Is it that you are a minger?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2010

Wondering whether you should be throwing out that favourite discontinued lippie lurking in the back of your drawer? Cosmetic guidelines have always been quite stringent with regards to shelf life…

Judy regretted not throwing that old cream foundation away…

Do you follow the guides?

Have a look… (red denotes how long it takes me to dump stuff)

  • Oil-Free Foundation: 1 year (if it looks/smells and feels ok, I’ll still use it)
  • Cream or Compact Foundation: 18 months (12 months… I have a “thing” about cream compacts)
  • Concealer: 12-18 months (if it looks/smells and feels like new, I’ll still use it unless it’s in a compact…)
  • Powder: 2 years (indefinitely)
  • Blush and Bronzer: 2 years (indefinitely)
  • Cream Blush: 12-18 months (12 months… it’s the whole compact thing again)
  • Powder Eye shadow: 2 years (indefinitely)
  • Cream Eye shadow: 12-18 months (compact? 12 months)
  • Eyeliner: 2 years (gels – till they inevitably dry out, pencils – indefinitely)
  • Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months (um, till they run out?)
  • Mascara: 3 months (till they run out or become unworkable – yes, cardinal sin I know!)
  • Lipstick: 2 years (till they get that funky crayon smell)
  • Lip liner: 2 years (indefinitely)
  • Lip gloss: 18-24 months (yeah, probably no more than 2 years)
  • Nail Color: 1 year (till they become unworkable)

I think that a little common sense goes a very long way in situations like this.  If you live in a warmer climate, your cosmetics aren’t going to last as long.  If you buy mostly natural products containing less preservatives, you’re going to want to have a clear out more often.  If you share your cosmetics with your sister or best friend, then I’d be far more vigilant.  If anyone touches mine… they die.  I say trust your nose!

The oldest item in my collection is this 6 year old Bobbi Brown Palette:

My eyeliner obsession started with my Bobbi Brown Shimmering Eye Kohl palette which I bought back in 2004… I’ve dropped it twice (as you can tell – sob)

Tell me about your oldest cosmetic item? What is it and why do you still have it?

23 Responses to “Is it that you are a minger?”

  1. Fab post – glad it’s not me that hoards make-up that is technically out of date. I do keep meaning to go through my mascaras though and get rid of any that really shouldn’t go near my eye again.

    Also – my giveaway prizes arrived yesterday and have lovely soft hands today courtesy of the scrub. Lovely stuff, thank you so much!

  2. sarah smith says:

    Oldest item is a laura mercier foundation thats 2 years old, i don’t even use it it justs lurks about so i don’t forget my colour if i ever bother to repurchase!

  3. lisa says:

    Mine’s an eyeliner. I actually went through my make up twice in the past few months and threw out a lot, giving some (just recent stuff that hadn’t convinced me) to my sister-in-law. But the eyeliner pencil is the oldest thing I have, it’s a double ended YSL one and has to be about 8 years old *blush*. But pencils are easy to santise, and they are sharpened, and this one has hardly been used at all, I think I should make an effort to get through it ASAP!

    That palette looks gorgeous!

    I do try to stick to it though, mascaras I generally keep for six months, which some of them specify as the use by date. Lip glosses get binned if they aren’t used up etc.

  4. Gemma says:

    I was thinking about this very issue today! Generally if something smells OK and looks OK and has the same texture as it did when I bought it, I’ll keep using it. Especially for products like lipstick and powder eyeshadow which are easy to sanitise.

    I think a lot of the shelf-life guidelines could be down to beauty brands covering their own arses in case someone sues if they use an old pencil and get an infection.

  5. Rhamnousia says:

    I remember doing a post like this and I’ve since chucked out my oldest makeup item (it was a lip balm I had since 1997, so not really makeup).

    I think it’s a bit cheeky of mags to tell us when to chuck stuff out, we pay a for a lot of the stuff we have and personally, it pains me to chuck away something expensive after three months (I’m taking about mascara). I also find it a bit funny that it’s universally accepted that if you keep a mascara for longer than three months, then you’re 1)a dutty bitch and 2)going to get mega eye germs which will kill you. I chuck eyeshadows away when they feel funny on top, lipglosses when the texture changes and they smell funny and foundation when there’s a slight shift in colour and the smell is a bit offkey.

    However, I have been a little naughty. Way back in 2002 I bought the Boujois mascara which had two ends, I used it sporadically and then kind of stopped. I used it the other day and it did nothing. Then I used the primer under my Clinique mascara. It stung like hell. Took it off and had a severe case of eye watering so I binned it too. So, I’d say keep your mascaras longer than 3 months but less than 8 years.

  6. Sam says:

    Mine is a little pot of AMAZING silver pigment that I have had for about *ahem* 8 years.The label has come off & I don’t know where I got it so I can’t bear to throw it away in case I never get another one like it.

  7. Anitacska says:

    I totally agree, most make up is fine beyond the “official” use by periods. Basically powder anything will last forever. The rest I use if they look and smell fine. I have a couple of waterproof mascaras that I only use a few times a year (when going to the beach or swimming pool) and they are still fine, several years down the line (not 8, but probably 5 or 6). I’m not too sure what my oldest piece of make up is, because I have thrown out quite a few old lipsticks, lipglosses, etc., but I do have some Guerlain meteorites that are at least 5 years old and some Mac MSFs like Pleasureflush from 2004, and they are just fine.

  8. Jessica says:

    NOOO Superdrug.. don’t you DARE be like eyeslipsface cosmetics.. they tell us these and they are BS and they are cheap gimmicks to make people buy more things. Did you know honey never expires?

    I’ve kept a mascara for about a year now, and I’ll tell you why – it’s not clumpy, it’s not dried/drying, and it doesn’t smell. Oh yeah, it hasn’t seperated either.
    Also, mascara is chock-full of preservatives. It’s probably the last thing in your stash you would throw away.

    I’d say these ‘guidelines’ should only be used by those ‘environmental’ yobs who decide to use paraben-free makeup.

  9. Jen says:

    Loved your blog. Readers might also be interested in another article I found, about beauty and dry eyes. It can be found at this website:

  10. Sirvinya says:

    I hate it when I see in a magazine that I have to throw away my eye shadows after 2 years. Piss off. I have over 1000 eye shadows.

    My oldest item is a MAC pigment from 2002.

    I keep stuff until it smells funky. I just put 4 MAC lipglosses into my B2M bag as they’ve got the plastic smell. MAscaras I keep until they stop going “pop” when you take the wand out.

  11. Sirvinya says:

    And I do the above as a microbiologist.

  12. Redtiger21 says:

    Oh blimey, well i’m really naughty and I don’t get rid of things unlti they stink or i’ve used them up (not including macraras)- my oldest item- i think- is a lipstick by Givenchy that I bought when i was 12…i’m 28 now!!

  13. lyn says:

    I have several powder eyeshadows and blushes that I’ve kept around for many years. They still look and work ok… have not had problems with them. I am quite fussy about keeping all my products clean and stored away neatly. But I do have a Juicy Tube lipgloss in a limited edition shade that I cannot bear to part with. Think I purchased it 5 years ago? Do I need to bin it? *sob*

  14. Maggie says:

    Funny that you post this because I just went through my chapsticks and lip glosses earlier today. I actually found a Lacome lipgloss sample that I have never used and forgot I had. Go figure. I generally never follow those guidelines. When something smells funky, looks funky or is dry I toss it. A lip gloss I tossed out earlier I probably haven’t used in 4 years and smelled horrible. It was also separated. Given, its been awhile since i went through my stash but still. The oldest item in my collection in my MAC Carbon eyeshadow. I cant remember when I bought it, but ive had it for years.

  15. Lucy says:

    My oldest item is probably a body shop eyeshadow palette I got when I was about 11. I’m 20 now, you do the maths! I still use it and still love it, it was my first “real” makeup item (as opposed to the crap you get in Claire’s accessories). I’ve hit pan on a few of the shades but I’d never throw it away.

  16. Anna says:

    My oldest item was a lipliner. Bought it when I was 12 or so, and had it until I was 20 and lost it. If I wouldn’t have lost it I would have had it now, two years later. 😛 It behaved and worked fine, so why toss it?!
    That’s kind of how I usually reason about it. If it smells okey, looks okey and behaves like it always have done, I will continue to use it. That applies to everything but mascara. I definitly throw away my mascara after six months or less. I usually only use one at a time, so it goes before that. But if I have one laying around, it will go even if I can’t really tell that it’s gone bad.

  17. My oldest item is probably an eyeliner I’ve had since 2006. I figure it’s still useable and sanitary as long as I sharpen it 😛

  18. I’m a grotty little whatsit – I have a bottle of Benefit Benetint that I bought in 2002! xx

  19. Lillian says:

    I’m so awful, i have some lipsticks in my stash that i nicked off my mum about 8 years ago and god knows how longs she had them before that! I just figure if it still works i might as well use it. I’m totally unhygienic. I’m starting to get better with mascara, but even then if it’s still working fine and doesn’t smell funky i’ll keep it for up to a year :O

  20. i have clear outs once a year..checking over products im not sure of..(i have a rubbish memory, so could be checking the same thing each year!)
    Anyway..i chuck lip glosses that have seperated or smell…odd. Lipsticks that yeah smell like crayons or lose their pigment and are just bitty wax
    eyeshadows that have got oily marks (not so much of that happens now)
    Foundations that have separated too much or smell..odd.
    nail varnishes – bad separation with that clear yellow liquid on top or if they are too gloopy…ive never found using thinner actually works.

    my oldest product is an old Rimmel eyeliner. I’ve not used it, but its i guess memory of when i was in love with colour as a kid. Its a eyeliner thats yellow and blue twisted together in a spiral so when you apply it you can mix to make green or be clever and get both yellow and blue together…weird!
    oldest product i still use is a Lancome pure black eyeshadow..its SOOO black.

  21. I am loving this post! It feels so good that I am not the only one who doesn’t follow the guidelines! I’m not sure about my oldest product, but I started buying MAC in 2006 and still have many of the shadows from that time. I have lipsticks that are older, but not sure the exact age.

    I am with you and the others, if it smells, looks, or feels funny, I toss it. Otherwise, I keep it!

  22. […] The Shelf Life of Cosmetics | Lipglossiping […]

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