Your Say: Do you toss out your mascara after 3 months? It could be 3 months too early!

by Paris B on · 115 comments

in Discussions,Mascara,Musings,Tips

toss mascara after 3 months?

Ladies, lets have a show of hands here.

How many of you abide by the “Toss your mascara after 3 months” rule? This is a “makeup rule” that we’ve been indoctrinated with and have had it drummed into us for so long its become “the norm”. The primary reason, we’re told, is that this is to protect our eyes, and prevent infections.

This “3 month rule” is also the reason for many people to go with a pharmacy or drugstore brand mascara. What’s the use of buying a more expensive mascara (never mind that it may look nicer) if we’re just going to toss it after 3 months anyway right? It’d be a waste of money! There’s a lot of truth in all that.

So come on, don’t be shy – Do you toss your mascara after 3 months? Even if its not gone bad or dried out? :)

Well I have a confession. I don’t :)

I never have, to be honest. I mean, I know the general rule and all that but I feel loathe to toss a product that is still working well just because its “the norm”. Its a waste of money too. Being a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I felt that this was a major conspiracy by the cosmetics companies to make us spend more money on mascara. I know right? I also believe in aliens and UFOs 😛 I usually toss my mascara only when its dried out or doesn’t work anymore.

Well, I’ve got one more thing to support my argument for not tossing out your mascara after 3 months – the cosmetics companies tell you you don’t have to! But how many of you notice this? 😉

toss mascara after 3 months?

I’ve picked at random, some high end and pharmacy/drugstore brand mascaras and the minimum and average life span for a mascara that I see, is 6 months from date of opening. Its that symbol of an open tub that you will see on most packaging. The number inside tells you how many months you have from date of opening before it is considered expired, and they all say 6M barring the Shiseido one that weighs in at a staggering 24M! That’s 2 years! Actually, my Shiseido Perfect Mascara has been going strong and its been with me a while and is only now starting to dry out (no trouble in all this time).

However, despite the clear marking on the packaging, we are still being told to toss our mascara after 3 months. Well, I say, lets wise up for a moment, step back and look at things objectively. The case for NOT tossing your mascara after 3 months is manifold:-

  • The companies suggest a minimum of a 6 month lifespan from date of opening
  • If you are the only person using the mascara (and you should NOT be sharing mascara please) and do not have an eye infection, there is no reason to assume that using it longer than 3 months will give you an eye infection
  • Technology has moved on and we should expect the product to be of better quality and last longer
  • If the mascara is not dried out, its a waste of money to toss it.

However, if you have an eye infection I will suggest you toss any mascara you are then using during your eye infection, because it could well be contaminated. But if your eyes are fine and the mascara is working fine and not dried out, don’t waste your money. Look at the box/packaging. Think about things and see if its logical for you to just blindly abide by a “general rule” or if you should just go with your gut 😉

What say you, Ladies? Do you currently toss your mascara after 3 months? Will you change this habit after this, or will you still stick to the 3 month rule? My personal habit is why I don’t mind splurging on a higher end mascara that works (RMK and Shiseido are 2 I will readily replenish despite the cost) because they last, my lashes look impressively good, and I don’t toss them out after 3 months anyway :)

Paris B

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[ 115 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Gin July 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

Haha thank you Paris for interpreting the code! Well I read the symbol of the open box many many times but never know what is it!!! LOL.. I have this habit of reading the box of anytg I buy hahaha..
This is really a good news! Now we have reason to make mascara to it’s full use! Although I never toss them out anyway hahaha

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

LOL! Maybe the code deserves a post all by itself! 😀 I actually thought everyone knew about it already 😀

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gin July 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

oh yes please Paris! wanna learn more symbols please!!
oya, may i know how long can your perfect mascara from sheseido last before drying out???? tempting to purchase it since i can use it up to 2years!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

Lets just say mine is over a year old, and still going strong but I think it might be time to bin LOL

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gin July 8, 2012 at 11:05 am

thanks Paris! Yay~

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dom
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 8:42 am

I’ve heard some people advising to throw it out after 6 weeks. 6 weeks!! Like you, I only throw my mascara out after it dries out. It’s such a bleeping waste to throw it out after mere months, especially when you purchase a high-end mascara. I also go by smell – when it starts smelling sour, that’s when I toss it out. Usually that only happens with mascaras that are over 8 months old.
dom recently blogged…Review: Silkygirl Moistureshine Lipstick in 04 Simply NudeMy Profile

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ksuan July 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’m with dom on this one, and am a huge proponent of checking out smell and consistency of formula before deciding whether to toss or not. Also, guiltily, I’m far worse at tossing out tubes of mascara that I absolutely love – I had my Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara for a year and a bit before I finally bit the bullet and decided it was time to let it go!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

If I love a mascara I hold on as long as I can too. But the ones that don’t work and don’t get much use out of, go into the bin quite quickly, or when I remember to clear out 😀

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

6 weeks? That’s bonkers! Its about when it just starts to get good. Evidently, having read everyone’s responses, it seems like no one here bothers about the “rule” which is a bit weird coz everytime I mention a mascara, everyone’s all “Oh but its got to be tossed in 3 months!” LOL funny… 😛

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Michelle Beh July 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

I won’t toss my mascara after 3 months just because of the rule. Lol. I feel like it’s a waste and they haven’t even drying out yet. Definitely I will wait until it’s starting to dry out then only I will consider to throw it away. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

Sounds like that’s what everyone’s doing here! 😀

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LeGeeque July 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

Nah, I don’t. Especially that stint when I was solely on the CLinique mascara and it was too expensive to do it. The air here is a lot drier as well so I am assuming less chances of bacteria growth?

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

I’m not sure about bacteria growth to be honest. From what I can see, there’s loads of preservatives in products like mascara so I’m guessing that most bacteria can’t really grow anyway. But that’s just me 😉

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Honey July 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

I don’t! But I try not to keep an open tube for more than 6 months. And these are generally the ones I don’t like anyway! Those that I like could barely survive 3 months of use:).

But you are right. I don’t go for expensive mascara mainly because short life span is one of the reason. The other being there is just so, so many new ones popping up at drugstore that I just have to try. Btw, Rimmel Scandaleyes is quite good :)

Oh, eww…. Don’t ever share mascara and lipstick!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

Ahh! I just saw Rimmel Scandaleyes on sale yesterday and remembered someone saying its good 😀 But I didn’t pick it up because I opened the tester and the size of the brush scared me! Weirdly, I always see people actually testing mascara and lipstick at the tester counters. I can’t help but shudder when I see it – don’t they realise they are spreading germs (and maybe contracting some?!)

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germs July 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

3 months! i’ve to confess, i have never tossed out any functioning mascara even after a year, but that’s just me being stingy and unhygienic. thanks for pointing out the very fine print on the packaging. and eh, who came up with the 3 month rule ah? we keep hearing it but never ever know who was the Grand-master of the 3 month rule 😛
germs recently blogged…Viole(n)t tendencies with Shiseido Maquillage Full Vision Mascara & LinerMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

Shh… neither have I! If it functions, isn’t dry, isn’t smelly, well I use it 😛 No point in wasting a good thing, I say! I bet its the cosmetics brands themselves – gotta sell more product!

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Jenn
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

Guilty as charged! I have been using the same Maybelline one for 10 months now… and it’s still not goopy or anything so imma keep on using it! =X
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

LOL! I know right? Sometimes, its past the 3 month mark when it starts looking good!

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Issa July 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

I don’t! Because it’s working fine even after 3 months! it would be a waste of money, hihihi… I also have to confess that you are right, I don’t buy the high end ones because mascaras has a short life span …

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

Ah see! You’d buy a nice pricey lipstick though, won’t you? 😉 Probably has the same lifespan, but I don’t check 😉 That said, if a drugstore mascara works well, no harm using it. Its doing the same thing after all, more or less 😉

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Sue
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

ops, I dont either. Looks like we aren’t as adherent to some rules as some would want us to be eh? hehe, I usually toss out mine only when it 1) dries out, 2) irritates my eyes.

Otherwise, it’ll still be sitting on my little mascara container for… oh, I dont even remember… =p

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

Yeah clearly no one’s into tossing their mascara after the 3 month mark. I don’t even toss after the 6 month mark if its still working well 😉

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Lily
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 10:04 am

I usually use one mascara at a time, until it gets clumpy or dries out. However, I only keep it for max 6 months. I did get an eye infection before and it made me more wary of the expiry dates. I use a mixture of brands and sometimes, the cheaper mascaras outperform the expensive ones!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

Oh in many cases, I’ve found that cheap mascara can work wonders! It doesn’t make sense to buy pricey ones sometimes, except when you can be very sure they’ll give you the effect you want that none others can 😉

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Soo Yin
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

Haha…I’m guilty of hanging on to my RMK even after 6 months, although it has started to somewhat dry out already.

On a side note, I don’t know if this 3M/6M thingy holds for Talika’s Eyelash Lipocils but I’ve been using my current tube for a year already…-___-

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

My RMK one is staying nice even after 6 months! Granted, I don’t use it as often so that might be why. I’m not sure about the Talika thing. I think its meant to last 6 months? I’m not too sure but in my case, it dried out eventually so that was that 😛

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Nikki July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

I toss mascaras after 3 months that are inside my train case just because of the fact I use it on different clients, though I use a disposable wand, I still feel its a better choice but of course, I do check the 3m/6m thing too!

For personal, I think same as you, it really depends on how the mascara feels, looks and smells! That’s how I decide if its time to throw it out or not :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

In your case, I think it makes a lot of sense to toss them out quickly and its great to know that you’re keeping your clients’ welfare at heart, Nikki! 😀

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rinnah
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

I learnt something new today from Miss Paris B. 😛

I never noticed that little open tub symbol because I seldom pay attention to product packaging except to note how pretty or user friendly it is.

Like most of the readers of MWS, I only toss my mascara when it’s dried out or not performing anymore and since I so rarely use it, I only have 1 tube open at a time.
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Haha! Here to educate 😉 I usually glance at the open tub symbol to have an idea, but I don’t generally follow it the way I don’t generally follow many rules, making up my own as I go along LOL!

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jean July 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

I never throw any until I finish it up. but some will dry out eventually.
Mascara is one thing that I can never leave house without!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Aww you have nice long lashes! :) It took me so long to get used to using mascara and sometimes, I’d actually forget to put it on which makes it look weird if you have full eye makeup on LOL! But now that I apply mascara first, I never forget again! 😀

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Charlotte July 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

*put my hands up in the air* Haha, I don’t!

My mom taught me not to waste food, because I paid for it, because people starved to death in places like Africa, because I don’t want my future husband to have pimples all over his face, because I don’t want ME to have pimples erupting all over my face …, and all the other excuses that moms came up with to make you finish your food (:P), SO I have to appreciate and gobble up my food every time; Thus, why I don’t throw my Mascara out before they dries up? Because Momma taught me well! ;D

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

LOL indeed! 😀 I got that lecture about finishing up my rice too!

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Monstro July 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

I never throw mine out either just because it’s 6months–and never had an eye infection from it either? I don’t use mine that often I guess so less chances of bacteria growth? Heh….

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Yeah I don’t abide by either 3 or 6 month rule. Prefer to just go with sight and smell but of course, if its too long, it’d better go in the bin anyway 😉

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Kel July 3, 2012 at 11:41 am

A brand new mascara wand only starts picking up the correct amount of mascara after 3 months, to throw it away then??????? NO WAYYYYYYYYY…..

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Haha! I hear ya! That’s when the texture is usually close to perfect 😀

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anis July 3, 2012 at 11:50 am

nahhh, me too. i am wary of the little tub symbol, but never followed it to a T, and extend it to another 3-6 months depending on the condition of the product 😉 i mean i can count on one hand how many times i use my mascara in 3 months (not a regular mascara user), why should i throw it away? such a waste.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thats true too for a non regular user. It shouldn’t go bad as quickly. In my case, I do find that sometimes the pharmacy brands dry out much more quickly than the higher end brands so I can really drag out the use of a high end mascara but for pharmacy brands, taking it to 6 months with regular use is sometimes impossible.

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sharon July 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I dont throw out my good mascaras after 3 months either! It just makes no sense and I totally agree with you on the conspiracy theory lol 😉 and yes I have read the note at the back of the boxes which states that the mascaras are good for 6 months after opening and since I am the only one using my mascaras I see no good reason to throw away functioning ones at 3 months, some I van even stretch the use to 1 year! 😉 However, I do use the 3 month theory thing to make myself feel less guilty when I throw away mascaras which are horrible to use (smudges like crazy or extremely wet and dont EVER become drier, or just simply have no effect in my lashes) so is this case I do ‘abide’ by the 3 month rule. Also, 3 months is a good time frame for to gauging whether a mascara is trash or fabulous and whether a repurchase is in place or not.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Yay for a fellow conspiray theorist! 😉 I honestly do think someone out there is making big bucks from people tossing mascara out after 3 months and I’ve just been told, people even say 6 weeks! Seriously! What a waste! :O Like you, if the mascara is crap on me, it doesn’t even make it past the 1 month mark LOL!

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Cynthia July 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I couldn’t even complete my mascara within 3 months. Nor even complete it without them drying~~ My usual mascara lifespan is about 6 months and the 6M symbol is definitely a new thing for me!! Thanks Paris for the sharing.
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

You’re welcome, Cynthia! I think many of us learnt something new this time – that mascara can last 6 months at least and that none of us here follows the 3 month “rule” LOL!

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Hanny Daforcena
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I used to have that habit, until one time when I forgot to replace mine after the third month and nothing happened. I actually use them until I really cannot get anything out from them anymore! ^.^ That being said, I’ve yet to venture to high street mascaras because there’s still many offered in drugstores!

I now use a combo of mascaras. The drugstore one for FOTDs mainly and a high street one for going out/Uni when I know that I need it to perform. Sometimes I even use both of them to get the false lash effect.

Am currently loving Benefit They’re Real though! *Waves at Lily at the comment above* THANK YOU AM STILL USING THE ONE YOU GAVE ME ^.^

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

“I used to have that habit, until one time when I forgot to replace mine after the third month and nothing happened.”

I chuckled when I read that. It was like you were expecting your hair to fall out or your eyes to explode! LOL 😀 I’ve heard so MUCH about Benefit’s They’re Real mascara that I’m going to have to try it and see if they will flatter these shorty lashes o’ mine! LOL! 😀

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Hanny
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Actually I did HAHAHA ^.^

You should go try them out! heh heh. They really work wonders.
Hanny recently blogged…Let’s Talk Lippies! “Hanny Asks You Vol. 5: What Are Your Fave Lippies?” And A Trick To Make One Lippie Do The Work Of Two!My Profile

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Lisa July 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm

No. My mascaras usually last a year.
As long as it doesn’t dry or smell,I use them.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Sounds pretty much like what we’re all doing here! Yay for no wastage (and mine last about a year too and I thought I was breaking a billion rules 😉 )

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Mira
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I would never toss out my mascara, unless I’ve finished it or it have dried out. I never got any eye infection and I never share my mascara with anyone, so I think it’s safe. Plus, wouldn’t want to waste it since high-end mascaras cost a lot. ^^

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Exactly! I find that higher end mascara tend to last longer and not dry out so quickly. Which ones do you use, Mira? Dior? 😀

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giddy tigress
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I’m like you, PB. I don’t toss out mascara until it’s all dried out. But I sometimes forget about the “opened and used by date” at the back. That being said, I do adhere strictly to that logo for all my skincare and makeup products :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

You’re way better than I am GT, I don’t even abide by that rule for skincare much less makeup! The former I use till its finished or turns bad whichever comes first and the latter well, I can’t remember the last time I finished any makeup, actually! 😛

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derkal23 July 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

My mascaras don’t usually dry out but since i am living in a very humid weather condition (Turkey) I use my mascaras until they smell out of ordinary (I am a chemist and I know the smell but I can’t get the right name for it lol!) because if I don’t mind the weird smell and continue using it, my eyes get all itchy and blurry. So, I don’t mind the 3 month (by the way I thought it was a 4-month-rule!) rule I use it until it loses its consistency in anyway :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Ah! We probably have similar weather here in Malaysia except I think its even more humid here 😀 I think its great that you’re a chemist and you can tell when it smells off and better yet, that you use the smell test! 😀 Actually, I wasn’t even aware there was a rule but people kept preaching it to me that they toss their mascara after 3 months and I read it in a mag too.

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derkal23 July 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I love to read about makeup stuff in the magazines but I don’t always listen to them. I believe that if something is working, there is no need to fix it :) I try to read the instructions and follow the jar rule (12M, 24M stuff) for liquid, cream stuff but 3 month is really a short term, I believe. Also, I heard that the more you push and pull your brush during the makeup the more it gets oxygen in it and mascara decades faster. If I once opened my mascara but never used it since, I keep it in a humid free place and use it when its time comes.
By the way I am a new reader and loved your blog :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

Yes! The tip about not pumping the mascara wand in the tube is definitely worth noting because that will introduce air and bacteria. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I hope to see you around more! 😀

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giddy tigress
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Oh, my one exception would probably be lipstick though, since I hardly use it. I have tons of lipstick sitting in my “Lipstick box” waiting to be used. I’ve given many away to my Mom but there are still many waiting their turn! LOL
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Stacey
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I don’t throw out my mascaras after three months, because I don’t use them everyday, so I found them still usable after the 3 months mark. I will smell the formula to check if it’s funky before each use.

There are mascaras that I think I have kept for close to a yr, that I don’t use but I have yet to chuck out. Time for spring cleaning session this weekend!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Haha I have one still going strong coming close to a year. Doesn’t even smell funky and still works well. Needless to say, its the Shiseido one so maybe that 24 month expiry period holds some water! 😉

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Jen July 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

What do you mean three months? I had my mascara for 1 1/2 years now and it’s still working fine!

-Just kidding! Lol 😀
Anyway, this post is very helpful! Thanks for sharing this especially the ‘open tub label’ cause I never knew what it was until now! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Glad you found the tip about the tub useful, Jen! I have mascara that’s almost a year old that’s working fine too. But maybe that’s about as long as I should be using it eh? 😉

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Tracy July 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Haha I <3 you Paris! :) I don't toss them because of how long it's been opened, for me it's more about whether I hate it, or whether I like it. If I hate it it goes sooner. If I like it, I keep it around for awhile. And also boredom I guess. I get bored with mascaras!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Aww I <3 you too Tracy! :D I know what you mean about hating or loving mascara. If I hate it and rarely use it, might as well bin it. No point prolonging it and my misery :P I don't get bored with mascara though - I get immune. I can use the same one everyday and not realise it >.<

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MizzAyna July 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I thought I’m the only one who use mascara more than 3 months, haha =D since i usually spend my hard earn money on my fav Benefit (badgal @ they’re real) mascara, I hate to waste it just after 3 months period like everyone else coz usually it can last me up to 8 months!!! and now i can do it without feeling guilty, thanks paris, lol =)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Isn’t it great to know that we’re all not alone but worried that we are with our strange habits? 😉 Here’s another rave for They’re Real mascara! I seriously have to try it now!

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Swati
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

i had heard that both eye liners and mascara should be tossed out after 3 months but many people complain that more than half of the product is left unused by then…doesn’t make sense when going for high-end products!!!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I fully agree – if its not used up and still ok, I don’t see a point tossing it. With eyeliners, I use a pencil one mostly so sharpening it takes care of all the bad bacteria stuff! 😉

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Sukie July 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Guilty as charged! I’m not a big mascara user so mine lasts quite a while! My Lancôme Hypnose one has been sitting on my dresser for the past 8 months now and it’s still going strong. Hehe no I have not suffered from an infection… Yet! *touches wood*
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

LOL all the deep dark secrets are coming out now! 😉 I didn’t like Hypnose though but good to know that its working well for you :)

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Amanda July 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I use mascara everyday so they dry out even before they’re 3 months old :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Gah! how do you do it Amanda?! I’ve tried using just one tube daily but even after 3 months its still going strong!

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gio July 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

For me, it depends on how much I like or dislike the mascara. If it doesn’t work that well, I’ll toss it in the bin after 3 months, otherwise, I’ll use it for 6. I have to really love a mascara to use it for longer than that. I guess I get bored with them easily.
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Haha! Sounds like me except I don’t get bored 😀

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Petrina Alescna July 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I’ve never tossed out a mascara less than 6 months – normally use em until theyve dried up or I’m fed up with them!! I’ve never used a high end mascara I like coz they all smudge on me! Only Jap mascara will do (kiss me vol n curl!!).

I don’t toss out my lippies either! Not for a good few years at least :) there ate cosmetic disinfectants but I’m too lazy to try them!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Japanese make excellent mascara especially for Asian lashes! I sometimes find they add too much fibre like Majolica Majorca so it can really irritate my eyes. As for lippies, I don’t toss either till they start smelling really weird.

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Sunny
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm

To be honest I don’t really keep track, but I know I can’t go on using a mascara till it’s really dried out, because my eyes are sensitive (they start itching and my lids feel heavy, if you now what I mean). I never really counted how long it takes for that to happen however, and the thing is at the moment I have so many tubes open I don’t really think I’ll need to toss all of them out after 3 months. I don’t use any of them nearly often enough! I think ultimately there should be some kind of leeway. I was also surprised when I found out it’s actually 6 months, and not 3 on the back of most packaging!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Its puzzling isn’t it, to see the 6M sign and then have people tell you its 3 months to toss LOL! I don’t keep track either but once I pull out the brush and its hard to apply on my lashes, its usually a good sign that its time to toss it out :)

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Raquel M. July 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I have never!! I only toss it out when it doesn’t work anymore, like you… It really pains me to see people throw things out like that, it’s like losing money. And how I hate that! X)

And I’d noticed the signs before… Even then, I only throw it out when I know it doesn’t work for me anymore, even if it’s past the 6 months or whatever number of months the product says :p

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I agree with you Raquel! Tossing out a mascara before its even dried out or bad is a right waste of money. I just found out that there are people advocating 6 weeks use too. 6 weeks! Its ridiculous!

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yee July 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Nope, I definitely won’t toss out mine cos well…it’s bought from hard earned money! Also, I’ve always wondered what those little tub symbols meant…at first I thought they could be indicating the volume or something but it didn’t really made sense haha.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I think that tub symbol now deserves a post of its own 😀 I honestly thought everyone knew what it meant but its good to know that you learnt something new today 😀

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Shay July 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Mine is abt 6 months, thereabouts. I normally throw them out when i start to have uneven coats of mascara or i spend too much time combing out lumbs.

My lashes are quite full and long. So, I have not used any high end mascras before as drugstore stuff works fine for me. In fact, any masacara that allows me to define and hold up my lashes looking natural works fine. It’s quite easy to overdo. Especially if the mascara is thickening/drying out. So I probably toss them slightly ahead of their time.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Ahh lucky you, Shay to have long full lashes! You don’t need anything dramatic then, because anything will make it look dramatic! 😀 In my case, I need the ones that add volume and hold a curl else I might as well not bother 😛

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Megan
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I’ve been known to keep mascaras for longer than three months as I find I like them better as they dry out since when they’re brand new they’re often too wet and don’t give me the volume I’m chasing. I will toss them if I get irritated eyes but in all the years I’ve been wearing mascara I’ve had one eye infection in all that time and I wear contacts so it was more than likely from those and not the mascara. i don’t see anything wrong with keeping them longer.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I agree with you totally, Megan! I prefer to use mascara that’s slightly drier too. I find many are just too wet and clumpy when they are new but once they dry out a little, it works so much better. I think its a matter of personal comfort too. If we’ve had a scare with an eye infection, we’re more likely to be careful :)

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Sze Ling July 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I throw mine after 6 month or when it dries out, whichever comes first. 😉 I check the little tub markings on all my skincare items, but never occur to me to check my cosmetics too. Oops… 😛

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I think the only thing you’d really be checking for expiry is mascara. Other makeup shouldn’t expire all that soon 😉

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S. July 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm

This post is so interesting Paris!
I’ve always assumed that what I do, using a mascara as long as it dries out, was wrong and I felt quite guilty.
S. recently blogged…Haul!My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Now you dont have to feel guilty, S :)

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Denise
Twitter:
July 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I only throw out my mascaras once they’ve dried up. I would never waste good products!
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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm

It looks like we all have the same idea. Rules be damned! 😉

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Joyce July 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm

The 3 month time frame is just a general rule. I don’t follow the rules to makeup because I simply don’t believe that there are rules to makeup. They are just guidelines. I do whatever works for me. My Dior Iconic mascara usually lasts about 4 months before it dries out. So, I just keep using it until it dries out, as long as I don’t get any eye infection, which I have never experienced (yet, knock on wood).

However, on clients, I would never use a mascara that’s more than 3 months old, just in case he/she might have sensitive eyes.
Joyce recently blogged…Givenchy Croisiere Collection for Summer 2012: New BrushesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm

It’s good to know you have your clients’ welfare at heart :) some makeup artists don’t care, and I’ve seen some really dirty looking kits!

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Tine
Twitter:
July 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

Nah I don’t, cos I know it’s 6 months! HAH! 😛

I do chuck mine after 6 months. I don’t buy expensive mascaras, so it doesn’t hurt me too much to chuck them after the 6-month period is up. If they dry up earlier than 6 months, then into the bin it goes. If it’s still going strong, I *might* consider keeping it longer.

At the end of the day, I reckon it’s better to be safe than sorry. Things that go on the eyes, better not play play :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm

That’s true. Better be safe than sorry with the eyes :) I always thought a pricey mascara was fine if it’d last 6-8 months. That’s almost 1 purchase a year so learning this was great for me 😉

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Leila July 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

Oh finally! Finally someone is speaking sense on this issue. Thank you Paris. Really, you said everything I wanted to, I cannot say more. Your points are my thoughts exactly.

It always frustrates me when I see that rule thrown about. Anyway, I always thought it was 3-6 months, so when did it get revised right down to 3?! I even see beauty bloggers throw theirs out after six weeks “just to be on the safe side.”

I never throw out my mascara after three months if it’s fine and it would be silly to do so. For all the reasons you just said.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Haha glad you agree, Leila! I have come across 3 months most often. The 6 week practice is new to me. 6 weeks! What a waste of money, and the scary thing is that it’s being taught to people who will follow that ‘rule’. I hope they start seeing some sense.

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Becca
Twitter:
July 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

I completely agree, Paris. If I know I don’t have an eye infection and always only apply my mascara to clean lashes (after cleansing my face), then why should I be scared that I’m going to get an eye infection?? Makes no sense. Of course, this usually isn’t a problem for me because I use up my CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume mascaras well before the 3 month mark. But still, I have some mascaras that are a lot older than that that I’ve only used once or twice and only use when I’m in a certain mood–if they’re not dried out or haven’t been used by anyone else, I’m keepin ’em! 😛
Becca recently blogged…The Sample: bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 Duo in The Scenic Route Review & SwatchesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I’m going to have to take lessons on using up a mascara before the 3 month mark. I can never seem to do it! Or maybe it’s because I don’t notice when it’s time is up, maybe hehe….

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Jenny July 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I do. But for pricey ones every 5 or 6 month. I once had an eye infection. It was horrible. Not because of the mascara but it really makes me extra careful about anything I put near my eyes. I wear contact lens so better be careful than sorry :))

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

One of my biggest fears when wearing contact lenses was getting an eye infection. Thankfully, it never happened but it’s way too wary to contemplate. That said, since the expiry time is at least 6 months you should be good for that :)

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emilyc July 5, 2012 at 7:42 am

Wow… and the whole time i thought that the symbol had something to do with recycling XD Thanks so much for that piece of info, paris! I now seem to see it on everything i own!
Being a mascara junkie, i’m guilty of never tossing out any of my mascaras.
I open so many at a time that each tube only gets used every once in a while while alternating between them.
I still use them even though they may be up to 2 yrs old for as long as they still work fine and smell fine >_<""

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Lol! Glad you learnt something about packaging symbols :) Most cosmetics will have this symbol on it to tell us how long we can safely leave it open :) I know what you mean about having too many open at the same time. Sometimes we want different effects that different mascara can give us, right?

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Joey July 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

i dun toss out too, till it’s dry or finished :p

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Good call! 😉

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Alison July 6, 2012 at 12:59 am

I think its nice you’re educating people about this: People just seem to assume this is the rule from hearing it around the place, rather than checking what’s written on the box.

As for me, I try to buy my mascara on eBay in travel size: I could never get through an entire full sized tube, so I figure it makes more sense to get a mini so that I don’t waste too much product! When I throw it out, I throw it out based on a change in the product: usually that its started to dry a little and has become clumpy.

I’m more than happy to splurge on a mascara formula that works best for me (say, in place of false eyelashes!). I’d actually prefer it to spending my money on something that was just “okay”. Mascara is something I use every day, so I want it to be effective.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

Thank you Alison :) I’m like you – I prefer getting a mascara that actually makes my lashes look amazing as opposed to just looking alright. Important when you have short lashes like I do :) I wish more companies came out with smaller mascara sizes and drop the price a little.

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miith July 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

i used it till it dies out..even then i dont throw it away…i used to groom my eyebrows…

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

That’s a clever idea!

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ysk
Twitter:
July 8, 2012 at 1:08 am

I don’t really care about the 3 months rule as I only have less than 5 mascara.after 1 year I’ll toss them.
ysk recently blogged…Review+Tutorial:Talika Cream Booster-a must-have beauty gadget!My Profile

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Joanne July 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

what if your mascara starts smelling?
i accidentally left my Maybelline Falsies mascara in the car and when i took it out after about 3-5 days, it started smelling. i never used it yet cause im not sure if its safe to use.
is it safe? or should i throw it out?

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I’d say that if anything starts smelling off, it’s time to toss 😛

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Michelle
Twitter:
July 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

I typically use my mascaras for up to 10 months depending on the brand, the last 2 diorshow blackout I used lasted 10 months. I noticed drugstore mascaras dry out or start smelling bad around 3-4 months IMO.
Michelle recently blogged…WOMN: L’Oreal Nail Color In Check Me OutMy Profile

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