Do You Know When Your Makeup Expires?

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words “expiration date” is food, but did you know that your makeup has expiration dates too? Just like food, when your makeup expires it can become unpleasant and potentially harmful so you should throw it away.

So the time has come to clean out your makeup bags. The shelf life of your makeup varies from product to product and most products now come with a guide on the packaging. This is usually in the form of a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol which acts as a guideline for when you should throw out a product after you’ve opened it. These guides are a brilliant… Well, guide, but it also comes down to common sense.

The list below will tell you roughly how long you should keep your makeup, but remember that if it’s a foundation you are sticking your finger in on a regular basis it will need throwing away earlier than a foundation you save for special occasions.

2 – 3 Months

  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Beauty Blender

12 – 18 Months

  • Lipstick
  • Lipgloss
  • Foundation

18 – 24 Months

  • Lipliner
  • Blusher
  • Cream Eyeshadow

2 Years+

  • Powder Eyeshadow
  • Bronzer
  • Setting Powder
  • Nail Polish

As a general rule liquids and creams expire quicker than powders but you should keep an eye on the colour, texture and scent of all your products. Changes are usually a sign that it has gone off and if this happens you should stop using it immediately. As all my products are for personal use I don’t stick to the ‘rules’ too closely and if its a product that I’ve only used once and smells/looks fine than I may keep it for an extra few months but that’s up to your discretion.

If you have a large makeup collection you may notice some variance in expiration dates for the same products e.g. I have a lipstick that says 12 months and another that says 24 months. It’s so difficult to know which is right which is another reason why testing your products comes down to common sense. Please use the list below as a guide and take expiration dates with a little pinch of salt and as I said before some common sense.


– With Lipstick and Love x



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