Beauty Storage

The Longest Lasting Lipstick?

Author: Lauren Coleman

Last week I was hunting for my oyster card, pulling out bag after bag in a bid to put an end to payment of day travelcards. Amongst the spare change, plethora of pens and many receipts I managed to find an old, much loved lipstick. It was just a cheapie from Rimmel but was a bold corally-red that I remember buying to add a bit of pizazz to a boring outfit. I deduced it must be a couple of years old. Even though it way past its expiration date, and was actually missing the bottom piece to tell me the shade, it was worth keeping as it was a special edition product that I really loved.

A couple of days later and I’m in the queue for passport control at Gatwick. My passport flicks open to my picture; a particularly dreadful photo taken over six years ago when my hair really needed a chop and I had popped on a bright lipstick to detract from the split ends. Oh dear. That made the lipstick six years old, not two! Where does time go? Rather reluctantly I have binned the gorgeous lippie as half a dozen years of bacteria and toxins didn’t seem particularly appealing.
Experts would tell us that we need to replace our mascara every three or four months and our lip products every year. Our makeup brushes require a good wash every few weeks but how many of us are doing this though? (Hangs head in shame as it’s definitely been several months).
Most of my make-up is stored in a dark, dry place in my dressing table drawers but I usually keep lip products in my bag. I probably have around seven lipsticks on the go at any one time so it can take quite a while to get though them but in the heat of the summer who knows what nasties are lurking on my Chanel lipstick?! Some make-up is so expensive that it seems crazy to throw it away before you’ve reached the bottom, though the concept of getting an eye infection from an old eyeshadow makes it easier.
The said lipstick is definitely my oldest makeup item but I easily have a few heading to the two year mark. What’s your oldest cosmetic? Can anyone beat my rather disgusting six year old lipstick?

{Shelf Life}

Mascara – 3 months
Foundation – 6-12 months
Concealer – 1-2 years depending on formulation
Powder & Blusher – up to 2 years
Eyeshadow – 3 months
Eye liner – 3 months
Lipstick – 1 year
Brushes – Clean every few weeks

Source |

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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26 thoughts on “The Longest Lasting Lipstick?

  1. I actually dread to think how old some of my make-up is, it’s embarrassing. Definitely need to have a good old clear out and throw some things away.

    I’m usually quite good at cleaning my brushes – every week or so, the thought of putting a load of old grease an grime on my nice clean skin makes me feel yuck but it wasn’t always the case. It was a dermatologist who told me (quite bluntly) that he found it bizarre all this faff over fancy creams and regimes when we go and pile a load of bacteria back on from dirty brushes and muslins/flannels that are a week old….yes thats right folks, you should use a clean muslin EVERY DAY.

  2. Oh dear me!! Even though I consider myself a regular make-up purchaser and I wear it most days, I don’t think any of my stuff is within its “shelf-life” except my Natural Collection mascara – bought on recommendation by you lovely folk! Looks like I have a perfect excuse for a weekend splurge…I obviously need to restock 🙂

  3. I tend to be ok when it comes to muslins – although change them perhasp every 2 days not every day, eek! In terms of make up brushes, I wouldn’t want to admit when the last time was I cleaned them! And I wonder why I get spots on my cheeks…..

  4. Also – eyeshadow has a shelf life of THREE MONTHS?!?! I would never be able to get through an eyeshadow in that time!!

    1. I know! Eye products seem to be the ones that need to be used up quickly.
      If I used up my eyeshadow in three months I’d be applying loads and sporting a drag queen look!

  5. If you had asked me this a year ago I dread to think of the answer. Since then though and after reading an article elsewhere on the subject I have cleaned up my makeup and my lotions and potions. The Cosmetic Calculator ( was a good source of info/scary depending on your outlook and if you check any of the batch codes. I spend a lot more time checking how long something is supposed to be opened now and have a clear out regularly.

    The first time I cleaned my makeup brushes properly (with brush cleanser and Dr. Bronner’s) was horrifying and enough to have me doing it regularly. Any pain I feel about adding to my chore list is mollified knowing that my skin is thanking me for it.

    1. I had a good clear out last night too Sarah. It’s quite scary when you think about what you could be putting on your face x

  6. I rarely step out the house without a touch of concealer under my eyes as a minimum, but I am not a real make up person. I have my trusty three items of make up for day to day wear – concealer, blusher and mascara – and I replace these as and when the run out – roughly every three months for the concealer but my mascara and blusher amazingly last up to a year!!!

    Apart from treating myself to the occasional lipstick or nail polish I rarely buy products unless I run out so I hate to think how old my other make up is. I have good skin and have never worried about what the old products might do. The worrying would give me more spots than the make up!

    1. I think minimising the make-up bag might be the way forward. I suppose there’s no need for five mascaras!

  7. 3 months for eyeshadow?! I keep mine for a good 3 years before I consider getting new ones :-/. I think using a lippie for a few years is fine (never had a problem), but always try and wash my brushes and tweezers weekly – it seems to have reduced the number of breakouts I’m getting.

    1. I was shocked too Ali, I don’t know anyone who can get through an eyeshadow in three months.

  8. I don’t even want to say how old my oldest eyeshadow is *shameface*

    I do clean my brushes regularly though, because I hate the idea of bacteria and smooshing gunk into my face and I change my mascara every few months, but that’s more because they dry out and don’t work very well.

    I’m wondering if anyone actually knows someone who has caught something off an eyeshadow that’s a few years old though? It seems a bit like the person who had their arm broken by a swan – I have used eyeshadows that are well past the three months barrier and am happy to report my peepers remain intact!

    K x

    1. Glad to hear it Katie! There are probably more medical mishaps with brand new eyelash glue than with old eyeshadows x

  9. I must confess on being a bit sceptical about makeup use by dates. Are we really in danger of catching nasties or is it a collaborative ploy by cosmetic companies to get us to spend more money on their products? I clean my makeup brushes once a week without fail. I also have a Mac pigment powder that’s 9 years old but it’s not even half way used and seems to be fine… xx

  10. Hmmmm. Feeling a little bit like a clean out is required. As I don’t wear much makeup it never seems to get used up. Think perhaps I should just stick to one colour eyeshadow and be done with it. Just had a sneaky peek and found an eye shadow that I had for my 21st, that makes it (GULP) 12 years old. EEEEK. Haven’t worn it in about 11 years. But it is Chanel! You can’t throw Chanel away! xxx

  11. Gee first thing tomorrow, I’ll clean my brushes and clear out everything that’s too old. But I seriously don’t know about the eyeshade expiry date. They’ve got to be kidding!

  12. I don’t think that eyeshadow expiry is right either. I couldn’t find an expiry date on my Laura Mercier eyeshadow palette this morning but the period after opening sign (‘open jar’ sign) said I could use it for 18 months.

    1. I know Sarah, I couldn’t believe it either. I’ve gone back to triple-check the allure website to check I’m not going mad! 18 months sounds much more realistic.

  13. I have a Dior eyeshadow that I use for nights out only, saving it for special occassions. I do this as i think “oh this will last me ages”..and it has! My mum bought if for me for my sixth form ball!!….i am now 28 (10 years – oh the shame!!)

  14. Who has enough Muslin clothes to change them EVERY day??? Not me…

    I am guilty on the brushes – must clean more often!

  15. Hmmmm… cleaning make-up brushes eh? I am ashamed to say I have never washed mine! *gulp* Could we possibly have a future post with a tutorial on how to do this without ruining them? :-/

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