First, it’s time to take inventory. Grab all your make up, lay it out on a towel, and examine everything. Throw out anything visibly broken, cracked or dirty. Throw out anything you’ve never used unless you bought it within the last 3 months. Be sure to wipe down the drawer you store cosmetics in with a natural cleaner while it’s empty. If you’re cleaning out a makeup bag, do your best to wash it or better yet, buy a new one each year. They don’t cost much and it’s nice to have something brand new and clean.
Consider your eye makeup. Did you know liquids like mascaras and eyeliners only have a shelf life of three to four months? How long has yours been open? Bacteria can thrive in the liquid and can cause an eye infection that none of us would want. My recommendation is to only have one eyeliner and one mascara at a time, this way you use it up in those three months and can buy a fresh new one as needed! Cream eyeshadows last a little longer, about six months, while powder eyeshadows can be kept up to two years. Of course, toss them if you see visible mold, they smell, or they get water inside.
Liquid foundations are best for about six months. Who wants to slather their face in bacteria, should the foundation grow too old? Powder foundations can last about two years. Same rules apply to concealers, blushes and bronzers.
Lip glosses generally last six to nine months and lipsticks up to a year. It’s best to not have too many on hand if you don’t wear them often. Did your mom have a drawer with dozens of lipsticks for years and years? Imagine the bacteria growth. Who wants that on your lips where we literally lick off half what we wear? Be safe and get a new color or two each year or better yet, each season! Having one or two daytime colors and one to two “going out”/ dress up/night colors is a good rule.
Brushes should be cleaned on a regular basis. This is something many of us forget! Foundation brushes should be cleaned once every week. And if you want to do it more often, why not? A simple way to do this is to add a dollop of soap or gentle shampoo to a glass of water. Then swirl the brush in it, rub and separate the bristles gently with your fingers to clean, rinse with clean water, reshape and lay flat on a towel to air dry. If they start shedding or feel rough, replace with a new one. For sponges and beauty blenders, rinse under water, rub them onto some bar soap, then rinse and squeeze until water runs clean. Layout to dry. These should be cleaned as often as possible, generally a few times a week. If you have acne or even break out from time to time, dirty tools can be the culprit. We often blame hormones or diet but unless you are cleaning your tools, you just don’t know if it’s bacteria in them contributing to your skin issues. Replace your sponge or blender every three months. A good way to remember this is to buy a new one as we enter each new season. Mark those calendars or set an alert on your phone easily.
For eye shadow, eye makeup applicators are inexpensive to buy so get a pack of 20 and replace them weekly. If you use brushes, wash them as above.
Nail polish often sits for years and gets dry and clumpy. Go through your polishes and dispose of any old dried up ones. Throw out the ones you got for Christmas 2009! Generally, they last up to two years safely after opening. When you purchase new polishes, be sure to look for 7 free, or 10 free formulas which are the new trend, a safer nail polish without chemicals absorbing into your skin ( yes, even nail polish chemicals get into our system and are not considered safe).
Want a great safe nail polish brand? Look into Ella + Mila with a $5 off coupon here and they ship FREE!
Last, how about a quick trick? Get a fine sharpie and jot the date you opened an item right on the underside label. Or count ahead and jot the month you need to use it up by, like when mechanics leave a label telling us when we need our next oil change. This is a super easy idea that will keep your cosmetic drawer with fresh pretty products that are clean and safe.
Follain has some great tools if you need them, like black obsidian or rose quartz facial roller, brushes, eyelash curler and more
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