login info join!
Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Shelf life of makeup Search   Reply
Photographer
Shy L
Posts: 584
Burlington, Vermont, US


I have read some general guidelines on when to replace makeup, on retail sites.  I am wondering, though, if the shelf life is longer if you take better care of it?  For example, I wash all my brushes after every application (which is really only once every month or two), I don't touch bottles with sponges, etc.

Or is it more about the product breaking down over time?

Basically I am trying to find a way not to throw out 95% of the product, because I use so little of it in a year.  If I buy cleanable mascara wands (does the brush cleaner work for that??) could I theoretically make a tube of mascara last years?  I don't want to buy disposable mascara wands because then I would be tossing those and it would defeat the purpose.
Feb 14 13 08:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Velvet Paper Photo
Posts: 468
Lexington, Kentucky, US


Shy L wrote:
I have read some general guidelines on when to replace makeup, on retail sites.  I am wondering, though, if the shelf life is longer if you take better care of it?  For example, I wash all my brushes after every application (which is really only once every month or two), I don't touch bottles with sponges, etc.

Or is it more about the product breaking down over time?

Basically I am trying to find a way not to throw out 95% of the product, because I use so little of it in a year.  If I buy cleanable mascara wands (does the brush cleaner work for that??) could I theoretically make a tube of mascara last years?  I don't want to buy disposable mascara wands because then I would be tossing those and it would defeat the purpose.

It's both.  Obviously, if you take really good care of the makeup it won't get gross as quickly, but eventually it will expire.
And no matter what you do, if mascara is opened, it's not going to last years.  lol  It will get dry within a matter of months, maybe 6. 
EDIT:  Mascara is usually something you can go cheap on.
Eyeshadow, powder blushes, face powder, etc. will last the longest as opposed to liquids & creams.  If you're worried about foundation, buy a few different shades & mix custom colors, instead of buying an entire line.  L'Oreal True Match is a good drugstore brand (inexpensive) with LOTS of shades to choose from.
Personally, I would have the models bring their own foundation & if it doesn't match as well as you'd like, mix in a lightener or darkener.

Feb 14 13 08:59 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,157
Coronado, California, US


Shy L wrote:
I have read some general guidelines on when to replace makeup, on retail sites.  I am wondering, though, if the shelf life is longer if you take better care of it?  For example, I wash all my brushes after every application (which is really only once every month or two), I don't touch bottles with sponges, etc.

Or is it more about the product breaking down over time?

Basically I am trying to find a way not to throw out 95% of the product, because I use so little of it in a year.  If I buy cleanable mascara wands (does the brush cleaner work for that??) could I theoretically make a tube of mascara last years?  I don't want to buy disposable mascara wands because then I would be tossing those and it would defeat the purpose.

What do you mean by "cleanable mascara wand" ?

Feb 15 13 02:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Van Dyke
Posts: 1,694
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Shy L wrote:
Shelf life of makeup

Highly variable... much depends on the vehicle (solvent) as well as emulsifiers... some product are comprised of colloids and suspensions... it's not just pigment, we are dealing with waxes, organic polymers, and a myriad of other ingredients...

I would recommend obtaining a copy of Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary  this tome was required reading in my formal training...

Best advice? contact the product's vendor, they are the authority on this...

btw, when the safety and well being of the client is of concern discarding expired product is a professional responsibility (economics do not play into the mix here)... 

btw, I primarily use TEMPTU S/B and they now clearly label exploration dates on their product...

As for mascara?  have you considered using cake product that is water activated? I use this extensively on male talent applying with a fan brush... nearly all cake product have a shelf life greater than a year... albeit again check with the vendor, it's your job as a professional artist to do so...

Feb 15 13 04:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ME_
Posts: 3,144
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Shy L wrote:
I have read some general guidelines on when to replace makeup, on retail sites.  I am wondering, though, if the shelf life is longer if you take better care of it?  For example, I wash all my brushes after every application (which is really only once every month or two), I don't touch bottles with sponges, etc.

Or is it more about the product breaking down over time?

Basically I am trying to find a way not to throw out 95% of the product, because I use so little of it in a year.  If I buy cleanable mascara wands (does the brush cleaner work for that??) could I theoretically make a tube of mascara last years?  I don't want to buy disposable mascara wands because then I would be tossing those and it would defeat the purpose.

What mascara are you buying that is so expensive that you would want it to last years?! Get yourself a L'Oréal Voluminous in Carbon Black. It's about $5.50 at Walmart or on sale. Give it to the model if you don't want to use disposable wands. No matter what you do, opened mascara will dry out so you're going to have to toss it every few months anyway.

Cleaning a mascara wand and putting it back in the tube is gross. I doubt you'll find one professional makeup artist who does this, or who wouldn't get slammed by others if seen doing it.

Feb 15 13 06:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shy L
Posts: 584
Burlington, Vermont, US


Thank you all!  I should probably clarify, this is for my own makeup, only used on myself.  Sorry for the confusion!  I'm not necessarily buying expensive things, I just hate having to throw out 95-99% of a product because I use so little of it in a years time.

And I have no idea if there is a cleanable mascara wand, which is why I was asking.  I have given myself pink eye a few years ago from makeup which I thought was within shelf life so I would prefer to use a separate, cleanable applicator for things if possible even though they are just used on me.  (also I meant a wand that you cleaned & stored separately from the mascara, like brushes.  but obviously I'm thinking of something that doesn't exist yet)
Feb 15 13 07:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shy L
Posts: 584
Burlington, Vermont, US


Thomas Van Dyke wrote:
As for mascara?  have you considered using cake product that is water activated? I use this extensively on male talent applying with a fan brush... nearly all cake product have a shelf life greater than a year... albeit again check with the vendor, it's your job as a professional artist to do so...

Thank you for mentioning this!  I will look into it, because I think it's something that I would like much better.

Feb 15 13 07:49 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
amy louise elliott
Posts: 17
London, England, United Kingdom


Most make up and cosmetics have a tiny jar with a number inside on the label or packaging, once opened that is how long the product will last before expiring. Some ingredients after the said amount of time will either no longer do their job or separate and smell bad. Now that people are more selective about the preservatives being used in cosmetics and skincare the majority of things have an expiry date too.
Feb 15 13 03:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Fleshpot
Posts: 10
Los Angeles, California, US


If it's for personal use and the product is meeting your expectations -keep it. The FDA has very loose regulations with regard to the saftey of cosmetics and manufactures arent required to list an expiration date. The expiration dates listed on products serve as a loose guideline for consumers... more like a 'suggestion'  It's not like the expiration date on milk. You'll KNOW when a product needs to be tossed...it'll smell funny, the consistency will have changed, the color will seperate etc. Use good judgment and youll be fine.

Also, with regard to your mascara concerns, I feel you'd increase your chances of an eye infection by using a secondary, non disposable wand (cleaned or not) due to all the variables the wand could be exposed to. If youre just using it on yourself, I dont see a benefit to using an alternative wand. Itll dry out just the same. I doubt you got your eye infection from your mascara, but rather you had the infection - then used your mascara; contaminating the tube. If its a serious concern for you -use a new disposable wand every time.
Mar 04 13 01:40 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ArtistryImage
Posts: 2,756
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Fleshpot wrote:
If it's for personal use and the product is meeting your expectations -keep it.

While I appreciate the rational behind this please keep in mind that this is a Tier 3 Forum: For serious industry discussion.  i.e. the focus is on professional use of product on client...  and example would be to color hair... yes anyone can certainly do their own hair but not others for hire, hope this makes sense...

Fleshpot wrote:
The FDA has very loose regulations with regard to the saftey of cosmetics and manufactures arent required to list an expiration date.

Again please be aware that product which the US Food and Drug Administration classify as  "Cosmetics" is very broad... and they do indeed require expiration dates on entities within this class... example would be toothpaste which although classified as a "Cosmetic" by the FDA it is indeed regulated as a drug (contains the active ingredient Sodium Fluoride (or derivative) also many hair products likewise contain "active ingredients" thus are required to have expiration dates)

How to know?  Always check ingredients... if the first is listed as "Active" then there will be an exploration date... this is true for ALL FDA classified "Cosmetics".

Once again this is a Tier 3 Forum: attempts at misinformation are not welcomed or encouraged... 

To all, please take the time to preform due diligence prior to posting on a Tier 3 Industry Forum...

thank everyone for your thoughtful consideration here...

Mar 04 13 04:19 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Fleshpot
Posts: 10
Los Angeles, California, US


ArtistryImage wrote:

Fleshpot wrote:
If it's for personal use and the product is meeting your expectations -keep it.

While I appreciate the rational behind this please keep in mind that this is a Tier 3 Forum: For serious industry discussion.  i.e. the focus is on professional use of products on clients

Thank you for reminding me where I am posting, however I was responding to the OP

Shy L wrote:
Thank you all!  I should probably clarify, this is for my own makeup, only used on myself.

Again please be aware that product which the US Food and Drug Administration classify as  "Cosmetics" is very broad... and they do indeed require expiration dates on entities within this class... example would be toothpaste which although classified as a "Cosmetic" by the FDA it is indeed regulated as a drug (contains the active ingredient Sodium Fluoride (or derivative) also many hair products likewise contain "active ingredients" thus are required to have expiration dates)

How to know?  Always check ingredients... if the first is listed as "Active" then there will be an exploration date... this is true for ALL FDA classified "Cosmetics".

Once again this is a Tier 3 Forum: attempts at misinformation are not welcomed or encouraged... 

To all, please take the time to preform due diligence prior to posting on a Tier 3 Industry Forum...

thank everyone for your thoughtful consideration here...

What you are referencing are products that are classified as both a cosmetic AND a drug- making the labeling requirements different from those products that fall under the cosmetic classification alone.

Had I given misinformation, your comments would have been warranted, however I did not. Products that are classified as a "cosmetic" do not require expiration dates.

Mar 04 13 07:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,462
Palm Beach, Florida, US


Shy L wrote:
Thank you all!  I should probably clarify, this is for my own makeup, only used on myself.  Sorry for the confusion!  I'm not necessarily buying expensive things, I just hate having to throw out 95-99% of a product because I use so little of it in a years time.

And I have no idea if there is a cleanable mascara wand, which is why I was asking.  I have given myself pink eye a few years ago from makeup which I thought was within shelf life so I would prefer to use a separate, cleanable applicator for things if possible even though they are just used on me.  (also I meant a wand that you cleaned & stored separately from the mascara, like brushes.  but obviously I'm thinking of something that doesn't exist yet)

Are you sure you don't mean a disposable wand?

You don't clean them -- you throw them away after use. I have disposables but I also have some inexpensive mascaras and some gratis that I will give the model sometimes instead of using the wands.

If you are just using the mascara yourself and not sharing it really is not necessary to use a disposable.

Mar 04 13 07:59 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,157
Coronado, California, US


Fleshpot wrote:

What you are referencing are products that are classified as both a cosmetic AND a drug- making the labeling requirements different from those products that fall under the cosmetic classification alone.

Had I given misinformation, your comments would have been warranted, however I did not. Products that are classified as a "cosmetic" do not require expiration dates.

actually in some countries they do require expiration dates... That's why you're seeing more and more companies adding expiration dates... they can't sell the product in some countries without it.   

   I think it's just another needless regulation.   You will know when your makeup goes bad... It will smell different usually and it will sometimes grow visable bumps (on cream foundations)  ... however like bad food, this isn't as far as I know going to be harmfull to your health, just unpleasent to use. In my own makeup drawer I keep makeup for years if I seldom use it...I have no fear....it's only been used on me.

  If you do get an eye infection your doctor will tell you to throw away all of your makeup as it could be contaminated... you can recontaminate yourself over an over again... This is why as an artist you NEVER double dip anything.. You can spread a nasty eye infection to dozens of people with one tube of mascara, maybe even hundereds of people if you're a busy artist

Mar 04 13 09:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AMDG Fine Arts
Posts: 10
Rockport, Massachusetts, US


In college, I took a number of courses on the chemical design of cosmetics, and e learned how to compound all major cosmetic products from scratch.

What I learned in these courses is that once a cosmetic is actually formed, that it has a shelf life of about 1 year, before it starts to break don and become rancid.

Once the product is "opened" and it starts to some into contact with a and, brush, sponge, applicator that the product no has a 90 day "shelf life" or less.

Then add potential bacterial contamination, and the life of the cosmetics is even less.

My professional preference is to compound cosmetics from scratch myself, and only make enough the the shoot, and to put it all in a pallet that is for the one shoot, and then gift the left over pallet to the model on home it as used.

I list right on the containers that the cosmetic is "shelf stable " for one year, but once opened, only 90 days. Then once "dipped or wanded" the container it good for 12 hours or less.
Mar 08 13 10:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Van Dyke
Posts: 1,694
Washington, District of Columbia, US


AMDG Fine Arts wrote:
...My professional preference is to compound cosmetics from scratch myself, and only make enough the the shoot, and to put it all in a pallet that is for the one shoot, and then gift the left over pallet to the model on home it as used...

James I truly appreciate your tenured acumen here and indeed completely understand the merit of your intent...

That said, there are other considerations for use of product in professional (i.e. for hire) applications... Paramount of which is client safety and professional liability... I would not want to be in a position to provide product information to a physician in the ER should a client have a serious allergic reaction to from make-up which I've applied... Needless to say the client's attorney may weight into the mix here...

During my formal training I received counsel on the fundamental need to use ONLY cosmetic grade product on clients for this very reason... especially around the sensitive eye area which warrants only hypoallergenic, optomologically approved product...

Need an example? makeup forever Flash Palette actually is carries a warning on it's extremely popular palette.

Precautions:
Do not use following colors near the eyes :002 - 005 - 017
Do not use following colors on the lips :003 - 010 - 014

There are compelling reasons why MUFE legal counsel had this warning included within it's packaging...

While it's absolutely fine if you want to be a beta tester for your own creations please do not encourage other make-up artist to consider the aforementioned as an option for professional use...

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration here...
Hope this makes sense...

Mar 09 13 06:17 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Lauren Reynolds Makeup
Posts: 282
London, England, United Kingdom


AMDG Fine Arts wrote:
In college, I took a number of courses on the chemical design of cosmetics, and e learned how to compound all major cosmetic products from scratch.

What I learned in these courses is that once a cosmetic is actually formed, that it has a shelf life of about 1 year, before it starts to break don and become rancid.

Once the product is "opened" and it starts to some into contact with a and, brush, sponge, applicator that the product no has a 90 day "shelf life" or less.

Then add potential bacterial contamination, and the life of the cosmetics is even less.

My professional preference is to compound cosmetics from scratch myself, and only make enough the the shoot, and to put it all in a pallet that is for the one shoot, and then gift the left over pallet to the model on home it as used.

I list right on the containers that the cosmetic is "shelf stable " for one year, but once opened, only 90 days. Then once "dipped or wanded" the container it good for 12 hours or less.

Im sure thats true for the makeup you've been mixing up yourself, but doesn't makeup bought off the shelf have preservatives in it to keep it for longer? Most (all? im not sure) makeup over here has how long you can keep it for once opened written on the bottom (the number of months is on a little pot symbol if anyone didn't know) and for most foundations/cream makeup its about 12 months. Surely it can't be false if the true expiry time is only a tiny fraction of that? They'd be setting themselves up for trouble!

Mar 09 13 07:26 am  Link  Quote 
  Search   Reply