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Out With Old, in With New: How to Clean Out Your Makeup

The New Year signifies a fresh start, and we know just where you should start: your makeup bag. Since expired cosmetics can cause skin irritation and eye infections, it's important to replace them before they go south. Unlike food, though, cosmetics aren't required to have an expiration date on their packaging. Instead, you'll have to keep track of when you opened them. Most products have a jar symbol marked with a number that signifies the number of months you have to use up the product once it's been opened. If you have a hard time keeping track of when you've bought things, just use pen to write down the purchase date.

If you know how to take care of your cosmetics, your makeup should serve you well. But use common sense: if your gloss is gloopy, your nail polish is separating, or your lipstick has a funny smell — it's time to bid it adieu. Products that go around the sensitive eye area often have the shortest life span (so throw out that year-old mascara immediately). 2016's first resolution should be to never let crusty compacts and congealed concealer make an appearance again. See guidelines for when to replace your makeup below:

Product Toss it . . .
Mascara Four months
Foundation One Year
Concealer 12-18 months
Powder 18 months
Blush/bronzer 18 months
Cream blush 12-18 months
Eye shadow 18 months
Eyeliner 18 months
Liquid eyeliner Six months
Eyeliner 18 months
Liquid eyeliner Six months
Lipstick/lip gloss 18 months
Lip liner One year
Nail polish One year
Makeup sponges Wash after each use, then throw away after a month.
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