Everything You Need to Know about Makeup Expiration


We beauty-savvy fashionistas tend to accumulate more cosmetics than we need. The problem is that after a certain time, these products become a perfect environment for bacteria to develop and can lead to infections if you keep using them. We’ve got tips on when to get rid of makeup, what to do with it, and how to get your beauty stash organized!

When to get rid of makeup
Here is a handy chart to give you an idea of when you should get rid of certain types of makeup. The following life spans apply from the moment you open and start using a product, and not necessarily when you purchase it.

Product Shelf Life
Foundation 6 months
Concealer 6 months
Powder eye shadow / blush 2 years
Cream eye shadow / blush 1 year
Liquid eye shadow 6 months
Liquid eyeliner 3 months
Kohl pencil 3 years
Mascara 3 months
Lipstick 1 year
Lip liner 1 year
Lip gloss 2 years

The above expiry dates are approximations and meant to be used as guidelines. Immediately discard any product that shows the following signs:

  • Change in colour
  • Change in texture
  • Change in smell


Important note: If you have an eye infection, get rid of any products (eye shadow, liner, mascara) you were using when it occurred to make sure you don’t re-contaminate your eyes with the same bacteria.

What to do with old makeup

Ways to reuse:
Keep old compacts that have mirrors incorporated; you can clean them out and use them to store cash in. If you have multiples, clean and decorate them (mini photo collage where the foundation used to be, for example), and give them to your girlfriends or family members as gifts.

Wash old mascara brushes with hot water and soap. Once they’re dry, you can use them to comb over freshly applied mascara to get rid of clumps, or brush your eyebrows into place.

Proper disposal:
Most types of makeup (cream, powder, and liquid foundation, eye shadows, blushes, as well as mascara and lip products) are safe to throw out. If there is just a bit of product left, rinse the containers: plastic and glass can be recycled. As for items that still have a lot of the product left in them, it’s better to throw their contents out than to empty it in the sink (it is apparently safer for it to end up in a landfill than the sewage system), before recycling the containers.

Get organized!

Set all your remaining products out on a large table and divide them into piles:

  • Face (foundations, blushes, bronzers)
  • Eyes (mascaras, eye shadows, eye liners, kohl pencils)
  • Lips (glosses, lipsticks, lip liners)
  • Multipurpose / special items (shimmer powder, lip & cheek stain, glitter)


Decide on a storage space: a whole drawer in your dresser or bathroom, a large makeup case with compartments, or even several shoe boxes. The important thing is that there is some way to separate the products that go on different parts of the face.

You may want to set aside a makeup pouch or tray that contains your everyday basics: foundation, blush, eye shadow in a neutral colour, liner, mascara, and anything else you on a daily basis. This way, you’ll save time doing your makeup in the morning by having all your basics together. Voilà!

Related content

Category: beauty | Tags: , ,
Comments are disabled