A study conducted by finance website Mint.com determined that the average woman spends approximately $15,000 on cosmetics during her lifetime. She shops for makeup at least five times per year. Protect that investment by properly storing your rouge, foundation, mascara and lipstick so it will not deteriorate quickly.

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Gather up all the cosmetics in your home and toss out any that are expired. Throw away out mascara after three to six months; eye shadow after 12 months; blush and lipstick after 18 months; and foundation after six months. Older cosmetics can harbor bacteria and mold, which is why all makeup has an expiration date even if it’s not listed on the packaging.

Wash your makeup brushes, including foam eye shadow applicators, in a mixture of 1 teaspoon shampoo and 3 cups water. Submerge foam applicators and squeeze them underwater to remove old makeup. Submerge the bristles of the brushes and run your fingers through them while underwater to eliminate any old makeup. Rinse the applicators and brushes under the tap before setting both on a paper towel to dry completely. Washing your brushes at least once a month helps prevent the spread of bacteria, which keeps your makeup viable longer.

Store cosmetics and brushes in a plastic or cloth makeup bag. Check all the lids and tops of your cosmetics to ensure that they’re tight to prevent unwanted moisture from seeping in. Place all the brushes in separate compartments, if possible, or store them individually in small plastic baggies. Keeping the brushes separate also helps prevent cross-contamination.

Store your makeup in a cool, dry spot. The heat and humidity in the bathroom, which is naturally where most women store makeup, can ruin the products. Instead, store the cosmetics on a shelf in your bedroom or a cool, dry closet adjacent to the bathroom.


  • Avoid storing your makeup in the car. The constant temperature fluctuations will degrade the quality.