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We deconstruct the five essentials you use every day. Plus how to apply it and when to throw it away.

What's in Your Makeup?

3. Lipstick continued...

Hybrid lipsticks

"Hybrid" lipsticks are a cross between a balm and a gloss, conditioning lips while depositing a sheer veil of color. "There are times a woman doesn't want a very pigmented lip, but she still wants that pop of color," says Hollywood makeup artist Brett Freedman, "and that's what these shiny balms deliver. They have a translucent, lollipop-like finish that's very modern looking." Lots of brands are rolling out these shiny balms, in chubby pencil form or traditional twist-up bullets. Look for words like "glossy balm," "almost lipstick," and "sheer tint" in the lipstick's name.

When to ditch it:

If you haven't used up a lipstick or gloss after a year, you should give it the heave-ho, Friedman suggests. "Preservatives break down in about 12 months," he says, "and that can lead to bacterial contamination or irritation."

4. Mascara

What's in it:

Here's what it takes to lengthen and fatten your fringe: iron oxide, a metallic pigment that darkens lashes; triethanolamine, an emulsifier that allows the mascara to stick to lashes; waxes and polymers that form a film to thicken lashes; and a preservative, such as phenoxyethanol, to prevent contamination by pesky microbes. Waterproof formulas swap water for a silicone ingredient, such as cyclopentasiloxane, which repels moisture. It's also the ingredient that makes waterproof mascara so tough to remove.

Use an oil-based eye makeup remover -- or, in a pinch, a cotton pad soaked in baby oil, says Ahnert. Gently press the pad against your lashes for a few seconds, then wipe the pad across your eyelid.

How to apply it:

If you always end up with a clumpy fringe no matter what brand of mascara you try, that's likely because your lashes grow close together, says makeup artist Freedman. Wipe extra product off the mascara brush by swiping it across a tissue. "That way you'll darken and lengthen lashes without the danger of ending up with a glop of product gluing your lashes together," Freedman says.

Still got clumps? Clean them up by running a spooly brush -- you can find disposable ones at beauty stores -- through your lashes while they're still wet.

Brush Up on Beauty

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