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Hiya,

Thought we could discuss this. What's the real expiry date on various items of makeup? How long do you keep on using things and do you use them longer than you should? What actually happens if you keep on using stuff you shouldn't any more? Any way to prolong the life span of makeup?

The only one I'm real careful about is mascara right now 'cause I know using it too long can give you eye infections and I don't want those. So I go for the mini packages (Benefit They're Real) because I don't wanna necessarily keep a log of when to throw my makeup out and don't wanna risk using it too long either. So the mini packages are a good choice.

What about foundation, eye shadow, powder, lip stick, eye liner, all that stuff though? I'd like to hear both official recommendations you have heard (will share my own too) and what you do in practice.

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Thank you for starting this topic. I've wondered about this as well, though I readily admit to using makeup and skincare products until they are used up, break in some way, or I just get the weird urge to throw them out, which happens occasionally.

I think common sense applies here. If your makeup or cosmetics start looking or smelling weird or do not work well any more, if something dirty gets on them, things like that, then you know it is time to say goodbye. With mascara, for instance, I chuck it if it gets clumpy. Eyeshadow? When I realize I've had it for years and never use it, honestly.

I'm quite curious to hear what other people will say!

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Allegedly:

Mascara, 2-3 months.
Liquid foundation up to a year.
Lipstick 2 years.
Lip gloss 1 year.
Nail polish up to 2 years.
Eye shadow, powder, and powder blush up to 2 years.

I take those as guide lines though, not as absolute orders. We all do things we shouldn't sometimes. Mascara is the biggie for me too, not just expiry date but not sharing it with others is a must if you don't want to earn a nasty infection. Everything else is OK, as long as it is, you know?
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Eye makeup is the biggie. If you use a foundation that's out of date you may get some breakouts or look awful on the day you wear it, but the consequences of using mascara and eye liner longer than you should, or God forbid sharing it with other people, can be so much worse. You can end up with very serious eye infections even to the point of risking going blind. I read somewhere that most people, shocking I know, use mascara and eye liner for over a year, which is dreadful because you should only ever use these for up to four months. It's your eyes, people! They're not exactly replaceable or anything. My solution is I buy cheap mascara and eye liner so I don't feel bad when I throw them out after four months. I have a note inside my bathroom cabinet warning me when to replace both lenses and mascara and eye liner. I suggest you do the same thing.
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I agree that thinking about makeup "use by" dates ought to simply be part of our personal hygiene routine, much like cleaning the toilet and putting plasters on little cuts. I read a report about a study done in England where the team found that makeup even contains the bacteria that can lead to meningitis when it's out of date, so this is obviously a very serious concern and not just a matter of being overconcerned about everything.

Personally I don't use makeup all the time, so obviously that means that it takes a longer time for it to run out. I think the list in the bathroom idea is brilliant and will be adopting this myself. I think buying cheaper makeup is a good idea for people like me, though I still like to have a few luxury pieces that really lift me up here and there.

Rosie

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Cool, thanks for your answers folks and I hope some more people will continue weighing in as they see this thread. I do wear contacts myself and yeah, I know that this can increase the risks of wearing eye makeup more. So I'm careful about mascara, the only makeup that comes in direct contact with my eyes. The rest though? I had no idea that using foundation too long was really dangerous and thought it was basically nothing but marketing to get you to buy more stuff. 'Cause of this discussion though I've now looked this up, especially the link between meningitis and using makeup too long and found the same. Time to take makeup expiry takes more serious for sure!

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Good question. Besides the eye makeup which I am also concerned about as a lens wearer, I make sure to never touch my lipstick with my lips. Rather I use a little lipstick brush to apply it, taking little bits off and putting it in a clear small container to keep things hygienic. I do not want bacteria proliferating on a piece of makeup which I will then put on my lips only to ingest in later. I believe lipstick can last a long time as long as you do this. Do clean makeup brushes regularly. I have switched to a beauty blender sponge instead of regular which can be washed easily for bettter hygiene.
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Yeah, I admit that I probably keep my makeup way too long. I just threw a bunch of stuff that I realised I had had too long out the other day, icky stuff like mascaras and eyeliners in different colours and eyeshadows that just didn't look right any more. I do wonder whether the makeup industry overblows the risks of expired makeup just to get you to buy more sooner, you know? Call me a skeptic but I never heard about makeup expiry dates when I was a teen. Then again, of course bacteria get on your makeup.

I just don't know. I throw things out when they look like they need to go. :)
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