Ed. Note: Meet -- re-meet actually -- my darling Marsi of Luxebytes who will, in her own words, be helping entertain you "from time to time" (Marsi doesn't like pressure. . .) while I work on my book. She is a wonderful writer and is an extraordinarily discerning product junkie. She has led me to some real bijoux. I've found I always have something to learn from her. Today is no exception. I think you'll agree.When Shakespeare's Juliet uttered those immortal words "Parting is such sweet sorrow," I have a feeling that the lovestruck ingenue wasn't thinking about five pounds of lipstick gone wrong -- but I sure was, earlier today, as I went through my guilty, filthy stash of makeup mistakes.
What brought on this uncharacteristic urgency to finally -- once and for all -- offload all of my nubby lipsticks, crumbly shadows, and foundations so ancient they'd separated into equal parts oily and orange? Even though they were so old and inadequate that this exercise really should've been a no-brainer, some of my goods gone bad were also expensive. Chanel. Dior. Guerlain. Bobbi Brown. Tarte. To throw away something expensive is, after all, to acknowledge that one has made a boo-boo, and a costly one at that.
But over the last five years or so, I've committed to whittling down my wardrobe and housewares to just those items I need, I use, and/or I love, and have done my best to give the old heave-ho to the rest. Why should my toiletries be any different?
This thought had been bubbling away on my back burner lately, and I just needed the extra little push to cull my cosmetics. Momentum came today when I happened upon the Cosmetics Calculator, a website dedicated to telling you, in no uncertain terms, that it's time to drop the gloss and back away slowly.
We've all heard that the shelf life for mascara is six months at the most, a year for foundation, and a couple of years for lipstick. But it's so easy to think something's newer and fresher than it actually is (especially if you spent foolishly on it and avoid facing that fact). The Cosmetics Calculator clarifies all that by using the manufacturer and batch code to tell you how long ago you should've disposed of your little science experiment. A batch code appears on most cosmetics and toiletries, either embossed on the label or stamped somewhere on the tube.
|Those numbers can be tiny. Thank goodness for progressive lenses!|
Here's just a portion of the five pounds of expired cosmetics and toiletries I rendered unto the trash bin this morning. Realizing that my Chanel Coromandel Red lipstick actually expired last century sure made it a lot easier to bid it adieu.
|I ran this photo through a vintage filter on Instagram to make this stuff look as old as it is. I refrained from doing so to my head shot above -- but trust me, I could have.|
Now, if you want to feel even more virtuous, drop off your load at the closest Origins store or counter, where they'll dispose of your castoffs in an ecologically sane manner through their Return to Origins Recycling Program. Origins accepts all brands and will reward you for your donation with a free sample of your choice. But, if you have six items from MAC, the company's Back to MAC Programallows you to cash them in for a new lipstick. (I earned one!) Isn't that beautiful?
So there you go. It was sort of fun to carbon-date my biohazard and give it the proper burial it's been waiting for. Now, everything that remains in my stash meets my criteria: I need it, I use it, and/or I love it. Best of all, I no longer have to worry that it's out to kill me.