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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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8 Easy Ways to Give Yourself a Mini Makeover at Home
August 11, 2021
8 Easy Ways to Give Yourself a Mini Makeover at Home

A beauty makeover is more than just a funny montage in a romantic comedy.  When life seems boring and mundane, giving yourself a new look is a sure way to improve your mood. You can transform yourself from head-to-toe or opt for a simple makeover that targets just one part of your look.  No matter what kind of makeover you choose, that moment when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror with a new style is incredibly energizing! We’ve collected a few makeover tips and suggestions for how you can give yourself an easy mini-makeover at home.  DIY facial   The first step to a truly rejuvenating one-day beauty makeover is a pampering facial. It’s a great way to give the skin a pick-me-up, especially if you plan to put some makeup on after.  The ideal facial should include some exfoliation, to remove dead skin buildup and prepare the skin to accept moisture. You can make your own scrub, or use an exfoliant from your favorite skincare brand. After that, give yourself a gentle facial massage, and follow it up with a nourishing mask or a thick layer of moisturizer.  Hairstyle Changing up your hair can make the biggest difference, and it’s the one thing that many of us have neglected over the last year. If you’re ready to make a big change, you can give yourself a haircut, but for most of us, taking the time to master a new hairstyle is a safer bet.  If you’ve been wearing your hair straight for the longest time, we recommend giving a tousled, wavy look a try! It’s a French girl staple that you can achieve with the help of a texturizing spray and a large curling iron. If your hair is naturally a little wavy, you can also just go to sleep with a braid in, and you should wake up with nice, natural-looking curls.  New style    The best way to give yourself a style makeover without having to spend much money is to invest in some new accessories. It’s amazing how big of a difference a nice silk scarf or a skinny belt can make to your look! Even smaller touches, like earrings and bracelets, can amp up an outfit.  If you’re willing to invest a little more, you can give yourself a complete style makeover by upgrading your wardrobe. Your first, and most relieving step, should be to get rid of the clothes you don’t like anymore—you can take some inspiration from Marie Kondo for that!  After that, consider what kind of aesthetic you’d like to have, and browse Pinterest for inspiration! You may decide to pick up a few new outfits or a couple of separates that’ll enhance your existing wardrobe. Building a French capsule wardrobe is another great way to go about things, especially if you’d like to simplify your life with classy yet versatile clothes. Lip color   If everything we’ve suggested so far seems a little too involved, you can give yourself the most low-effort beauty makeover with a simple lipstick change. Red is our favorite color, of course, because it adds glam factor even to a totally bare face, but any vibrant color will act as a quick pick-me-up.  One of the benefits of our Matte Constance lipsticks is that they come in a duo-pack, so you can experiment with the help of two lipsticks in one!  At-home mani Giving yourself a simple manicure will help you feel polished and put together, and it’s an especially nice treat when you don’t want to fuss with hair or makeup. Every time you look down at your hands, you’ll feel a little more composed.  You don’t even have to paint your nails—the simple act of soaking your hands in water, moisturizing the cuticles, and filing your nails into a nice shape is enough on its own. However, nail polish is great, especially if you decide to get creative and experiment with nail art.  New makeup technique    You don’t have to buy dozens of new makeup products just to improve your makeup game. If you always wear natural makeup, try a smokey eye. If you’ve been doing your eyeshadow the same way for the last five years, try a newer trend like a cut crease or a fox eye.  Many of us fall into the habit of doing our makeup the same way every day (that’s actually the secret behind the 5-minute face!). However, taking the time to experiment with styles and techniques you haven’t tried before can be a lot of fun, and you might even discover something new to add to your daily look!  Up your brow game Bushy brows are in these days! Upping your brow game will bring out your eyes, and going for a fluffier look will also give you a youthful air. It’s the best makeup hack for immediately transforming your face. You’ll feel more put-together, but unlike wearing a brightly-colored lipstick, it won’t make you feel too showy.  All you need to amp up your brows is a great eyebrow makeup product, like the Brow Arcade pencil. First, brush the hairs up for a feathery look, and then add a few strokes of color to fill them in.  Hair color    Another extreme (but surprisingly quick) makeover you can do is to change your hair color! Box dyes have come a long way over the last few years, so you can achieve shiny hair all by yourself at home.  We recommend choosing a color that’s not too far from your natural shade, so you don’t have to deal with damaging bleach. The key to finding a color that really flatters you is to choose a shade that is either slightly darker or lighter than your skin tone, but with a matching undertone. For instance, gold-based shades are great for those with warm skin, while blue-based or ashy tones are best for cool skin.  Coloring your hair can be a fun way to mix things up, but we’re also big fans of keeping it totally natural! Uplifting change  Small or big, a simple makeover is an instant mood-lifter. Whether you decide to give yourself a new look or just make a few small changes, we know you’ll feel renewed, energized, and ready to face the world!   

What to do With Your Eyebrows
July 29, 2021
What to do With Your Eyebrows

What’s the secret to flawless-looking eyebrows? Good eyebrows have been making headlines in the beauty industry for years now and show no signs of taking a backseat anytime soon. But with so many techniques and products out there, how do you know where to start when it comes to getting beautiful, natural brows? In this article we’ll be covering everything you need to know when it comes to how to get perfect eyebrows naturally, plucking your eyebrows, and eyebrow treatments.    Here’s what to do with your eyebrows, broken down into simple, manageable steps.  Eyebrow treatments for beautiful brows Here are some of the most popular eyebrow treatments, what the process looks like, and why you may want to give them a try. Threading Threading originated in India and involves the use of cotton thread to roll over the surface of the skin to drive unwanted hair out of the follicle. It’s precise, organic, requires minimal contact with the skin, and involves no nasty chemicals. You can expect results to last for up to two weeks.  Waxing Eyebrow waxing uses a thin layer of warm wax over the area of hair you want to be removed. A small strip of fabric is then used to quickly remove the hair. When done properly by a professional, the wax is applied at a temperature that opens the pore and allows the hair to be removed without causing breakage. Waxing is ideal for anyone with extra bushy brows looking to create a strong, sculpted arch line. An eyebrow wax will usually last a minimum of two weeks before the hair starts growing out again.    Tinting Tinting your eyebrows involves using a semi-permanent dye in a tone close to your natural hair color and adding it to your existing eyebrow hair. It’s a quick treatment that will create the appearance of fuller-looking, defined brows. Results can last between 1-3 months, this will cut time off your morning makeup routine by eliminating the need for excess products.  Microblading Microblading is similar to tattooing and involves a type of semi-permanent makeup used to fill in your brow however you like. Defined, hair-like strokes are created using a needle and brow pigment ink. This will allow you to change the shape of your brows and add more definition wherever you want it.  Microblading will take around two hours to complete, and can last anywhere between 18 and 30 months. Top tricks for plucking your eyebrows Plucking is one of the simplest and most common eyebrow treatments out there, but it shouldn’t be underestimated! If you already have luscious brows, lightly plucking your eyebrows may be all you need to get rid of stragglers. And this is all tweezers should be used for—not to shape your eyebrows.  Let me share an insider secret with you: one of the best ways to get beautiful brows is to leave them alone! Another great tip is to wait to tweeze as long as possible, and then get all those stragglers in one go. This way, all the hairs will be on the same growth cycle and grow back at around the same time.  Don’t worry if you’ve been over-plucking your eyebrows (we’ve all been there). Put the tweezers down for now and let your brows grow out naturally. Use a brow pencil to fill in any gaps—more on that later.  How to shape your eyebrows the right way I’d recommend avoiding doing it yourself. Save up the money you need, and invest in a professional service. It'll be much quicker, and you’ll save yourself the drama of it going wrong. You don’t want to spend all that time growing your eyebrows out only to mess them up! Shaping your eyebrows is more complicated than you may think, and a brow specialist will have a ton of knowledge and should know how to enhance your natural arch line and give you the most flattering shape.   Avoid getting certain product on your brows This might be a random fact, but did you know that products like moisturizer, SPF, and foundation can all dislodge your hairs and inhibit growth? Yes! Of course, it’s difficult not to get these kinds of products on your brows when you’re applying them to your face. So when you’re done, gently wipe away any product from your brows. Problem solved! Experiment with eyebrow products The market is saturated with brilliant eyebrow products from pencils to pens, powders, gels, mascaras, and more. Every product will work differently for different skin types and can help you achieve various results. So, the first step is to think about what your end brow goals are. If you want to fill in sparse spots and add some definition, a brow pencil and spoolie brush will work well. If you’re trying to tame your hairs and lightly shape them, a light brow gel might do the job. And if you have no idea where to start, then experiment with different products. See what you like and what works well with your natural features. Have fun with it! How to fill in eyebrows naturally Choose the right shade There are so many shades of blond and brown, which means you can’t always depend on a “one color fits all” kind of product. Fortunately, the Brow Arcade has four colors to choose from, so you can find the best shade to match your brows! When testing other products, the best approach is to try out different shades and see what works for you. As a general rule, those with light eyebrows should go for one shade darker than their hair color, while women with dark brows should go one shade lighter than their hair. If you have cool undertones you should use products with an ashy color, and if you have warm undertones you should use golden-toned colors.  Draw lightly Remember, it’s easier to add product than it is to remove it, so start lightly and gradually build up from there as needed. How to brush your brows While filling in your brows you can brush them in a downward direction with a spoolie to help you spot any patchy areas and fill them in. Brushing the hair down exposes the skin and allows you to draw directly on it. This will give you added definition. Once you’re done, remember to brush your brows back upward! Add brow gel/mascara If you’re looking to darken the look of your eyebrows, then mascara is the best product to swipe on for a look that is bold but believable. A brow gel should be the final thing you add to your brows. But if you already have fabulous natural arches, mascara might be the only thing you need for beautiful brows. Complete the look by making your brow bone pop This is the final step when it comes to perfecting your beautiful brows. Once you’re done filling them in and layering your chosen products, you want to make all your hard work pop. If you really want to spotlight your brows, opt for a highlighter and swipe it just underneath your arches. For a subtler look, use a concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone. This will still brighten up your brow area but create a more natural look. And that’s how to get perfect eyebrows naturally!

Learn French Phrases: French Makeup Terms
July 08, 2021
Learn French Phrases: French Makeup Terms

When you love French beauty, knowing the French words for certain makeup products can be quite helpful. They can come in handy if you’re planning to do some shopping in Paris, but it’s also useful for knowing what’s behind the names of your favorite French makeup products.  Read our guide for some must-know French makeup vocabulary. You’ll learn what’s behind the names of some of Vivienne Sabó’s most iconic products, as well as the meanings of some products from other French makeup brands.  From terms for different parts of the face to the names of products and tools, we cover it all!   Parts of the face in French Le visage: the face. It sounds so elegant in French, so it’s no surprise that so many brands all over the world have incorporated the word into their naming schemes!  La peau: the skin.  La yeux: the eyes.  Cils: eyelashes.  Les sourcils: the eyebrows. You might notice a similarity between the French words for brows and for eyelashes! The French term sourcils comes from the Latin supercilium which translates to “above the eyelash.” Les joues: the cheeks.  Les lèvres: the lips.  French makeup terms   Le maquillage: makeup. Fond de teint: foundation. Fond means base or foundation, while teint means tint, so literally, it’s a tinted base. It’s especially fitting because French women prefer a light tint over a full-coverage look.  Base de teint: primer.  La poudre: powder.  Poudre de soleil: bronzer. The literal translation is “sun powder,” which is beautifully appropriate since bronzer is meant to give the skin the illusion that it’s been sunkissed.  Fard: This term is a synonym for makeup, but it’s usually used to refer to specific products.  Le fard à paupière: eyeshadow. It translates as “makeup for the eyelids.”  Blush: blush. Contrary to popular belief, French women don’t use the word rouge to refer to blush. Instead, French makeup aficionados use the English term.   Le fard à joues: blush. This is another commonly used term, although it’s less popular than simply saying “blush.” It literally translates as “makeup for the cheeks.” Anticerne: concealer.  Correcteur: corrector, a synonym for concealer.  Le crayon: pencil.  Crayon à lèvres: lip liner.   Eyeliner: eyeliner. This is another one of those words that have been directly lifted from English to French.  Eyeliner liquide: liquid eyeliner.  Crayon yeux: eyeliner pencil. This is the term to use if you’re talking specifically about a kohl-style pencil, although it can also apply to retractable eyeliners.  Feutre fin: felt tip, also known as our must-have eyeliner. This eyeliner won't let you down, and the design itself is ideal for drawing on a precise wing in seconds.  Palette yeux: eyeshadow palette.  Mascara: mascara.    Mascara volumateur: volumizing mascara. We like our mascara to add some volume and amp up the drama, so this term is especially helpful.  Mascara allongeant: lengthening mascara.  Mascara waterproof: waterproof mascara. While the French word for waterproof is étanche, when it comes to makeup, the English term is used.    Éclat: radiance or shine. The word is flexible, referring both to the delicate glow of the moon as well as to the brilliant radiance of a precious gem, which is why it’s so useful in makeup.  Highlighter/illuminateur: highlighter. Most French makeup lovers use the English term for this glowy makeup product, but occasionally, the French word illuminateur is used instead.  Le rouge à lèvres: lipstick. Most French women own a signature red lipstick, so it’s no surprise that a more literal translation would mean, “red for the lips.” However, in practice, the phrase applies to all lipsticks no matter the shade!  Gloss à lèvres: Lip gloss.  Other French beauty terms    Faux-cils: False eyelashes.  Coffret: Box or kit. This is the term used for makeup sold in sets or bundles, as well.  Éponge de maquillage: makeup sponge.    Les pinceaux de maquillage: makeup brushes.  Recourbe-cils: eyelash curler.  Le vernis à ongles: nail polish.  Trousse de maquillage: makeup bag.  Démaquillant: makeup remover. Sans cruauté: cruelty-free. This one is especially important for us since all Vivienne Sabó products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals.   Nos amours, you’re ready for Paris!  Armed with the most important French makeup terms, you’ll be able to shop at the small beauty boutiques and the large makeup stores with ease. Keep practicing as you do your makeup every morning, and you’ll become a French language and beauty pro in no-time.