It doesn't take a beauty boff to know that most of us use our make-up well-past its sell-by date. Lesbihonest here - if we were to really adhere to the guidelines, we'd end up wasting a lot of our money in 'sitting duck' products. You know the kind - 'night out' palettes, that one bold lip colour you want to believe you'll wear a lot, but inevitably it gets pushed aside in favour of a gloss or a nude. Ladies, I had the same 17 lipstick in my handbag for seven years. I think it's still in the recesses of my make up closet somewhere. But after reading this post by Meg of the brilliant Lips So Facto and a more recent article in Allure magazine, I decided to dig deep into the most ancient recesses of my make up bag and get serious about these ancient artifacts.

(Pictured: MAC 'Jewel' palette with, from LtoR, Mylar, Sunnyside Up, Era, Honey Lust, Mulch and Parrot eyeshadows; Bourjois Pastel Paupieres in Beige Estompe; Bourjois Pastel Lumiere in Bleu Zephir; MAC Frost Eyeshadow in Meadowland)
Eyeshadows: The verdict from most is around the 3-year mark. The pictured are at about 5+ years. Don't hate me. I am but the messenger. And the gross person who applies these to her face. I promise to do better. But I'm allowed to keep that MAC palette for Mulch, right? Right? It's just so pretty.

(Pictured: L'Oreal Colour Riche Star Secrets in 'Milla Purple'; Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in 'Va Va Violet'; Benefit 'the gloss' in 'No Peeking'; 
Vaseline and Chapstick)
Lip products: This one I'm slightly more grossed-out by. Shelf life, apparently, is up to 4 years, making all of the above fine. Apparently the best way to go with these is by smell - if it starts smelling icky or discolours in places - it's time to go. But having said that, I think I will discard these products. Just from an 'I'm grossed out' point of view. I don't think anything could say 'bacteria breeding ground' more than an item that gets applied directly to your mouth and is a wet-product, like the gloss or balms above.

(Pictured: Neil's Yard Remedies eyeliner in Black, Bourjois Metallise eyeliner in 54 Bleu clinquant, Benefit 'BAD gal' chubby liner)
Eye pencils: If sharpened regularly, should last you up to 3 years (I imagine this is to remove the layer that has come into contact with any bacteria in your eye). As you can tell, I haven't been on top of the sharpening here. Out they go!

(Pictured: Benefit 'High Beam' highlighter; Benefit 'Lyin Eyes' concealer)
Cream products: 1 year. You can probably see from the picture that High Beam has separated. First clue that application would be a no-no. It's a shame, because as I remember, both of these products apply very nicely. Aah well. I'm sure a repurchase of High Beam will be on the cards soon, as it leaves the most beautiful pinky, rosy shimmer when applied to the high points of the face.

(Pictured: 'Lash It/Build It' mascara; Benefit 'BAD gal lash' mascara)
Mascaras: These two look dangerously like magazine samples, so I was pretty set that they'd be flying the coop before I even checked. Mascaras have the shortest shelf life of make-up products - and for good reason. The blog post I read actually said 4 months for these bad boys, but I live by the rule of six. Obviously if the product irritates your eyes or looks clumpy, chuck it earlier. You can never be too safe with this - the wand and wet product acts as a harbour for bacteria and if you've ever looked at the pads on your eyelash curlers after a month of use, you'll know how much there is going on up in there. Bye bye, Bad Gal.

So that's my detox done! I feel much better for discovering some hidden gems (Hello, MAC Mulch, welcome back to my eyelids) and ridding myself of any yuckies. Plus, there seems  to suddenly be a large amount of space in my bag... Did someone say, haul?

How often do you re-haul your make-up products? Do you adhere to expiration guidelines, or go by what you see? 


  1. Where can I buy bourjous bleu zephir #88

  2. And you'd be right. Because safety comes before effectiveness, any wrinkle cream that has the potential to damage our skin, or our health in general, has to be something to avoid. And avoid them you should.
    Eye Secrets

  3. this blog has got some great stuff to read thanks for sharing this blog with us xx
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