Shopping for make-up often becomes that inevitable hobby for most women. In fact it may seem so routine that every time you head to the grocery store to pick up a pack of bananas or a new bottle of toothpaste, some nail polish, foundation, or a new shade of eye color seems to ride home with you. But what happens when all these pieces of makeup you have collected begin to crowd up in your bathroom drawers and you seem to have an endless supply of mascara in your makeup bag?

Just like food products and batteries, make-up products have a shelf-life too and keeping them for too long will allow products to go bad or will make them work inefficiently. This means that make-up does expire, too. So, as you begin to gear up for spring an think of your spring cleaning, take a minute to rummage through your make-up bag and see what can stay and what’s go to go. On the back of each product you should be able to see a tiny image of a jar and a number written next to it, such as “36 MOS”. This means that the product stays fresh for three years from the time it is opened. Unopened packages always seem to remain “fresh” for longer, but remember it is never a good idea to use expired makeup on your skin because it can lead to irritation. As a guide, here are some products and their freshness dates.

Foundation: If it is oil-based, it should last up to 18 months, while water-based foundation will weaken and dry out within a year. Often times, women may use two different shades of foundation depending on the time of the year. If your water-based foundation begins to dry out before its expiration date, add a few drops of alcohol-free toner to the bottle and shake to mix it in. Oil-based foundations often begin to separate when they go bad.

Lip-Liner: These little puppies can hold you for up to three years. To update your make-up bag, avoid push-up lip liners. They are expensive and break easily, which will lead you to spend more money on make-up than is necessary.

Concealer: Rock this for up to 12 months before you think about chucking it.

Pencil Eye Liners: They should be sharpened regularly and will last up to three years.

Eyeshadow: These usually last for up to three years. As a money saver, eyeshadow can double as eye-liner, so you can save money buying another product by using a super thin brush to apply it to the lining of your eyes.

Lipstick: When it starts to reek, dump it. They usually last about 1 to 2 years. Want them to last longer? Store your lipstick in the refrigerator.

Mascara: It seems like there are endless tubes of these because they dry out the quickest. They also expire the quickest and need to be tossed after four to six months. If you don’t want the product to last longer, don’t pump your mascara wand in and out of the bottle to quickly because it exposes it to drying air.

Nail polish: Most nail polish lasts for about a year to two years, depending on the quality. When the colors begin to separate, its time for them to go.

Don’t forget to clean out the tools that you use to make-up your face! If you use sponges frequently, make sure you wash them weekly and discard them monthly. Make-up brushes should be washed every two to three months with a mild detergent.


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  • Belle

    I usually use up my makeup before it spoils. If your makeup is crowding on your counters then maybe you own too much of it.

    I found that common permanent markers smudge off because of the oils in creams and makeup -the ONCE OPENED BEAUTY EXPIRATION KIT’s self laminating labels solve this problem! Kit comes with self laminating labels in a pretty pink pouch, ultra fine point mini permanent marker and a cosmetic life expectancy guide in a nice keepsake box. Nice gift! SPRING CLEANING SPECIAL – Visit .

  • I clean my brushes once a week with Johnson Baby Shampoo. I spot clean after each use with MAC brush cleaner and some brushes I’ve had for over 5 years are still in great condition.

    Another tip is to invest in a good makeup train case that keeps temperatures under control and also a brush belt to keep unused brushes from collecting dust.

  • Good Article, I’m a makeup artist and these tips are on point!