I know that you've invested oodles of money in your precious makeup, and if you're anything like me, you probably like to hang onto it until the bitter end. But don't forget that cosmetics do have a definitive lifespan. The ugly truth is that once makeup is opened, it's exposed to grody germs that begin to live inside. Here are five rules for how best to care for your makeup.

  • If you see mold, it's too old. This probably goes without saying, but anything with black, green, or white spots should be discarded immediately.
  • Keep it clean. Though you can't actually clean your makeup, you can minimize additional contaminants by cleaning your makeup brushes regularly.
  • Not sharing is caring. Sharing your makeup is unsanitary, as it transfers infectious bacteria such as staph, conjunctivitis, yeast, and fungus.
  • Keep it cool. Store makeup in a cool, dry place. Direct sunlight can alter the preservatives in your makeup.
  • Stay dry. For liquid makeup, use disposable applicators, such as Q-tips, and give your sponges plenty of drying time so as not to encourage bacteria.