When to keep, toss, or pass on makeup?
When you’re trying to figure out if your make up is good anymore, it can be confusing. You go to the Internet to find an answer, and different websites are giving you different dates.
The FDA does have some guidelines most manufacturers in the United States are printing an expiration date on the product. It looks like a jar with the lid open and inside of it with a number and M next to it. So 6M means are supposed to toss it six months after opening it.
A long time ago people thought mascara should be tossed instantly after 90 days. It’s now six months. I found some guides saying that you should only keep it for six months if you use it a few times a week. However, if you used the same mascara every single day, I don’t think it would last you six months.
Eyeliner usually dries up when it goes bad. I think a lot of people agree about nine months is a good amount of time to keep an eyeliner in your collection.
Mascara and eyeliner are the two cosmetic items I’d always be very cautious about hanging onto. It’s not worth getting an eye infection.
So many people question what I should keep? What should I toss? What should I pass along?
Automatically you should know if something needs to be tossed out. Go through your makeup and swatch it. If the colors changed, it is hard to blend, or the texture has changed, or it smells it’s expired. Expired makeup will usually look strange, and the scent will change.
Since there are so many different versions of when something should be tossed on the Internet, it can make buying makeup a real pain. I got a Kat Von D Shadow and Light palette for Christmas 2 years ago. Now it said it expired after six months. I recently passed it onto my daughter there’s nothing wrong with that it still swatched okay and it doesn’t smell. Because I keep my hands, face, and brushes clean, I have no problem passing it on to her.
I did not want to use it anymore. It looked brand new. It was expensive. That is the problem with palettes many "expire" 6-12 months after you open it. When something costs $35-50 and has several if not a dozen pans of shadow most people just cannot use it up that fast. Many makeup expiration guides online put shadows at two years. The same goes for blushes and powders.
I have some bronzer from Wet N Wild that has a date of expiration of the sunscreen in the bronzer, and it’s not until next year, so since the bronzer still looks good and does not smell I am keeping it.
Lipsticks are tricky. You like the shade and wear it occasionally, and you’ll have the same tube forever. I know plenty of women and YouTubers who have confessed to keeping lipstick over a year. That one is a judgment call. I don't think its that big of a deal if it applies well and has no odor.
Foundation they say a year as well, but honestly, it depends on the formula. Some will go bad quickly some will not.
There are groups on Facebook where people sell used makeup. A lot of people think it’s OK to sanitize it with rubbing alcohol. I’m not here to debate if that’s a good idea. Now obviously alcohol can help disinfect the surface, but if there are bacteria deep in the pan, you're taking a risk.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee against anything so when it comes to makeup. If you’ve used it once or twice and you don’t like it it’s okay to pass on to someone else you know in my opinion. If you didn’t have pinkeye or any illness when you used it, it’s usually not a problem.
You shouldn’t pass on makeup if you don’t know how long it’s been sitting in your makeup collection. Sometimes we find a single eyeshadow shadow, mascara, or a lipstick we just opened and never used. Sometimes we swatch and forget it, and you see it later on and don’t know what to do about it. It sucks to throw that stuff away but honestly if you cannot recall when you bought it toss it.
I recommend cleaning out your makeup every three months. Go through it double check that everything looks ok. If I’m questioning if something is still good I will swatch it, and I will smell it first before returning it to my collection.
I also put makeup that I have neglected or want to use up in a bin that I put out and try to use something from it when I use makeup. If it's not used up at the end of three months or I never really used it I toss it.
In the end, it is a judgment call on your end if something should stay or go. If you tend to take forever to use up makeup, then consider looking for drugstore dupes to avoid wasting money on palettes. I know we love our makeup and spend our hard earned money on it and sometimes it's hard to let go but if something is well over two years old it is time to toss it.
I hope this was helpful. What have you held onto for way too long? I had makeup from when I sold Avon in the early 2000's. Yikes.