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April 20 2014

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The Shelf Life Of Your Cosmetics, Debunked

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Ever wonder if it’s time to retire that eye shadow quad from college—or if that under-eye concealer pen that leaks water with every click is still good? Since expiration dates are not mandatory (and thus not included) on most cosmetics’ packaging, it’s often hard to tell when you should overhaul your makeup collection. But an interesting list of statistics crossed our desk this afternoon courtesy of New York-based oculoplastic surgeon and ophthalmologist Dr. David Schlessinger, which should help shed some light on what can stay and what probably should’ve been thrown away a few years ago:

Powders and shadows: Two years

Cream shadows: 12-18 months

Foundation: One year

Lipstick/lipliner: One year

Mascara/eyeliner: Three months

Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent

Makeup sponges: Replace weekly, or when sponge becomes completely covered

Photo: David Gould/Getty Images

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