How long should I keep makeup for…?!

…definitely not as long as you think or do!  I admit that I have had things in my bathroom cupboard for longer than I should, and I think many people continue to use products month after month, year after year without thinking.  All cosmetic products and makeup have an expiry date just like food.  They do go off and deteriorate with time due to exposure to air and contamination by micro-organisms and bacterias that come from our fingers and makeup brushes. The compositions may also separate and often products lose their efficacy, especially suncreams for example. For this reason it is imperative that we take care with our products, and become aware of how long we have had them to decrease the risk of infections, what’s more we don’t want to be using a product that is essentially ‘past its use by date’!

Probably unknown to many the expiry dates for all beauty products are in fact listed on the packaging somewhere.  This is law in Europe and you will notice examples of this symbol if you look at your cream, lipstick, shampoo etc.

cosmetic jar expiry

It’s a little ‘jar’ with a number on followed by an ‘M’. This stands for the amount of months the product can be used for after opening. On organic products you will also perhaps see a ‘use-by’ date written for before and after opening as these products do not have synthetic preservatives in that give them a longer shelf-life.

Lavender water
Lavender toner

If any product you use smells weird, strange or rancid it must go in the bin straight away, of course recycling any packaging if possible! If any product has changed dramatically in terms of its composition or texture since you bought it such as separation, drying-out, lumpiness or you notice any stinging or irritation when you use it, it probably should go as well. It’s common sense really!

The more natural the product the shorter the length of time it will last. Essential oils are probably the longest lasting of the organic, naturally produced beauty products, as they should last about 2 years if stored correctly.

So have a look through your bathroom cupboard and makeup bag and have a think when you bought a product, if you can’t remember then it’s definitely for chucking! If you notice that you have to throw away a lot of stuff perhaps it will make you think twice about buying something in the future to avoid so much wastage, only buy what you know you will use and need, what works for you and something that you will use regularly. You don’t need to buy 4 face creams, if you are still using one, don’t buy another till the current one is finished!

Biosolis suncream
Sanoflore lipbalm
Sanoflore lipbalm
Dr Hauschka toner
Dr Hauschka toner
Benecos Lipstick
Benecos Lipstick, notice eggtimer symbol
Etnia Blusher
Etnia Blusher
Neal's Yard Mascara
Neal’s Yard Mascara

Most packaging is recyclable nowadays so be sure to clean out any containers before recycling and if you’re using organic products you can also rest easier that the remainder that you wash down the sink won’t be so harmful to our waterways.

Organic Mascaras

Every girl always says that her most essential makeup item in her makeup bag is mascara…and I have to agree. Although I don’t wear much makeup the one thing I always put on is mascara. It just opens up the eyes, gives some definition and makes one look a little more polished and presentable. There are so many on the market now in varying shapes, sizes and colours and being sold under many different guises. However, most mainstream mascaras contain potential allergens, parabens and irritants and with the eye area being so delicate should we not be more conscious when it comes to what we put on and around them every day?!
I have been trying some of the more natural and organic mascaras on sale, which historically have never matched their mainstream counterparts, they had no staying power, ran down one’s face or simply didn’t give any oomphf to one’s lashes.  However, they are improving and here are two more naturally formulated mascaras that I can recommend for day and evening use.  I have tried them both out for work, yoga and in the evening, for application and durability.

The first is Neal’s Yard Lengthening mascara which uses 78% organic ingredients, amongst them are argan oil, coconut oil, castor seed oil and white tea extract. So it is very conditioning for the lashes. It is free from silicones, parabens and mineral oils.  It gives a very natural look, and doesn’t clump at all, it glides on smoothly. I would say it’s best for when you want to define your lashes with colour, it’s a deep inky black, yet keep a very natural look; you want something on but not too much. The brush is great too, it’s firm, moulded plastic, not bristles and covers all the lashes, even little ones in the corners.

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The second one is by Korres, their black volcanic minerals 3D volume mascara. It is not certified organic and not quite as ‘natural’ as the Neal’s Yard mascara if one is being super pedantic but it is free from parabens, mineral oils, silicone and ethanolamine. It contains sunflower seed oil, cotton and grape extract to nourish the lashes.  Again I used the black but it is available in brown, the colour is great, a very strong black. This mascara is better for when you want a ‘thicker’ look to your lashes, you can build it up using a couple of coats and it does last really well all day, and during yoga class! It has a bristle brush which helps to really get into all the lashes and gives more volume and therefore it’s perfect for any evening or bridal looks.

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Both of them come off easily with a gentle sweep of Caudalie’s fantastic micellar water on an organic cotton pad or Sanoflore’s micellar cleansing droplets which smell divine.

I will trial some more but for now, these two are definitely worthy of a place in one’s ‘green’ makeup bag!

Spring Hair – Long, luscious locks

Ok so it’s not quite spring yet, but here in Madrid the sun is shining and it was 21 degrees today!  I am growing my hair…again, and came across this marvellous hair product thanks to my wonderful hairdresser’s in London, KELL SKÖTT.  The product is Caviar Repair, Lengthening Hair and Scalp Elixir, yes(!!!) a product that helps your hair grow long and beautiful…well maybe not faster but it certainly helps to condition and strengthen the hair to maximise it’s full potential!  Sounds wonderful, and it is!  On a recent trip to London I stopped by KELL SKÖTT HAIRCARE in Lambton Place, W11 to grab a bottle and have been using it since.  I highly recommend it.


And what’s more it is formulated without the following potential cosmetic ingredient nasties:

– Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, DEA, TEA, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, PABA, and Paraffin.

KELL SKÖTT HAIRCARE stock and sell the whole Caviar Repair range which includes shampoos and conditioners.

So the verdict is a double thumbs up!

…And the same goes for new Danish Eatery & Takeaway ‘Snaps & Rye‘ on Golborne Road, London.

It is owned and run by Danish hairdresser Kell Skött and his wife Jacqueline and it’s full of yummy Danish deliciousness! Plenty of herring and some magnificent meringues.

It’s definitely worth checking out Snaps & Rye, 93 Golborne Road, W10 and their 100% organic homemade sourdough rye bread ready for you to purchase, freshly baked on Thursday and Sunday mornings!