12 expiration dates on makeup products you need to remember

Investment in high-quality makeup is a must for any lady who wants to look her best. But even the best-quality – and most expensive, respectively – makeup is not eternal. However much we try to hang on to our mascara or eyeliner, there will come a time when we will have to part with them to avoid health problems, because of bacterial buildup. The least it can do is lose the qualities for which you bought it, so heed to the following expiration dates:

1. Pencil liner

Good news here, because pencil eyeliners can last for up to three years, though some sources extend this to five years. They can hardly spoil or develop bacteria. If you try the trick of turning the pencil liner into a gel liner – by heating it with a lighter for two seconds – you can rest assured that even if you suspected the presence of microorganisms in it, they would not have survived.

2. Eyeshadows

Some generously give it the same shelf life as pencils but others cut it to two years. Still, two years is quite a long time, especially given that you can also use eyeshadow as a liner or as glitter for a clear nail polish. If you use it in all these ways, you won’t have to worry about expiration dates.


3. Body lotion 

That’s not strictly makeup but it is part of the beauty routine. It also has a long life – if it’s in a pump container, it will last you for three years, though only theoretically, because body lotion is something you use frequently. Still, good to know.

4. Powder

This is one of the long-timers, and it can last for as many as two years. Good to know because you might not be using powder on a daily basis, and this would be a smart decision. The less, the better is what the latest makeup trends prescribe.

5. Blush

Blush can also last for two years, which is good if you don’t use it every day. On the other hand, you can use a lot of other things as blush, such as lipstick or eyeshadow, so it’s not really a necessity.


6. Liquid foundation 

This one also has a long shelf life, of up to two years, if used infrequently. However, some sources slash this to six months to a year, to be on the safe side perhaps. Look at it this way: if you invest in foundation (or concealer, they have the same lifespan), you are likely to use it regularly and frequently, so it won’t have to last two years.

7. Cleanser

Cream or gel, the verdict on these is up to 12 months. Of course, given that they are used daily, with or without makeup, because of the extent of air pollution all over the world, they are unlikely to get to their old age in peace.

8. Mascara

When it comes to the eyes, there’s no space for compromise: throw away your mascara six months after you open it or at the first sight of clumps and drying out. The same goes for liquid eyeliners too, so if you only use liners from time to time, invest in a pencil.


9. Lip liner

Lip liners are long-timers too, with a maximum life of three years. They are another non-essential addition to your makeup bag but if you insist on having one, go for the regular ones, not the push-up models, which break easily and you can never know how much of it have left.

10. Lip gloss

Some sources give this product a life of two to three years but we’re willing to bet that few lip glosses survive till the natural end of their life. Easy to use, great with any look, lip glosses are often a better alternative than lipsticks, and because they are less durable, we tend to reapply them more often.

11. Lipstick

Opinions differ as to the longevity of lipstick. Some say they can last for two to three years and there is anecdotal evidence that some are good for use after more than five years but these are exceptions.


Generally, lipsticks last anywhere between a year and three years, if they are stored correctly, i.e. avoiding extreme temperatures.

12. Nail polish

These are good for a year at the most, so use your favourite colours more often to avoid having to throw them away. Also, if you’re wondering whether you want to buy a nail polish or not, then don’t – chances are you’ll have to get rid of an almost untouched bottle after 12 months.

Take care of your makeup and of your application tools, such as sponges and brushes. Clean the brushes regularly, once every few weeks, washing them with a mild shampoo but without soaking them in water. Wash the sponges after every use and throw them away after six months, they have an expiration date as well. Other than that, make sure all caps are screwed on tightly and don’t expose any makeup to extreme temperatures.

Stay beautiful!



Thuy Duong Ltd, Co.

All stories by: Thuy Duong Ltd, Co.