Makeup does expire and you really shouldn't use it past it's expiration date. If you introduce wet ingredients into dry ingredients, you are causing possibility of bacteria growth and you shouldn't do this. If you leave cream makeup out in your car in the heat, it may melt and not re-solidify as well and it may go bad faster. If you are sick, you should probably throw away your mascara or use disposable wands while you're sick. Otherwise, the germs from your illness may mutate and get you sick again. You should never share makeup with anyone that can't be sanitized. Brushes can be sterilized. This is why makeup artists use artist like palettes and scoop out product onto the palettes to be used on different people. You can use Q-tips and sponges also, these are disposable. As we've discussed before, the FDA doesn't require labeling of expiration dates on products. Many companies have started using this symbolism to tell consumers how long they can expect their products to last.

These are still a guideline rather than a steadfast rule. The following chart is a great resource to tell when your makeup needs upgraded or thrown out. 

A solution of alcohol and water can be sprayed on to pencils and pressed cosmetics to sanitize them. Cream makeups and liquids cannot be sanitized and should be portioned out on a separate surface or in a separate container if used on multiple people. You can clean your brushes with dish soap, but that can be harsh depending on the brand, the safest bet is to find an affordable brush shampoo and clean your brushes  after each use. There are also fancy sterilization machines for brushes you can buy.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The rant is accurate and way too common of a problem in the makeup industry. WHAT FOLLOWS THE RANT IS PURE GOLD, THOUGH. Kelly Eden's roommate and friend, makeup artist, Drae breaks down in DETAIL how to properly sanitize your makeup kit for clients and personal use.


While you're in the process of learning how to keep all of your makeup clean and safe for your clients or for yourself, it also is worth it to bring up using gentle touch. It's going to keep you from scooping out too much product and wasting it and from being too hard on your brushes so they'll last longer. Also, no one wants you to do their makeup, if they feel like they're getting beat with a makeup brush. Bedside manner matters in the medical profession and chair side manner matters as a makeup artist. You might think this is obvious, but it's something that many don't think about. Also, you can always add more product, but it's hard to take product off without starting over. It can be done, sometimes. You can brush off excess powder with a clean brush. You can fix dried foundation with some moisturizer and pull some off with a sponge, but it's always better to start with less and add more. This takes practice and patience for some, for others it comes easier, but it's worth a mention regardless.

You shouldn't sleep in your makeup, even though many of us do. You should always start with a clean face and clean hands. This will allow the makeup to work best, but you also reduce the risk of introducing bacteria into your cosmetics shortening their shelf life. Use a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer that is suitable to your skin type (normal, combination or oily for the most part), and most people unless they have very sensitive skin benefit greatly from a toner. If you have trouble getting foundation to stick on your nose or other parts of your face, gentle exfoliation, a toner and a primer can do wonders and your skin will be healthier also. Skin care is a complicated topic and no single product will work best on everyone. Consult an esthetician or dermatologist. If you want to learn more about the science behind skincare and how that directly relates the different products, so you can at a glance learn what ingredients to watch for based on your own knowledge of your skin; I cannot recommend enough, THE BEAUTY BIBLE by Paula Begoun. I learned so much from this book. It can be hard to get a hold of now, but most libraries have it and you can find used copies. A  lot of the products mentioned in it are still available and while there's a ton of new things out there, there's so much information in an easily digestible format that you can apply to any product you look at.