Mascara, must be changed every three months. It's a key culprit in harbouring bacteria which can cause unsightly eye infections. Liquid eyeliner is another staple that needs binning an a quarterly basis. Once opened and in use, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria also. Pencil liners on the other hand can last up to two years, but beware that the colour and texture can change over time and make the pencil less efficient and pleasant to use. So keep an eye (no pun intended) on it!
Powder based products like face compacts or eye shadows typically have a few years on them once opened, but beware for when they start appearing extra dry or caked up in their tins. This is a clear sign that its time for them to go.
Liquid cosmetics like cleansers, foundations and mousses tend to lose 50% of their shelf life once opened, so use quickly and make sure lids are tightly on once opened. However, once the smell starts to change or ingredients start separating it should be heading straight for the bin.
Make up sponges and brushes must be washed at least once a week to rid them of dirt, bacteria and product build up. A cost effective way to keep them clean is to wash them in some warm water with some gentle shampoo and leave them flat to dry. Airing cupboards are a great place to get them dry very quickly.
A concealer brush should be washed each time its used, as lets face it, you’re using it to cover up a spot which may be infectious, and by using the same brush again the next time, you really are only moving the infection from one side of your face to the other.
Nail Polishes – these don’t need necessarily need throwing out as much as reviving. Old polish can be revived by putting in a few drops of polish thinner, closing the lid and giving it a good shake. Be warned nail polish remover does not do the same job, instead invest in a quality thinner like Leighton Denny's As Good As New or Mavala's Thinner. Both are under £10 and can dramatically increase the life of your favourite must have colour.
So there you go, get cleaning, chuck out the dead products and give yourself and excuse to hit the beauty counters all over again!