Between the heightened temperatures and increased air moisture, summer can fry your favorite makeup products. But how to know when it's time to give the heave-ho? We consulted with natural beauty artist Jessa Blades for a crash course in how long our favorite makeup really lasts.
Blades says there are three major warning signs that indicate your product is past its peak: when its smell has changed, if it has been exposed to prolonged heat, or if there is a color or textural change.
Her simple shelf-life cheat sheat will prove a handy guide next time you're purging your makeup bag:
Mascara - Shelf Life: 3-5 months - "Never 'pump' your mascara. It dries it out, and never, ever share it."
Eye Pencils - Shelf Life: 2-3 years - "Sharpen pencils regularly, and toss if they get crumbly or dried out."
Foundation/Concealer - Shelf Life: 12-18 months, depending on the formula - "Keep an eye out for when the ingredients begin to settle or separate, the texture thickens or thins, or the smell changes."
Lip Gloss - Shelf Life: 1-2 years
Lip Stick - Shelf Life: 1 - 2 years, and sometimes longer.
Blush or Bronzer - Shelf Life: 2 years
Moisturizers and Face Prep Products - "There is usually an icon on the product. It looks like a container with a number in it It might say something like 12 months or 1 year. The date starts when you open the product."
Other tips to maximize the longevity of your makeup bag include washing all makeup brushes with gentle soap (before reshaping the bristles). Blades also advises "keeping cosmetics in a dry area, away from direct heat or sunlight."
And never, ever use saliva to add moisture. "If you need to moisten a product, scrape some off, add water and mix in a separate container." Interestingly, we learned that any product with water in it requires preservatives (which eventually expire), so look for water-free face products (Blades' own clear skin mask, for example, requires users to mix water in the palm with each use).