Here’s all you need to know about makeup expiration dates


How long does makeup last?

We know how much it sucks when your fav foundation starts to separate or changes in texture (a sure sign it’s time to toss it) and you’re tempted to ‘quickly use it up’.

Unlike food, expired makeup products may not readily poison or make you sick but they may damage your skin in the form of breakouts and reactions that may leave it extremely unpleasant (expired products can damage the skin so bad it may stay permanent).


While picking out products, it’s important to check for production dates and in cases where the expiry dates are ‘absent’, it’s best to start counting from the day of first use and this can only be done if you know the actual product life cycle. 

(Note that even when products seem intact and ‘look good’ despite past their life cycle isn’t an indicator that they can’t be tossed into the bin).

Product separation, changes in product texture and sometimes foul smells are top indicators the product has gone bad!

Get to know how long your products should last before you toss them.

Mascara shouldn’t be used for more than three months after opening/first use. It is important to discard mascara after three months as they are easy ways to get bad eye infections.

The mascara wand used every time (pumped sometimes) and returned into the container is an easy way to introduce bacteria into the rest of the product. After three months of continuous use, thrash the mascara.

how long does makeup last
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Eyeshadow and (Powder) Blush

Eyeshadow and powder blush are able to last up to one year, in some cases they might go higher but with cream eyeshadow and blush the life cycle is shorter compared to powder because there’s a possibility they (cream ones) will turn to breed grounds for bacteria.

makeup expiration
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Pencils; lip and eyeliner

Lip and eyeliners are able to last up to two years as long as tips are kept fresh and clean, they are good for use for years if they last that long.

brow with pencil
Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid liners should be tossed after six months or less. The cue to toss the liquid eyeliner is usually indicated by a funny smell, when that happens thrash it!

Felt tip eyeliner
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Lipsticks are good for a year preferably they are kept clean and not shared or passed around. Lipsticks should NEVER be shared, it’s one of the easiest ways to transfer bacteria/ infection.
Liquid Foundation

Foundation can last for between six months to one year including concealer. It’s best to keep applicators clean and avoid sharing them to curb transferring bacteria.

switch cosmetics
Pressed/ Loose Powder

Loose and pressed powders can last up to eighteen months to two years as they are less likely to store bacteria. However, it’s best to limit applicator use to the owner, where applicators are shared there’s a risk of infection.

If the powder smells funny before then by all means thrash it!