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We talk of spring cleans and wardrobe sort outs every season but one thing we often neglect is our makeup. Although they don’t have expiry dates written explicitly on them, makeup can and does go off. Even though you’ll use most things, like foundation, within the expiry period, there are some other items we use less frequently that often get neglected. So make it a priority to sift through your makeup bags and get rid of anything that has long seen it’s sell by date.

Expiry dates for foundation, concealer, blusher and bronzer

Generally speaking, the makeup we use on our faces will last up to two years. However, if you’re prone to breakouts or you notice a change in your skin, we’d recommend changing within a year of opening.


If the container gets damaged in anyway, this could expose your products to bacteria that could cause spots, skin irritation or even infection. In which case, change immediately or transfer to a new container that has been sterilized.

The expiry guide for your face-based products:

  • Foundation- 2 year
  • Concealer- 2 year- If used near your eye area, we’d recommend changing every 8-10 months.
  • Blusher- 2 years
  • Bronzer- 2 years
  • Powder- 2 years

Products you use on your eyes last between 6 months and 2 years

With products applied close to the eye, you need to take caution as bacteria can easily be transferred and cause eye infections. If you end up with an eye infection, like conjunctivitis- which is highly contagious, we’d recommend discarding and replacing the products you last used as you can have it for between 24-72 hours before displaying symptoms. This will help prevent a repeat infection once you overcome it.


Mascara: 6 months

If you pump your mascara, this forces air into the container and causes premature drying and an environment for bacteria to breed. Obviously we don’t want that, so instead if you pull the mascara wand out of the container in a circular motion, you’ll get an even coverage of mascara on the brush and avoid contamination.

If your mascara changes colour, dries out, or smells weird- it’s time to throw it out. Even if your mascara seems pretty good after the 6 month mark, it’s still time for it to go.

Eyeshadow: 6 months – 2 years

How long your eyeshadow will last will depend on whether it is cream or powder. If it’s a cream based eyeshadow it’ll only have a lifespan of 6 months- criminal we know. But because it needs to be a hydrated, as soon as it starts to dry out you’re in bacteria growth territory- sadly, dousing it in water won’t save it.

Eyeliner: 6 months – 2 years

Much like eyeshadow, if it’s creamy it’ll only see you through for about 6 months. Pencils however, will be your new best friend. These babies will last up to 2 years! Keep it sharp and your liner will be on point.

Eyebrow pencil: up to 2 years

The same applies to your eyebrow products. If it is a cream-based product, you won’t get long out of it. But a pencil will last you 2 years.

Lipstick will keep for up to 2 years!

Oddly, your lipstick will give you a good 2 years if well looked after. Your lip liners, glosses and balms generally only last up to a year but there are things you can do to help prolong their lives.


If you suffer from cold sores, you’ll need to discard your lip products as soon as it comes to light to avoid transmission when it heals.

Lipstick: 2 years

Keep that lid on tight and use brushes where possible and it’ll keep going. If it’s one you don’t use very often, slice the top off of it every now and then to get to the fresh stuff.

Lip liner: 1 year

Lip liners don’t have a long shelf life but if you sharpen it before each use, this will help to get rid of any nasties!

Lip gloss: 1 year

Take care of your lip gloss like you would your mascara and don’t pump it.

Lip balm: 1 year

Go for a stick over a pot. If your hands are dirty, it’ll only transfer to the pot.

What about nail varnish?

Your nail varnish will last at least 2 years. And this is really only because it starts to separate after this time. If you notice this happening, I am afraid it is a lost cause.

If your nail varnish is getting a little clumpy but still seems to have a bit left in it, add a drop or two of nail varnish remover, shake it up and will be as good as new!

Another way to keep your makeup healthier for longer is to make sure you’re looking after your makeup brushes- check out our guide to cleaning your makeup brushes.

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