Beauty Tips

Ten Ways to Feel Pretty on an Off Day

We all have those “off” days now and then where your hair just doesn’t look right, or maybe you feel like you have nothing to wear and don’t wanna leave the house. Laying in bed moping all day isn’t the answer! Here are a few tips to help you turn that off day around and leave you feeling pretty!

  1. Wake Up and Put on your Favorite Song: Music has the ability to lift your mood instantly! Make a “Feel Better” playlist that includes all your favorite songs that put you in a good mood.
  2. Go Workout: Working out gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy!
  3. Eat Healthy: When you eat healthy, your body, skin, hair, and mind will thank you. You will have more energy and radiate awesome.
  4. Wash Your Face and Hair: Sometimes the best way to deal with a bad hair/makeup day is to simply start over and pamper yourself to a fabulous face mask and deep conditioner.
  5. Put on Lipstick: Adding some bright red lipstick to your usual makeup routine can just be the pick me up you need!
  6. Treat Yourself: Whether it’s going to the mall and buying a new outfit, makeup, or simply just going to get your nails done, treat yourself to something that makes you happy.
  7. Get Some Coffee: Go to a cute and cozy coffee shop and order your favorite coffee off the menu and grab a good read. Doesn’t that just sound sophisticated?
  8. Think Positive: One of the best ways to feel pretty is to think about all the positive things in your life—your health, family, friends, and accomplishments!
  9. Laugh: Sounds simple, but calling up a best friend and having a good laugh is simply the best! Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was right!
  10. It Ends: Remember every off day eventually comes to an end and tomorrow will be a fresh start!

The Benefit of Using a Primer

If you want your face makeup to last a long time without having to touch it up, a must-have is the primer.

The primer is the first step before applying either foundation, concealer, or powder foundation, and sometimes bb cream too. Then it will last a few hours with a little touch-up. Primer also helps to reduce shininess, if you have oily to combination skin; dryness; and makes it easier to apply face makeup.

There are three categories of primer:

  • Face primer: for all over the face where the primer is colorless, feels smooth, and is prevented from clogging pores. It comes in gel formed, liquid, and cream based primer. However, there are different types of face primer:

    • matted primer—for oily skin,
    • brighter primer—tinted primer to add brightness, and
    • tinted primer—for a little more coverage that’s an alternative for color.
  • Eye primer: This is the most important makeup to apply before any eye shadow product. The eye primer will help the eye look on point without the shadow smudging to a faded color, and it won’t crease up the eye’s look. It will make your eye shadow last all day and all night long. Comes in a wax or cream-based primer.

  • Lip primer: If you’re struggling keeping your lipstick on all day and you’re tired of reapplying it and your lip liner consistently, lip primer will definitely help. It can also be used for someone with dry lips and won’t show that cracked lip stained look. Comes with a tube stick that looks like chapstick or, if you have extremely dry and sensitive lips, lip butter can also be used as a lip primer with added moisture content.

Having these primers will make your makeup on point and looking fabulous.

Skin Care Tip: Wear Sunscreen

If I could emphasize one skin care tip to everyone, it would be to apply sunscreen! I come across many people who ignore this task, carefree since they are youthful and have beautiful skin.

Primarily because I love the sun, I am a huge advocate of sun protection. In order to continue enjoying the warm kisses of the sun while still slowing down the aging process, I make sure I always apply some type of broad-spectrum sunscreen on my face and my body. And don’t forget the ears!

There are two types of sunscreens: a physical sunscreen that reflects the sun’s rays, and a chemical sunscreen that absorbs the rays and scatter them. I lean more towards natural products, so my preference is to use a physical sunscreen. However, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.

For sunscreen to be effective, it should be applied at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. In addition, it should be re-applied. For many women, re-applying is difficult, since they’re already wearing makeup. However, the makeup also acts as another barrier against the sun. If you will be having prolonged sun exposure without reapplying, throw on a big, fashionable hat. Also remember to apply sun protection even on cloudy, overcast days because the UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.

I like to kill two birds with one stone, so for the last few years, I’ve been using tinted moisturizer with a minimum of 15 Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which gives me protection and light coverage. For more coverage, you can use a facial moisturizer with SPF and apply your favorite foundation over it. Protect your face and skin now, so that years from now, you’ll need to do less work to maintain your beauty!

Eyebrows: Sisters, Not Twins

Eyebrows can change everything on a person’s face. Everyone strives for the perfect pair of brows. We’re all told that facial symmetry is the most attractive, so the hope is that those perfect brows will help create that symmetry.

But your brows don’t exactly match. Notice your frustrations when doing eyeliner. Most people find it hard to get their eyeliner to match. If you look closely, your eyes just don’t match. So why would you expect that your brows would? Your brows probably look similar, but not identical. Don’t force it.

If you are battling to get the brows you want, there are a few things you can do to help get you there. If you have an esthetician and want a reshape, it can take up to 3-6 months of untouched re-growth to get a brand new shape. If you are looking for a quick fix for a night out, all you need is an angle brush and some powder.

Eyebrow Length Guide

First use a pencil or makeup brush to draw points on your brow at the inner corner—directly above the side of your nostril; at the arch—parallel to the outer side of your iris; and at the tail end—diagonally in line with the side of your nostril and the outer corner of your eye. With the three points marked out, use your angle brush and hair-matching powder to fill in the shape.

Training your brows to grow and lie the way you want also helps in creating the perfect brows. Using an empty mascara wand and Vaseline, or an aloe vera gel, brush your brows nightly to lie how they should. After a few weeks, your brows should start behaving appropriately.

If your brows are sparse, there is an old fashion trick of using castor oil on your brows nightly to help encourage the hair follicles to grow. But now, with technology on our side, there are great topical treatment serums like Revitabrow to help the process go faster.

14 Coconut Oil Beauty Tips

Coconut oil has many amazing qualities for both hair and skin. Here are 14 ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine.

  1. Whip it in your mixer (or with a whisk) to make a face moisturizer. It makes a great night cream as well that won’t clog your pores.
  2. For dry or cracked hands, take some coconut oil and rub it all over your hands like a lotion. Then put gloves on. You can do the same with your feet using socks.
  3. It makes a wonderful makeup remover and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. Gently rub it on your eyelid to easily remove makeup.
  4. Add brown sugar to make an excellent sugar scrub.
  5. Use it as a hydrating lip balm.
  6. It’s a great replacement for shaving cream; it adds moisture.
  7. Use it as a hair mask to smooth and soften and fight frizz.
  8. It can help strengthen, whiten and detoxify the teeth and gums. The lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria that causes plaque and yellowing. It’s antifungal and antibacterial properties improve gum health and freshens breath.
  9. It can be used as a face wash. Add olive oil and use to deeply clean the face.
  10. For an antibacterial face mask, mix coconut oil and honey. Apply and leave on your face for 15 minutes and then rinse.
  11. It can be used as an acne and cellulite scrub by combining it with coffee grounds. Coffee is best known to treat acne, as it is a deep exfoliant. It also helps to stimulate the circulation of blood and therefore helps with cellulite.
  12. It is used to naturally lighten age spots. Coconut oil has natural antioxidants that help fade and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  13. Make your own homemade deodorant by combining equal parts of corn flower, baking soda, and coconut oil.
  14. It can act as a great cuticle cream.

How to Match the Correct Shade Color

When it comes to makeup, one of the important things—before buying either a foundation, concealer, powder, or any face make up—is to find the correct shade for your skin. Whether you’re trying out new products, or if your skin changes tone, it has to match.

I know that some people match the skin tone using the edge of their jaw line or the back of their arm. But both of those areas have a different tone than where the makeup will be used, and where it will show if it doesn’t match.

To make a proper match on shade, first clean a strip of skin. It has to be clean or it will be infused with a different tone. Then use a q-tip, or a flat brush, and put it below the eye—next to the edge of the nose—and swatch all the way down to the nose area. This is the right location for determining tone. Then use a different brush—similar to a foundation or powder brush—or a sponge and blend it out until it becomes invisible, or reveals that it’s not the right shade.

If your skin looks pinkish-white, the shade color is too light. If the color is golden yellow, then it’s too bold. And if the color looks red-brown, then it’s too dark. When it matches, the color blends into the skin tone, making it disappear.

There you have it, a guide to indicate the correct color before buying a new product.

How to Create a Strong Brow

Brows are very important to an overall look. There are many ways to create a brow, but the more popular way right now is the “strong brow.” This brow doesn’t play games. Most people want this look but don’t quite know how to perfect it, so I am going to tell you how to get the look you’ve been wanting to learn.

Before learning the steps, you will need to start with well-groomed eyebrows. It is hard to create this look with many hairs being out of place, so removing any extra hairs will make it easy to map out your brows. You also need to have clean skin.

  1. Start with the bottom of your brow, and using an angled brow brush, make a line using short strokes from the beginning of the brow to the end.
  2. Then repeat the same step at the top of the brow. When you reach the end, the bottom line and top line should meet, creating a point.
  3. Now you need to fill in between the lines. You want the end of the brow fuller and deeper in tone. As you work towards the front, you want to use less product, while also using a lighter hand when placing the product. This will create a gradient effect.
  4. Using an angled brush, or small concealer brush, you want to conceal right underneath and above the line you mapped out in the first step. Lastly, don’t forget to use your finger to blend out the concealer.

Eyebrows

Everyone has eyebrows, and let’s face it, everyone looks at your eyebrows. So why not get them done and make them look pretty?

There have always been different eyebrow trends that involve different thinness and even color, but sometimes a trend cannot be reversed if you damage a hair follicle. Your eyebrows are in a sensitive area right above your eye, so it might be painful to remove some of the hair. But it sure can be worth it!

There are so many different ways to remove the hair. Waxing involves laying actual wax onto your skin and the hair that wants to be removed. Threading is a somewhat new technique that was brought to the United States from India. In threading, a thin thread is doubled, and then twisted. It is then rolled over areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove short lines of hair. Threading can also be used for someone who has sensitive skin because no hot products are being placed onto the skin. And there is always the tweezing method that most every woman uses. But when you tweeze you have the chance to pull the wrong hair and then you would be left with an uneven brow.

There are so many options to choose from that you just really have to find the one that you prefer.

Choosing Colors for You

With so many shades of shadows, blushes, and lipsticks, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what color suits us best. Sometimes, when I walk into a store like Sephora, I get goggly-eyed like a four year old in a candy shop, with the pretty colors and perfect packaging. I want to try on every color and have someone tell me if it looks good or not, but that is not realistic. Then how am I supposed to know which colors work with my skin tone?

An easy way to solve that question is to know a little about your face and its characteristics. Blue eyes can usually pull off golds and silvers, neutrals, and earthy tones like blue or green. Blues, purples, and pinks, as well as all neutrals look very good with brown eyes. Green eyes really pop with pinks or browns. The color wheel is a great tool for helping to determine which direction you should go in. If you want a bolder look, then choose a color opposite your eyes. But if you want to achieve a more subtle look, use colors closer to your own eye color on the wheel.

When it comes down to it, if you like the way it looks and feels on your skin, then own it! Nothing is more beautiful than being confident in what you’re wearing.

Four Ways to Dry Your Nails

One of the most frustrating parts of getting your nails done is thinking you have allowed enough time for them to dry, running out the door, getting in your car, only to find that you have smudged what moments ago was a beautiful manicure. It takes time and patience to sit in the salon after your nails are done waiting while your polish dries, and this is when times seems to pass incredibly slowly. Usually you decide to leave when your patience runs out, not when your nails are thoroughly dry. Here are four great tips to help nail polish dry faster:

  • Super cold water: Before you start painting your nails, fill a small bowl up with ice cubes and cold water. Once nails are painted, dip your hands into the bowl of freezing water. This will help set the polish. If you are at a nail salon and do not have access to ice cubes, just place your hands under cold water for about a minute.
  • Cold air: Your hairdryer works just as well as a salon’s nail dryer. All you have to do is set your hair dryer to the cool setting and blast your freshly painted nails with cold air.
  • Spray: Nail drying sprays work extremely well. They are not hard to find and can be purchased at your local drug store. But what works just as well is any type of cooking oil spray such as PAM—yes PAM! Just be sure that you wash your hands a few minutes after you spray your hands with it.
  • Thinner the better: Try doing three thin coats of polish rather than two thicker coats. Make sure you wait a few minutes in between coats. This allows the polish to dry evenly and faster.

A Step to Step Guide to Dry Brushing

Dry brushing has always been a part of Ayurveda’s cleansing beliefs. It is a form of exfoliation that sloughs away dead skin cells, unclogs pores, reduces the appearance of cellulite, and removes toxins that have been trapped beneath the skin. In addition, dry brushing is also said to stimulate the lymphatic system, essential in helping toxins flow throughout the body. This extremely simple and inexpensive beauty regimen takes only about 5 minutes. With the simple steps below, you will see results instantly.

  1. Use a natural, non synthetic, bristle brush. A long handle helps to reach areas of your body that would otherwise be hard to reach.
  2. Stand naked in your bathtub, or elsewhere if you have a towel underneath your feet to catch the dead skin that falls.
  3. You can start anywhere you like on your body, but I prefer to start at my feet with long sweeping motions towards my heart. Brush the area several times and move on to the next section of your body. Take note that certain areas of your body are more sensitive than others, so make sure you are not too heavy handed with your brush, which can cause irritation. The more you dry brush, the less sensitive your skin will be.
  4. Rinse off in the shower to get all the dead skin residue off of your skin.
  5. Pat your skin dry with a towel. Finish with a body butter or a natural moisturizing oil, such as coconut, to help seal in the moisture.

Dry Brush and Accessories

Pros & Cons of Waxing

Most women get rid of their hair with a razor. It’s painless, even if you accidently nick yourself with the blade; it’s fast if you do it while showering; and it’s a cheap method of hair removal. Yet waxing salons and spas are thriving. Why? Because waxing is able to last up to a month, it reduces in-between stubble, it is highly effective, and it removes hair right from the root. You get instant smoothness that a razor cannot deliver, even when it’s brand new.

The Cons

  • You have to wait for the hair to grow back again to a certain length. There is a re-growth cycle that hair goes through once removed.
  • Yes, it will hurt. No, do not drink first to ease the pain.
  • More susceptible to ingrown hairs if not treated with an exfoliant.
  • More pricey, but totally worth it.
  • You’re removing a layer of protection against infection. Our hair naturally protects us from outside environmental stressors and toxins.

The Pros

  • Smooth skin, no more stubble. Lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Hairless for longer, gets more hair than your razor could. Doesn’t leave bumpies.
  • It will stop growing in as thick after a while, and the re-growth cycle will get thinner.
  • Less effort, no razor cuts or burns.

There are also two types of wax used for waxing:

Soft Wax

  • Melts at higher temperature.
  • Stays soft after application.
  • Waxing strips, aka muslin, is necessary for hair removal.
  • Pulling soft wax off with a waxing strip often results in lifting and stretching of the skin along with the hair.
  • Can work only when you pull the strips in the direction opposite to the hair growth.
  • Cannot be reapplied to areas just waxed.
  • Can often cause rash, irritation, and redness.

Hard Wax

  • Melts at lower temperature.
  • Simply lift and pull the hardened wax. No strips necessary.
  • Hard wax hardens around the hair and not on the skin; only the hair is uprooted.
  • Does not require you to pull from the direction opposite the hair growth.
  • No rash, redness, irritation after.
  • Can be reapplied on the areas that are just waxed.
  • Good for waxing armpits and the bikini area.

Everyone Needs a Beauty Survival Kit

We’ve all been there, out and about, feeling great. And then we look into a mirror to find makeup issues going on. I used to never carry any makeup with me except a lip gloss. But now I think it’s essential to have a beauty survival kit that doesn’t take up too much space and has just the right touch ups that I might need. Here’s a list that I find always comes in handy when I need to reach into my purse and do a fixer upper.

Beauty Survival Kit

  1. Compact Mirror — For those times when you don’t have one around.
  2. Pressed Powder — Easy to touch up the face with either a translucent powder or foundation powder, especially for those who have oily skin and makeup which tends to slide off.
  3. Eyeliner — has the tendency to wear off or smudge throughout the day, so I carry a travel size liner.
  4. Lip Balm — I always carry a lip balm on me to keep my lips nice and moisturized.
  5. Lip liner/Lipstick — This changes depending on what lip color I’m wearing that day, but lipstick tends to bleed or fade so I always have both with me to clean up.
  6. Eyelash Glue — I usually wear false lashes and, at one point of the day, at least one of them starts to lift. So I make sure I always have glue on me to quickly fix the lashes.
  7. Hand Sanitizer — Important to use before touching your face.
  8. Perfume Sample — Apply a spritz throughout the day to smell fresh. Be careful not overdue it; too much perfume is never a good thing.
  9. Gum/Mints — Always have these handy for fresh breath.

Everyone’s survival kit will be different but it definitely comes in handy when you need a quick touch up!

The Importance of Heat Protectants

Aveda Brilliant Damage Control

Do you blow dry your hair all the time? Do you use a straightener/flat iron? A wand? A curling iron? If you do, do you also use a heat protectant? If not, you absolutely need to be!

Excessive heat can be so damaging to the hair if it isn’t prepped properly! Aveda offers some of the best style preps I’ve ever used. All of them work as heat protectants while still helping hold a style.

If you’re looking for a sleek and smooth blowout, use Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style Prep. Are you looking for a bouncy, voluminous blowout? Use Pure Abundance Style Prep. Not sure what hot tools you might want to use after blow drying? Use Brilliant Damage Control.

Brilliant Damage Control can be used even if you aren’t going to blowout your hair. It detangles hair, and dries like there isn’t anything on the hair at all. Apply it after towel drying hair. Spray liberally, and then let it air dry. This product is seriously the greatest!

Four Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar gained much of its popularity within the natural health community. Apple cider vinegar has a wide range of benefits and uses, from health and beauty, to keeping a clean home. Read on for the four reasons I love this versatile home pantry staple.

  1. Balance your internal system: apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a balanced pH level. Research shows that higher internal acid levels can lead to a lack of energy and can increase how susceptible you are to infections. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 liter of distilled water. Drinking the mixture helps ward off sickness and kill bacteria.
  2. Naturally clean your home: apple cider vinegar is antibacterial; it’s a natural disinfectant. Instead of using harsh chemicals that are harmful to your family and pets, empty a spray bottle and fill it ¼ full of apple cider vinegar and then add water to fill the rest of the way. This simple cleaner will leave your mirrors streak-free and will have your kitchen grime-free too. It also provides a nice addition—a clean fresh scent.
  3. Simple haircare: apple cider vinegar closes the cuticles without stripping your hair of its natural oils. It also removes built-up dirt, resulting in extremely shiny hair. After you shampoo, spray your hair with ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of cold, filtered water. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. You can repeat this process up to three times a week.
  4. Prevent breakouts: apple cider vinegar can be used as a skin treatment or as part of your daily skincare routine. As a treatment, use one part apple cider vinegar and three parts cooled green tea and apply it to your face. Let it dry and finish with your usual moisturizer. As part of your daily routine, you can dilute apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water and wipe with a cotton round as a toner. You can also add any essential oil into the mixture if the vinegar smell is too overpowering for you.

Just Make the Cut!

Before and After Trim

Many of my clients are attached to their hair, and I get it! Trust me. But, I’ve come to learn a couple of important things about hair cuts:

  1. While growing, hair stays healthiest if it is well maintained. Styling with heat can severely damage your hair but, by keeping up with regular trims, you eliminate all of the damaged ends. Split ends have the potential to split up the entire hair strand, all the way to the root. This causes those unattractive fly-aways that everyone hates! Keep up on the trims.
  2. Chemically over-processed hair has a tendency to not style well. This can be especially true for clients that have had their hair highlighted to the moon and back. Those ends break as a result of what we call a chemical cut. This results in a really weak perimeter and even weaker styles. Volume is easily achieved with a fresh hair cut. With a strong perimeter, hair looks healthy and full.
  3. Nothing renews confidence like a fresh hair cut and a new style. Ever feel a little off? Like you just aren’t completely happy? Something as simple as fresh bangs can give you a new outlook and a large boost of confidence. Sometimes that’s all you need for a pick me up!

So next time your stylist tells you that you would see some serious benefits with a hair cut, take a leap of faith: Make That Cut!

“Acne” Skin

As an esthetician, I come across many different skin types and problems, the most common one being “acne.” I put acne in quotes because I see very few clients who I would classify as actually having acne, even if they think they do.

People with oily skin tend to have larger pores. They are therefore more prone to blackheads and breakouts. Because there isn’t any way to physically reduce pore size, they really need to exfoliate and regulate their oil. I recommend they use something with at least 2% salicylic acid, either in pads or as an astringent. This helps eliminate the bad bacteria, as well as clean the skin and strip the oil. Another product I recommend is a clay mask at least once a week, depending on oil production. Clay helps to absorb excess oil.

Another skin type I see commonly is classic combination skin. These clients have active oil in all or some of the T-zone, and are usually dry or dehydrated on their cheeks and neck. For these clients, I still recommend a mild exfoliation daily on the oily areas as needed. This doesn’t need to be as strong as 2% salicylic acid, but that depends on how your skin handles the exfoliation. Then I suggest they do a hydrating mask once a week to help with their lack of moisture.

The key to controlling acne breakouts is to exfoliate followed by some kind of moisture. Even though you want to strip the oil from your skin, you don’t want to over strip, as the oil we produce is a natural protectant. I also recommend getting facials once a month because they offer the deep pore cleanse and hydration that you can’t get at home.

Spotlight on Acne Spot-treating

Honey

I’ve personally suffered from acne all of my life, from cystic to hormonal, stress-caused, and everything in between. Since a young age, I have always required rather harsh treatments that have been potentially caustic both to my skin and internally as well. I have always looked for ways to treat my breakouts between visits to my esthetician. While searching for a more holistic approach to treating my acne, I have come across a few spot treatments that are safe to use on a daily basis.

Raw honey contains high antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which helps to reduce bacteria within and around a breakout. To use, swab a small amount of raw honey onto a cotton q-tip, and press it onto your blemish. Leave the raw honey on for 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. Repeat this process for a few days, or until noticeable results occur.

Aspirin is great for large, painful cystic acne. The chemical composition of aspirin is very similar to that of salicylic acid, a very common topical treatment for acne. Using aspirin topically to treat acne also reduces swelling and redness that accompany a breakout. Crumble one aspirin tablet, and add in a few drops of purified water until you’ve created a paste-like consistency. Swab a small amount onto a cotton q-tip, and press it onto your blemish; leaving it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off the aspirin paste with cool water, and re-apply this mixture each morning and night until signs of your breakout subside.

Live. Love. Champagne.

Did you know that you could use champagne on your hair, your skin, and your body? I sure didn’t know that, but the idea popped up in my head so I did some quick research. Yes indeed, champagne can be good for you in general.

What’s in it that’s good for your hair, skin, and body? Well, it has very high antioxidants from the grape seed extract; and it has vitamins C & E so it’s definitely great for your hair and skin. For your body, a glass of champagne a week can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks because of all the plant chemicals with antioxidant properties.

Here are some DIY’s you can do at home for fun:

  • For Smooth and Silky Hair

    Just mix ½ cup of your favorite champagne with ½ cup of hot water and distribute the mix evenly throughout your hair. Let it marinate while you are painting your nails, or cleaning, or even preparing yourself for a night out, before rinsing and styling as usual.

  • Antioxidant-Rich Face Exfolliant

    Just soak a cotton pad in chilled sparkling wine and wipe thoroughly across a cleansed face, neck, and décolleté.

  • For the Body

    Combine 1 cup powdered milk and ½ cup Epsom salts in a bowl; add 1 or more cups of any sparkling wine—no need to splurge on the pricey stuff—and 1 tablespoon honey warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and then pour into running bath water. When the tub is full, add in rose petals. They’re a natural emollient that hydrates and tones.

Never feel guilty sipping on that Champagne again! Happy New Year!

Champagne Popping

How To Know If Your Beauty Products Are Expired

Like most things we use in life, skin-care and beauty products don’t last forever. Once you open that jar of moisturizer, the clock starts ticking. Exposure to air, light, and bacteria can break down the product and eventually it will not work the same. It sounds crazy, but even if they are left sealed, heat and humidity can also cause your products to break down over time.

Expired products are not really a big deal every time. Sometimes it just means they lose some of their effectiveness. A vial of expired perfume could smell a little off or your favorite mascara doesn’t apply as smoothly and easily. But other times, an expired product can be irritating or cause other problems. Expired sunscreen, for example, might not work properly leading to a nasty sunburn.

Product Expiration Information on Label

This picture on a product shows “12M” on a little jar, which means the product should be good for twelve months after opening.

First things first. Most likely, you won’t find an exact expiration date printed on your beauty products because the FDA does not require it. If something like “Exp 12/2015” is not clearly printed on the packaging, look for what is called the Period After Opening (PAO) date.

Keep in mind that, just like things like milk and eggs, expiration dates on beauty products are not always reliable. My mom always taught me: “When in doubt, throw it out!” Check your beauty products out too, and toss anything that has changed in smell, color, or texture. Also be aware that most natural products have a more limited life span than products which include preservatives, and they will go bad much sooner.

Tip: If water is listed as the first ingredient, the product will have a shorter shelf life after opening than a product without water—all other things being equal—because water encourages bacteria to grow.

Here’s a list of some generalized guidelines for many different cosmetic products to have an idea when it is time to chuck those oldies.

  • Moisturizers, Face Creams, and Eye Creams

    Six months to one year. Products sold in a pump are less likely to introduce bacteria, while creams in jars should be tossed after six to nine months.

  • Sunscreen

    One year. Store it away from sunlight to prevent the formula from becoming unstable.

  • Anti-Aging or Anti-Acne Products

    Up to one year, depending on the ingredients. Anti-acne products containing benzoyl peroxide have a shelf life of three months once opened. Products with antioxidants such as retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C also break down more quickly.

  • Shampoos, Conditioners, and Hair Styling Products

    One to two years opened, three years unopened. Water and air that gets into the bottles could break down the formulas.

  • Perfume and Cologne

    Two years. As pretty as the bottles look on your counter, store them away from sunlight and humidity to be safe.

  • Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner

    Three months. Repurchase a new one every season and throw away even sooner if it’s dried out or if you’ve had an eye infection.

  • Liquid Foundation and Concealer

    Six months to 1 year

  • Powder-based Cosmetics (i.e., eyeshadows and powder foundation)

    Two to three years

  • Lipsticks and Glosses

    Two to three years. If you’ve had a cold sore, toss your lip products sooner.

  • Eye and Lip Pencils

    Three to five years. Sharpen before use to preserve them.

To make your beloved products last as long as possible, keep them away from heat, sunlight, humidity, and air. For sanitary reasons, choose pumps over jars and make sure your hands are clean before use so you don’t contaminate your products.