How Often Should You Change Your Mascara Tube?

Nicki Minaj shows off her luxe lashes.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Gals who were overlooked by the lash gods often find refuge in mascara. This ingenious product gives girth to skimpy lashes and makes even the shortest eyelid dusters look long and luxurious. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, which is the case with tubes of mascara, as you can't keep the same tube around forever. But just how often should you replace this beauty superhero? It may be sooner than you think.

When to Trash the Tube

Even though you might want your favorite mascara to stick around forever, it simply can't. Plan to say buh-bye to the tube after about three months -- try to hold back your tears. Your mascara starts to get dry and clumpy after this time, which results in gross spider-like lashes. Additionally, as your mascara chills out in that tube, it gets exposed to all kinds of germs, which can make their way to your lashes and your eyes. Chucking the tube after three months keeps your lashes looking lush and healthy.

Mascara Do's

Applying mascara sounds simple enough, but you might be surprised how many ladies do it wrong. Curl your lashes with an eyelash curler if you want to look totally glamorous, then hold the mascara wand horizontally against your lashes. Slowly move the wand upwards over your lashes, moving from roots to tips until you've covered them with the makeup. Allow the mascara to dry, then apply another coat. Place an index card underneath your bottom lashes, if you want to give them the mascara treatment -- doing so prevents the makeup from touching your skin. Hold your wand vertically and lightly sweep over the little hairs. Run a lash comb through your lashes if they start to stick together.

Mascara Don'ts

You've probably seen images of women pumping their mascara wands in and out of the tube to collect and then evenly disperse the mascara over the wand. Instead of benefiting the makeup, it actually hurts it, as pumping sends air inside the tube, causing it to dry out. Instead, pull the wand out and remove the excess with a paper towel. Never add anything to the mascara, as it can alter its composition and change the way it goes on. Additionally, skip sharing your mascara with others. Doing so only puts you at risk for developing eye infections.

Other Makeup Expiration Dates

Mascara isn't the only makeup that needs replacing; other types of products should be tossed after a certain time as well. Replace eyeliner as often as you do mascara, and keep eye shadows and powders around for no longer than two years. Foundation, lipstick and lip liner kick the bucket after about a year, and you should replace your makeup sponges and wash your brushes on a weekly basis.

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