Would you drink spoiled milk? No. That pretty much goes without saying, right? If we see an expiration date on our food, we throw it away. This can't always be said for hair and beauty products--many of us are guilty of not paying attention to those expiration dates, although they are equally important.

Cool, dry storages allow for 3 years of shelf life.

For the most part, we know that our shampoo and conditioner bottles are usually kept in our showers or bathroom cabinets--where they are far from cool and dry. Keep that in mind when trying to hold on to your Holy Grails. They may need to be replaced.

Date the bottle when you buy it.

With a permanent marker, write the date on the bottle when you start using it. Once open, the shelf life can decrease as much as 50%. With the bottle constantly being opened and closed, it's also getting exposed to bacteria in the shower and bathroom.

Notice a sudden change? Contact the company

If you're uncertain as to why after just a short period of time (a few weeks to 2 months) a product has changed its smell, color, or consistency, contact the manufacturer directly--they may be able to answer your question or even possibly replace your product. Although using an expired product shouldn't cause you harm, its main ingredients are likely ineffective and won't work as they were originally meant to.

Wash your styling tools & brushes.

If they are maintained and cleaned, they can usually last up to five years. Brushes, combs, and makeup brushes should be washed with a gentle shampoo or soap regularly. Wipe down heat tools with a warm, damp cloth at least once a month--unplugged, of course.

Makeup shelf life:

  • eyeshadow: 2 years
  • blush: 2 years
  • bronzer: 2 years
  • eyeliner pencil (kept sharpened): up to 2 years
  • eyeliner (liquid) 3-6 months
  • concealer (liquid): 1 year
  • foundation (cream): 12-18 months
  • lipstick: 1 year
  • lip gloss: 18-24 months
  • mascara: 3-4 months