does makeup really go bad?

Reader: Does make-up really go bad? Or is that just a marketing thing to get you to buy new make-up?

Angela: Yes, unfortunately, it is true. Make-up does expire. The expiration date starts running the moment you open the product. Generally speaking mascara should be tossed out every three to four months. Our eyes are very sensitive and that dark, damp tube is a breeding ground for bacteria. Every time you swipe it on your lashes and put the wand back in the tube, you are contaminating it. This really isn’t a problem until around four months when the product has become compromised. Further use can lead to eye infections.

Similar issues occur with most creamy make-up items. Foundations, concealers, creamy eye shadows, lipsticks and lip glosses should really be tossed after six months to a year once opened. Even powder compacts that get used with an accompanying sponge should be tossed at that time.

Powder eye shadows and blushes will become drier and won’t have the consistency they once had, though they can easily last two to three years without concern. They may not perform as well, but the risk of irritation is low.

Fall make-up and Spring make-up is not just about new shades, it is a good barometer for when you need to toss the compromised items.

  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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