When Good Beauty Products Go Bad

When Good Beauty Products Go Bad

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It can feel really hard to toss out our favorite makeup products even when we know they’ve probably outlived their shelf life. Most of us hold onto makeup too long because it’s discontinued, still has product left (pinch those pennies!) or we’re saving it for that rainy day when we’ll finally wear it. The truth is that many beauty products begin to change in as little as six months and become susceptible to bacterial growth—yuck! Know when it’s time to let go with this guide for the expiration dates of makeup.


Makeup products rarely come with a printed expiration date, occasionally they may come with a POA, Period After Opening, date which is similar. The best advice is to use a permanent marker and write the date at which you began using the product directly on its label. That way you’ll always know where you stand with your beauty products and hopefully work to preserve them better.


Here’s the average expiration dates of common makeup products:


1. Lipstick

Lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip pencils can get some mileage in our makeup bags, with a suggested expiration date of  about 1-2 years. The way to know if lip makeup is going south is best determined by smell. Fresh lipstick should be almost scentless while old lipstick will begin to have a stale, bad-breadth aroma. It will also be dryer on application and not feel as smooth on the lips.


2. Eye Makeup

Mascaras and eyeliners have the shortest shelf life at around 4 to 6 months. Some signs that eye makeup products are on the decline is when the formula begins to change in consistency, like when mascara becomes excessively clumpy. Some tips to help preserve your eye makeup are to always wash your hands and face before application, wash or replace wands and brushes every month, and never share these products with anyone else.


3. Powders and Blushes

The reason some makeup products can last longer than others is due to its composition. Formulas that are high in oils or water, or that are left open exposed to air or water will naturally expire faster. Powder foundations and blushes are relatively dry products and can last about 2 years if stored in a cool, dry place. Check products for freshness by noticing how true the present color now looks compared to its original tint. Also notice any changes in texture.


4. Liquid or Cream Foundation

A year can go by so quick and sadly that’s about how long our foundations generally last. Oil-based liquids and creams may be good for closer to 18 months, but to be safe always check the color and look of the product when it comes out of the dispenser.  If a product is heavily separating, feels heavier to the touch than it used to, or has changed color it’s probably time to replace it.


If you haven’t cleaned out your makeup bag in a long time, why not use this opportunity to replace old items and refresh your look for fall? The Power of Makeup® Nude Glamour Collection byTrish McEvoy is the perfect starter kit that comes with all of the essentials for creating a natural and glowing look. It even includes the Finish Line Shadow Transformer that can adapt your favorite powdered eyeshadows into a liquid liner. Finding new ways to make our makeup multi-use will also help us make the most of it while it’s still at its best!

The Power of Makeup® Nude Glamour Collection by Trish McEvoy


Do you follow any special rules for when to replace your makeup products?

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