When to Throw Away Your Makeup

The Shelf Life of Your Favorite Products

If you are anything like me, then you have a slight problem with hoarding makeup. I keep an obscene amount of expired/empty cosmetics because it may have an adorable container or simply because I’m not over the fact that the product is gone. But, how do you really know when you should be throwing out your makeup?

When to Throw Away Your Makeup

The reality is that the second you open your makeup, it’s just a matter of time before the product is contaminated. Some products last longer than others, but you may be surprised on how frequently you should be replacing your makeup!

**Helpful tip: Makeup should be stored in a cool, dry place that is out of the sun. The sun and heat will dry out your makeup and shorten the lifespan!

When to Throw Away Your Makeup -  Foundation

If unopened, foundation can last a couple of years. Once you open the foundation, it can last anywhere from six to 12 months. You will notice the product starting to get thicker and the color getting lighter once it starts to go bad.

When to Throw Away Your Makeup - Mascara

Here’s the shocking one: mascara really only lasts two to three months! It may dry and get crusty and start to smell funky. You should replace this product as often as possible because you are putting it directly on your eyes and around your waterline. It’s a breeding ground for bacteria. When you pump the wand in and out, you are putting air inside the tube, allowing for bacteria to grow. The less you do that, the longer it will last!

When to Throw Away Your Makeup - Lipstick

Lipstick can last a while, typically up to two years (thank goodness, because I have a TON of lipstick). This is one product that I am the worst with, I save them for-ev-er. Two ways you know your lipstick has gone bad— is if it smells funny or dries out!

When to Throw Away Your Makeup - Eyeliner

The lifespan of eyeliner can vary from 12-24 months depending on what kind of liner you use. Pencils can last longer because they are continuously sharpened, which makes them fresh. Liquid will expire much quicker than 12 months. Gel liner will probably dry out before it expires; that’s just my experience.


When to Throw Away Your Makeup

Anything in powder form can usually last between 18 and 24 months. Personally, I think they can last longer; the only issue I see it creating is skin problems being it’s probably very contaminated after two years. I try my hardest to replace products that go on to my cheek/forehead area but you know… things can get expensive!

When to Throw Away Your Makeup

Holding onto makeup longer than its lifespan is a very common mistake that we all make. Before opening the product, think about the product and its expiration date. It doesn’t mean it’s old or has gone bad (although, sometimes it does), but you want to be cautious of the bacteria that can grow! It will help your skin in the long run!

Here’s a roundup/short guideline

Every season — Mascara, Liquid Eyeliner
Every 6 months — Foundation, Liquid products, Skincare products
Every Year — Pencil/Gel Eyeliner,
Every Two Years — Powder makeup, Lipstick, Nail Polish

Helpful Tips

Avoid touching makeup directly with your fingers or hands— always use brushes or tools. Also, CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES as much as possible! If you would like to see a post on how to deep clean and spot clean your makeup brushes— VISIT MY POST HERE on how I like to do it.

Desiree Savo

Desiree Savo is a licensed cosmetologist and makeup artist. She owns and operates a blog where she discusses topics on hair, nails, makeup, fashion, skincare and more! She also does hair and makeup for weddings and events in the New York tri-state area.

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