A new year can mean new beginnings. A cleanse of the past, of the home, of the body, of the skin. Now that I have been back in the apartment for a week, I have prepared our surroundings to better enjoy all the things 2019 has to bring. I reorganized my daughter's toy bins and draws, donated what she has out-grown, did a little redecorating, i.e. put things where they once belonged, and I threw out random items that piled up in hidden baskets around the house. I absolutely love getting rid of things that no longer serve me, vases bouquets come in, unmatched socks, used up notebooks, dried out markers, children’s artwork with one green line on it. I love it so much, I fear I might be turning my daughter into a hoarder, with her purses filled of confetti and drawers packed with neglected dolls, all of which are “special” to her.
One of my favorites is achieving an expiration date. If I’m ever in your fridge or medicine cabinet, you can be sure that I’ve picked up the Advil or a few condiments and checked the date, and if it’s in the past, I’ve taken the liberty to dispose of it for you. I just get a strange satisfaction from it. With that said, I urge you to rummage through your products and throw out anything that has expired. Feel free to send me photos so I can live vicariously through you.
Beauty products all have a different shelf-life due to ingredients, packaging, usage and exposure. It’s important to be aware of this, as many hold bacteria and can cause unwanted issues like pinkeye and rashes, or simply don’t give you their original results. Beauty companies are not required to put expiration dates on all products, so it’s up to us to save face here.
Mascara should be replaced every 3 to 6 months, depending how often you use it. That well sealed little tube is a breeding ground of grossness. Pumping the wand will also force air in, drying it out faster. As a habit, I twist mine in a circle gathering more ink from the walls of the tube. Both are probably signs that a new one needs to be purchased. Same goes for liquid eyeliner.
Eyeliner and lipliner can be kept for a good 2 years, thanks to exfoliating with the pencil sharpener. Like a cat, pencils have 9 lives. If you find it’s dried out or drags along your skin, producing little pigment, give it a good scribble on the back of your hand or wipe the tip with a damp paper towel, better yet take the hairdryer to the length of it for 30 second. Good as new.
Eyeshadow also has a long life-span of 2 years, or 10 if you are using the fun blue and pink ones I bought at MAC a decade ago, constantly redirecting to the back of the drawer in denial of their old age. The lack of water in a powdered shadow helps to prevent bacteria, assuming you are cleaning your brushes, but with time the powder gets packed down making it difficult to pick up the color.
Lipstick will love you for about 2 years, after that the components in which fight off bacteria start to break down, causing a serious need for a breakup. Note to self, stop buying so many red lipsticks. Lipgloss is shorter due the the air that gets trapped and sealed in like mascara. Lip balm in a pot just freaks me out, dirty fingers!
Concealer and liquid foundations gotta go after one year. They have more water and oils than most other beauty products, so they run the risk of holding the most bacteria. I’m sure you don’t want to be covering up something caused by your coverup. I always notice when my liquid foundation needs to be replaced because the shade no longer matches my skin or isn’t absorbing like it once did. For a long time I thought it was my skin changing, but as per usual, not my fault.
Powders, blushes and bronzers can last up to 2 years. When you apply them to your face and then dip the brush back in, you are adding oils to the product that are not in the original ingredient list. These oils sit at the top, sealing in the product you are attempting to use, leaving you with an uneven application. Not only does washing your bushes once a week help with longevity, but your intended color will be so much prettier and fresh looking without the build up to muddy your look. If I had a penny for every time I had someone wash their bronzer brush and be in shock over the results...
Skin care is a little trickier due to their vast array of ingredients, but it’s safe to say none of them last over a year. Vitamin C and retinol certainly sour the fastest, that’s why they are often in pump packaging to keep air out. While most makeup just gives up on us after a while, cosmetic products can ultimately do harm to our skin if kept too long, as they may become more potent or infected, causing irritations.
At this point I can smell when a product no longer serves me. I’m not sure how to describe it, sort of a waxy smell. Nonetheless, if your products scent has changed at all, so has the product. It should be known that natural products are made with natural ingredients, the chemicals often used are there to preserve and protect. The more natural you go, the more aware you should be.
I’m not much for the internal cleanse, as I love food too much, but an external cleanse is my favorite way to start fresh. New year, better skin.
By Kira Cohen.