Is it time to toss that makeup?

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed tomboy or glamorous diva, every girl has at least one makeup item she just can’t seem to let go of. But how long is too long? A month? Two years? Don’t worry, we’re here to save the day — and, more importantly, your skin.

Jaded by the hustle and bustle of college life and love for her favorite products, every girl probably assumes makeup lasts a lifetime. And let’s be honest, new makeup is not something you put into your college budget.

But although it can be pricey, tossing old essentials is better than putting your skin and eyes in danger of infection.

Samantha Jeffery, a stylist at Looks Hair Design for almost six years now, gives us an expert opinion on the longevity of makeup.

“Keeping the same makeup for too long can cause germs and bacteria to grow, especially in foundation. Always use a new sponge so you are not rubbing dirt into your face. [It’s important to] start with a clean, fresh surface,” Jeffery says.

Jeffery explains how long each type of makeup usually lasts. Most are about a year, but mascara has a much shorter life span than the rest of the pack — only three months of use.

“Mascara can easily get chunky and each person has little bugs that live in their eyelashes,” Jeffery says. “The transferring of them can be bad, that’s why it’s important not to share makeup.”

Brushes should also not be neglected. These tools play a key role in applying powders and shadows to your face, and they require the most care. Since they are sitting out in the open, they are constantly exposed to germs in the air. It’s key to keep them clean.

“Shampoo and condition all your brushes every two weeks to be safe and so you are not building up bacteria,” Jeffery says. “Then let them air dry.”

If you haven’t already grabbed your makeup bag in the midst of reading this article, go take a look at your products now. Saying farewell to your favorites might be traumatic, but it’s time to move on. You’re on your way to cleaner skin.

How long it’s safe to keep your makeup
Mascara: 3 months
Foundation: 6 to 8 months
Eyeliner: 1 year
Eyeshadow: 1 year
Blush: 1 year
Lipsticks: 1 year or longer if they are not sludgy or loosing moisture

Photo by Sam Florio

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