When To Throw Away Old Makeup

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-


I'm constantly in a state of trying to par down my makeup & beauty products collection... but I never seem to get anywhere. It's all those colors I never wear... lipstick that looks bad, but I keep anyways. Who knows when I might be in the mood to slap on some of that unflattering lipstick, right? Well, I finally decided I'm DONE.

I'd love to donate it, but have heard goodwill only accepts unopened makeup due to health reasons. So... how can I FINALLY convince myself to ditch this crap I never wear? If only makeup had an expiration date... wait, it does!

I've compiled this list from a variety of resources... mostly to relieve the guilt that I'm throwing something away. And, in general, experts even advise to smell your makeup. An unusual odor usually means that it contains bacteria.

Join me in an effort to get rid of some old makeup clutter by using the list below to decide if your makeup can be tossed. And, if you find stuff you know you'll never wear - toss that too. I promise, it feels amazing to have a smaller makeup collection filled with only things you love!


Concealer - Up to 12 months.

Powder - 2 years.

Cream & gel cleansers - 1 year.

Pencil eye liner - Should be sharpened regularly. Will last up to 3 years.

Eyeshadow - Will also last up to 3 years.

Brushes - Wash every 2-3 months in a mild detergent.

Sponges - Wash weekly and discard monthly.

Foundation - 12 months (water based/oil-free), 18 months (oil-based).

Lip liner - Up to 3 years.

Lipstick - Some experts say 1-2 years. Others say up to 4 years. What everyone agrees on is that if it smells rancid, throw it out, it's spoiled.

Lip Gloss - 18-24 months

Mascara - This product expires the fastest: Throw out after 4 months. Extra tip: If you don't want your mascara to expire faster than its fresh date, don't pump the wand in and out -- you're only exposing the product to drying air.

Nail Polish - Up to 12 months, depending on the quality.

Do you keep makeup you never wear? Are you brave enough to finally toss it in the trash? Leave a comment. 


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