How long is too long to keep expired makeup?
I had cataract surgery today, and I have to tell you, cataract surgery is a definite reminder you’re not a kid anymore. But that’s a blog post for another time. My discharge instructions included telling me to throw out all my old eye makeup, and buy fresh.
I don’t mind the idea of buying new eye makeup. I love shopping online, reading reviews. But I have a confession to make, to you, my dear friends. I have hoarding tendencies. I’ve had an empty mascara with an awesome brush on it forever, that works just right to remove the excess clumps another mascara tends to leave. There’s the foundation I bought for a special wedding that was how many years ago? I have makeup that I have replaced with newer makeup, but it wasn’t quite bad enough to throw out, so why not keep it in my travel bag? I haven’t used nail polish regularly for years, but I have a shoebox full of cute little bottles. How about those small bottles of shampoo and conditioner in hotels? I always think I’m going to use them for travel, but I never do. And then there are my Neal’s Yard Remedies products. A little goes a long way, but when a shiny new product comes out that I want to try, I can’t always wait until I use up the old.
When I was telling my sister, Nancy, about this dilemma, she said her friend Ana refers to this as the old makeup graveyard or cemetery. Well this is the push I need to deal with my old, expired makeup cemetery.
How Long Can You Keep Makeup?
Well it depends on the product. Neal’s Yard Remedies labels have information about how long to keep a product once it’s opened. Check out this blog post to better understand Neal’s Yard Remedies labels. Here in the US companies aren’t required to put expiration dates on cosmetics. Guidelines for when to throw vary.
Mascara should be tossed anywhere between 2 and 6 months. Liquid and gel eyeliner from 90 days to 1 year. Foundation lasts from 6-12 months, with pump bottles lasting up to 2 years. Powdered blush and eye shadow can last up to 2 years, and lip sticks and lip liners 1 year. Nail polish lasts about a year.
Keeping it Fresh
Makeup is an investment, and there are a few things you can do to keep it fresh. Wash your hands before applying your makeup. Keep your jars and bottles tightly sealed. Use a spatula for products in jars, rather than sticking your fingers in the product, and wash the spatula in between using. Sharpen the tips on eyeliner and lipliner pencils. Wash your makeup brushes regularly.
Powders and dry products last longer than products with water in them. Finally, be aware of changes in color, textures and smells, and throw anything that seems off, regardless of how long you’ve had it. It’s not worth an eye infection, or worse.
My next eye procedure is coming up in a little over a week. I guess I’ll be dealing with the glasses graveyard next, because I’ve kept close to 50 years of them as backups, lol! Anyone need a pair of vintage glasses from the 80s?
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