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The shelf life for mascara is 3-4 months max. For eyeshadow and lipstick it could be a few years. Rule of thumb is if it smells bad or the texture has changed, it's rancid. You don't want to use a contaminated product in the eye area. When in doubt, throw it out.
this advice really helps thanxx.
I have a lipstick I bought 10 years ago. I recently reordered the brand and the new tube and the old tube smell identical. In other words, it would appear my original is still as good as new. Can I trust that it is okay to use despite its age if I can't smell any off odors? I am concerned because I see advice on the Internet stating that lipsticks as little as 6 months should be thrown out. In my case, it can take years to work through an entire tube because I have so many. Is it possible for something to go rancid and not know it? In other words, do I have to go by a timeline or primarily my nose? I realize there is a lot of advice out there, but I want to hear from someone who either works in the production of cosmetics — in other words an attributable source — or someone with a background in chemistry or pharmacy to answer this question. I find information all the time, but none of it ever provides a source. So I have to wonder if it's a case of "Well, this is what my Mom taught me" vs. "This is what the science says."