10 Ways To Improve The Shelf Life Of Your Makeup!

If you were to delve into the depths of your makeup bag, what would you find? That tenner you thought you’d lost, the concealer you bought two years ago, a glitter eyeliner that’s exploded at the bottom of the bag… Make up bags are mysterious, often messy things, but, when it comes to products going on your lips, eyes and skin, keeping your cosmetics clean is sound advice.

Here’s 10 tidbits of good housekeeping for your cosmetics collection..

1. Mascara How many mascaras do you have on the go right now? With infinite varieties on the market, it’s hard to stick to one. But experts say we should be changing our mascaras every three to six months — even if it hasn’t dried up. That’s because pumping the wand into the tube allows air to squeeze in and introduces bacteria to the product.

Just like gel eyeliner, it’s best to double check any liquid that we’re repeatedly putting in,on, or around our eyes.

2. Gel Eyeliner has an expected shelf life of around six to eight months, simply because of the way that they’re designed to be used. The eye-to-pot, pot-to-eye motions are just asking for contamination which does not make for flicks on fleek!

3. Pencil Eyeliner can last a little longer, even up to a year, because you scrape the top layer of pencil off every time that you sharpen it, which gives bacteria less of an opportunity to reproduce.

4. Foundations are a tricky one, dependent on your brand and container of choice. Usually, pump- activated foundations, and foundations in a pot are available.. When it comes to potted foundations, be aware that these are more susceptible to contamination from fingers, so keep your hands clean and use it freshly! With pump-activated foundations, there’s a similar point to be made to mascara — air can get in, and dry out your product whilst allowing bacteria to grow. Therefore, both variations are said to last around a year .

5. Ever share a lipstick with a friend? This might make you think twice. Whilst lipsticks are usable for up to two years, sharing means potentially doubling the amount of bacteria that could be breeding there. Spritz with an alcohol spray if you have been sharing, or even if you just have not used your lipstick in a while; it’s a good routine to get into when looking after your make up!

6. Natural products are different and entirely dependent on their brand — some will last three months, some six. Doing your research into when and where something was made should give you some pointers. This is the best way to keep makeup at its best for the longest time. Keeping natural and synthetic products in the fridge will normally keep them fresh for longer. Bacteria like warm, wet and dark environments, so minimise them where you can!

7. Anything with a powder base (eyeshadows, setting powders, blushers etc) can be kept for longer, (usually up to two years), because they contain no water, and little oil. Choosing preservatives that don’t contain water is a sure-fire way to reduce microbial growth, as long as your brushes are clean.

8. Most experts say that you should clean your brushes at least once a month, while those with slightly more sensitive skin might like to clean them more often. Any make up artist worth his or her salt will clean their brushes thoroughly between each client. Lucy Elliott-Welch, makeup artist, says: “Cleaning your brushes is one of the most essential steps that you have to do as a makeup artist. It not only stops colours and product from crossing, it also stops the cross contamination of bacteria from product to product and more importantly face to face. To clean my brushes, I use soap that has a specific oil for breaking down components such as lemon. The soap must also have surfactant in to thoroughly clean all the product off the brush. I leave them out to dry and then in the morning, I’ll lightly spray them with antibacterial surgical spirit, so that they are ready for use on my next client.”

9. Sadly, it makes sense that a pristine makeup kit won’t stay that way if your dressing table isn’t cleaned regularly. A quick wipe down after use will keep bacteria at bay. No point in having super clean brushes if you’re going to put them down on a dusty, biscuit crumb covered desk!

10. If anything, taking time to clear out your makeup kit, scoop out the lipsticks rolling around the bottom of your bag, and having a good, hard look at some of the bits you’ve got in your bathroom cupboard, merely justifies treating yourself to a shiny new piece!