Does Makeup Go Off?

Did you get a stash of new makeup for Chrimbo? Or buy a bunch in the sales? Maybe you fancy starting 2017 a bit more organised? 

Whatever your motivation, I can thoroughly recommend a cosmetics clear out. Sounds like a boring chore, is actually super satisfying. 

    Because it goes off you know. And no one wants gone off makeup plastered all over the visage. It probably doesn’t look that nice. Let’s not even talk about bacteria.

    So how can you tell if makeup has expired? It might have changed colour, separated, dried out, or have a faint odour – gone off lipstick in particular smells bad. But the easiest way is to check the expiration date. 

    It’s not a date stamp, like a use by date on food, but an image that tells you how many months a product will last after opening.

    See that tiny jar?

    It’s not just on makeup either, suncream, toothpaste, you might have never noticed it before but you’ll see that little jar everywhere now. 

    Let’s be real, the expiration dates probably err on the safe side. Sometimes you need to make a judgement call. So as a guide, this is the average shelf life of your beauty staples.

    It’s worth being extra vigilant when it comes to eye products, so mascara needs replacing every 3-6 months. After 6 months it’s likely to have gone dry and clumpy too. Resist the urge to pump the wand to help it last longer, letting less air get into the tube.

    Foundation and concealer need the old heave ho after 1 year. They might have oxidised, separated or gone a bit streaky. Anything with a water content can go off. Have you smelt stale water? Exactly

    Suncream is an important one to ditch if it’s been open for 12 months plus, as after a year the formula can actually breakdown and become less effective. 

    Powder products (blusher, bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow), lipstick and moisturiser last for about 2 years. Powders can last even longer, particularly if you keep your brushes clean. But the 24 month mark is a good time to have a review. If they’ve gone dry, flakey or are less pigmented than you remember, it’s time to toss. Same with lipstick. Have a sniff, see what you think. 

    As a rule, moisturiser will keep for 12-24 months. Squeeze tubes last longer than jars, as the air doesn’t get to the product so easily, nor do germs from your hands. 

    In good news, perfume can last up to 10 years, if stored out of direct sunlight and not exposed to extreme temperatures. Look out for smell and colour changes as sure signs that your scent is spent.

    It might be a painful process, throwing away expensive or treasured cosmetics, but it’ll keep you healthy, clean and clutter free. And give you an excuse for a shopping spree. 

    Til next time,




      1. February 6, 2017 / 5:08 pm

        Yay! Im totally a perfume person. Great to know it lasts up to 10 years lol <3

        • February 6, 2017 / 5:10 pm

          I know right! It means you can totally justify having several open at once 😜 H x

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