How Long Does Your Makeup REALLY Last?

28 Jul

I’ll bet my life you all have expired makeup in your collection. And I’ll bet you had no idea!

Makeup has an expiry date, which we probably all knew. But how long does it actually last? I’ve got the scoop!




Mascara will start to get clumpy or smell a bit funny when it gets old. I’ve heard of some girls adding a few drops of visine to reinvigorate a tube, but that does nothing for germs or bacteria. My take – toss it after 4 months max.

Liquid Foundation & Concealer

Liquid makeup will start to get lighter in colour or seperate when it’s expired. A better quality makeup (think department store, not drug store) will last longer, but at the end of the day, no matter the price tag, it will expire. Try not to keep any liquid makeup for more than a year to avoid wreaking havoc on your skin. TIP: keep makeup out of sunlight to avoid destroying preservatives!

Lipstick & Lip Gloss

Lipsticks will generally last you two years, and glosses 1 year. Your lipsticks will dry out and crack or break easily when they’ve kicked the bucket, and glosses will become noticeably stickier.

Nail Polish

I am guilty of keeping nail polish gone bad on-hand. I don’t actually know if I have ever thrown out a bottle that was not empty (which would probably be why my nail polish takes up two full drawers in my bathroom…oops.). Polish will generally last 1-2 years, depending on where it is stored and it’s quality. When it starts to get goopy or separate, time to part ways.

Powders, Eye Shadows & Blush

Any powdered makeup lasts longer and is harder to tell if it is expired. Look for flakiness and dryness to know if it’s past its due date.

Eye Liners

Whether a pencil or liquid, eye liners will start to lose their lustre around 18 months. You will notice they are dried out, don’t stay on as well, aren’t as precise, etc. With makeup especially used around your eyes, you will want to invest in a new one ASAP.


Perfumes will last you a good 8-10 years before they start to lose their scent, change their scent, or lighten in colour. Chances are you will use the entire bottle before this happens anyways. TIP: Purchase your perfume from a reputable supplier (i.e., department store, directly from the manufacturer’s retail store, etc.) to avoid purchasing old perfume, perfume that has been exposed to hot or cold temperatures, or watered down formulas.

Scented Lotions

Lotions, (think Body Shop, Bath & Body Works, Korres), have a shelf life of around 2 years before the scent and colour changes. TIP: Lotions with a pump instead of in a jar tend to last longer as they are not exposed to airbourne bacteria.


Verdict: Ladies, get rid of those eye shadows and old blushes you’ve been hanging onto “just in case”! When dealing with products on your face, you need to be especially careful of infections and bacteria. If you haven’t used it in the last year, lose it!

Best TIP of the day: Don’t forget to wash your makeup brushes! The number of ladies who don’t do this astounds me (and makes me a little nauseas inside…). To see my post on how to wash your brushes, click here.

imagesSecond best TIP of the day: Not sure when you bought your last bottle of foundation? Label it! A year from then you will know.




2 Responses to “How Long Does Your Makeup REALLY Last?”

  1. LFFL July 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM #

    Lol. I love that quote! Funny.


  1. Cosmetics. How old is too old? | The Green Vanity Boutique - August 9, 2016

    […] There is great information on how to manage your cosmetic usage in this article. […]

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