The deed is done. My trusty, beloved, loyal and most definitely expired mascara has been thrown in the bin, left to decay in peace after years of faithful service. My dependable friend feels release. Relief. It can let go. And it turns out, so can I.
I am a serial hoarder when it comes to cosmetics. I’m really bad at throwing things away out of fear I won’t be able to replace them, and this anxious hangover compounds if the item is expensive, or limited edition, or both. Which probably stems from growing up with little money and even less stability, but you’re not here to read my therapy notes.
I have a pencil holder full of old liquid lipstick from 2015 (the year I got my first job and was actually able to buy myself nice things), that I don’t even wear anymore but for some reason have hung on to, “just in case”.
I have my first proper eyeshadow palette, a versatile rainbow Morphe one from probably about 10 years ago, still sitting in the bottom of my makeup drawer in my dresser. I can’t remember the last time I opened it.
the woman experience is using makeup that’s so old and crusty and expired that it could be considered bio terrorism— logan benét-arias (@schizopilledgf) February 20, 2023
I also have a bunch of Anastasia Beverly Hills and Urban Decay palettes that I *do* use, even though I bought them four or five years ago. If I were Egyptian royalty in the Ancient Times, they would probably be buried with me.
The point is, I don’t throw away my makeup unless I actually finish the product.
I don’t note down when I bought them, I don’t check how long they can be used for before they expire, and I had never even really believed in expiration dates on makeup until I came across BeautyTok truly eviscerating women on the app for doing exactly what I was.
i will never throw away expired makeup if it’s not edible it doesn’t expire in my eyes— tori (@minghaosworld) March 2, 2023
The TikTok that really brought me to my senses was one where a young woman, probably in her early to mid 20s like me, got her makeup done professionally and her eyes kept watering for days afterwards.
She ended up discovering this was because the makeup artist had used expired makeup, and that actually, that’s what wearing expired makeup does to you.
It’s at this point I had a lightbulb moment.
My eyes had been watering heaps more in the last few months. It was particularly bad when I was outside, leaving me with ruined makeup and tears streaming down my face.
It got to the point where I was wearing sunglasses even in the shade, or indoors if it was really bright inside, and I never made the connection that this would happen whenever I was wearing mascara. I thought I had developed a photosensitivity issue.
Like huhhh? I just thought…honestly idk wat I thought 😭 #fyp #makeup #makeuptutorial #ReadySetLift #xyzbca♬ original sound – MARTIN
So, I ambled over to my room and checked how long I was supposed to be using my mascara for. Imagine my shock when it said it needed to be thrown out after six (6) months of use. I was probably past 18 months at this point.
Still in denial because of how much that specific mascara had become an emotional support crutch for me (and because it would cost me $50 to replace), I decided to experiment before I committed to banishing any expired makeup to a landfill forever.
I stopped wearing mascara at all for a couple of weeks, just to see what would happen.
Lo and behold, my eyes were less irritated, watery and sore.
It became obvious that I really should chuck the damn thing out and get a new one. So, with a sigh, I did. It took me like two weeks to actually do it, but I bought a new mascara (the same one), and threw my old one in the trash.
The difference was immediate and life-changing.
For one thing, I had convinced myself that my eyelashes were unhealthy if not permanently damaged because no matter how much mascara I applied, my lashes just weren’t lashing like they used to.
But then I put on my new mascara and they looked… gorgeous?? Stunning?? Long and sleek and perfectly parted without even so much as hint of that gross spidery caked-on look?????
I honestly forgot that it wasn’t normal to have itchy and irritated eyes from flakes of mascara crumbling into my waterline. I forgot that shit is NOT meant to be dry!!
I have become enlightened. And I’m never using a rancid mascara again.
I’m even going to throw away my decade-old Morphe palette.
Though, I’m not yet ready to replace my beloved five-year-old Naked Palettes. Baby steps, right?
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