When Makeup Goes Bad

Personally I think every self confessed makeup junkie needs to know this. And no I’m not talking about applying a full face of makeup for a night out, then coming home a few hours later and wondering where your makeup masterpiece disappeared to and when it was replaced with the Snapchat filter of the smeared makeup (it’s happened to us all). I am talking about makeup sell by dates, when makeup needs throwing out and replacing!


It can be a sad time when your favourite mascara runs out and a new one is needed. Or realising your liquid eye liner is running out half way through doing wings. So I have made a list of all makeup products and when they should be thrown away and replaced!

Foundation and concealer
The life time of foundations and concealers is around 6-12 months. As they are liquid they have a higher chance of starting to break down and starting to separate. If your foundation does start to separate it and doesn’t mix well even after shaking – it’s time to get a new one! It’s also a short life span because bacteria can easily get in and no one wants to break out from their foundation or concealer!

This is anything in a powder form like face powders, blushes, loose powders, eye shadows, highlights etc. Powders last up to 2 years as they are dry and not a liquid product. The bacteria doesn’t breakdown as much. It’s time to throw out powders when they start to get crusty or glazed over. Glazing over can be caused from oils in fingers when the product has been swatched. You can always scrape off the top of the glazing/crustiness to make the product last longer. But if the product is changing texture/glazing over far down in the product it’s time to get a new one!

Eye Pencils
Pencils last up to 2 years, mainly because they are covered with a lid and are in a pencil form so air isn’t exposed to the product much. Throw them away when they start becoming patchy or start to become greasy on the skin.

With the shortest life span of all only 3-4 months. I know on the bottle they say 6 months but we use them everyday pretty much. When the wand is removed from the bottle and onto our lashes it’s exposed to air and bacteria before being put back into the bottle. For me mascara is easy to know when to replace as the texture changes and becomes dry. It’s not good to use mascara for much more than 4 months as it’ll be jam packed with bacteria which is then placed so close to our eyes.

Cream & Gel Liners
This is anything that is in a pot and last around 6-12 months. When the product in the jar starts to shrink from the sides/curling in and a gap will be noticeable around the edges, this means the product is starting to dry up. The life of the products really depends on how often it’s used and how often it’s exposed to air.

These last around 12-18 months as they are a cream substance and can hold up well. But after around the 12-18 month mark the formula/texture changes to be greasy or start to dry out.

I know it can be difficult to depart with a favourite, I for one am awful at throwing away old makeup. But I love to try new products and throwing away old ones means more room for new ones!

I hope this has been helpful to you! Thank you for reading, until next time!


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10 thoughts on “When Makeup Goes Bad

  1. swatchyswatcher says:

    2 years for powder products?! Sorry no! I have truly ancient pressed powder stuff and I’ve never had any film developing, I use clean brushes only. I’ve seen this film developing on friend’s products and scraped it off for them, it’s kinda gross haha.

    But my precious is pristine! Not going anywhere!


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