Beauty 101: When to Toss, Keep and Splurge on Makeup

Emily Smith
Beauty 101: When to Toss, Keep and Splurge on Makeup
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Although it’s a little past the time for annual spring-cleaning, getting rid of your beauty products can (and should) come at any time of the year. Disposing of beauty products such as mascara and lotions may come naturally to some; however, others might not realize the importance of cleaning out one’s makeup bag in order to not only maintain a fresh and up-to-date collection of products, but also to make sure that the products you use are helping, and not hurting you.

Makeup expert Sunday Riley said it all when she simply stated: “beauty is tricky,” and that it is. Beauty is not just about knowing how to apply makeup and upkeep your daily beauty routine, but it is also about knowing when to toss your makeup and when and how to clean your products.

One way to rid yourself of stressing over your products’ expiration dates is to mark in Sharpie when you bought each product. Sure, it sounds like a pain, but knowing when you put your products to rest will save you the hassle of contaminating your counter space as well as yourself.

Click through the slideshow above to see what beauty and cleaning experts have to say about when to toss, when to keep, and how to clean anything and everything beauty related!

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We talked to makeup artists and cleaning experts for 25 tips on when to toss, keep and slurge on makeup!

Image via LoveThisPic

Photo: LoveThisPic/LoveThisPic

"Avoid using your finger for lipstick, gloss, or balm...every time you put your finger into a product like a lip balm, you are sticking germs from your finger into whatever you are putting on your lip. If you have an open sore or even chapped lips, you're risking infections and cold sores." - Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist.

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"Throw away cream blushes after one year and get rid of powder blushes after 2 years." - Jemma Kidd, makeup artist.

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"Powder makeup can generally last one year or up to 18 months." - Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist. 

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Before you think about throwing away your brushes, makeup artist and entrepreneur, Claudio Riaz suggests to "wash your brushes with your shampoo."  This can work for brushes of all sizes!

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When trying to stick to your budget, beauty expert Sunday Riley states, "you can save on things such as makeup remover."

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Makeup artist Jemma Kidd suggests to throw away your concealer and cleanser after 6-8 months of use.

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For mascara, "toss after six months." - Gisela Lowenstein, cleaning expert.

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If sharing eye shadows, makeup artist Gina Pravlochak warns: "You can get eye infections, you can spread pink eye back and forth from cosmetic to cosmetic."

Tip: Be sure to toss your makeup if you have an eye infection.

Toss your cream or liquid foundation after 6-8 months, suggests Jemma Kidd. 

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Makeup artist Gina Pravlochak suggests that a liquid liner "needs to be replaced every three months."

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"Regular lipstick can last six months. However, lip glosses last less than that." -Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist.

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"Products with an alcohol-based formula have a longer life span & products that contain water have a short life span because they attract bacteria once opened." - Gisela Lowenstein, cleaning expert.

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"Try to stash your beauty goods in a clean, dry area for the best results." - Gisela Lowenstein, cleaning expert.

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Before buying the bargain brands, think again. Sunday Riley states, "You cannot simply make an inexpensive product with a high quality." So, splurging on a few longer-lasting items is okay!

Image via Lancome

Test nail polish to see if it goes thin. "If you take it out and it's clumpy and thick and drags through the nail, it's time to discard it. If you look at it, and there are rings of color, it's time to discard it." - Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist.

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"If you're replacing your makeup, but using the same sponges, you're still going to have the same infection or bacteria." - Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist.

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Makeup artist Jemma Kidd recommends to dump your lip pencils after 18 months of use. Kidd also advises emptying your makeup bag, and "If it's in good condition, put it through the washing machine; if it's seen better days, throw it out and buy a new one."

Image via Sephora

"Perfume is another beauty product women tend to hold onto for a long time. It can last for eight years. If you really want it to last longer, keep it in the fridge because it's heat that breaks down the scent molecules." - Gina Pravlochak, makeup artist.

Image via Sephora

Although this may not seem like a priority, cleaning your nail clippers is important for many sanitary reasons. Sarah Jackson of suggests letting them sit in hot water on your stove to help clean the clippers.

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The little pad on your eyelash curler should be replaced every month. Also, you need not forget to clean your eyelash curler every so often!

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"Shampoo, conditioner and styling tools usually keep up to two years. But if you notice a change in texture or smell, toss them right away." - Gisela Lowenstein, cleaning expert.

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"Change of color, smell or texture? Get rid of the item stat." Gisela Lowenstein, cleaning expert.

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When throwing away hairspray bottles, remember to recycle them to protect the environment! 

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Makeup artist Jemma Kidd suggests to wipe your tweezers and pencil sharpeners with "a few drops of tea tree essential oil" to clean.

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Photo: Drugstore

Add rubbing alcohol to your crushed makeup and stir in compact, then let sit until dry. It's an almost instant fix! 

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