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Makeup use-by dates - product by product

Updated: Jan 11


Make-up doesn’t last forever - and for good reason.

Hygiene should be an important part of your self-care routine, especially when it comes to cosmetics and applicators.

As well as washing brushes regularly, you should also pay attention to the shelf life of individual products.

A use-by date will vary from product to product.

Not sure how long you should hang onto the makeup items in your cosmetics bag?

Use the guide below to avoid eye infections, clogged pores, breakouts and patchy, uneven pigments.

Foundation use-by date

Liquid foundations are suitable for use for 6 to 12 months after opening.

Powder foundations can be used for longer - up to 2 years - but it is recommended they are replaced after 12 months.

Eyeshadow use-by date

eyeshadow use-by date

Unless you are a collector, throw away an eyeshadow palette 1 year after you first started using it.

While it may pain you to part with a favourite shade collection, it will keep you safe and save a lot of hassle in the long-run.

Eyeshadows dry out over time and can shatter, leaving hard-to-remove pigments all over the place.

Old eyeshadows have less pigmentation and can produce uneven shading.

Mascara use-by date

Mascara is one of the quickest ways to give yourself an eye infection.

Everytime you pump that wand into the tube, you are inserting germs.

Therefore, mascara should be replaced every 3 months.

This is the one make-up product you shouldn’t be taking any chances with.


Face powder use-by date

Most face powders will comfortably last 12 months.

Just like eyeshadow, it can crumble.

If you don’t want to irritate your skin or block pores, throw away any unused powder within 2 years.

Play it safe by replacing any left-over finishing powders after one year.

Lipstick use-by date

A good lipstick will be good to go for up to 2 years.

That’s plenty of time to use most of the product.

Don’t forget, this cosmetic is versatile and can be used on the cheeks and blended for a great blush.


Lip gloss use-by date

Surprisingly, lip gloss isn’t designed to last as long as lipstick.

Replace this product every 6 to 12 months.

Eyeliner use-by date

As a rule, a pencil eyeliner is good for a year. Be sure to keep sharpeners clean or purchase a self-sharpening pencil.

However, if you prefer to use a liquid liner, treat it the same as mascara and replace it every 3 months.

Makeup use-by dates: the bottom line

There is only one place for out-of-date makeup - the bin.

Keep yourself beautiful and healthy by following the timescales above. If you do, you will also ensure your storeage areas stay clean and safe too.

A makeup use-by date exists for a reason. Remember that and you can't go wrong.

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