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How to Know if Your Beauty Products Have Gone Bad

We’ve all opened a moisturizer or applied a lip gloss and had that feeling that something doesn’t look quite right. The color has changed, the consistency is off, or you actually find your skin being irritated after you apply it.

But you can’t bear to throw it away! 

The jar is still half-full, or it’s your favorite lipstick, and even though your intuition is telling you something’s off, you dismiss that thought. 

Surely it’s better to keep using this product until it’s finished instead of wasting it? 

So, do makeup products actually have an expiry date? How do you know if your beauty products have gone bad? Do unopened makeup products expire? How can you check the expiry dates of your products? And is there any harm in using an expired product?

All great questions, and we’ll be answering them all in this article!

Here’s everything you need to know about makeup expiry dates. 

How long do beauty products last?

There is no definitive blanket answer, but here’s a general guide for how long different types of beauty products last.

Makeup that you use around your eyes

Mascaras and liquid liners have the shortest shelf life and will generally last between three and six months before they need replacing. It’s really important you adhere to this to avoid any nasty eye infections.

Pencil eyeliners have a longer shelf life and can last up to a year. Sharpening your liners regularly will shave off any bacteria that has built up and help you avoid eye infections. 

Liquid foundation

Water-based foundations can last up to a year while oil-based foundations have a slightly longer shelf-life lasting up to 18 months.

Moisturizers

Depending on how fresh the ingredients are, moisturizers can last between six months to a year after being opened. 

Eye creams, face masks & serums

These will all last between six months and a year.

Lip products

A solid lipstick texture will last between one and two years, while liquid lipstick and lip gloss will generally last between six months to a year.

A lip liner can last up to a year and should be regularly sharpened the same way as an eyeliner.

Cream-based makeup

Cream concealers and blushes can usually last between six months to a year.

Powder products

Bronzers, powder blushes, powder foundations, and setting powder can all last up to two years. 

Nail polish

Nail polish will last indefinitely if it’s unopened. But once opened, it will usually have a shelf life of two years. Around this time (or sooner) certain ingredients will begin to evaporate which will cause it to thicken. 

Makeup brushes

Brushes can last a long time as long as they’re properly looked after. That means washing them every month to remove bacteria and build up. 

How to check the expiry date of cosmetics

Vivienne Sabo products artistically framed on top of a book

The best way to figure out if a beauty product is expired is to use your common sense. 

Ask yourself the following questions: Does it look right? Does it smell right? Has the texture changed?

And check the expiration date—every tube or jar will have this clearly written on it. 

What you’re looking for is the “period after opening” number. This will be written as “6M” or “12M” on the product somewhere. This essentially tells you how long you can use this product safely after you open it. 

Usually, it will be fairly obvious if a product has gone off. For example, mascara will clog. Pencils will dry out. Creams and moisturizers will change in consistency or color and may even change in smell. 

What to do with expired beauty products: If in doubt, throw it out! 

Do unopened makeup products expire, or is this just an urban myth?

Most products on the market have a shelf life of over 30 months when left unopened. But this really depends on the product in question. As mentioned already, some products have active, unstable ingredients in them that go off quicker than other ingredients.

So you’d be wise to still practice caution before going ahead and using any product that has been hanging around in your beauty drawer for a while. 

How to extend the shelf life of your beauty products

Did you know that the way you store your beauty products can actually extend their shelf life?

Yes!

So, are you storing and looking after them the right way?

Here’s what NOT to do:

  • Keep your makeup products somewhere humid (i.e. on a shelf in the bathroom)
  • Keep them somewhere warm or in direct sunlight (on a windowsill)
  • Dip dirty fingers, brushes, and sponges into your makeup pots
  • Share your makeup with anyone else

This will encourage bacteria and mold to thrive, and wreak havoc with formulas.

Here’s what you should be doing to extend the life of your makeup:

  • Keep your products somewhere cool, dark, and dry (not in the fridge though!)
  • Clean your makeup tools regularly
  • Use a tool to scoop out product instead of your fingers
  • Wipe your lipstick after each use to remove bacteria
  • Close lids and tops securely after using them
  • Go for smaller product sizes if you find you’re not getting through them

How to keep your beauty products organized

Makeup brushes and cosmetics

As discussed, the period after opening symbol (PAO) is a great indication of how long a product will last before going bad. But sometimes, this will be located on a box and not on the actual product. On top of this, it’s difficult to remember when you bought and opened all your products!

To stay on top of things, add a small sticker to each product with a date on it for when you probably need to throw it out and replace it. 

Can I still use expired beauty products?

What happens if you use expired makeup?

You might think there’s no harm in using an expired product, but you’d be wrong.

But the worst-case scenario is you can break out in spots, have an allergic reaction, or give yourself an infection. 

A 2013 study found 70% of women used some type of expired product in their makeup routine—mostly eye makeup (mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow). The researchers sampled the eye makeup for contamination, and found that 67% of the products were contaminated! 

Yikes.

It’s really not worth the risk ladies. Set aside a budget for investing in makeup as and when you need it and release the guilt of throwing away a half-used product. 

Need a handy reminder when it’s time to replace your makeup?

Natural-themed beauty product layout

Let’s be honest, life is hectic. In a perfect world, we’d all add expiry dates to our makeup products, and we’d always remember to replace them.

But most of us have so much going on that best practices like this get forgotten. That’s why we’ve created a handy subscribe and save makeup subscription option for all our products. You’ll save money on our makeup, and we’ll deliver a replacement product automatically at the time increments you choose!

 

 

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The Marie Kondo Method Meets French Beauty
April 15, 2021
The Marie Kondo Method Meets French Beauty

If you love beauty as much as we do, it can be easy to get into a mindset that “more is more.” But after a while, we find ourselves overwhelmed by a large, disorganized makeup collection, with more items than we can ever dream of using!  For French beauty enthusiasts, having too much stuff just isn’t helpful, since the French approach to makeup is simplified and precise.  It turns out that by organizing your makeup collection according to the tips of Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, it’s much easier to achieve an effortless French beauty routine!  Follow our guide to learn about the KonMari organizing method and how to apply it to your makeup storage.  The basic elements of KonMari organizing In her book, The Art of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo outlines both her philosophy and methodology for tidying homes. The basic principles of KonMari are fascinating and incredibly helpful.  Tidying is a special event As Marie Kondo explains, tidying is a special event and you should only do it once in your lifetime (or, at least the very least, extremely infrequently), as a total reset. She views it as a life-changing and joyful experience with a spiritual element.  Before beginning the process, she also recommends taking a moment to visualize your ideal life in as much detail as possible. This will help direct and guide you through the process of organizing and decluttering your life.  Working in categories KonMari organizing is done in categories of items, not room by room or drawer by drawer. The categories are precise, but within them, there are more loose subcategories. It’s important to go through them in the order she outlines:  1) Clothes: Tops, bottoms, items that hang, socks, etc.  2) Books: Pleasure reads, practical books, etc.  3) Papers: Documents, receipts, bills, etc.  4) Komono or miscellaneous items: Electronics, office supplies, skincare, makeup, and more. 5) Sentimental items: Photos, keepsakes, love letters, etc.  Discard what doesn’t spark joy Now the tidying really begins! Working in categories (starting with clothes), make a large pile of all of the items within that category that are in your house (as well as in your bag, car, or garage).  One-by-one, take each item, examine it briefly, and see if it “sparks joy.” That’s the only criterion by which you decide whether to keep or discard something. This way, at the end of the process, you’ll feel calm knowing that you only own objects that bring you joy. If you decide to discard something, take a moment to thank it for its service.  Afterward, as a separate process, you can sort through the discarded items to see what you’ll toss, what you’ll recycle, and what you’ll donate.   A place for each item Once you’re left only with objects that spark joy, you need to decide where to store them. While Marie Kondo isn’t a fan of fancy storage solutions, she does emphasize that each object should have its place, usually in a drawer or even an open shoebox.  Knowing where each item belongs simplifies life in two ways: You’ll always know where to find an object, and you’ll always know where to put it once you’re done with it. This is the simple beauty of KonMari organizing  Another one of Marie Kondo’s tips is to store all related items together, like-with-like. Shirts in one drawer, socks in another, pens together, etc. When it comes specifically to clothes, the KonMari folding method is its own organizing marvel.     She doesn’t recommend “flow planning” methods of organization, primarily because they make returning things to the place where they belong a little harder.  Organizing your makeup collection Now that you understand the basics of KonMari organizing, let’s apply it to the task of organizing your makeup collection. Makeup is part of the ‘komono’ category, which includes miscellaneous items you can collect over your lifetime. While you can apply Marie Kondo’s tips just to your makeup bag, it’s better to do the entire process at once.  Visualizing your beauty routine Visualization is especially helpful when it comes to makeup. Before you start gathering everything, take a moment to consider what your ideal makeup routine looks like and how you want to look. This will help you through the whole process. Decluttering your makeup Collect all of the makeup you own (including the lipstick that hides in your car and the pressed powder that lives in your purse), and put it on the floor or counter, to sort through and figure out what sparks joy.  When you do this, also consider how long you’ve owned each product and whether it might be expired. Put all the makeup products that don’t spark joy in a bag or bin, to either discard or donate.  Makeup storage and vanity organization  Finally, make sure to store the items in a way that makes sense, so that products with similar functions are all in the same location. Never pile products one on top of the other. Instead, store them in such a way so that you can see everything at once and quickly find whatever you want to use.  Vertical storage (much like books on a bookcase) is ideal for palettes, foundation bottles can stand upright, while lipsticks and eyeliners can be stored either upside down (so you can see the colors at a glance), or lying down flat.    Keep them all in one vanity or bathroom cabinet. If you don’t have dedicated makeup storage, a transparent drawer set can be incredibly helpful.  Marie Kondo your makeup bag After you’ve whittled down your collection to only include makeup that sparks joy, you can decide which products will go in your makeup bag.  According to KonMari, your purse shouldn’t be another storage space. Instead, she recommends that every morning (or at least every few mornings), you should repack your handbag. We think that should also apply to your makeup bag.  Every morning, after you finish doing your makeup, consider which items you’d like to bring with you, and put them in a dedicated makeup pouch. Once the day ends, take them out and put them back where they belong in your organized makeup vanity.  Goodbye, makeup clutter! KonMari isn’t necessarily a minimalist or anti-consumerist philosophy. It’s not about getting rid of all of your earthly possessions — instead, it’s about ensuring that you truly love everything you own. By organizing your makeup according to Marie Kondo’s tips, you guarantee that your beauty routine will always spark joy. 

The Best Makeup Gifts to Give to a Friend
April 09, 2021
The Best Makeup Gifts to Give to a Friend

If you have a friend or loved one who loves makeup, it only makes sense to buy them a makeup gift. The best gift is one that’ll be used, after all.  When buying gifts for makeup lovers, you still have to put a bit of thought into your purchase. Some products, like foundations and concealers, require very precise color matching, so they can’t be bought on a whim. That’s why we’ve put together this gift guide with the best makeup products to give as gifts, whether for small occasions or for bigger celebrations.  We’ve put together a range of beauty gift ideas, including simple crowd-pleasers and thoughtful bundles. With the help of our list, we know that your friend will love what you give her!  Vivienne Sabó Mascara Mascara is a universal makeup gift that’s always appreciated. It’s an unskippable part of every makeup routine, but it’s also one of those products that have to be replaced frequently, so you know that your gift will serve its purpose. There is zero chance that it will sit in the makeup drawer unused!  When choosing the best mascara for your friend, consider her tastes. Is she the kind of person who leads an active life and needs waterproof mascara? Maybe she likes a dramatic look, in which case our Provocation mascara will give her lashes instant volume. On the other hand, if she keeps things subtle but defined, the Cabaret Première is a classic choice that keeps the lashes full yet separated.  You can even give her a mascara gift set with a few different options, so she can customize her look based on her needs for any specific day.  Matte Constance Lipstick Lipstick is the kind of beauty gift that requires a bit more consideration, but it also means that it can be very thoughtful. If you just pick a color at random, chances are your gift may not land too well. However, if you make sure to select a lipstick that will suit your friend’s personality and aesthetic, nothing could make her happier. If she has a more natural, polished style, then a nude lipstick will work best, while if she’s a classic beauty with a fiery side, opt for a red.  If you’re still not sure, check out our guide to the meaning behind different lipstick colors, which will surely point you in the right direction.  Feutre Fin Eyeliner   Like mascara, eyeliner is another staple that gets used up with some regularity and needs replacing fairly often. Whether liquid liner is one of your friend’s staple looks or it’s something she’s still working to perfect, the Vivienne Sabó Feutre Fin eyeliner is a wonderful makeup gift. It offers the precision that makeup lovers crave but it’s easy to use so even those new to makeup will quickly get the hang of it.  Brow Arcade Eyebrow Pencil Eyebrow pencils might not be as glamorous as mascara or lipstick, but they’re still an important part of the makeup routine. For that very reason, the Brow Arcade certainly deserves a spot on our list of makeup gifts for her.  We think it works best as a gift for a friend that is very pragmatic and doesn’t care about sentimentality as much. It’s a good makeup gift that she’ll be sure to use. Just make sure to select a shade that’s a touch lighter than her hair color but with the same undertone.  Le Grand Volume Lip Gloss   Lip gloss is perfect for days out with its fun and playful look, making it an excellent summertime gift! And if you have a younger friend or family member with a playful style or who’s a little newer to makeup, lip gloss makes for the best makeup gift. It doesn’t have the intensity or maturity of lipstick. Instead, it gives the lips a youthful sheen without much color, so it’s the kind of makeup product that parents will also approve of easily.  Cabaret Première Mascara Primer  What do you give to makeup lovers that seem to own everything already? We think the Cabaret Première primer is a great choice, especially for lash enthusiasts. A lash primer helps to build a base layer of length and volume, so the lashes look extra dramatic. Most importantly, it’s the one product your friend probably doesn’t have in her arsenal yet!  Makeup gift bundle   Individual items work well as “just because” gifts for makeup lovers. However, when there’s a special occasion and you need to impress, a large, customized makeup gift set can be a wonderful gift. The key to creating a gorgeous beauty bundle is to pair products that make sense together.  For an eye-focus, put together a set of eyeliner, mascara, mascara primer, and maybe even an eyebrow pencil.   For a lip set, give your dear friend lipstick, gloss, and lip liner.  You can also customize a French beauty set with beloved staples, like red lipstick, a liquid eyeliner, and volumizing mascara.  Make sure to package everything nicely, and even consider putting it all in a makeup bag, which will become another part of the gift.  Makeup subscription A makeup subscription is one of the best makeup gifts we can think of, which is why we’ve saved it for last. It’s particularly useful if you’d like to give something to a friend who lives far away and that you don’t get to see often.  Pick a product that you know is a staple for them, like mascara, eyeliner, or brow pencil. Then, set up a subscription where they can receive a new package every few months, depending on how often they go through the specific item.  A subscription beauty gift will remind them of you periodically and cheer them up if they’re going through a hard time. That’s one of the reasons why we have this option available for all Vivienne Sabó products. L'art de faire un cadeau  In France, l'art de faire un cadeau  (the art of giving a gift) is cherished. The best gifts are personal and thoughtful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give something meaningful—you just need to consider the person to whom you’re giving a gift.  For that friend who loves makeup, a thoughtful beauty gift is an easy choice that will show them that you know and love them.    

Using Mascara on Lash Extensions
March 30, 2021
Using Mascara on Lash Extensions

Maybe you’ve got your very first set of lash extensions, or perhaps you’re thinking about getting some. But you’re wondering, “can you put mascara on lash extensions?” Great question. And if you’re going to invest money in lash extensions (along with sitting still for that long), you want to make sure you’re taking care of them the right way.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll be answering all your burning questions. By the end of it, you’ll be a lash extension and mascara pro.  Can you put mascara on lash extensions? So, should you wear mascara with eyelash extensions? Or is it a total no-go? You can wear mascara on lash extensions. When your lashes are fresh, you won’t have a huge need for mascara, but towards the end, you may want to reach for it! That being said, if you prefer to wear mascara with your lash extensions from the start, you can definitely do so! Estheticians recommend to avoid applying it to the base, as this can create a clumpy look. So keep it to the tips, and you’ll be golden. It’s worth pointing out that if you’re opting for volume lashes (the 2D, 3D, or custom-made fans), you probably won’t need mascara. Adding it will likely cause the fans to close and ruin the effect. Why wear mascara with lash extensions? Mascara will help darken and add volume to both the upper and lower lashes.  Synthetic lashes are thicker than your natural eyelashes, whereas silk extensions taper out at the ends. Mascara helps give you that extra impact all the way to the tips — perfect for a more dramatic look.     Many women also choose lash extensions that match their natural lash color. Adding a darker shade of mascara allows you to deepen the color as you like.  And like we mentioned above, when your fake lashes are on their last legs and begin to shed, you can fill in the gaps with mascara. They’ll look as good as new! Which type of mascara should I avoid? Be careful; if you use the wrong kind of mascara, you’ll ruin your lash extensions.  Here’s what to avoid:   Waterproof mascara Waterproof mascara is designed to stay put through extreme conditions. You know, like thunderstorms and balling your eyes out on your wedding day. It’s great when you need it, but it’s a no-go when it comes to lash extensions.  It can make your lashes brittle, and it’s extra tough to remove. You need an oil-based makeup remover, which can pull off flares, sometimes your lashes, and the glue holding your extensions in place.   Tube mascara Although tube mascara can be removed with water, it’s not suitable for lash extensions. Why? Because it will stick to them like glue, and water will not be sufficient to get them off once that happens. Fiber mascara Like waterproof and tube mascara, fiber mascara is also difficult to remove. Plus, the purpose of fiber mascara is to add length to your natural lashes. If you’ve got extensions already, you probably don’t need it.    Mascara you can use with extensions Oil-free mascara is best for lash extensions. That means the best mascara for lash extensions is a water-based formula. This is the only safe choice and will keep your lashes in tip-top condition. And it’s perfect for all types of falsies.  If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, opting for an oil-free mascara is always the best choice. This will prevent unwanted irritation.     What you want is a mascara that glides flawlessly across your lashes and comes off with minimal effort at the end of the day.  When it comes to consistency, you want a mascara that is not too thick or too dry. A thick mascara can cause tension on the lashes, tangling, and clumping.    Choose your brush wisely, and make sure it doesn’t grip your lashes too tightly.  How to safely remove your makeup when wearing lash extensions Choosing the right mascara isn’t the only thing to consider. If you choose the wrong makeup remover, you can still end up damaging your lashes. There are many makeup removers and cleansers that contain oil, which you don’t want. A water-based product is what you’re after here again. The best way to remove your makeup while wearing eyelash extensions is to use a water-based wipe or lash shampoo with a charcoal brush. Avoid cotton pads or balls because they may get lint on your lashes!     Remember, when you take care of your lash extensions and keep them clean, they’ll last longer and look better. So it’s in your best interests to pick the right products and treat your lashes with the love they deserve.