Assess your: Disposable tools like sponges and lash brushes. These items were dubbed disposable because you’re meant to throw them away after use. But since sponges and brushes can be washed, we suggest getting rid of them after a month to avoid bacteria build up which can cause infection or irritation. Quick tip: Wash these items in warm water to help break up the product that adhered to the tools and let them air dry. Store them in separate containers away from your makeup to avoid exposure to dirt.
Assess your: Mascara. The eyes are very prone to infection and mascaras have been known to cause conjunctivitis (pink eye) and styes (inflammation on the lids) if you don’t take precautionary measures in their usage. The rule of thumb is simply replace them every three months or once it gets a funny smell or the texture or color changes before it reaches the end of its shelf life. Quick tip: Sometimes mascaras can get spoiled or dried up even before they reach the three-month mark. Avoid this by reducing the introduction of air into the tube. When applying your mascara, avoid overpumping when getting the product out. Instead, dip it and in one swift swirling motion to get the product to adhere to the wand. We also don’t recommend sharing your mascara with anyone, but if you must, use a disposable wand in applying the product.
Assess your: Liquid eyeliners and cream eyeshadows. Anything that is put near your eyes should be used with caution and liquid formulas are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria. Don’t wait for your liquid liners and cream shadows to dry up before throwing them. You can actually save more from buying a new one rather than nursing a bad eye infection. Quick tip: You can make your cream eyeshadow last in your kit for up to a year by using a spatula, instead of a brush, in picking up the product. This trick reduces the risk of introducing oils and bacteria into the pot.
Assess your: Liquid foundations, liquid concealers, cream products for the face, lipsticks, and lip glosses. Liquid and cream products will usually go rancid after a year. But once you start noticing a change in color, texture, or smell, then it’s definitely time for them to go. Quick tip: Most cream and liquid products change in consistency when exposed to heat. Always store them in a cool dry place not exceeding 30 degrees to avoid this from happening. Avoid direct skin to product contact by either using a spatula, brush, or pumping the product at the back of your hands before application.
Assess your: Powder foundations, powder blushes, pencil eyeliners, and lip pencils. Powder formulas have the longest shelf life since they lack the moisture that other makeup formulations have, and pencils are more hygienic since you can sharpen the ends off before or after each use. These factors prolong the shelf life of these products to up to two years. But as always, once you notice a change in smell, color, or consistency, it’s time for you to let them go. Quick tip: When using pencil liners, it’s best if you sharpen them before every use, especially when you use them on someone else. For your compact powder products, the longer you store them the more the trace water ingredients evaporate, making them prone to breaking. Prevent this by keeping the lids closed when not in use, and storing them in a cool dry place.
Assess your: Brushes, metal tools. These items can last you a long time as long as they maintain their shape and avoid rusting. Take care of them properly, washing the brushes at least once a week, and the metal tools every after use to prolong their life span. Investing in good quality products is always best to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth. Quick tip: Use a brush cleaner to remove the residue off the brushes. Using a mild shampoo or brush cleanser, lather them gently and rinse with warm water. Air dry (not blowdry) to allow the brushes to retain their shape. For metal tools, best if you choose stainless steel ones that you can wash or wipe off with alcohol.
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Originally published in Metro’s February 2015 issue. Article by Gael Sastre and Charmagne Garcia-Laconico, photograph courtesy of Estée Lauder. Follow Metro on Instagram and Twitter and like their official Facebook page.