Here’s how long to keep your makeup


Makeup is not usually something that is associated with having an expiry date. So often we keep our favourite lipstick, mascara or other piece of makeup around for years without a thought, only getting rid of it once it’s completely used.

This is not something that anyone should be doing. While many may not know it, makeup needs to be thrown out at a certain point. If it isn’t, the best case scenario is that it doesn’t work as well. The worst case scenario can see you getting a range of health problems, from infections to irritation and breakouts.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to keep track of when to throw out your makeup. Most will have a date stamped on the packaging, indicating the expiry date of the product. It is doesn’t have that expiry, there are general guidelines for each piece of makeup that you can follow.

Mascara – three months

Every time you use your mascara, you are transferring bacteria from your eye to the product. Unfortunately, because a mascara tube is a very dark and wet environment it’s a perfect place for bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of infection. Therefore, mascara has a very short lifespan after you open it.

How you can tell: It’s time to ditch your mascara when it becomes chalky or powdery.


Nail Polish – one to two years

Since nail polish is often used less frequently than other types of makeup, it takes quite a bit longer to completely use it all. Thankfully, most nail polish will last for at least one year and up to two before expiring.

How you can tell: Colour separation is the best indicator of an expired nail polish.


Foundation – six months (liquid) & two years (powder)

How long your foundation will last is completely reliant on what type you use. Liquid foundation will only last for six months because it, like mascara, keeps bacteria stored in its container. Powder foundations last far longer because bacteria retention isn’t an issue.

How you can tell: If your liquid foundation starts to thicken, it’s time to throw it out. On the other hand power foundation going dry or flaky needs to be thrown out.


Lipsticks, lipgloss & lipliner – three months to two years

Thankfully, your favourite lip related products will last you for quite a while, so feel free to buy that $60 lipstick you’ve been pining after. Some lipsticks do use different ingredients, so be sure to check the shelf life before you buy. Sadly liquid liners don’t last long at all, lasting only three months.

How you can tell: Lipstick is going bad if it smells bad or has a creamy colour. Lipgloss and your liners will become very sticky. There are no tangible signs that your pencil liners are going bad, but keeping them sharpened will help to reduce bacteria.


Bronzers, blushes and eyeshadow – one to two years

Again, the type of product you use will decide how long you can safely use it. Powder products will last much longer than liquid due to a lack of water, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow.

How you can tell: If your powder products go dry or flaky, it’s time for them to go. With liquid products, if they’re sticky or discoloured, they should be thrown out immediately.



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