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We use our make-up bags every day, often more than once, but how often do you clean it and clear it out?

Made you think, didn’t we?

The reality is, life is busy, time is short and with a G&T with your name on it at the bar, you don’t want to spend your time sorting out old mascaras, but you need to.

Today we are looking at just how long you should keep your beauty staples, before throwing them in the bin and replacing them with something shiny and new.

First things first, take everything out of your bag, clean and dry it and if it has seen better days, buy a new one. This is also the perfect time to wash your brushes. Baby shampoo is brilliant for natural hair brushes and a gentle liquid soap does the job for the synthetic ones. Brushes really can be a breeding ground for germs, so wash them once a week to be safe. Rather than storing them in the bottom of your bag, keep brushes tip up in pot and allow them to dry naturally.

Next, sort out the products in front of you and anything that you haven’t used for a while, that is past its best or has had the top left off, should be replaced. It is also worth noting, if you’ve had an eye infection it’s a good idea to throw out make-up that could cause a re-infection. Oh, and if you want your stuff to last, don’t store it in the bathroom but somewhere cool, dark and dry.

The shelf life for foundation changes depending on the formula, but generally cream-based foundations last between six months to a year, and if there’s an SPF it tends to be less. Always pay attention to how your foundation looks and feels on your skin and if you notice that is starts to change colour or smell, it is time to ditch it. Also remember, as we head towards winter, you might want to swap your lighter sheer foundation for a stronger base but go for a product with light reflecting particles.

Ideally a mascara is good to go for around four months. After this time, they tend to become dry and prone to clumping, and using the same brush over and over can increase the risk of eye infections.

We all tend to have a different lipstick in every bag, ones for day, others for evening and ones we never even wear. This is totally fine but just make sure you keep them clean and if you come across one that is past it’s best, chuck it away and use another one. Oh, and don’t share them!

Eye and lip liners can last up to three years but it is likely you will use them before that, or they will dry up and crumble. Again, don’t pass these around on a night out and at the first sign of dehydration, bin and buy a new one.

Nail varnish is one of those products that never seems to die, but shake it and if the colour doesn’t completely mix or the varnish is too sticky to apply smoothly, it’s game over.

Got a tip we have missed, then get in touch and let us know.

Team Pure Beauty