Do you know how long your beauty products last?

They go off faster than you think (but some are so good you use them up right away)

This week, I’ve been packing for a house move. Along with the soul-crushing administrative and organisational duties this entails, it also involves the trauma of going through all my beauty products to fish out the expired ones.

A beauty journalist, of all people, is supposed to be meticulous about parting ways with products that are past their best or have become redundant. You’ll only get honesty here, so it’s cathartic to admit – I’m terrible at that. My office is positively rammed with expired make-up that I either don’t use, or open occasionally and think ah, I might chance it. Reader, do not chance it.

I’m not talking about decades-old products, either. The lifespan of most lipsticks is 18 months to two years. A moisturiser will generally serve you for about two years. Foundation will stay fresh for in and around a year, while mascara has the shortest lifespan at three to six months, though six would be rather pushing it into potential eye infection territory. You’ll see the symbol which is the equivalent of a beauty expiry date on the back of the packaging – a little pot with a number on it, followed by M, which denotes the number of months it is designed to last.

As an ode to all those expired products, I’ve been keeping note of the products I’ve used every last drop of long before they expire. In beauty terms, this is real love – these products haven’t set me into a tailspin of dilemma over whether they’re gone off, because I love and use them too quickly.


Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm (€43 at is – dare I say it – the perfect cleansing balm. A rich, buttery yellow, it melts into an oil on contact with the heat of an open palm. Every bit of make-up – including eye make-up – is melted away, and the balm leaves skin intensely softened without a trace of residue left behind.

For an absolutely dreamy blush, try Tower 28 BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm in Golden Hour (€21 at The tiniest bit goes a very long way, and all of the shades are richly pigmented with a soft, glowing and expensive-looking finish.

The base I'll always opt for when I want a reliably good finish that looks exactly like beautiful skin is Trinny London BFF DeStress Tinted Serum (€47 at It consistently gets compliments and has never let me down. I've gone through three so far.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (from €18 at Space NK) lives next to my bed. It disappears into the hands and doesn’t leave a slimy trace. Since I began using it every night several months back, my hands have been consistently soft, free of dryness and hand washing-induced dehydration, and just generally more content in going about their daily work. Hands are easy to neglect, but they labour for us constantly and, without a good night moisturiser, can start to look and feel stressed quite quickly.

Product of the Week

Verso Body Lotion (€65 at