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ulas with soap and water occasionally because where you set it down after use may harbour bacteria. Try not to line your products up on a sunny window


sill. Better yet if you have a drawer in your bathroom then keep everything in there, nice and dark. The main issues with how long you can keep a product as its best are: 1. Remembering when it was first opened. Some products have a symbol showing us how long after opening the product is at its best. This is called PAO - period after opening - and I like that especially if I can take advantage of an offer and have a few spare things in a drawer. You could jot a note in your diary if you are hopeless with remembering anything. Or have more important things on your mind… 2. How you store it and the kind of packaging. Avoid- ing bright light and extremes of temperature are key. If the product comes in a clear glass container then it is especially vulnerable. If your perfume or moisturiser comes in a nice cardboard box then keep it in there if you can be bothered. If not stick it in a drawer. Per- fume should not be kept in the bathroom as tempera- ture can do terrible things to it. If the product has a high water content and is exposed


to the air then it can easily grow bacteria causing contam- ination and breakdown of the ingredients. Putting the top back tightly on things is not hard. If your moisturiser or shampoo etc are proud of being preservative free then it will go off faster than things that have synthetic preservatives. That is a choice you have to make on your own. Liquids have a


Lip-


sticks can last for


2 years if treat- ed right.


shorter life than powders. Foundations or concealers that have separated, dis- coloured or smell odd need to go. Powders can do 2 years if you wipe over the surface occasionally and keep your brushes clean. With any product keeping the outside clean,


washing the tools you use in warm soapy water and washing your hands before you apply, is a good way to reduce lurking bacteria. Brow pencils and liners can last for ages because each time you sharpen them you are eliminating bacteria. Mascaras are little bombs of bacteria and mites waiting to infect your eyes if the magazines are to be believed. Wiggling the brush rather than pumping will cut down on the amount of air introduced and give it a longer life but no more that 6 months tops even if there is plenty left. Do not share mascara. Ever.


Lipsticks can last for 2 years if treated right. Keep the lid on and weekly wipe over the surface with a face wipe. Finally you will not increase the life of a gloopy nail varnish by pouring remover in to the bottle…


Illustration by Lisa Wyman


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