Some of us women have a habit of buying make-up in a variety of colors, shades and brands… and then keeping them stored away in our beauty closets and make-up bags. The problem with this is that over time, old makeup becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and serious health problems! So don’t fret just yet, but definitely check our your beauty products, especially the ones that you haven’t use in a while. Here’s how to tell what you should keep, store or toss out:

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Liquid Foundation – If your foundation has a pump then it will stay fresh longer, but if you are dabbing your fingers into a bottle everyday you should think of tossing out your foundation every 6-8 months.

Powder Make-up – Powder face makeup can last over a year, if there is no shiny build up on the surface and you have not had any major skin irritations during use.

Liquid Eyeliner- Most experts suggest throwing away liquid eyeliner every 3-6 months. If it looks funny, smells odd or has developed a into a thick goo, toss it!

Pencil Eyeliner – If you sharpen and store these properly, they are usually good up until a year. Test the pencil on a tissue to make sure the consistency is the same before applying it to your eyes.

Lipsticks and gloss – These last about a year, although I’ve found that the “long last” lipsticks tend to dry out faster.

Mascara – This is a tricky one because it comes in so many different types of liquid, but the general rule is to change your mascara every 3-6 months. If  it isn’t dry, clumpy, or smells funky, then you should be okay for 6 months.

Eye shadow and blush The key to keeping these items bacteria free is to always wash your brushes and throw away old sponges and wands regularly (bacteria loves to live in these items and cause nasty infections if you use them), but generally these last about 2 to 3 years if stored in a cool, dry place.

Nail Polish – If you paint your own nails, then you know that the better quality of the brand, the longer it will last (without the brush getting all clunky and gross), but you should be able to keep nail polish about 2 years before it’s time to toss it.

Always remember that if you ever have a doubt about whether to keep make-up or toss it, you should always just throw it out. Plus, by regularly cleaning and maintaining your makeup items, they will last you longer and keep you healthier and prettier!

To watch a health report for more information, click here.

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