Clearing out your cosmetics


Is it time to replace your old beauty products? Here are four tips that will make the process quicker:

Step 1: Assess

You have to be ruthless. Collect all your make-up, hair and skincare products. Clean out your handbag, cupboards, car and desk. Having everything in one place makes it easier for you to assess what to get rid of.

STEP 2: Toss out broken items

Broken compacts, eyeshadows and lipsticks just look messy.

STEP 3: Toss out old items

Not sure how old is too old? Jar-like containers don’t preserve products as well as airless pump bottles. Here’s a guide to how long products last:

4 months

  • Mascara

1 year

  • Concealer
  • Water-based foundation
  • Liquid/gel liner
  • Gel cream blush
  • Lip gloss

18 months

  • Oil-based foundation

2 years

  • Powders
  • Powder blush
  • Lipsticks
  • Nail polish: Air degrades the texture of the polish, so make sure you always clean the rim of the bottle before closing it. That way it can last up to two years.
  • Skincare and hair care: Check the label for an icon of a little jar with a number on it. The number tells you how many months the product can be safely used after opening.
3 years
  • Pencils (lip and eye), but be sure to sharpen them often
  •  Eyeshadow 

STEP 4: Replace

Here’s a general guide to what your beauty drawers should contain.


  •  Cleanser
  •  Toner
  • Exfoliator
  • Treatment (for your specific skin concern: acne, pigmentation, anti-ageing, dryness)
  • Moisturiser
  • Eye cream
  • Sun protection


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Mask (colour-treated, chemically damaged, dry hair, dry scalp, oily scalp)
  • Leave-in treatment
  • Heat protector
  • Styling aid (mousse, oil, styling cream)
  • Finishing product (sheen spray, hairspray or matte spray) 
  • Foundation in the formula of your choice: liquid, powder, BB cream, mousse, cream
  • Primer to create a smooth finish and make your foundation last longer
  • Concealer to hide eye bags, spots and other blemishes
  • Powder to set your foundation, but only if you’re prone to oily skin
  • Eyelash curlers
  • Brow pencil – filling in your brows frames your face, giving you a more youthful appearance
  • Brow gel to set the eye pencil to keep your brows in place all day
  • Natural-shade eyeshadow gives you a groomed look
  • Natural-shade lipstick/gloss
  • Rosy pink blush which is the most flattering shade across all skin tones and colours
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