How Long is Too Long?

Red-Apple-Lipstick-MakeupWe know how hard it can be to let go of your favorite, used-once-a-year product in the back of a bathroom drawer. But makeup doesn’t last forever, and you don’t want it to.

Please, dump that makeup bag or drawer onto the floor, and sort through the plethora of products you’ve accumulated over the years. Your skin will thank you for it.

Some products have an expiration date on them. If so, abide by them! It’s the same rule as food; you wouldn’t drink milk that was two years past its expiration date, would you? So don’t smear rancid makeup onto your skin.

Unfortunately, not all products let you know when it’s time to toss. A good general rule is if you’ve had it over a year, you should be tossing it. And let’s be honest, are you really going to wear that purple roll-on glitter from middle school again?

Signs That The End Is Here

If you are wondering whether or not it’s time to ditch your makeup, there are three things to watch for. Look for changes in smell, color and consistency. These changes are good indicators that the product has gone bad.

If your makeup is expired, the quality that you’ve come to love is gone. This is easiest to detect in nail polish. You’ll know it has gone bad because you’ll spend hours trying to un-crust the screw-on top. And if you do succeed, your once-adored red nail polish looks like goopy mounds of glue.

Using expired makeup is dangerous because infections can occur from the bacteria and germs that grow on the product. Pay extra attention to the makeup around your eyes. These products, such as mascara, eyeliner, etc. tend to accumulate bacteria faster.

While organic makeup is better for your skin, it tends to go bad quicker. Because it doesn’t contain many of the harmful chemicals that preserve makeup, it is vital to keep an eye out for these changes.

Expiration Labels 


The hourglass indicates that your product should not be kept for more than 30 months. But remember, if it lasts that long, think of all the preservatives it must contain. The jar lid with the number tells you how long the product will last once opened.

We believe over a year is too long for makeup, but here is a breakdown by product to help you know when your beloved products have to go.


Tips To Make It Last

There are steps you can take to make sure your products make it to the end of the year without going bad.

  • Everyone hates to throw out good lipstick; one way to avoid being wasteful is to buy colors by season. You don’t have a need for coral lipstick during December, so resist the urge to buy it until April. When you buy winter shades in winter and summer shades in summer, you save your makeup from sitting in your makeup bag unused for months.
  • Another simple tip is to keep products out of the sun. Heat and humidity can ruin your makeup, so store them in a cool, dry place.
  • If you want to get the most out of your powder products, invest in a cosmetic sanitizing spray or mist 70% isopropyl alcohol onto the pan every month or so.
  • Applying your makeup with a brush, not your finger, keeps the germs from your hands out of your products. And while we’re on the theme of germs, don’t share makeup with other people. See our article Keep It To Yourself to find out why.


  1. Dora J Crow says

    Jay & Andrea~ I truly had no idea about the cosmetic sanitizing spray/70% isopropyl alcohol spritz onto powder products! This is quite possibly the most interesting concept I have ever learned. I am excited to share this with all my friends/family on Facebook & Twitter & Google+. Now, off to locate some cosmetic sanitizing spray! Thanks for the very informative article, dora

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