Sunday, November 13, 2016
How long does it take for cream products to dry up?
Seriously though, how long do cream products actually last before they are so dry and crusty you can't use them? Makeup packaging has little icons that say when you should toss a product, but I personally ignore those suggestions unless the product changes in smell, texture, or function. In the name of science (ish), let's take a look at some of my super duper old cream products:
Inglot gel eyeliner: Currently 2 years and 2 months after purchase. I saw no changes at all for a year and then product pulling away from the edges and hardening slightly after a year. By the second year anniversary, there was a huge crack down the center of each and the texture is a dense, dry putty instead of a smooth cream. Now, at 26 months, they are basically useless. If you were desperate, you could probably use Inglot duraline to limp along to the 2.5 year mark. Gel eyeliner shelf life is about 2 years.
Maybelline color tattoo cream eyeshadow: Currently about a year and a half after purchase. I like Maybelline color tattoos, but they aren't incredibly long lasting. I have owned several matte and several metallic shades, and the matte shades have a much drier, firmer texture initially and dry up faster. My metallic shades have all been fine for the first 6-9 months but show serious dryness at 9-12 months. Now, a year and a half in, the product has pulled away from the edges of the pot and the texture is incredibly dense and flaky. I can only use this by patting the product on the lid with my finger because it flakes/pills with swiping motions. It's basically dead. I recommend repurchasing annually or finding a formula with better longevity.
Anastasia dipbrow pomade: Currently 2 years and 2 months after purchase. I noticed product pulling away from the edges of the pot after about 6 months (!), serious dryness around 9 months, and then no changes at all in year 2. Oddly, I prefer the dry, stiffer texture because less pomade picks up on my brush. It still works okay for doing natural brows, but its days as a gel eyeliner or serious instagram brow pomade are OVER. Weirdly, I'm loving it more as it dries out. If you love the texture of the brand new product, you will start getting crabby 6 months from purchase.
MAC paint pot in painterly: Currently 2 and a half years after purchase. MAC paint pots are the OG cream eyeshadow and they last for a really, really, really long time. Even when new, the paint pot texture is more oily/emollient than a typical cream shadow, so they have an impressive shelf life. After 2 years, I noticed serious pulling away from the edges and a slight increase in density, but the product still looks the same on the eyelid. Unfortunately, I don't enjoy the MAC formula that much compared to more modern formulations so I won't repurchase. Good shelf life but old fashioned formula.
Bobbi Brown corrector: Currently 3 years and 1 month after purchase! I don't understand how this works, but.... the texture is the same. Maybe because the texture started out relatively dense and emollient? This corrector formula is heavier than a lot of the newer versions, so it isn't my favorite anymore, but I can't knock the shelf life. Holy crap, it still works after 3+ years?!?!
Laura Mercier caviar eye sticks: Sandglow is almost 3 years after purchase, Amethyst and Rosegold are almost 2 years. Rosegold and Sandglow are basically as good as new, but Amethyst is showing serious signs of aging. If you tip the pencil down, the cream shadow in Amethyst will fall out, but I have been using it with a brush. I have no idea how Sandglow is a year older than Amethyst with no problems, but I'm not complaining. I might actually use these up before they dry out!
Laura Mercier secret camouflage concealer (SC-2): Currently 2 years and 5 months after purchase. I noticed zero changes in texture until 2 years of use, and then I started noticing oily seeping on the edges of the pans and hairline cracks on the surface of the smaller pan. Secret camouflage is a brilliant concealer, but can be challenging to work with because of the dense, solid texture. I can still use it, but I have to pay extra attention to warming it up between my fingers before applying. Challenging texture even when new, but even drier after 2 years.
Note: YYMV. I store my makeup in acrylic drawers in my bedroom. If you keep your makeup in the bathroom, the humidity very well could change your results. I also make sure to twist the lids on firmly and store cream pot products upside down. I store my cream pencil products flat in a drawer instead of vertical in a cup.
The moral of the story is this - if you have a large makeup collection, your products will probably dry up before you can use it all. Don't bother buying backups.