Staying up to date with the contents of your cosmetics bag

Mary O'Donnell

IF you have ever watched channel 4's 'How clean is your house' you will know Kim and Aggie, the celebrity cleaners, who will come and declutter your home. Now, in my house they would not have to rescue me from under a pile of newspapers but I imagine Kim would raise an eyebrow at my cosmetic bag. My weakness is my collection of discontinued lipsticks.

What is it with cosmetic companies? You just find the perfect lipstick and the company discontinues it. As for limited editions, that's just teasing. So I decided to check out how long cosmetics actually last for.

Cosmetics are not required by law to have expiry dates, but even dated products could be misleading because a product can expire long before their date if not stored properly. And, by the way, you should always wash your hands before applying cosmetics, store them away from direct sunlight and keep them dry.

Here are some estimates of the shelf life of common cosmetic products:

Concealer - up to twelve months.( There goes my duty free one)

Powder - two years.

Cream and Gel cleanser one year.

Lip and pencil eyeliner - three years (should be sharpened regularly)

Eye shadow - three years.

Brushes and sponges - clean regularly in a mild shampoo and allow to dry flat.

Disregard sponges monthly.

Foundation - water based, 12 months; oil based, 18 months.

Lipsticks - one to two years (there goes my discontinued toffee apple lipstick)

Mascara - four months. Don't pump the wand in and out as it exposes the product to drying out.

Nail polish - 12 months.

Don't forget to give your makeup bag a wash too, a good tip is a detergent wipe. A cosmetic spray for cleaning your brushes is also available at chemists so if Aggie and Kim call to see your make-up bag you can feel rest assured it will pass there swab test.


Now for the outdoor man who is concerned about sun damage due to exposure to the elements. Clinique have launched an even better dark spot corrector. It is a serum that visibly reduces dark spots. After 12 weeks there is a 58 per cent reduction in dark spots and 53 per cent improvement in skin tone. Apply twice daily all over the face.

Benefit babes look out for a new launch on January 23 called find the one. It is a sheer brightening colour for cheeks and lips and comes in three shades - pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral - in one cream to powder formula to give you instant lift, shape and 'pop'.

Next week, I will be reviewing the new cosmetic trends for spring/ summer. So you can be prepared for what awaits you as you walk down the streets in Kerry!

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