A client came to see me once for a makeup consultation and brought with her cosmetics she'd had since she'd graduated. From highschool. Fifteen years before. I had her smell the makeup before we threw it all out. Yuck!
Makeup expiration dates aren't as simple as you'd think. We get attached to our favourites, can't remember when we bought them, and rarely replace things when we ought to. Although every cosmetic formula contains some kind of preservative to ensure safe use for for a good long stretch, we're just not so good at paying attention to best-before info.
Clever Canadian company CARGO Cosmetics is now paying attention for us. The new package design of CARGO Classic ($22) and blu_ray High Definition ($24) lip glosses feature a groundbreaking technology that lets you know when it's time to throw the gloss out. Called TimestripÂ®, it's a wee numbered sliver that slots into the cap of the gloss tube; push it in to start the countdown. The red bar will fill the the strip over the next nine months. All red = time for a new gloss.
When it comes to your low-tech cosmetics, frankly the sniff test is the easiest way to tell whether something's past its okay-to-use date. Any chemical or unpleasant whiff means toss-o-rama. For more about makeup expiration dates, how to track them, how to store makeup safely and how cosmetics companies decide what those best-before dates should be, click here to read "Time to Toss Out Your Makeup?" by Denise Wild, and here for BestHealthMag.ca's "The Truth About Makeup Expiry Dates" by Ingrie Williams.