Spring Cleaning - Makeup Bag & Drawer

Did you know that Thursday, March 19th is the first official day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere? We not only spring forward our clocks, but we also get down to cleaning the nitty gritty. We organize our closets and sweep under our couches, but what about our makeup bags and drawers? Today, we are taking over your cosmetics and skincare routine to ensure you have a hygienic, updated, and fresh face for the season.


Q: How long does a makeup item last?

A: It depends on the item and the brand. You can generally assume the shelf life on a paraben-free brand (JKC is paraben free) is no longer than 2 years. Once opened and used, you can speed up the expiration time of your product. Mascara is the perfect example.

Mascara - 3 months: Out of all the cosmetic items in your makeup bag this one goes the quickest due to the cross contamination of lash mites. Once you swipe that mascara wand onto your lashes you collect the lash mites (Demodex folliculorum) and then you place them directly back into the tube and apply back to your lashes the next day. Within days, the lash mites will begin to lay their eggs and feed on the cells inside the hair follicle. I know, gross right? I hate to say it, but we all have them. But if I don't tell you, who will? You can keep them under control to prevent an infestation, causing blepharitis (itchy, flakey, swollen eyelids), by properly taking off your makeup every night, using tea tree oil on your lashes as needed, and replacing your mascara every January, April, July, and October to stay on track. Even if you have more product remaining it is best practice to toss the mascara tube at the 3 month mark.

Skincare - 12 months: With the type of packaging I use for my skincare line, there is no cross contamination. I recommend if you use a cream that comes in a jar to use a Q-tip or spatula and avoid double dipping. If you are using the skincare as directed, you should finish a bottle or tube in 3 months or less.

SPF in your Lotions and Foundations - 18 to 24 months: Generally speaking, SPF can last up to 3 years from the date it was produced. Since we do not use parabens in our products, the other ingredients in the package will expire before the SPF becomes inactive. You can assume from production of raw ingredients, to the manufacturing process, Q&A holds, shipping lead times, distribution, time spent on shelf, then into your hands could have taken up to 6 months. To play it safe, do not use SPF products more than 18-24 months after purchase.

Powder Products - 12 months: Powder products tend to last the longest. Since they don't contain water and typically are oil-free, they seem to last a lifetime! But this is not the case, and it is mostly due to cross contamination. Always toss the powder products once you see shiny, waxy type bumps on the product. This is hardened oil and bacteria from your face, most likely transferred during touch-ups. Once the powder product has hardened it makes it nearly impossible to lift the powder from the compact, so its newest home should become the trash can. Avoid using powder puffs that lay inside the compact over the powder. Use a powder brush that stays out of direct contact and wash that brush regularly.

Lip Products - up to 24 months: Normally with lip products you will know when it is time to replace. The color, texture, and smell becomes obvious that something is off. Gel based lip liners go the quickest at 12-18 months due to drying out. Keep your shades to a minimum to allow you to finish them up before expiration. Practice good hygiene by never sharing your lipstick with a friend, and periodically spraying the lipstick bullet with alcohol and allowing it to dry for 30 seconds.


Q: I don't recall when my makeup was purchased. How do I know how long it has been?

A: Normally, the type of packaging gives it away. A quick and easy thing to look for if you use my brand of products is my older logo and packaging. Look for some of these easy to spot items to tell you it's time to toss!

Old Logo: It has been several years since I dropped the JK in between my first and last name on my logo. If you have any items with this logo remaining, or the turquoise logo, it is past expiration and time for the trash! You can save these as a collector's item, but PLEASE do not use on your face. If you see any of items in your collection with my prehistoric logo, it is too old.

Titanium Packaging: Two years into the brand, I switched from black powder and bronzer compacts to titanium compacts. Around that time, I also started packaging my Brow Lift, Eye Base, Watercolor Eyeliner, and Blush in the same titanium packaging with clear windows in order to see the product with the compact closed. This was around 2013 and most were off of the shelves by 2017, after we had stopped producing that design. So, if you are a mathmatologist, these products are between 2-7 years old, and it's time to say so long for good.

See the images below for more examples of older packaging for a quick reference on what needs to be thrown out, even if product remains. I will also be giving a COUPON CODE later in this article to help you with replacing items you had to toss due to expiration.

Research Receipts: All our receipts since 2012 have been emailed. If you search "Jentry Kelley" in the email box of the address provided at checkout, your itemized receipt should pop up. Then you will know the exact date you purchased each item.

Trust me, I understand how costly it can be to replace all of these items in your makeup drawer at once, but they are too old to be in there anyway. Just think of how good it will feel to know what's in your makeup bag. To help a sister out, I am offering 20% off all sales ONLINE ONLY today thru March 21st to help get you back on track. DISCOUNT CODE: SPRINGCLEAN (all caps, one word, no spaces) in the center of page one at checkout. CLICK HERE TO SHOP JENTRYKELLEY.COM


If you follow me to any extent you know the first Sunday of every month is brush wash day. It is the day to wipe last month's slate clean and start fresh for the new month. While washing the brushes with Hydrating Brush Cleanser you will ask yourself how you ever did life before you met me. Ha! By week three, I'm personally counting down the days until they get their bath. Man, does it feel great the Monday after when you apply your makeup with the essence of peppermint oil! They feel like a brand new set.

Another common question is How long should a set of brushes last? If you keep up with washing them monthly, and avoiding alcohol based brush cleanser, then they should last 10+ years. Alcohol based cleansers, normally in a spray form, do not thoroughly clean your brushes and dry out the brush hair causing it to snap off. The glue that holds the hair in place can also be broken down with hard, drying cleansers. I have also seen these types of spray cleansers eat the paint off the handles of the brush.

Don't forget about the makeup bag in your purse! You most likely have a brush or two in there as well. Get those brushes out and give them a bath! They need some washin' too and are often forgotten. While you are in there, give those pencils a good sharpening so they are ready to roll for this month's on the go touch ups.


If you are unsure on how to properly wash your cosmetic brushes, please watch this tutorial to find some common mistakes while washing, and how to ensure you stay on track and sanitary. Peppermint oil is the anti-bacterial ingredient that naturally combats bacteria while this gentle formula washes away all makeup, dirt, and oil that remains.

If you are looking for organization ideas for your drawer or countertop, you can visit my Instagram and look for the story highlights (saved stories between my website link and my homepage photos on my IG page). Look for the highlight called ORGANIZED and watch how I organized all of my makeup in a gorgeous countertop drawer available on Amazon.

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