Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Makeup Expiration

makeup cartoonMakeup Expires? You betcha!

Last month one of my clients came over so that we could go over her makeup. By "go over" I mean as a team we would go through all of her makeup to decide two things;

  1. Which makeup had expired for freshness and effectiveness
  2. Which makeup had expired for fashion effectiveness!
For our purposes today I will focus mainly on the former because my experience tells me that that most of you probably have a tube of mascara, a few eye shadows, a couple bottles of foundations and a lipstick or two that you have had since Hillary was standing by her man.
Ok here are the facts:
  • Cosmetic Companies are not required by law to put expiration dates on their products and they don't.
  • The main reason that makeup needs to be thrown out, other than that eye shadow was "So last year!" is because of the accumulation of harmful bacteria.
  • FDA studies say that even brand new makeup starts off with some bacteria present
So....back to my client and her makeup. I chose to talk about her because I think many of you could relate to her. To protect her identity and not bruise her ego, let's just call her "Mary Makeup".
Well, Mary has been a client of mine for about 5 years. In that time I had never really thought of Mary as a Makeup kind of woman. Most of the time when I would see Mary she would either have no makeup on or maybe just a swipe of mascara and lip balm (not gloss, balm...) OK....I change my mind, let's call her "Saint Mary of Little Makeup". For that reason I was surprised to say the least, when Saint Mary asked about me helping her with her makeup. Of course I could help her so we made a time when we would get together to go over her makeup. I told her to bring all her makeup and we would save, purge and decide what needed to be replaced.
Well, I booked an hour for Saint Mary of Little Makeup and you could have blown me over with a powder puff when she showed up...with a rolling suitcase! Yep, this au natural girl was probably like most of you. Admit it...Under that sink, in that closet or somewhere in your house you have a stash of makeup.
It ended up taking us most of the afternoon, but Mary and I went through everything and here are a few tips that helped us and hopefully will help you.

  • Liquid Foundation, 3-6 months (Cream foundation can last 4-6 months) Pink Makeup
    Foundation in a bottle should last 3-6 months, but wide mouthed jars can expose the product to more air and should be tossed sooner. You'll know it's time to purchase a new bottle, when the ingredients begin to settle or separate, the texture thickens or thins, or the smell changes.
  • Concealers, 6-8 months
  • Powders, 1 year (Pressed powder, eye-shadows, blush)
  • Mascara, 3 months You should never keep mascara for any longer than 3 months (air pushes bacteria back into the tube). Never "pump" your mascara.
  • Lip gloss & Lipstick, 1 year
  • Eye/Lip Pencils, 1 year
  • Eye and lip pencils should last 1 year or more, but you should sharpen pencils at least once a week to prevent bacteria from being transferred to your eye area. You'll know the product has gone bad if it dries or crumbles.
All of these makeup tips have to do with bacterial contamination so always keep in mind:
Before applying makeup, wash your face and hands with soap.
Instead of directly touching your makeup by placing your fingers in the product, pour a little into your palm or scoop a little out with a disposable spoon or applicator.
  • Don't share your makeup with others.
  • Keep makeup containers tightly closed when not in use
  • Throw makeup away if the color changes or an odor develops (makeup has preservatives, similar to that in food, which can break down over time).
  • Don't use water or, even worse, saliva, which could introduce bacteria that could easily grow out of control. If makeup has lost its original texture or consistency, the preservatives have probably broken down.
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your suitcase.. or if you need more help just ask me!

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