Beauty School: Dirty Secrets About Cosmetics

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Welcome to Beauty School!  Every Monday, JET experts will teach you how to preserve your sexy. This week, makeup artist, beauty expert and former pageant gal Nicole L. Townsend teaches us how to keep it clean when it comes to our cosmetics.

If you’re a beauty addict like me, it’s important to remember that the cleanliness of your cosmetic bag is just as critical as removing your makeup before going to bed at night. I recently underwent a cosmetic bag makeover and nearly fainted from what I discovered.

I found a tube of old red lipstick dated back to my pageant days in ’06, mascara from Nordstrom’s fall beauty event and eye cream that looked yellow when it should have been white.

Yes, it’s true that I’ve always had a hard time parting with my beloved cosmetics, but finding melted makeup and skincare beyond its prime isn’t the least bit admirable.

According to Natural Living for, studies have shown that the maximum shelf life for lipstick is 2-3 years, with nail polish falling shortly behind at 1 year. Mascara should be changed every 3 months and blush every 6 months.

A few a quick tips:

1. If your mascara is lumpy, or your liquid eyeliner or foundation has an (unpleasant) scent, THROW IT AWAY!

2. If you keep your cosmetics in a warm or damp area, let’s say, in the bathroom linen closet or medicine cabinet, subtract  one month from your shelf time and prepare for a new purchase.

3. It’s important to clean your makeup brushes after each use, but since bacteria grows faster than a speeding race car, you should deep clean them at least once a week. I love the Brush Cleaner from Trish McEvoy, but for deep cleaning, I’d recommend using an antibacterial soap, or baby shampoo. Lay them flat on a dry surface and let them sit overnight.

4. I wish I didn’t have to remind people, but you should not pick up or try on cosmetics testers at department stores without assistance from the beauty advisor. They are trained on keeping the counters as clean as possible, and they know how to properly sanitize the testers before they use them. Don’t be afraid to ask the expert how and what they use to avoid germs from spreading.

5. Concealer is a great products to use to hide unwanted dark circles and blemishes. However, if you notice that is looks super thick and lumpy around the applicator or worse — on your skin, you should probably invest in a new one. Seriously, “lumpy cosmetics” is not where it’s at.

6.  Never, ever share your cosmetics with your besties, not even if you trust them with your darkest secret.  Unfortunately, the ugly truth about cosmetics is that they carry some of the most contagious viruses; cold sores,  or a variety of eye infections, and I know you don’t want that to happen.  That’s just gross.

What’s the oldest beauty product that you’ve discovered in your cosmetic bag?

Nicole Townsend

Nicole Townsend