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Makeup Musts: Beauty Bag Hygiene

makeup bag

Makeup hoarding – we all do it. Pretty packaging and every day favourites have us holding onto products for months, even years as the zip of our make up bag struggles more and more to contain its contents. 

Unlike food, makeup isn’t required to have an expiration date, however, they do have one – so it’s a good idea to keep track of when you opened them to ensure your collection stays fresh.

Not only will those dirty old brushes, beauty blenders and dried out mascaras be less effective, but they can even expose you to harmful toxins, causing irritation, infection and even serious health problems as a result.

Jamie Long, Lead Stylist at HD Brows, explains: “As a general rule of thumb, you should probably let go of anything that’s been taking up your beauty bag for longer than a year. However, there are certain products such as mascara and liner that should be thrown out much quicker.”

Here’s how long Jamie recommends you should keep each product for:


“Skincare can last up to a year, however products with pump bottles rather than lotions you use with your hands can last less time. This is due to bacteria more likely to grow in products you use with your fingers, so it’s good practice to replace those types of products every 9 months.”

Makeup Applicators

“Makeup tools such as beauty blenders and brushes can also cause similar issues and become full of bacteria. You should wash these application tools weekly, and replace them every 3-4 months.”


Eye products

“Eye products can potentially have the biggest risks if used past their expiry. If you’re using something like a mascara or eyeliner wand, make sure to use circular motions to gather up the product rather than pumping in and out of the container.  This pushes air into the tube, causing the mascara to dry out more quickly and become flaky.

“The best liquid liners will also have the same bacteria-prone formula and packaging as mascara, whereas a pencil eyeliner will have greater lasting power.

“How you use mascara and liner can be a big indicator of how long the product will actually last. So if it smells funky before the six months, it’s likely gone off.”


“Perfume, however, can last as long as 3-4 years.” Adds Jamie. “Perfume may have a shelf life of up to 4 years, but make sure to keep an eye on the colour and smell. If it turns darker, or starts to smell unpleasant, it’s time to throw it out.”

“For a longer lasting perfume, opt for oriental or woody scents over citrus, as lighter based scents will evaporate quicker.”

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