Okay, so I hate to admit this, (seeing as though I AM a makeup artist and should know better!) but I have some lipsticks in my lipstick drawer that probably date back to my freshman year of college....WHAT??
Now this doesn't necessarily mean that I have used any of these 12 plus year old lipsticks but I always keep them around thinking maybe I will use that color SOME day??? This is insane and slightly grotesque that I would keep any makeup product around this long and expect to apply it to my lips!!!
But I know I am not alone in committing this "makeup hoarding" crime. Most of us just lose track of how long we've had our products if we don't use them every day. And so we're probably not aware of how reeeaaallly old some of our stuff is and could risk getting an infection, or worse yet, a major breakout due to old foundation!
So I'm going to give you a general breakdown of when to toss those sketchy - "I'm not sure if this is lipstick is from 1993 or 2008" products!??
Lipstick & Gloss - Up to 2 years. This is the most forgiving category of makeup and has the best longevity. The best way to tell if your stick or gloss has gone bad is smell it or taste it. You'll know by either of those senses if somethin' ain't right.
Pencils: Eyes and Lips - Up to 2 years. As long as you're sharpening your pencil, you're keeping it fresh and clean. But if you can keep a pencil around for 2 years, then it's obviously not your best color and you're not wearing it enough to warrant keeping it around! And look for dryness, that's a good sign it's no good.
Powders: Blush and Face Powder - 12 to 18 months. Powders do have the capability of lasting awhile, but you can tell they're getting too old when they start crumbling or get that yucky glazed topping look on the surface where your oils have collected. This usually makes it too hard to blend as well so it's worthless.
Liquid Foundation - Up to 6 months. When your foundation gets too old it starts to look like what happens to your fingernail polish that has been around for awhile. The oils will start to separate and will rise to the top of your bottle. And if you can't see through the bottle, then you would notice a change in it's color and the consistency.
Mascaras and Liquid Eyeliner - 4 months or less if used daily. Mascaras are a breeding ground for bacteria, so be very aware of how long your tube has been around. With the constant pulling and pushing in and out of air in that wet tube and transferring your eye goo requires you to be on top of how old your mascara really is!
My best advice on how to keep track of how long you've had a specific product, is to keep a Sharpie Retractable Ultra Fine Permanent Marker around and write directly on your foundation bottle or bottom of lipstick the day you purchased your product. That way, a couple months (or years) down the road you'll be able to refer to that date and know whether it's time to keep it and use, or take it and TOSS IT!