How do you decide when it's time to let a product go?

If I don’t like it or find it frustrating to use, I don’t bother at all. There are too many great products in my stash to deal with products that perform poorly! Otherwise, if it smells different, looks off, etc. then I’ll toss.

— Christine


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Marie-Estelle Avatar

If it turned I never doubt about letting go.

If I can make someone happy, I let it go with pleasure. I even tend to give too much if I start lol.

My problem is that I have little ppl to give to (it is used I can’t donate, we can’t return where I live) and when some products are just ok… Even bad, I have issues just letting go and throw them away. And it is stupid. I know that ?. At least I buy less because of this now!

Mariella Avatar

If it starts to smell funny, separate (lotions and such that aren’t meant to be shaken before use) or the texture turns odd, I will toss it. If it’s something that just doesn’t work for me, I’ll check with my daughter to see if she’d like it (a recent Vichy facial mask, for example). Other than that, I hold on to almost everything because I know that, invariably, if I toss it, 6 weeks later, I’ll be regretting it!

Alecto Avatar

Pretty much the same answer as you Christine, except that I’ll usually give “frustrating to use” a decent chance, as I find that some things can be made to work if I’m not so conventional in my approach.

I don’t have the degree of street-makeup skill that I think many here do, and certainly nothing approaching what gurus have; my “slap it on with a brush over foundation and setting powder” default doesn’t work for everything, much to my lazy-girl dismay. And some lip products that I love the look of I ended up needing to figure out an extra step to make them work for me.

These are things that other people probably know automatically how to do based on a certain finish, etc., but I’m still stumbling around in the dark. I *will* say that my fairly recent discovery that foam eyeshadow applicators are like magic with most shimmery and duochrome eyeshadows has changed my life. πŸ™‚

Alecto Avatar

” … my fairly recent discovery that foam eyeshadow applicators are like magic with most shimmery and duochrome eyeshadows has changed my life…”

… And saved portions of my stash from being culled. I only wish I had figured it out sooner, as I de-stashed a bunch of eyeshadows a couple years ago out of disappointment, and I think now that they would have done what I wanted with the right applicator. I’m a little sad about that.

Marie-Estelle Avatar

If I am not wrong, the worker I and the worker II (bigger) are really really good at picking up product (and act like a finger would). It is the next brush I plan on buying. I also like using foam applicators but they are more fragile. I hope this brush will deliver the same effect with eyeshadow :)!

Nancy T Avatar

*Nods in agreement*. Those really good spongetip applicators that an SA/MUA at Sephora gave me 3 years ago are the only reason why I did not return that cursed Naked Smoky Palette back to Ulta! Funny, because I do normally use brushes, but with my lids beginning to change, I do now prefer either my fingertip or a spongetip for duochrome or sparkly eyeshadows.

Sabrina Avatar

Christine, do you go by the months that each item is given? For example, Anastasia single shadows give a shelf life of 6 months; but, if you go for months without using the shadow; and, it looks, smells, and performs fine at the next application, so you really throw it away after 6 months?

Christine Avatar

I’m confused – my answer is that if it smells different, looks off, etc. then I would toss… this seems to answer your question? I never said I tossed by expiration dates. So sorry, Sabrina – I’ve re-read your comment three times and am still so confused!

Sabrina Avatar

I’m sorry, Christine. I did not mean to confuse you or anyone else. πŸ™
I know that you personally did not mention expiration dates; but, most makeup products do have an expiration date listed on, either with an actual date (example, use by 09/19) or else, it has that little symbol with a marking of 6 mos, 18 mos, 24 mos, etc. I guess that was my question–do you ever use a product’s expiration date as measure of whether or not to keep something? Again, I am sorry for the confusion.

Eileen Avatar

The number of months indicated on the product is a suggestion as to when to toss a product after it has been opened and used. Once opened and used, you begin introducing contaminates into the product and the various moisturizing agents, etc. begin to degrade. As long as the product is sealed and never opened and it is kept in a cool, dry environment, it will last much longer than the number of months indicated on the container. In other words, the clock doesn’t start ticking until you start using the product. I hope this helps.

There are many guidelines available suggesting how long to keep products you are using. For example, a common guideline is to toss mascara three months after opening it. A lot of women ignore that advice, but those of us who have had an eye infection because of a contaminated product will adhere religiously to that guideline. Ultimately, it comes down to using your common sense and, if anything looks or smells off or is beginning to separate or change texture, toss it!

Nancy T Avatar

My big problem? I have a super difficult time when it comes to getting rid of stuff! Especially makeup, beauty products in general and clothing. But, I will toss things when they turn. If they’re MAC lipsticks and Lipglass, I almost always have one or two used up Prep & Prime lips, so once I have 6, I will do a Back 2 MAC. As for stuff that I no longer have interest in…those wind up in the makeup graveyard drawer!

Rachel R. Avatar

If it’s changed color, scent, texture, etc., I toss it.

Otherwise, if I don’t like how the color(s) look on me, changes due to aging and hormone changes make a product no longer work on me, or I end up disliking the formula. I also let things that I’m just not using and am sure I won’t use. I offer such things to friends first. If they don’t want them, I send them to a women’s shelter that takes used make-up and sanitizes it, plus they take samples (including all the too dark foundations and mascaras that I already know I’m allergic to), and makeup bags.

Brittany Avatar

If a product seems to have gone bad because it smells weird or the texture changed, I have no problem tossing it.

If it’s still usable, then I try to consider how long it’s been since I’ve used said product. If it’s been several months or longer, it’s time to go. I just recently de-stashed more than half of my collection of lip, eye, face, and nail products. Nail polish is harder to get rid of for me, but I try to go through my collection at least a few times a year to see if there are more things I can get rid of to avoid over-collecting.

Jane Avatar

What, let a product go? LOL! Okay, I have, though it feels like someone is taking my child. Absolutely when it’s old, broken (and unable to fix), or mascara that it drying, doesn’t work (clumps too much). Or, of course, if I have a eye infection (recently happened, though very rare), well then I got rid of two products that I had used the day before (felt so bad, but I knew it was best for my future).

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