Makeup Bag: What To Toss And What To Keep

Rachel Adler

Spring cleaning may be a bit far off, but now that we’ve rung in the New Year, it would be nice to start fresh. And even if, like myself, you’ve decided to be resolution-free this year (who keeps them? and why not just be healthier year-round?) it’s still nice to start with a clean slate makeup bag included.

Below are some guidelines for what you should be tossing and what you can keep without finding yourself on the next episode of Hoarders.

Eye Makeup

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For liner, your “toss-it time” depends on the type. With liquid, toss after three months. For pencil you can toss after two years, which coincidentally, is the same date for powder eye shadows. Cream shadows on the other hand, you should trash after just six months, due to their consistency.


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Liquid foundation, as in the product you use to cover up your breakouts, should be tossed after six months to keep bacteria from forming near the lid. Powder foundation on the other hand you can hold onto for up to two years, since bacteria can’t grow where there isn’t water.

Lip Products

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Lipsticks and glosses you can hold onto for two years, but should toss after that time even if the color is a personal fave. The water content in both products give them the potential for becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, or they may end up drying out. Lip liners can be kept for two years or more.

Nail Polish

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Nail polish is an easy product to detect an expiration date on if it gets goopy or stringy, toss it. If it’s a color that you love, you can try reviving it by pouring in a bit of nail polish remover to dilute the product, but after a couple of years toss it and move on!


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Skincare is something that you should be extremely watchful of in regards to expiration dates these are the products that you are using to get that flawless skin you don’t want to ruin it by using bad products! All of your acne creams or over-the-counter products should have expiration dates written on the jars be mindful of them. Anti-aging creams do not have a date, and should be tossed after six months.

Images courtesy of istock