Nail polish expires? The *real* shelf-life of your fave beauty products


We all know our makeup expires, but in all honesty, we probably don't think it's a huge deal. Time for a wakeup call: If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new tube of mascara, you could be putting yourself at risk for infection—or worse. While makeup companies aren’t required to put expiration dates on their products, your lipstick isn’t going to last forever, and constant exposure to that same tube is so not good for you. Check out the slideshow below—TBH, it's probably time to toss that eyeliner.
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    Expires after: 2-3 months

    Tell-tale signs: Clumps, weird smell

    Quick tip: Avoid sharing your mascara with friends. It’s a sure way to spread germs and cause eye infections—and nobody likes pinkeye.

    Get a new one! L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, $8.99,

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    Liquid foundation & concealer

    Expires after: 6-12 months

    Tell-tale signs: Changed colors, separation

    Quick tip: UV rays destroy the preservatives that help your makeup last longer, so keep it out of sunlight.

    Get a new one! Sephora Collection 10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation, $20,

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    Lipstick and glosses


    Expires after: 2 years for lipstick & 1 year for lip gloss. 

    Tell-tale signs: Dryness or stickiness

    Quick tip: To help your lipstick last as long as possible, wipe the top layer off with a makeup wipe every so often. That way, bacteria won’t be hanging out in your tube and spreading to your face and mouth – gross! 

    Get a new one! Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Don’t Blink Pink, $2.29,

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    Nail polish

    Expires after: 1-2 years

    Tell-tale signs: Separation, change in consistency

    Quick tip: Want your polish to last a little longer? Grab some nail polish thinner next time you’re in the beauty aisle and add a drop or two to an old polish.

    Get a new one! Essie Nail Polish in Where’s My Chauffeur?, $8.50,

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    Powder, eyeshadow & blush

    Expires after: 2 years

    Tell-tale signs: Dryness, flakiness, change in consistency

    Quick tip: Cleaning your brushes ensures your powders don’t end up filled with breakout-causing bacteria, which causes breakouts.

    Get a new one! NYX Cosmetics HD Blush in Electro, $6.49,

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    Liquid eyeliner


    Expires after: 2-3 months 

    Tell-tale signs: Dryness, weird smell

    Quick tip: Just like mascara, it’s best to avoid sharing your liquid eyeliner. Liquid liner tubes are a breeding ground for bacteria, so keep your that cateye to yourself!

    Get a new one! Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black, $7.49,

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    Brushes & sponges

    Expires after: Well, there's no clear-cut expiration date for your makeup applicators – simply pay attention to the tell-tale signs for wear. 

    Tell-tale signs: If you notice the bristles of your brushes breaking, it may be time to replace it. Plus, if your brush is no longer applying makeup evenly, it’s time to say goodbye. For your sponges, toss ‘em if your notice that they’ve been permanently stained by your makeup or are just falling apart. 

    Quick tip: Be sure to clean your brushes with the right products. Brushes should be washed about once a week with a brush cleaner, facial cleanser, or baby shampoo. 

    Get some new ones! Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set, $17.99,


by Mallory Walker | 2/1/2016