If you’re anything like me, and you don’t wear a whole lot of makeup on a regular basis, you likely don’t replenish your stash too often either. But just like the food in your fridge, makeup can go bad and using products past their expiry can cause skin irritation and eye infections; (so even if you don’t use that tube of mascara often, doesn’t mean you can use it forever!) Unlike your groceries, makeup doesn’t always have a clear best before date, so take a look at our cheat sheet to find out when to kick your cosmetics to the curb.
A good clue that it’s time to replace your foundation is when the product starts to separate inside the bottle. Otherwise, the approximate shelf life for most foundation products is six months to a year.
Powdered blushes, shadows and bronzers
Powdered products tend to last up to two years, so long as you don’t drop them! (Even if you do, here’s a quick DIY tutorial on how to fix a shattered powder-based product)
Cream blushes, shadows and bronzers
The thing to watch for with cream products is a shift in their texture, otherwise these products are generally good for 12 to 18 months.
When it comes to anything you apply on or near your eyes, you want to be especially careful. Infections that occur around your eyes are often painful and difficult to ignore or hide. Of course, watch out for your product getting dried out, clumpy or smelling bad, otherwise, replace your tube every three months.
The shelf life for liner is also fairly short, maximum four months, since the liquid is prone to drying out and becoming clumpy and goopy.
Pencils tend to last longer than liquid just because you don’t have to worry about them drying out. Pencils last up to two years.
Lipstick, liner and gloss
It’s pretty easy to see when your lip products are on their last legs. Anything dried out, goopy or of irregular consistency can probably be tossed. Generally, lipstick, gloss and liner stay good for about a year. The best way to ensure a long life for your lip products is to store them in a room temperature setting and keep them far away from heat.
Fragrance products have the longest life out of the cosmetic family, and can last as long as ten years with proper storage. Keeping your perfumes out of direct sunlight will ensure they last to their full potential.