Monday, February 11, 2013

How Gross Am I? Or: How Long Do You Keep Makeup?

I admit that I don't follow the usual rules when it comes to discarding makeup. I tend to keep things much longer than the guidelines advise. I'm semi-convinced that most of these rules are part of a conspiracy by cosmetic companies to get you to keep buying unnecessary replacement products. I was also raised by a woman who has salad dressing from 2009 in her fridge and tries to tell me, "There's nothing wrong with it! Smell it!" So.

I have a few rules of my own. If a liquid/cream product looks, smells, or feels different from its original state, I'll chuck it. No point messing with possible bacterial growth, and if its consistency has changed, it's likely not going to work properly anymore, anyway. I tend to get rid of mascaras in the recommended 3-6 months since that seems to be about the amount of time it takes for them to dry out or otherwise not work well anymore.

As for powder makeup. AS IF I am going to fucking throw away a huge palette for no reason a year after I've bought it. Not a chance. I have blushes and eye shadows that I've been using for years and years, and I have never had any bad experiences with them causing me to break out or anything. Again, I'm not your health care provider, and I'm not saying you should do what I do. I'm just telling you what I do. I have had a few powder products develop a sort of hard layer on the surface, I assume from being packed down repeatedly by my brush, and I've just used a kleenex to wipe off the top layer. Underneath that, they were good as new. I'm guessing, thought I am not a cosmetics scientist, that air and moisture, etc., don't penetrate much to the lower layers of tightly packed powders. You could also do what makeup artists do and clean your powders with alcohol to kill off anything that's there. (Again, hedging, hedging, you could, but you are a big girl/boy, so you'll have to make up your own mind.)

I don't do things like write dates on my products. I tend to have an idea of how long I've had them based on which boyfriend I had when I bought them (serial monogamist), but that's not very precise.

So answer me this! What are your personal rules for what you throw away, and when, and why?


  1. I'm a disgusting human when it comes to how long I'll use makeup. THAT BEING SAID, I've literally never had anything change texture or anything on me. I've had the same bottle of Make Up For Ever HD foundation since...09? I don't use it often and it has the same look/smell/application as it did when I first bought it. It also has a pump, not some gaping glass maw for germ sludge(I'm lookin' at you drugstore foundations!) My gel liner and mascaras dry up and get replaced long before they might be considered suspect by even the most strict germaphobe. I think those are the only liquids I keep around.

    I have bought some primers that have in the past though. Those went straight back to the store.

    1. Oh, yes, packaging makes a big difference! I forgot about that. I'm more likely to throw away something I have to stick my fingers in to apply than something with a pump. I think it's pretty hard for something inside a pump to get contaminated. But then, I've kept cream eyeshadows and blushes for ages and never had any problem with them doing anything weird to my skin. Maybe they are just dry enough.

      I've definitely had lip gloss/stick start to smell a little off after a few years. Not rotten, but just less pleasant. Then it's time to heave-ho.

  2. Well....when we moved a great distance 2 years ago I threw out makeup i'd had since I was a the late 90s :/
    Granted I'm not saying I used it still BUT DAMN IF I DIDNT KEEP IT. Think Spice Girls lots of glitter and sparkles back when you really had to search for them. I see stuf now, like Hard Candy especially, and I'm like where was this glitter mascara when I needed it??? I will own up to still having a few matte lipsticks that basically get shaved down befode I use and that's prob gross as hell lmao And nail polish I will keep FOREVER and I'm sure I've got stuff close to 17 years old. And still paints like a dream :)

    One thing that pisses me off about the makeup I got rid of is afterwards discovering making naip polish from eyeshadow. I COULD BE MAKING GLORIOUS NAIL POLISH RIGHT NOW BUT NOOOOOOOO

    1. Yes, there is no reason to ever throw away nail polish, if you like it. You can just get some of that Seche Vite stuff and bring it back to life when it gets goopy. I regret throwing out my Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Amber Ruby before I knew that. Sob. But now I've "borrowed" my mother's bottle, so I'll be set for a while. Plus, nail polish is a hazardous material and shouldn't be thrown in your regular trash.

  3. I'm also terrible when it comes to keeping makeup forever. I have stuff I've used for two or three years but it's still perfectly fine and it seems like a terrible waste to just throw it out, even if it's a $3 ELF shadow.


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