Most women wouldn't be caught dead without an It bag — but don't think twice about loading it up with petrified mascara, a foundation with an expired SPF, and lipstick so tired they can't read the name on the label. Who cares? Your skin, for one. This year, break from the past with rich new colors, more sophisticated textures, and ingredients well worth working into your routine.
WHAT TO CHUCK NOW
Lasts: One year
Toss it when: The formula thickens and smells different.
To make the most of it: Keep glass bottles away from sunlight.
Lasts: Two years
Toss it when: It doesn't go on as smoothly as it used to.
To make the most of it: After a month's use, chop off the tip and dip into the untouched lipstick with a brush.
Lasts: Three months
Toss it when: It takes 10 swipes to get anything on your lashes.
To make the most of it: Close the tube tight to prevent dry-out.
Lasts: One year
Toss it when: The texture changes, or there's a mildew-y smell coming from the brush.
To make the most of it: Wipe brush applicators dry after every use.
Lasts: One year
Toss it when: You get a flush look that looks oily, not dewy.
To make the most of it: Swipe a new sponge over the surface so you get a clean layer of color each time.
Lasts: 12 to 18 months
Toss it when: The tip becomes waxy.
To make the most of it: Sharpen the pencil after every use.
Lasts: More than two years
Toss it when: The shimmer no longer sparkles or the matte finish just looks chalky.
To make the most of it: Buy a smaller pan — instead of a suitcaseful of shadow — for a more manageable amount.
Your face makeup should evolve as your skin does, notes Matin Maulawizada, celebrity makeup artist and Neutrogena cosmetics science expert. Look for lightweight formulas packed with serious skin-care ingredients (like antioxidants) and SPF. Light-enhancing pigments play up your natural glow (particularly in the dead of winter), while mineral formulas are ideal for sensitive or acne-prone skin. And stock up on the extra gentle remover wipes that take everything off in two swipes.
MC RECOMMENDS: CK Calvin Klein Beauty Brightening Concealer, L'Oréal Paris Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Concealer, Jemma Kidd Make Up School Ultra Soft Cleansing Wipes.
The never-break rule for mascara: Toss it after three months, says NYC makeup artist Trish McEvoy. Great excuse to try the new lash-tint formulas, which get you noticeable volume and color without the clumps. Deep navy or forest green shades dress up a night out. And while the smoky look is still going strong, metallic creams open up the eyes without looking too severe. Even better, the innovative crease-free formulas glide on easily and last longer.
MC RECOMMENDS: Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara, Revlon Marbleous Match Liner/Shadow Duo in Set the Nude, Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Carte Blanche.
Beauty insiders are heralding the return of classic screen-siren-style lipsticks — but while the look is retro, the formulas are ultramodern. The new "status sticks" range from chubby pencils with buttery, lipsticklike texture to sophisticated brush-on color pens that pack a ton of shine without any pop star shimmer.
MC RECOMMENDS: Bobbi Brown Lip Crayon in Wild Raspberry, Chanel Crème Gloss Lumière in Petit Four, Trish McEvoy Essential Pencil in Sweet Berry.
Frosty blushes — notorious for spotlighting fine lines and pores — are being traded for a more elegant flush. "It's all about subtle shades and contours," says London makeup artist Jemma Kidd, who suggests using multicolor powders for a romantic glow.
MC RECOMMENDS: Aveda Petal Essence Face Accents in Petal Lights.
Bold brows aren't going anywhere, so fill in what you've got. Replace that dried-out pencil with a calligraphy-style pen for a precise application and understated effect. And invest in quality tweezers for between-appointment upkeep.
MC RECOMMENDS: Laura Geller Brow Marker in Brown.