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When is it time to throw out your old makeup?


I was browsing Youtube Guru's Michelle Phan's blog this morning, and stumbled upon an article that was very intriguing!
She explains how long makeup lasts, and when they expire, so you can throw them out. You don't eat expired milk, so why should you use expired makeup?

This is an amazing eye opener for me! I think I'm going to start labelling all my products with dates of purchase. 
Here are some of her due-date-keep-in-mind's:

1. Lipstick: 1-2 years
2. Power Eyeshadow: 2 years
3: Cream Eyeshadow: 12-18 Months
4. Eyeliner: 3 months (NO WAY.....I've had this one eyeliner fora year now...I should throw it out!)
5. Mascara: 3 months
6. Powder Blush: 2 Years
7. Cream Foundation: 18 months

Any other products that you are aware of that you'd like to share?
I've never actually seen the difference between using an expired product vs. a 'fresh' one except in terms of eyeliner. My bobbi brown gel liner is starting to crust up! Time to get a new pot!
Aug 04, 2011 @ 11:53 am

10 Replies


So where does cream eye liner fall?

Thanks to Bergdorfs weekly tweets I'm not an advocate of cleaning my brushes. But, although I always knew all makeup has an expirey date I never really paid attention to them. My foundation never really lasts longer than 8 months anyway. But I'm curious to know where cream eye liner falls? Is it considered eye liner? Because I would assume the three month limit is meant for the pencils.
Aug 04, 2011 @ 04:18 pm

WoW 3 months for eyeliner!!

From what you just told me all of my makeup should be in the trash! I only use it when I'm going some where, I don't see the point in putting on a face just to clean my house. So all of my makeup lasts me a long time. Now I see I've been taking a chance on getting and eye infection, or something else. I guess its makeup shopping time for me!!
Aug 05, 2011 @ 10:02 am

hygienic reasons

Anything that comes that close to your eyes (eyeliner, cream liner, mascara, etc.) are recommended to only keep for 3 months for hygienic reasons. Basically, you can contract bacterial infection from it. 3 Months is the typical recommendation.

Takoda, I've had eye make up for over 3 years. The only I can't keep is the mascara because they dry out. I've never had any problems with it.

However, if you have or suspect you have an eye infection, then throw out the stuff right away. Buy new stuff.

Also, if you shared your eye makeup with someone (not recommended practice), then keep only for 3 months.

This is why I don't invest too much on eye make up because their shelf life is so short one it's opened. Not worth it if you'll be replacing it every 3 months.
Aug 06, 2011 @ 02:25 pm


I don't share any off my makeup because I'm the only girl in the house,
so I think I'm safe there. I haven't had any eye infections as of yet,
but my mascara has just reached the three month line and so has my
liquid eye liner. I hate to toss them out because I've hardly even used
them. I didn't pay much for either, but it still just seems like such a
big waste. I've also had some powder eyeshadow and powder blush for well
over the two year mark, but I've never had a problem with any of my
makeup, no matter how old it is. Sometimes I wonder if they only say
that to make you spend more money. I try to keep all of my brushes
pretty clean and like I said I'm the only one that ever uses any of my
makeup, or the brushes. I think I might just keep what I have for
another month, or until I see a good sale. Witch every comes first.
Thanks for your help, have a nice day.
Aug 07, 2011 @ 11:58 am

Old Make up

I've had lipsticks that once belonged to my mom and when she had them- they were already old. Yikes. I also have a powder eye shadow from my mom's wedding- so it's more sentimental than anything else and I don't usually use it. In any case, I don't think expired make up is so much dangerous health wise, so much as it just doesn't work. Some of my old lipsticks just don't last very long at all or the pigmentation isn't there. I also find that they have a very strong lipstick smell- not bad, just waxy. If that makes any sense.
Aug 07, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

I go with my gut..

I just throw my stuff out once the product starts to have a different smell and a different viscosity to it or when the colour has become 'muddied'. Otherwise I keep using because I don't share my stuff and I am very neurotic about keeping my things clean lol.
Aug 07, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

Not guilty about bending some rules...

You know your fave lipstick is being discontinued... so you scoop up a
few. Now - how long do they last? Well the countdown starts when you
first open it and put it on.... introduce it to your skin. But the
others are okay... but only for a while until they sweat, or develop a
strong scent. Some products go 'off' sooner than others. But there are
some that I wish would last forever.

A simple rule I've followed since forever: it it is liquid and comes
close to the eyes, use extra care. Liquid harbours bacteria which is
introduced every time the wand goes back into the tube. If its powder
and you've kept it sanitary, bend the rules.

I'll bet more people break the rules than will admit!
Aug 15, 2011 @ 09:14 pm

I'm not sure if this was mentioned

Most make-up containers have a little symbol on the with a number & the letter 'm' (ie. 24m)
That tells you how long that product is good for.

If it smells, changes colors or texture, it's probably time to toss it!
Nov 16, 2011 @ 02:31 pm


Great post!! I've had the same pencil eyeliner for almost 2 years LOL. Come to think of it... that's quite a long time... I guess it's time to go shopping!!
Nov 16, 2011 @ 02:52 pm


I usually buy more makeup then i use so I'm kinda bad at this rule (especially mascaras.. dont know why I keep buying different ones when I use the same one always).

I think it also depends on packaging. Things that aren't as sealed (i.e. jars vs. tubes) will contact more air exposure so they may start oxidizing faster or letting more transfer from your fingers.
Nov 16, 2011 @ 04:24 pm

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