Fashion Magazine

How Long Should You Keep That Makeup For?

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

Makeup Buying Guide: What to Buy, and When to Throw Away – Guest Post

How Long Should You Keep that Makeup For?
Walk into any department store, and you’re immediately surrounded by makeup counters, and women in white or black coats. The coats are meant to make them look like some sort of lab technicians or scientists, but really, they’re just there to entice you into a makeover and sell you products on commission. The choices are dizzying, and most of the time, so are the prices. It can be a little disheartening to spend a lot of money on the latest makeup trend, only to have it sit in your vanity drawer until you have no choice but to throw it out.

While you’ll find more reasonable deals at the drugstore, the sheer number of items can be staggering there, too. And because the makeup there is less expensive, you may be tempted to buy more than you need, which will just go to waste when you don’t use it quickly enough. Sure, makeup can be fun, but if you’re looking for practicality and frugality, you need a basic makeup kit, one you can just grab and take with you anywhere, and know it has everything you need. You also need to know when it’s time to throw things away. There’s no reason any of it has to cost you the equivalent of a mortgage payment, though. Read on to find out how to put together the essential makeup kit, when to replace your essentials, and how to save money doing it.


No matter what your skin type, you can find a foundation that works for you. If your skin is dry, use a liquid or cream foundation that has moisturizing properties. For oily skin, try a mousse or dry mineral option. If you have sensitive skin, or a skin condition such as eczema or rosacea, look for hypoallergenic foundation. You can find foundations made for skin issues at stores like Sephora, but they may be a bit on the expensive side. Don’t make your condition worse by using a cheap foundation. Look for a sephora coupon code to get what’s good for your skin at a lower price.
When to Replace: 1 year


Even if you get good coverage from your foundation, a good concealer can really come in handy. It’s great for covering acne, scars, under-eye circles, and other blemishes. You can also find concealers made for specific issues. A green-tinted concealer will counteract redness, while a yellow-toned one is good for bluish discoloring such as veins, bruises, or dark circles under your eyes. Lavender concealer will even out yellowish skin tones, and cover yellow bruises.
When to Replace: 12 – 18 months


If you’re old enough to remember the prime time soap opera Dynasty, you must also remember the over-the-top women’s fashion the show is famous for. It wasn’t just about huge shoulder pads, either. The makeup was overdone to the point of being clownish, most noticeably in the blush department. Those days are long gone. All you need is a shade that complements—not contrasts—your skin tone, and a light sweep over the apples of your cheeks. Leave the contouring and shading to the professional makeup artists, or to the ’80s soap stars.
When to Replace: 18 months


Here’s where you can really have some fun. While you want foundation to blend with your skin tone, concealer to cover up blemishes, and blush and mascara to add subtle accents, you can do anything with eye shadow from conservative neutral tones to dramatic, smokey eyes. You can find eye shadow in just about any color you can think of. Forget the frosty blue eyeshadow your mom wore in high school. You have a ton of colorful options and interesting techniques available to you. With so much out there to try, it can be easy to spend a paycheck on eyeshadow alone. Save yourself some money, but don’t give up the variety by buying your eyeshadow online from a money-saving site like which usually offers free shipping. You can save even more by throwing in a coupon code.
When to Replace: 18 months

Lipstick/Lip Gloss

Much like eyeshadow, you can create a lot of varied looks, and change your entire face, just by applying lipstick or lip gloss. There’s a lot to be said for the classic, matte, deep red lips made famous by screen sirens of the ’50s, and continued today by the likes of Gwen Stefani, but not everyone can pull off that look. Again, your skin tone should inform the shade of lipstick you buy. There are a few other little tricks, too. A lipstick with bluish undertones will make your teeth look whiter, whereas a shade with yellowish tones will make your teeth look yellowed. Whatever shade you choose, finish it off with a light layer of gloss for shine. Or, if you’re looking for a more conservative or professional look, go with a lightly tinted gloss that adds just a hint of color.
When to Replace: 18 months


It’s amazing how adding a little mascara can change your entire face. It brings out your eyes, and adds a bit of drama to your look, but it can also make you look like Tammy Faye Bakker if you go overboard with it. Mascara should be applied sparingly, just to enhance your eyelashes, not build new ones. If you want a more dramatic look, try using false eyelashes. Simply applying extra layers of mascara to get that kind of look is just going to end up in clumps and raccoon eyes.
When to Replace: 3 months

A Few Makeup Tips

Never let anyone borrow your makeup. Everyone has different bacteria on their skin.
Sharpen pencils frequently. This will get rid of any bacteria that may be lingering on the outer layer.
Keep your makeup in a cool, dry place. The glove box of your car is not a good idea.
If your makeup separates, dries out, or starts to smell funny, it’s definitely time to replace it.

Guest writer Maria Davis is a freelance interior designer and writer. She is primarily a stay-at-home mom who loves to work on projects of all kinds, especially with her 2 kids.  You can contact her at [email protected]

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