Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


How do you know if a makeup product has gone bad? What signs do you look for?

Temptalia's AnswerFor a lot of products, smell is a big indicator. The next would be texture. But generally, any change in smell, consistency/texture, or color are all strong reasons to toss.

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39 thoughts on “How do you know if a makeup product has gone bad?

  1. ERIKA

    Mascara always goes bad so quickly. I feel like they’re shelf life can’t be more than 2 or 3 months.. Liquid foundation becomes really chalky and smells funky when it’s bad. I’ve never experienced an experience lipstick/lipgloss though.

  2. Stacey

    Lipsticks become rancid…sticky to apply, tacky feeling, dried out feeling on lips…no longer creamy even if is matte. Liquid products curdle, runny, separates. Pressed powder…crumbly and does not apply well. Cream products separates. Mascara…I dare not used after several months but is dried out on the brush. Nail polish is cakey and not smooth.

    • ^ agree with the Stacey on all counts.

      The only product where separation is not an issue of the liquid going bad are OCC Lip Tars as the formula is an Emulsion rather then a Suspensions. The reason why the product last so long on the lips is that the liquid that you see separates is what your lips absorb into the skin creating a longer wear matte finish to the remaining ingredients and pigments.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of AS AS1929

      Nail polish can be revived with a nail polish thinner (not remover!) and some patience. Since it is a lacquer, it does not go bad. Sometimes the pigments can fade if they are fugitive.

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    In addition to what Christine said, if a product has “separated” (liquid liner, foundation, etc), that’s an indication that it’s time to toss it. If a liner pencil develops a white “coat”, that’s likely mold, so even if it hasn’t reached its expiration date, it shouldn’t be used (*especially* if it’s an eye pencil). Also, if the product develops a “drag” (lipstick, pencil, etc), it has gone bad.

  4. Zainab

    Mascaras dry out and stop looking ‘glossy’ on the applicator. I toss lip glosses when they end up completely contaminated with lipstick or if they get dust in them. Lipsticks get dry, but I only have one that’s gotten that old (and it’s more than a decade old). I’ve had mineral cream foundation clump and it gave me breakouts so it got binned. Eye shadow that you’ve applied with fingers gets this shiny coating and goes hard so I had to throw out some old ones I’d applied that way.

  5. r0saL1n3

    What about eyeshadow? How long will my MAC paint pot last?

    • I don’t know the official length of time before it is deemed bad but I do know a sure sign that it’s time to let it go is when it starts to harden/dry. I’m saying this IF you take care to keep them closed appropriately and they aren’t dry just because you don’t keep the lid on them the way you should. That is the only negative I have about paint pots…a lot of product can go to waste if you don’t use them quick enough and they start drying out.

  6. Dinitchka

    I have to agree with Christine … Smell and texture. I think most liquids when bad tend to have that rancid smell. With powder products they tend to have a rancid smell but I have noticed with powder products they get chalky and a sheen. I had a face powder in my purse and I had not used it in months. When I went to use it, it had an awful rancid smell and an ‘oily’ sheen to it. YUCK!

    I’m not sure if seperation is a sign of bad cosmetics. I’ve had foundation seperate with no sign of rancidness. Once shaken up, it was good to go. I’ve had many nail polishes seperate with no sign of rancidness. Once shaken up, they apply like brand new.

    Mascara is one cosmetic item that I don’t keep for no longer than 3 months if used every day. For a mascara not used every day I may keep an extra month or two.

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mariella Mariella

    I also go by look and smell, things like texture and colour changes or a product separating when it hadn’t before. I remember an Estee Lauder eye shadow trio I got years ago that seemed to go bad almost as soon as I bought it. Just a few months later, it had this funny smell and then the mirror in the lid started to go all weird – discoloured and black-ish in spots. I don’t know how mirrors are made but it was almost like water or glue or something behind the mirror was causing bacterial growth or something. The shadows had hardly even been used but I pitched the whole thing. The smell was so strong that it go into other products in the same box where this trio was stored.

  8. Iona

    When lipsticks/glosses/balms start to taste weird I bin them, but other than that I’m pretty bad at knowing when to get rid of things.

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Abbey Abbey

    Mascara should be tossed frequently, and I’ve seen some “tips” going around on pinterest where people add eye drops to their mascara to get longer use out of it. Bad idea-that dampness is just asking for bacteria growth.

  10. L

    I’m pretty sure I’ve tossed things before they were really bad, just incase. Maybe it’s the reason I’ve never been able to finish a product. How long should you have eye shadows and liquid foundations for? Those are the hardest for me to toss.

    • I know there are guidelines for tossing those products but as mentioned several times…smell and change in consistency are great indicators. I have several bottles of MAC Foundations that I know are older than the recommended timeline for use BUT since MAC has always been a miss for me when it comes to foundations (they keep swearing I am NC 45 when no matter what the formula, that shade is orange on me!) those items were used no more than 2-3 times before I gave up on them. I haven’t tossed them although I know I can’t use them…unless I suddenly have a need for orange foundation but they are in the same condition they were when purchased. No bad smell. No consistency changes. No color change. It may be just because they were hardly used that they have held up for so long though.

      • Try mixing it with moisturizer – it might help. Possibly!

        • I will give it a try. I really do hate that I have all of these MAC Foundations just sitting around lol.I guess at the time I was a glutton for punishment because I kept trying to give them a shot. Luckily, Face & Body didn’t fail me…although I am hard pressed to really call that a foundation at all lol.

          • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Leigh Leigh

            Kesha, try dotting the F& B on the skin and letting it sit a few seconds before you blend it in. Once it starts to set, you’ll get better coverage. Also, next time you go into MAC, ask to try NC40 or 42 and wear it around a bit. The formulas your tried may be oxidizing a bit. You might also try an NW40 or so.

            • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

              I agree; I’ve been “matched” at NC 30 more times than I care to count, although 99% of all the foundations I’ve ever tried have “porcelain”, “ivory”, “light”, etc, in the shade name. NC 30 looks fine (not ideal) when first swatched on my face, but a few minutes later, it’s so obvious it’s the wrong shade. Also, it’s far too yellow.

  11. I think it should be mentioned that the exception to the separates rule may be OCC Lip Tars since they can separate if they sit in one position for too long due to the high level of pigment used. So that’s not an indicator that it has gone bad. But otherwise, I agree with what has already been said. Smell is perhaps the most instantaneous way to know something needs to be tossed ASAP. Also, some brands put exp dates on the packaging…(I always check for a date before purchasing because if one is listed I want to make sure that the product hasn’t sat on the shelf too long and is almost near that date…)

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dominique Dominique

    I always keep all my makeup away from light so it lasts very long. I have still my Bal Gal mascaras and I purchased them 2 years ago ! Bella Bamba curiously enough has changed a little, pigments are not so pretty so I know it’s not good anymore ( 2 years or so too ), and when nail polishes become sticky and are not homogenous anymore I know I have to throw them away ( 4 years or so, some last over 10 years ! ).

    • I still have nail polishes that I know have to be close to the 15 year mark…and they actually are still perfectly fine. They haven’t thickened and if they separate, a few vigorous shakes and they are good as new. I haven’t tossed any of those because they are from a brand that to the best of my knowledge no longer exists so I hold on to them for nostalgia sake lol

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jill AnGeLwInGz

    Smell is #1 for sure. Mascaras are 3 months maximum regardless of detectable changes. Powder products and pencils I really don’t throw out unless I just haven’t used them in a while. My problem is lip products. I have some really nice Dior and Chanel lipsticks and glosses that are 5+ years old and even though I refuse to wear them for fear of getting sick I can’t bring myself to throw them out. All of my beautiful Glossimers smell like glue :(

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Anna Anna

    Except for one lipgloss that I thought looked dubious, all my make up seem okay. It is worse with body creams. They are supposed to last one year but after like 10 months the smell has changed so I need to throw out. I only keep one body cream at home for that reason.

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cat Cat G

    WELP, after reading these comments, time to throw away about five mascaras!!!

    How long do powder products last? Such as powder blush and all my dozens of eyeshadows? Please tell me a while, I need to use them up!!

    • I’ve never had a powder “expire” on me. I have some that are 10+ years old, and they don’t smell, they don’t make me break out, they don’t apply any differently than the day I got them. I don’t think powders go south the way liquids do. You should be fine. If you notice any problems from a specific product, then you can toss that one, but I wouldn’t worry too much.

  16. VickyM

    Well I have a Chanel lipstick that is 8 years old or so and it looks, smells, and if you swatch it feels the same as the last Chanel lipstick I bought two weeks ago. What does that mean? Is it fine to use? I used it a a month ago and I didn´t get sick, I went to dinner and had that lipstick on. It fades the same as the new ones, smells like roses… is creamy as any normal lipstick…the color didn´t change from the time I purchased it…So is it fine to use or not? I´m now wondering lol.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

      FWIW, I have lipstick 3X that old, and it seems just fine. I’ve never gotten sick, nor have I gotten any sort of rash, skin condition, etc. However, I’ve had unopened, unused, sealed lippies go bad in less than a year, only to find out the first time I go to use it. This happens across all brands & price-points, and even within brands. I also keep all my make up in a cool, dry, dark space, as far away from any humidity as possible (i.e., away from the bathroom), so the conditions are also always the same. I’m not saying to keep using them, but I’m just sharing my personal experience.

  17. I mostly rely on my nose! If the scent of a product changes, I throw it away. It just happened last week with my YSL Touch Eclat.

    Some people say that liquid textures that separate should also be tossed, but I don’t think it’s always true. Sometimes, temperature changes or a particular ingredient cause separation of creams/lotions, and they just need a little shakin’

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

      I can’t speak for others, but if a liquid “separates” to the point it can’t be shaken back to a uniform state, or if it looks like cottage cheese suspended in liquid, it’s time to be tossed.

  18. MizLottie

    Smell and texture change.

  19. oh god smell….if I can smell that it’s bad, IT’S BAD. I have a really poor sense of smell, so anything that reaches me is definitely pungent.

  20. Miss J

    I want to know how you know when it’s time to toss a MAC Paint Pot… I have some that are several years old, but I don’t notice any changes from when it was new other than there is a tiny space around the edges, which just means it’s dried a bit, but it’s still creamy. Do I throw it out just because?

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

      I’ve had most of mine for years, and the only one I’ve had that issue with is Artifact, which I think is just inherent to the type of color (all my pale neutrals are fine). I think as long as you’ve practiced good hygiene, you should be fine. If they apply patchy, or any discoloration has occured, or weird film/white coating, then I’d toss it. I use mine on occasion, and I’ve never had an eye infection caused by any product.

      • Miss J

        Thanks for the input, Amy. :) I keep all my makeup closed as tightly as possible (even to the point where I have a hard time reopening it, lol) and in a cool, dark place out of the bathroom. Whenever I’ve used my Paint Pots it has been with a freshly washed and sanitized hands or with a clean brush. I don’t notice anything about them that’s off putting. I just know they are years old, LOL. Most of them barely used other than Painterly.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emilia Emilia

    i never keep mascara more then 6 months, some formula last longer then other, because Mac’s formulas are so wet they last longer but I still toss after 6 months, I find it funny that some of my friends keep their mascara for years, and its so dry and clumpy, Its a product I know that doesn’t last long

  22. Leenie

    How I determine if a product has reached its shelve life, is mainly by the smell, and other factors