Contrary to what the forecasters are saying, spring has officially sprung in Colorado. Just as our homes and wardrobes undergo an annual cleaning, so should our beauty products.
Most people would be horrified at the thought of using five-year-old mayo on a sandwich, but they wouldn’t bat an eye at slathering similarly aged cream on their faces. But, just like the items in your fridge, makeup and skincare items have an expiration date. Here's a quick rundown of the average product shelf life for some beauty staples. (Tip: SPF products should all be individually labeled with an end date.)
Eye/Face Cream—Unopened: 3 years; Used: 1 year
Foundation (oil-based)—2 years
Foundation (water-based)—6 to 12 months
Lip balm—Unopened: 5 years; Used: 1 to 5 years
Mascara—Unopened: 2 years; Used: 3 to 4 months
Now that you've ditched all the old stuff, you have plenty of room for new products. Get your skin in tip-top summer shape by investing in these five essential items:
Shed your winter coat with an all-over exfoliator like LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub. It provides a more even, lasting result with a self-tanner (see Alba below). $21.95 (4.2 ounces); Lush Cosmetics, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3000 E. First Ave., 303-333-5874; Park Meadows Mall, 8405 Park Meadows Center Dr., 303-799-1699; and lushusa.com
Nothing says spring quite like beautiful, flushed rosy cheeks. A subtle wash of pink can bring your entire face into bloom. Try a gel blush such as Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy layered over a tinted moisturizer for glowing summer skin and a young, fresh-faced look. $30; Sephora, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3000 E. First Ave., 303-399-8800, and tartecosmetics.com
An obvious way to add color to your skin in the warm weather: the sun. Instead of lying outside for hours trying to get a tan, reach for the sunless tanner. I rely on Alba Botanica® Very Emollient Sunless Tanner for its all-natural formula and easy application. $10.99; albabotanica.com
Colorado is arid, so it's essential to rehydrate your skin from the inside as well as the outside. Drink plenty of water and replace that expired skin cream with a nourishing moisturizer such as Own Refining Moisture Night Cream. $24.99; ownproducts.com
The bold brow trend is still going strong for Spring 2013—just not the heavy, drawn-on Madonna brows of the '80s. Think Brooke Shields: a softer, more natural thick arch. Bold, however, doesn't mean ungroomed; strategic tweezing goes a long way. My go-to is the mother of all tweezers, the Tweezerman. A good pair can last a decade or more, especially with Tweezerman’s lifetime sharpening service guarantee. Starting at $15; tweezerman.com
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