Best Before!

Everyone knows that it is not such a good idea to eat something that has passed its expiration date. This also goes for medicine. The effects of the medicine wear off after it has passed its expiration date. But what about make up? People just doesn’t seem to realise that make up too has so called ‘best before’ dates.

A mascara for example is only good for a certain amount of time. After that you should exchange it for a new one. That is if you are not keen to have your eyelashes get all messed up and have them fall off more than usual. An old foundation is even worse. Using a too old foundation can cause breakouts, redness and no one wants that. That kind of defeats the purpose of using the foundation in the first place.

I think a big reason why we are not too aware of the expiration dates of our make up is because the cosmetic companies are not required to put expiration dates on beauty products. Personally I think that is crap since it will not only disappoint the customer who doesn’t know about it but it can make people stop using that company’s products. They’ll think it is the product’s and the company’s fault when they get a bad experience when in fact the make up or beauty product is simply too old and has gone bad.

Make up and beauty products do however have dates on them. The month, date and year is printed on the outside package or on the product jar/tube itself. Some have a symbol of a jar with an open lid with a number and a letter. The M stands for month and the Y stands for year, for example, 12M means that it is usable for 12 months. The open lid means that the countdown starts the day the jar is opened.

Here below I will state the most commonly used beauty- and make up products and how long they last.


Toss it once it gets clumpy or weird-smelling. Never share mascara because it is a guaranteed way to spread germs. If you want to share use disposable applicators (can be found at Sephora and the like) and never double dip. Usually a mascara is good on the shelf for about three months but it all depends on the mascara.

Liquid foundation and concealer

If the colour is lighter or if it is separated into layers it is already too old and must be tossed. Generally it will last up to a year and if you are a frequent user, it won’t even last that long so you won’t have to worry about using something too old anyway. Avoid getting your liquid foundation and concealer in the sun because that will make them go bad sooner.


It lasts for a year and if it is too sticky (stickier than normal) then it is a sure sign that it has gone bad.


It can last for two years. As long as it hasn’t gone dry (within those 2 years) it is good to go. You can try lipsticks at the make up counter but never by taking the lipstick directly to your lips. Always ask the salesperson to disinfect it and give you a disposable applicator. They’ll be happy to.

Nail polish

It can last up to 2 years. If it won’t blend when shook and it is in layers then you need to toss it.

Eyeshadow, powder and blush

Can be used for two years. Expired powders are often dryer than new ones.


They can be used for up to 10 years so buying a fragrance is definitely an investment in the future. Perhaps even an investment in love if you’re lucky. Once again, keep it out of sunlight. A dark and cool place, like the bathroom cabinet is a good place for your fragrances.


It can be kept for up to 2 years. This to me is the one least likely to be kept for this long however since one tends to use up lotion all too quickly. At least I do. I have to buy ’em in bulk. Anyway, if the scent has changed or if the colour has yellowed it should be tossed immediately. No last time use either because you can break out. Lotion with a pump lasts longer and it is less prone to bacteria.

Tip! Get yourself a cosmetic sanitizer and brush shampoo. If you clean your makeup and tools regularly you will prevent bacteria from growing and thus have your skin breakout.

Yours truly,


Albert D. Sant