It wasn't until very recently that I actually found out what the expirary symbol on beauty products was, and ever since then, I have been acutely aware of how long everything lasts. The symbol itself is the little pot with the lid off on the back of products; the number under the lid is the amount of months that something is meant or at least designed to last. Now I am by no means saying that 6 months from the date you bought the product, it's gotta go. Most people who own any sort of make up will probably keep it until it either runs out, or it has been so long that it has, gone off. What I'm suggesting more is that these should be used as a guide as to how maybe how long you should use a product for.
And of course, if you have sensistive skin, or problematic skin, maybe keep a keener eye out on how long you've had products for. Wetter products such as foundations, concealers etc are more likely to not last past the expirary simply because of what they are, liquids. More powder based products, such as eyeshadows, tend to last longer but let's face it, if you use up an ENTIRE eyeshadow in 6 months, you're probably using it wrong. Mascaras generally tend to dry up sooner than the date and it's quite obvious when the dry, clumpy wand needs binning.
A lot of people are however unaware of the dates, and so I hope that this has been a little insight into the more 'sciencey' side of make up!
I apologise ever so much for the out of focus mascara...flash + super macro = dying camera
The average length of time seems to be:
- Lip balm - 12 months
- Mascara - 6 months
- Eyeshadow - Anything from 3 - 24 months
- Lip gloss - 3-6 months
- Lip stick - Probably thr longest lasting at up to 30 months
- Foundation (and similar products) - 18 months
- Moisturisers (and similar products) - 12 months
- Cleansing Waters (and similar products) - 6 months
I hope that you found this helpful and as strangely interesting as me!
Disclaimer: I am not a make up artist or anything similar at all, I merely have an avid interest in make up and have done various research into this. I am by no means stating all of this as true and exact, merely what I have found.