The long and short of makeup expiry dates

STYLE S.O.S. - Lucy Torres-Gomez, Rissa M. Samson, Tingting Cojuangco () - January 4, 2012 - 12:00am

Hi, Ms. Rissa! 

I would like to ask what’s the normal shelf life of cosmetics — lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and blush on. How would I know when to dispose of them?

Jane Bantola

Account specialist

With a brand-new year, now is the perfect time to de-clutter! I once read that mess, rubbish, and junk contain old, stagnant energy. Get rid of things you no longer need and make space for positive energy.Another reason to toss out old makeup? Bacteria can lead to skin irritations and even infections. Don’t allow expired cosmetics to get in the way of great, clear skin. 

Here are makeup products’ expiration dates — beginning from the time you first opened these products. 

• Foundation: A water-based foundation can last up to 12 months while an oil-based one can last up to 18 months. In case your water-based foundation dries out before its expiration date, just add a few drops of alcohol-free toner and mix it in. Oil-based foundations will separate over time. Simply shake the bottle before using it again. 

• Concealer: Wand applicator concealers should

be tossed within six months since they’re likely to grow bacteria. Stick, twist-up tubes, or compact concealers can last up to 12 months, especially if you use a makeup brush to apply the product. 

• Pressed powder cosmetics: Face powder, blush, and eye shadow should be thrown out after a year. But I’ve had some blushes and eye shadows that last me as long as two years. Proper use and storage is key. Avoid using your fingers into the product and don’t use water or saliva to ease the application of the product — by doing so, you actually introduce bacteria. 

• Mascara: This product expires the fastest. Throw out after four months. If you don’t want your mascara to expire faster than its fresh date, don’t pump the wand in and out — you’re only exposing the product to drying air. Toss it out immediately if it becomes dry or you develop an infection. Also get rid of other eye products like eyeliners and eye shadows to avoid re-infecting yourself. Remember: Never ever share mascara! 

• Eye and lip pencils: If you sharpen them every few days, makeup pencils can last a year or longer. Trash them when they become dry, crumbly, and hard to apply. 

• Lip gloss and lipstick: one to two years. If it smells rancid, the rule is to throw it out because it’s spoiled already. Here’s a tip: If you store lipstick in the refrigerator, it will last longer. 

• All-natural cosmetics: Since these products do not contain preservatives, they should be used or discarded within six months. 

Keep in mind that makeup expiration dates are simply “rules of thumb.” If improperly stored (such as if makeup is exposed to high temperatures or sunlight), your beauty product may actually expire long before the expiration date. Remember, warm environments are breeding grounds for bacteria and sunlight can destroy preservatives.    Always check your cosmetics; if they have an unusual odor, changes in color or texture, discard them immediately.

On the other hand, products stored under ideal conditions may allow your cosmetics to last even longer than the expiration date. It’s best to always keep containers tightly closed and store cosmetics in a cool, dry place.


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Cashing in on Cashmere

Dear Lucy,

I want to buy cashmere shawls and wedge shoes. What brand can you recommend?

Also, where can I find clutches that are beautiful but reasonably priced still? The imported and high-end branded ones are too expensive.


A lovely selection of cashmere shawls should be available at Adora in Greenbelt 5, Makati. Cashmere is always a good investment — you can keep warm with it for many years to come.

For wedge shoes, Aldo is always a good choice because their design is great and the pricing very competitive. They often have new designs also — each visit is tempting because the shop seems to always overflow with new stuff.

There is a new store in Rockwell called Cura V that carries beautiful clutches by Emi Jorge. They are unique and inspired, each piece a showcase of glossy Filipino design sensibilities. It is truly a brand we can all be proud of because each piece is made so well and the finishing is excellent, too. I believe they carry other brands of clutches, too.


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Make room for mushroom

Dear Tingting,

I have been hearing about the healing properties of mushrooms that improve health and well-being. Is there any truth to this? Is there any form of medicine containing mushroom that’s available on the market?


Mushrooms have been used as herbal medicine by humans since 5,000 years ago or more. Many mushrooms have properties that heal and prevent illness in the modern world. According to research, the mushroom is used to treat liver diseases, cancer, bronchial problems, anemia, tuberculosis, jaundice, emphysema, infertility, and sexual dysfunction. 

The wonders of mushrooms have been known in China for at least 1,000 years, where the mushroom is recognized as a national medicinal treasure, a precious and sacred tonic. As a health supplement, it is known to increase energy and vitality.

There is a medicine, in tablet form, containing the healing properties of mushroom, called Cordyceps that’s locally available. Cordyceps has the active ingredients of cordyceps sinensis, a type of mushroom from which fungus germinates. The fruit-body is capless, shaped like a blade or twig, dark brown at the base, and black at the top. 

Cordyceps is anti-asthma, anti-bronchitis, and anti-viral. It controls atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease), lowers cholesterol, safely and effectively controls arrhythmias, helps control diabetes, increases stamina, and fights fatigue.

It is available in drug stores.                                


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Send e-mail to Tingting Cojuangco at tingtingcojuangco@yahoo.com. E-mail Lucy Torres-Gomez at ltg@pldtdsl.com. E-mail Rissa Mananquil at stylesos_rissa@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter @RissaMananquil. 

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