Most women, including myself, tend to be make-up hoarders. We find that perfect shade that highlights everything just right or that perfect mascara that makes our lashes full yet defined, but not too clumpy. However, we still keep all of those other powders and tubes that weren’t quite what we expected, you know just in case! Before you know it our drawers and make-up bags are jammed packed with make-up from weeks, months, and even years ago. But what we don’t think about is that make-up has been accumulating bacteria waiting to be released, so it can wreak havoc on our skin and eyes. Today, we end the cycle together as we purge ourselves of the make-up that is well past its use-by-date.
Mascara: 3 months
After 3 months, the preservatives in your mascara are not as effective allowing bacteria to accumulate. This bacteria can cause eye infections and styes to form on the eyelids.
Eyeliner: Liquid eyeliner 3 months, Pencil eyeliner 2 years
Liquid eyeliner has the same principles as mascara. The liquid environment in its dark tube is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Pencil eyeliners, on the other hand, last longer, because every time you sharpen them you are getting rid of the old and welcoming the new. However, make sure to frequently sanitize your pencil sharper when rubbing alcohol.
Eye Shadow: Cream eye shadows 6 months, Powder eye shadows 2 years
Cream eye shadows still have some liquid base, while powder eye shadows lack water. This allows powder eye shadows to be viable for long. However, after a while powder eye shadows will become too packed down preventing the pigment from being picked up by the make-up brush.
Lipstick, Gloss, & Lipliner: 2 years
While most lip products are liquid-based, they are generally good for around 2 years. After that point they tend to dry out (especially long-wear formulas) causing them to lose their creamy and glossy appearance.
Face Make-up: Liquid 6 months, Powder 2 years
Any liquid make-up whether concealer, foundation, or cream blush, has a greater chance of accumulating bacteria, which exposes you to a higher risk of infection, blemishes, and skin irritation. Powder face make-up has a lower risk for bacteria development, but after 2 years its function starts to deteriorate.
Unused, Unopened Make-up: Years until opened
If make-up has been stored in a cool and dry place unused and unopened, then it will be viable for years until opened or use. At that point, you should continue to follow the expiration dates above. It may help to mark the make-up with the date opened in order to keep track of its viability.