How Long Have You Had That Mascara, Impressionista?

Great news Impressionistas!  Spring is officially here according to the calendar; our new Parisian spring line is out at Artistry and it looks like someone may have gotten Mother Nature some sleep or medication and the weather is turning our way.  Sort of.  Regardless, it’s the time of year when we all do our spring cleaning-washing windows, straightening out drawers and closets, putting winter clothing away for the season-and your makeup drawers should be no exception!  In fact, for your actual health, you really do need to get that taken care of pronto.  If you aren’t sure of what to keep and for how long, you’re in luck because I’ve created a little cheat sheet here for all of us.  First, let’s discuss the “period after opening”, or PAO symbol … it’s the little symbol that looks like a jar and has a time frame in it such as 6 M, 12 M or whatever it may be.  This little symbol is found on most, but not all beauty products and looks like this:

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1.      Primers and Foundations: Six months is typically the magic number here. 

2.      Powders and blushers:  The cake compact is good for up to a year and loose versions 6 months.

3.      Eyeshadow: Cake varieties – one year and liquids 6 months.

4.      Eyeliner: Much like the shadows, the hard pencil-type ones are good up to one year and the liquid versions at six months.

5.      Mascara: Mascaras are the worst culprit for becoming a petri dish of germs-hands down.  Think about it; it’s wet, we use it the most frequently and it’s near our eyes (in the infection control world a “portal of entry” for germs)

6.      Contour, Highlighter, etc.:  These things when in the hard, cake form are ok to keep up to 12 months; if they happen to last that long for you!

7.      Lipsticks, glosses, and anything that touches lips:  These can last a year according to several sources such as Cosmopolitan and the Today show; however, I personally wouldn’t keep one that long, even if it did last.  Sorry for the ewww factor, but anything that goes on or near the lips is going to have contact with saliva and the human mouth is fairly germy.  Spring is the best time for this too because we are coming out of cold and flu season. 

8.      Cleanser, toners, and the like:  Generally speaking, these last a year, but some are 6 months.  The good news is that these are typically brandished with the PAO symbol.

Another point to consider would whether you yourself have been fairly healthy this winter or not and which makeup you might have used while maybe not feeling your best.  Keep in mind that the amount of use, direct skin contact and using clean, well-kept brushes are all factors in how long to keep any product.  If you are using eye products and then find out you have conjunctivitis, just as an example, then it’s definitely a great idea to replace those used.  It’s best to err on the side of caution in my humble opinion!  Yet another point to ponder is the ingredients of your products.  All natural and preservative are going to … wait for it … not have as long of a shelf life.  No surprise here really but wanted to throw out the gentle reminder!  And don’t forget that keeping your brushes clean is a fantastic way to keep your skin healthy and the chances of introducing bacteria and debris into your products much lower.


Until next time Impressionistas!

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