This article Holiday Make-Up Is A Deal - Don`t Buy confirms what many of us know: that many cosmetics last long after recommended replacement dates (for example, 3 mos. for mascara).
What is stunning, however, is the admission by Estee Lauder representatives that makeup is a safe bet to apply six years after purchase.
The recommended shelf life for cosmetics sounds a lot like the received wisdom for "shampoo, rinse, repeat," which was to encourage people to go through shampoo quicker so that they buy more often.
This article provides tips on salvaging cosmetics. In her monthly newsletter , Carmindy offered another great tip: salvage crumbled eye shadow by putting into a container. Sifter jars, sold by Sephora, or empty containers for loose mineral cosmetics, are excellent for this.