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Beauty Banter

Shelf-life of lipstick?

Started 1272403597.297 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1272404949.627 by Hopeadope

Does anybody know?  I am considering ordering some Lancome lipstick from eBay because it is discontinued.  I'm sure it's possible that it's already a couple of years old.  And it's not cheap because obviously it's hard to find now.  I'm concerned that it may be too old.  Anybody have any insight on how long it lasts?

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
-Alfred A. Montapert

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Hopeadope1272403948.817623 PostsRegistered 10/20/2007usa

Shelf Life of Cosmetics


The first rule to remember is OLD IS NOT GOLD. Not where make up is concerned anyhow. Make up has a shelf life.

The law doesn't stipulate that cosmetics manufacturers must reveal their use- by date in their packaging. So, many users are ignorant about this little but vital bit of information.

Make up gets contaminated easily.

If you leave anything unused for months, it gets discoloured or spoiled. If make up is used on moist skin, then closed up again, bacteria could breed in it. The next time you use it, the germs are transferred to your face.

How can you know when your make up has gone bad? Easy, they all have an approximate shelf life. You can't go wrong if you follow the code.


Foundation: Shelf life is about 6 months

Foundation in bottles with narrow necks usually last longer. Wide mouthed jars let in more air. They also allow you to thrust your fingers inside. All this promotes the transfer and growth of bacteria. When the ingredients start changing texture or smelling differently, it is time to throw it out and get yourself a new bottle.

Lipstick: Shelf life is about a year or two

Oil based lipsticks last longer. And all lipsticks last longer when stored in the refrigerator. Any changes in colour, smell or taste is a sure indication that the lipstick needs to be replaced. Never use a lipstick that makes your lips tingle or burn on application.

Eye pencils: Shelf life is about 2 years

Eye pencils with a wax base last much longer. Bacteria don't grow on wax. If pencils are sharpened once a week, it prevents dust or microbiotic growth from settling in. An eye pencil that crumbles should be thrown away.

Mascara: Shelf life is just three months.

Mascara is a product that needs to be replaced every 3 months whether you use it or not. Be ultra careful with your mascara. Don't let the brush touch anything but your lashes.

Talcum powder: Shelf life is a few years.

But it can spoil if exposed to sunlight or moisture. So keep your container tightly closed.

Blush on: Shelf life is about 2 years.

If it cracks without reason, then it is safer to dispose it and buy another one.

Nail polish: Shelf life is about a year.

Nail polishes often need to be shaken well so the pigments blend well. If they do not come together even after a vigorous shake, it's time to replace it. Excessively thick nail polish could be a sign of spoilage.

Perfume: Shelf life is about two years.

If it changes colour or emits a chemical smell, it shouldn't be used on the skin.



Shelbelle1272404071.18736495 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Lipstick is good until it smells more like a Crayola crayon than a lipstick!!!

cinebee1272404106.8136578 PostsRegistered 5/7/2007

Wow, thanks Hope!  I do still have a couple of well-used tubes of this particular lipstick and they still smell fine and look good but now I'm not so sure if I should order.......I hate how cosmetic companies discontinue stuff!!!

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
-Alfred A. Montapert

NurseRecru­iter1272404293.33313869 PostsRegistered 6/9/2005Suburban Chicago

Well, I can tell you that I have had some for years and years and years.  I'm sure some posters would need their smelling salts if I actually admitted the age of some of my lipsticks.  Either you're a germaphone or you're not.  I'm not.  Quality of them is excellent!

Are we friends on Facebook yet? See my profile for FB contact info!

cinebee1272404649.0236578 PostsRegistered 5/7/2007

It has to be my all time favorite summer color.  I'm still tempted - because they do show the photo on eBay and it does look brand new with the box.  You can tell if a lipstick has been used or not.  Now THAT would be my major concern.

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
-Alfred A. Montapert

OCGurl1272404766.1777560 PostsRegistered 8/2/2007Palm Desert, CA

Well I am hoping like 20 years, as my HG was DC'd a few months ago so i stocked up

I keep them in the fridge

Hopeadope1272404949.627623 PostsRegistered 10/20/2007usa

cinebee I think also dr oz or the doctors had a segment on this just in the last couple weeks, check the website. I always wondered if that's from when you use it or buy it.  I buy but may not use for awhile so if anyone know please let us know. Sorry to edit but you are welcome, that came from a magazine article I just read last week.

Last edited on 4/27/2010

Last edited on 4/27/2010


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