We often forget that applying makeup can be health-related — especially when using products like eyeliners and mascaras that sit so closely to our eyes. Paying attention to the state of our makeup is key here because expired formulas can do way more harm than good. We chatted with NYC-based makeup artist Andrew Velazquez about exactly when it’s time to change out your mascara.


Color, Smell and Texture Are Key

“You can tell a mascara is expired by smelling it,” says Velazquez, “and if it smells bad, you know it’s time to throw it away.” It’s also important to pay attention to the coloring or texture of the mascara after a few months. If the formula has separated, is dry or comes off the wand in clumps, it’s probably time to replace it.


Toss It Often

Velazquez notes that you actually should be changing out your mascara every two to three months regardless of whether it seems “expired” or not. This is what makes drugstore mascaras so great. You can switch them out with much less of a hit to your wallet than shelling out for an expensive formula. If you haven’t already, try the L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara.

Expired Mascara May Hurt You in the Long Run

Changing out your mascara is important because the eyes are a sensitive area. “Using expired mascara can cause eye infections, such as pink eye or a stye, which can affect your vision long term,” says Velazquez. Additionally, he recommends that any cosmetics used around the eye should be changed out every few months to ensure that your makeup is keeping your eyes happy and healthy.


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