Every so often I get these emails that give me useful info about the shelf life of common products. You know the ones I’m talking about: throw out pickles after 2 months, don’t keep leftovers longer than 4 days, etc. The one that’s always nagged at me was the makeup: mascara should be tossed about every three months. The wands introduce bacteria back into the bottle, so they need to be replaced more frequently than your lipstick, for example, or even eyeliner.

Maybe you’re better about this than I am, but I never label my mascara when I buy it. So I can never remember how old it is. Here’s another New Year plan for me: Toss the old mascara and buy a new one in January. Then it’ll be easier to remember to replace quarterly.

Remember to always check the labels on beauty products and toss by their expiration dates. If they smell funny or change in consistency, throw them away promptly!