It's time to shed some light on what you have: to dump the old stuff and to see what you're missing. It shouldn't take too long. Give yourself 15 minutes (set a timer, if that helps) and dump out everything from your cosmetics bag. Take an honest assessment of each item and either throw stuff away or put it in your keep pile. Be merciless.
To help you with this task, here are the shelf life guidelines for your favorite products:
- Mascara: 3 to 6 months. Mascara can easily get contaminated with bacteria, so it's best to buy this staple several times a year.
- Moisturizer: 3 months to a year. Manufacturers often include an expiration date on moisturizer, so it's best to heed their recommendations.
- Foundation: one year. If liquid foundation starts to change color or if it takes on an "off" smell (yuck!), throw it!
- Powder: two years. It can last longer, but it tends to dry out.
- Eyeshadow: powered shadow can last up to three years; cream shadows only last about a year.
- Eyeliner and lipliner: up to two years. Sharpening these products helps to discourage bacterial growth.
- Lipstick: two years. If it dries out, it's time for a new shade!
- Lipgloss: 18 months to 2 years.
- Perfume: up to 2 years. To keep them lasting longer, store them in the fridge or away from direct sunlight.