Sir John (the man who wields the makeup brushes for everyone from Joan Smalls to Beyoncé) speaks.
When Beyoncé dropped her visual album last year (we’d insert a line full of ‘praise’ emojis here, but AP Style frowns upon that—oh, eff it: :raised_hands: :raised_hands: :raised_hands: :raised_hands: :raised_hands: :raised_hands:), we were mesmerized by her general #flawlessness, but also by the approximate billion beauty moments just begging to be YouTube tutorial-ed.
The brains behind the brush? Celebrity makeup artist Sir John Barnett—and yes, that’s his given name.
Regularly on call for Vogue, the Carters’ On the Run tour and many a supermodel visage (you know, just your average CV), we’ve studied up on Sir John’s swipe-by-swipe guides on girl-world rites of passage like smokey eyes and the boyish brow. So we thought we’d tap his shimmer-dusted psyche on a recurring fear of ours that bubbles up, say, when hitting pan on that Bobbi Brown palette circa-a few holidays ago, or rationing that limited edition Rihanna x MAC lipstick we bought in like, 2012 (but it’s just so perfect!).
Hey, if it’s new enough for Queen Bey, it’s new enough for us.
— MOISTURIZER —
Moisturizer, serums, facial cleansers and eye cream: six months.
"Unless these products have acids in them, like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and beta hydroxyl acid, in which case they will have a longer shelf life. Also, try putting eye cream in the fridge. It feels great on tired eyes also aids in de-puffing. Plus, it keeps it out of the heat!"
— FOUNDATION —
6 to 12 Months
"A great indicator of the time to toss away would be when separation occurs in the bottle. Also, overexposure to heat changes the general makeup (for lack of a better term) of a product’s consistency."
— MASCARA —
Mascara: 90 days.
"This has the shortest shelf life of everything your cosmetic arsenal. Bacteria grows the fastest here, which is no bueno around the eyes!"
— EYELINER —
4 to 6 Months
Gel or liquid liners: Four to six months.
"Same theory as mascara."
— POWDERS —
2 to 3 Years
Powder, bronzer, blush and eyeshadow: two to three years.
"Sometimes I keep shadows a bit longer—maybe 2-7 years!"
— LIPSTICK & LIPLINER —
2 to 3 Years
"Remember: If it smells funky, looks gunky or the texture has changed significantly—definitely toss it out!"