As the seasons begin to change and we are forced to pull out a whole new set of clothing, that’s the time most people to a cleaning and purging routine. While you’re selecting which clothing items to keep and which to give away don’t forget your makeup needs to be updated as well.

The makeup and the supplies you use to apply it aren’t eternal. They do have a limited lifespan and whether the bottles, tins and tubes are empty or not you need to consider pitching the older stuff. This will help avoid infections as well as keep you looking fresh and beautiful.

How long will it last?

Foundation/Concealer – 1 year. After that it will start to lose its vibrancy and can begin to look blotchy when applied to your face. If you use liquid foundation, throw it out when it begins to thicken.

Blush – 1-2 years. You’ll know it’s going bad if the powder begins to break or crack. When that happens… it’s time to hit up the beauty counter.

Eyeshadow – 1-2 years. As with the blush, when it begins to break or crack with use that means it’s ready for the garbage can.

Eyeliner – 6 months-1 year. If your pencil starts to look discolored, pitch it! To starve off the bacteria sharpen the pencil regularly. (Liquid should be pitched after 6 months, as there is no real way to get rid of the bacteria.)

Mascara – 4-6 months. When it starts to clump that’s the time to dump it.

Lipstick – 1-2 years. If it starts to get rubbery or no longer leaves color behind on your lips when you apply it that is your clear indication it’s time to find a new tube.

Lipliner – 2-3 years. Again like the lipstick or eyeliner, if the product becomes rubbery, stops adding color or the product color has changed just throw it out.

Makeup Brushes – Varies. If you take good care of your natural-hair brushes, washing them carefully after use and storing them in a flat place, they can last a dozen years. Anything made of fake fibers should be replaced more regularly. Think every 1-2 years.

Nail Polish – 1 year. It can last longer if you don’t use it that often. You know it’s over when the contents begin to separate, the liquid begins to thicken, etc…

How to make your makeup last:

  • Close the bottles/tubes tightly after each use. That will stop the air from getting inside and drying the product out. It’ll also keep bacteria out.
  • Keep all powders in a dry place. Therefore, your bathroom is probably the worst place to keep your makeup bag.
  • Don’t share your makeup with others. (Sure, you’ve heard it before, but seriously, it’s a good mantra to live by.)
  • Refrain from pumping your mascara wand in and out when applying. That pushes dry air into the product and will make it go bad quicker.
  • Wash sponges every week.
  • Wash natural-hair brushes at least once a year.

What item should you be getting rid of this season? I need to replace a brush set that I have had for nearly 6 years.


Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...