Pop quiz! What do you know about makeup safety?

No I don’t mean how to avoid poking yourself in the eye with a mascara wand (I’ve yet to find a cure). I mean do you know how to properly care for, sanitize, and discard your makeup? It may sound a bit intense, but makeup safety is important and can save potential headaches, infections, and problems in the future. We are all guilty of it. How many of us have that one broken eyeshadow our mom gave us for Christmas, 10 years ago, lying in the bottom of our makeup bags? Keep your hand up if you’ve ever borrowed or lent out an eyeliner pencil or mascara out of desperation. Do you ever share lipgloss, or brushes with a girlfriend or sister? If so, then like many out there, you may need to brush up on makeup safety protocol.


A great place to start is with expiration dates. Some makeup companies list expirations on labels. If you can’t seem to find them anywhere, then here are a few general guidelines to help you decide to keep it or lose it:


Foundation: Up to 1 year

Liquids, creams, and mousses should be moist, creamy, and usually odorless. If your foundation separates and a few light shakes doesn’t snap it back into shape then it may be old. Old foundation tends to shift color, so be on the lookout for uneven textures, and weird shades.


Mascara: Up to 3 months

If your mascara is clumpy or smells a little fishy, it’s probably time to let it go. Seeing as this is usually seen as a women’s most essential item, don’t neglect it. Treat yourself to a new one when the time comes.


Powders (including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, etc.): 2 – 3 years

Since powders contain little moisture, they have fantastic shelf lives. You will notice that as a powder ages, it becomes dryer, less vivid, and a little harder to blend. If this has happened to you, definitely ditch it in favor of something new and shiny.


Lip Products: Up to 2 years

Lip products are also pretty long lasting. It’s time for lipsticks to go when they are dry and no longer creamy, and a really gooey lipgloss has likely expired.


Along with expiration dates, I cannot stress enough the importance of not sharing certain products. Anything that comes in contact with the moist areas of your waterlines, lashes, and lips should remain for personal use. These include mascara, lipsticks, and eyeliners. If you find yourself in a pinch, then be sure to wipe off products well with tissues and sanitize them with a high percentage alcohol. Still avoid sharing mascaras unless the tube is always used with disposable wands or spoolies.


Lastly, treat your kit with respect. Wipe off your products often, avoid unclean sharing, wash your brushes regularly, and keep your makeup is a nice cool, dark place. Happy makeup is safe makeup.