March 26, 2010

Once Opened...cosmetics begin to age

I don't know about you, but I love variety in all things. Including makeup. I cannot resist a great new lip gloss color or eye shadow. But many times I'm attracted to a shade for a particular reason or purpose, like a holiday party for example.

So that means that the makeup I bought and opened, and maybe used only once or twice, many times ends up in my cosmetic case forgotten...until the next holiday or special occasion rolls around and I'm looking for a "new" look again.

It also means that many months, even years, could have passed after opening that cosmetic. Is it still safe to use?

Common sense tells you that any makeup that requires direct contact with your skin picks up bacteria and germs, no matter how "clean" you think you are. Mascara is the biggest culprit. Think about it. Swiping your lashes several times, then sticking the wand back in the base and tossing it in your makeup case until you need it again...which could be any length of time, actually.

Or eye shadow. How many of you dispose of and replace your eye shadow applicators on a regular basis? And don't even think about the times no water was available so you used saliva to moisten that eye shadow to get the dramatic color you want. Germs! Everywhere!

It's easy to forget how long that makeup has been in your bag. It embarrasses me to admit that there are several items in my makeup bag that have been there for years.


Are they still safe? Most, they are not.

But I can't just throw away perfectly good cosmetics. That's like throwing money down the drain! Yet I want to know if that mascara is over 3 months old, because if it is, I definitely need to toss it. I wear contact lenses too, so it is especially important to be extra careful with eye makeup. But unless I keep my receipts, it's impossible to remember exactly when I purchased an item. What's a girl to do?

Once Opened has solved this problem for us. Their Beauty Expiration Kit contains 24 self-laminating labels, a permanent marker, and a Guide to Beauty Products and Their Life Expectancy. Now it's easy to know when a product was opened because you just stick a little label on it, use the marker to record the date, place a piece of laminate on top to seal it, and voila, you will always know how old that product is.

I received a Once Opened kit to review, and I was instantly impressed with the professionalism of the company and product. 24 labels may not sound like many, but when you start putting them on your new cosmetic purchases they go a long way. (I wouldn't recommend trying to back-track to label old cosmetics unless you know without doubt when a product was purchased and first opened.) So I can see this little kit lasting for a year or longer.

It's a great idea, and I'm glad someone thought of it! Once Opened has a website with lots of great information about the risk of infection and the importance of labeling and dating your cosmetics. The Once Opened kit sells for $9.95, and they have volume pricing as well. Personally, I think $9.95 is a little overpriced, but they do offer free shipping right now. But $9.95 is the perfect price for your favorite teen or fashionista for a gift they can actually use.

And doesn't everyone have an Aunt Hazel who still thinks she's a bit of a vamp and wears waaaay too much makeup for her age? Not that there's anything wrong with that. Live and let live, I say. But some of her cosmetics might be many, many years old by now. And that's just no longer safe. Once Opened would be a thoughtful gift for the Aunt Hazels of the world too.

Head over to Once Opened and read the FAQ and the information available there. And tell them Shady Lady sent you. :)

(I received a product gratis for review but my opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. No monetary consideration was received in exchange for this post.)


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