch your makeup or apply it... those cosmetics should be thrown out sooner than those that you would apply with a brush or dispense from a pump.
On every makeup item - there should be a little icon of a jar with a number next to it. This is the number of recommended months you should keep the product. Of course... regular santizing of your makeup (if possible) is also a great way to keep you from growing bacteria and causing possible infection.
I got the following information from the beautylish.com Blog - here are some tips in cleaning up your makeup bag or vanity.
1. Foundation - If it's in a pot and you use your fingers to scoop out the product, you'll need to get rid of it sooner than a foundation that is in a bottle or one with a smaller opening. The bacteria from your fingers can contaminate your jar of foundation.
2. Powder Makeup (Blush, Eye Shadow, Powder) - Pressed powder products have a much longer shelf life than cream or liquid products. Use your discretion - if you've had that blush since the 90's, obviously chuck it. But if you've had it a year or two, and it still seems ok, you can hang onto it a bit longer. (Honey's tip: make sure to sanitize your powder makeup often... and, makeup sure to clean and sanitize your brushes to keep from transferring bacteria)
3. Mascara/Liquid Liner - Liquid eye makeup with an applicator should be replaced every 3-4 months. With mascara you can at least see when it's time for a new tube because the consistency of the mascara changes so dramatically when it gets old. The same goes for liquid and felt tip liners.
4. Lipstick/Gloss - Gloss can go rancid, and you can usually tell. It'll smell funny or taste funny and as soon as it does, throw it in the trash. Nothing going on your lips - and therefore in your mouth, should taste weird.
5. Pencils - The great thing about pencils is that every time you sharpen them, it's almost like getting a new pencil. That said, if you've had it since you were a teenager, throw it out and treat yourself to a new one.
6. Brushes - Are your bristles on your brushes broken and frayed? Have you smashed them beyond recognition? Go out and get yourself some new brushes. When treated right, brushes can last for years and years, but they can only take so much abuse and neglect - make sure you wash them regularly. So be sure to take a good long look at your set and see if you need new ones.
Bottom line: Makeup products that you can "refresh" by sharpening can be kept longer, but when in doubt, throw it out after six months.
Disclaimer: Some of the information provided in this post was taken from the Beautylish blog.