07/12/2013 12:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Makeup Hygiene

When it comes to food, medicine and everything else in-between we take every measure to ensure we are hygienic, but we rarely do the same when it comes to makeup... Whilst it may not be food, it still expires. Using old, expired products are anything but pretty.

A: Never share your makeup. Whether it's your best friend who needs a quick coat of gloss before she bumps into the guy who promised he'd call or your mother, sister, aunt grandma and anyone else in-between; sharing isn't caring when it comes to makeup. Even if you're blood related keep your makeup to yourself, the lending of a mascara, gloss or lipstick can result in eye infections or a nasty cold sore...


B: Clean your brushes. Yes your brushes do actually need to be cleaned so if you've been using the same grimy powder brush that's been sitting on your bathroom counter for the past 5 years, it's time you get a new one and some brush cleaner, stat. Brushes should be deep cleaned once a week with either a gentle shampoo or some good quality brush cleaner (avoid baby shampoo it contains mineral oil which can often leave a film over your brushes) After each use try to spot clean your brushes with some rubbing alcohol; it removes bacteria and leaves your brushes fresh and ready to use for the next morning!

C: Be tester-wise. If you're heading to a makeup counter to try that new mascara or lipstick that has graced the pages of every glossy mag across the country, be smart. Ensure the makeup consultant cleans the product before you test it and uses a disposable mascara wand when testing mascara on you, chances are there have been a hundred people using that same tester before you and you don't have a clue who they are...


D: Take note of the expiration date. Using old or expired makeup like that lip-gloss you've had in the bottom of your hand-bag from who knows when is a big beauty no. Most products will have a handy little symbol on the packaging of an open container with a number on it, this means you can use the product from opening for however many years or months is indicated, however this is only a general guide under the provision that you've stored your products correctly. Your products should be stored in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight. Stored them in your bathroom or the glove box of your car? Cut that time in half. If any product you use changes color, texture or smell, ditch it. Foundation that's changed color, lipstick that smells funky and mascara that makes your eyes itchy is never attractive. Product doesn't have an expiration label on it? Here's a general outline to when your products should be tossed:

  • Nail-polish: 2 years
  • Powder (blushes, compacts, bronzers and eye-shadows): 2 years
  • Liquid & cream foundation: 1 year
  • Lipstick: 1 year
  • Cream & liquid eye-shadows 1 year
  • Lip-gloss: 6 months
  • Mascara & liquid liner: 3-6 months

E: Disinfect. Every once in a while it's a good idea to take a little rubbing alcohol on some paper towel and wipe your lipsticks over it (just think of all the touch-ups you've done!) it'll kill all the germs and dry quickly. For your powders and other cream products just spritz a little rubbing alcohol on the product and wipe with a tissue, rubbing alcohol evaporates so there's no need to worry that it will alter the performance of your products.

Pink eye and cold sores aren't pretty.