Buying Nearly Expired Products

Expired 1

I have written about how I am afraid my beauty products will expire before I am able to finish using them up.  This has happened to me with some of my products.  However, this post isn’t about products that expired because of my negligence in not using a product within the recommended time.  This post is about buying products that were already on it’s last legs before they were rang up at the counter for purchase.  This IRRITATES me and it has happened to me numerous times.

There are two brands that I keep having this issue with: Revlon and Inglot.  I have purchased multiple products that went bad after only a few months of ownership, or they were bad from the moment they were unboxed.

I know Revlon has a real inventory issue because it took me visiting several drugstores to find a Revlon foundation that had not already separated.  New York City has tons of drugstores that stock Revlon and yet I had to visit almost a half dozen to find a bottle of foundation that had not separated into oil and pigment.  Not that it mattered because within a matter of months my bottle started to separate.  I have never seen other foundation mass market brands with this problem.  I have never seen a Cover Girl, Maybelline, or L’Oreal foundation in stock that had separated but with Revlon it’s the opposite.  Revlon foundations, particularly their ColorStay line, are usually really old and you can tell.

Inglot was another brand I was surprised about.  Inglot was more surprising because I had to return a new foundation that was bad right out of the box.  I exchanged it for another foundation, but it’s been less than a year and it looks suspicious.  Unlike the Revlon foundation, which I poured out the contents of, I am trying to save the Inglot foundation and it is in my current foundation rotation.  It wasn’t just the foundation, I purchased a liquid blush and it was bad.  I returned it for another liquid blush.  This is where I put my dunce cap on because I didn’t bother to check the new liquid blush.  I was rather absentminded about the whole thing actually.  I didn’t put two and two together.  But when I opened the second box and realized it was also bad, I was done with liquids from Inglot.  Now, I don’t even bother.

Many brands already list an expected usage range before the freshness of the product becomes compromised, but I think it should be a standard industry practice to have a production date and shelf life date for highly perishable  liquid products.  How is it good customer service to get stuck buying a product that is on it’s last legs?  Products that are already expired right out of the box are easy to return, but those that expire mere months from purchase, are not so easy to return if you chuck that receipt, and who wants the hassle of trying to explain they are not trying to scam a few bucks, or a new bottle, out of the store or brand?

I don’t.  So into the garbage you go.  But I may not be as forgiving when it comes to my next purchase when I avoid purchasing from that brand for a product I actually do like.



  1. What a waste of money. I hate when that happens. :/
    Here in Italy we can’t return makeup even if they are still sealed, imagine my disappointment! >.<

    • You know, I have heard about the crappy return policies for cosmetics in other countries. I wonder why this is? In the U.S., most stores allow you to return something, even if it has been opened and used, if you don’t like it.

      • We don’t really have return policies here either! You can return the item if it’s still sealed or have the tags intact, AND if you have the original receipt, AND if it’s within 7 days. LOL.

        That’s so annoying, though!

      • American return policies are pretty liberal for beauty products. Not all places, but most. These are profit making companies so the benefit of having a return policy like this must outweigh the cost, or abuses of such a policy, which I am sure happens.

  2. I’ve noticed the same thing about the Revlon foundations, so when I went to go purchase mine, I made sure to shop around a bit. I definitely wouldn’t trust a CVS or Walgreens when it comes to this foundation, not only because they seem to always be expired there, but also because it’s usually cheaper at a Walmart or Target. I got lucky at my local Target because the bottle I bought hasn’t separated yet and I’ve had it now for close to a year. Good luck!

    • It really is bad with Revlon foundations. I know the company is under a massive multi-year debt obligation. I wonder what kind of arrangement they have with drugstores and inventory. The stock appears super old, separated and they almost never replace the bad with new bottles.

  3. No wonder why they’re in debt trouble. They can’t even manage their own inventory. I haven’t really tried any of their foundations since in AU drugstores they cost just as much as, let’s say, Clarins (if bought online) but that’s a rant for another day.

    • I am curious as to why some American drugstore brands are nearly as expensive as higher end products in other countries. Is it just higher import /tariff taxes being passed on or something? That;s insane that a drugstore brand would be as expensive as Clarins.

  4. A drugstore beauty boutique personnel went on a rant during our conversation one day because Dr. Haushka wouldn’t take back their expired products. According to her, that was “not standing behind the quality of their products.” Leads me to think most expired unsold products are returnable somehow by the retailers. And yet if they’re still keeping them on shelves and selling, that’s a big no-no.

    I’m tossing out two full size foundations soon because they both expired, but it was my fault for not using them while they were good. I think companies also need to post expiry dates more noticeably and larger on liquid products.

    • I have higher end foundations that are (embarrassingly over 2 years old – ayyyiiieee) that have not separated or gone bad yet, but this Revlon Foundation couldn’t even hang before it turned bad. I figured there was a non-return policy for some of these. You know, then I fault both the drugstore and the brand. No reason why a drugstore should try to sell bad crap. But it’s basically BUYER BEWARE, I guess.

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