Posted on December 8, 2015

When to replace your makeup

maintenance/ Makeup

old makeup products

It’s funny how people jump so quickly to throw out foods that have past their due date, but when it comes to makeup products, they suddenly become hoarders and cling on to them as if these products were irreplaceable – something I know about all too well!

Believe it or not, the effect of using beauty products past their shelf life could be a lot more damaging than you’d think. For starters, expired products stop performing as well as they did when you first got them. But in more serious cases, they can cause irritations or infections.

Throwing out half-used makeup products can prove to be quite upsetting, but what would be even more upsetting is the eye infection you could get from using mascara that had been nesting under a pile of even older beauty products!

Here is a quick guideline for when you should start saying your goodbyes:

1. Mascara


When it comes to beauty products, mascara probably has one of the shortest shelf lives. Since the product is in a dark and wet environment, it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.  Expired mascara stops going on smoothly and becomes chalky and dry. One of the best ways to extend your mascara’s shelf life is to twirl the wand at every use instead of pumping it, which increases the amount of air that gets in. Toss time: every three to four months.

2. Foundation

The more you dip your brush or finger into foundation, the higher the chances of bacterial growth and possible breakouts. Foundations that have reached their expiration date can change in colour and consistency, and go on unevenly leaving you with a streaky finish. To extend the life of your foundation, store it in a cool, dry place, away from the sunlight. Liquids can last from up to six months to a year, while powders can last up to two years.

3. Eyeliner

liquid liner and gel liner

Like with mascara, bacteria can easily grow in the tube of liquid liners. Eye pencils on the other hand have a longer shelf life because they are constantly getting sharpened which forms a fresh and clean surface before each use. Toss liquid and gel liners after about three months and eye pencils can last for over a year.

4. Eyeshadow

Powder-based cosmetics have a longer shelf life because they lack water and are therefore less prone to contamination. Cream shadows on the other hand have a shorter life span and should be replaced at least once a year. If you happen to get water on pressed shadows(or any powder formulas for the matter) then they should be tossed after about six months!

5. Lipstick & Lip gloss

mac lip stick collection

Most lipsticks last for up to a year, while long-wearing formulas have an even shorter life span. As a rule of thumb, once the texture of the lipstick changes and it no longer looks creamy on the lips and is difficult to apply, then it’s time to bite the dust!  Lip gloss with a wand applicator can last for up to six months, while lip gloss in a squeeze tube can last for up to a year.

Other products like nail varnishes should be tossed after about a year or two, disposable makeup sponges should be used for no longer than a month and powder based blush or bronzer can last for up to two years!

Remember, these are just guidelines! If  the consistency of your cream starts to change, your mascara becomes dry and clumpy before month four or your nail varnish starts to turn gooey, then you know what to do with them! 🙂

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