Talking about shelf life: Makeup expiration

Let’s admit the fact that we just keep stacking our makeup collection but we don’t really want to let go of the old ones. Guilty? Yes, most of us are. You might have a 5 year old eye shadow palette, a 3 year old lip color or a 1 year old make-up sponge but have you ever wondered when they might actually go bad? 

I guess most of us didn’t even know that there was an expiration date on make-up. The main reason could be because it’s not marked on the makeup products that we buy. Generally makeup’s good for a number of years but it’s better to be aware of how long they’re actually still considered usable.

Powders (powder foundation and powder eyeshadow)

Basically this includes anything powder, like loose powder or setting powder.  Don’t forget that your blushes and bronzers are under this category as well. Their shelf life is about: 2 years (max).

Creams and liquids (cream/liquid foundation and cream eyeshadows)

This includes cream make-up bases and cream eyeliners as well. Their shelf life is about: 6 months (don’t even think of an extending it). Creams can be breeding places for bacteria and this may cause you to break out. With liquid foundation, you’d have to double check the ingredients list. It’s 12 months for water based and it’s 18 months  for oil based ones.

Concealer (and maybe also primers)

Color correctors – fundamentally concealers with different colors to neutralize spots on the face – are also included. Their shelf life is about: 6-12 months. Its 12 if you’re using a brush to apply your concealer but its 6 if you’re just using your natural tools – fingers.

Mascaras (could have the shortest shelf life)

Believe it or not mascaras only last for 3 months. It’s important to discard it after that period since you use it on your eyelashes (very close to your peepers). You wouldn’t want your eye irritated.

Lipstick and Gloss (includes any kind of lip color)

We can also include lip liners under this category. Their shelf life is about: 2 years (max).


These are definitely disposable so you can wash them every week but they need to go after a month.


These makeup tools can also cause you to break out you know. Wash your brushes with a brush cleaning solution or mild detergent so you can get all the oils and makeup out. Do this twice or thrice a month.

Ok so right now you’re probably recalling when you bought your makeup items or your wondering when was the last time you cleaned your brushes. You better because makeup gone bad can lead to break outs and irritation.

If you’re planning to buy new items, make sure to label it with a date or a year so you’ll know when to throw them out. It’s also a good idea that you use your makeup in a sanitary way like using brushes instead of your hands and cleaning those brushes as often as possible.

Here the number one warning sign you need to look for in your makeup:

Any change in your cosmetic products — the consistency, the color, the smell, etc–means that it needs to go.

Feeling like cleaning your makeup bag? Go for it!