Makeup brushes like cosmetics do expire. But unlike makeups which might have shorter life span i.e. mascara (3-4 months from the time you opened it) or sunscreen (up to 2 years from the time it was manufactured, not when you started using it), makeup brushes can last pretty long especially if you know how to take care of them. I have a couple of brushes that are still in good condition after five years, the rest I needed to throw simply because they offer no other use than to collect dust and clutter.

Before I mention some practical guidelines on when to say goodbye to our makeup brushes, I just want to emphasize the essence of cleaning and sanitizing makeup brushes. Needless to say, a hardly- washed makeup brush is a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. For tips on how to clean your makeup brush > click here.

Au revoir! These suggestions are not rocket-science but plain rational thinking:

1. Bristles are consistently falling apart. Occasional shedding is okay due to the wear and tear but if you start to notice more than usual, it’s time to say goodbye! Brushes should be compact and dense for even makeup application and/ or blending but once they lose their shape, you will no longer get desired results.
2. Brushes turn stiff and hard. Remember the first time you bought your blush brush and how it felt so soft and gentle on your cheeks? Brushes were made to be soft so they won’t scratch your face and to give you flawless coverage.
3. Brushes are not in their original shape anymore. There is a reason why a brush is made angled or contoured- to define certain areas like cheeks or to fill in sparse space such as eyebrows. When they lose their original form, you will not be able to get the right definition anymore.
4. Brushes smell awfully bad. There is a stark difference between a smell of a new brush especially if it’s made from animal hair (this can be managed by washing it with specialized brush cleaner or good old baby shampoo) and a scent of old-moldy-funky- brush. Anything that is suspiciously foul-smelling should be tossed out.

Do you have other tips? Share them here!

To find out makeup’s shelf-life > click here.

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