Home Beauty Keep Or Toss? This Is Your Makeup Expiration Guide!
Keep Or Toss? This Is Your Makeup Expiration Guide!

Keep Or Toss? This Is Your Makeup Expiration Guide!


Every cosmetic item comes with an expiry date. More often than not, we hog our makeup products way past its shelf life just because it’s such a waste to throw out something that looks as good as new. Tell me, how long does it take to hit the pan of your eyeshadow? If we religiously use that one single shadow daily, it might still take us over 6 months to see a glimpse of silver at the bottom. For someone who uses 4-5 shades of eyeshadow every day, you can just imagine how long it will take me to even hit pan for one eyeshadow.

We don’t want the risk of getting an eye infection or acne breakout due to using that stash of makeup that’s been in your pouch since 2008, do we? It’s terribly painful to let go of our makeup products, especially when we only have that one shade of burgundy for the perfect smokey eye. Even I am guilty of storing expired makeup ‘just in case’ I need it but everything good must come to an end… because who really wants an irritating stye?

It’s always a blur when it comes to identifying how long to keep each product so grab your permanent marker out and get ready to label each makeup product’s expiry date!

Base Makeup

Makeup will never look good without a smooth canvas and we don’t want any germs or bacteria penetrating our skin. Our skin deserves a fresh base makeup application so the last thing we would want is an expired product that creates red bumps, pimples and even acne!

While it may seem like a waste to dump expired foundations, two things to note is the change of consistency and the reduced efficiency of active ingredients such as SPF. Lumpy and blotchy makeup are the last thing we would want to blend out so if you find that your foundation is drying out, it’s a sign for you to get rid of it! On the other hand, active ingredients will break down with time so something that contains SPF 30 PA+++ could be rendered useless when the product passes its expiry date.

Eye Makeup

Eye makeup actually runs out and gets restocked. Or before that they get replaced because they dry out way too quickly. One thing we are all guilty of is pumping mascara in and out of the tube just because we want to get more product on our lashes. At the end of the day, mascara and pot liners will lose moisture and dry out! Unlike these, pressed eyeshadow pigments typically have a longer shelf life than crayons, creams and gels.

Contour & Highlight

As I’ve mentioned above, powders may be your best bet if you want to keep your contour and highlight game strong without having to repurchase another set. Although liquid and cream products can give that iridescent glowy finish, their shelf life can’t be compared to that of powders. If you’d like that structured jawline and carved cheekbones, opt for a contouring and highlighting crayon stick as their consistency remains smooth over time. We all have our holy grail contouring kit but we need to remind ourselves when to let go and purchase a brand new set because bacteria can build up on the tips of the contour stick, dust particles can accumulate on the highlight pan and makeup residue might be trapped on the duffle applicator of liquid highlighters as well.


Chances are we still own our very first lipstick that’s been kept in our drawer for over a decade. Let’s be real here – there are uncountable shades of lippies and we can’t afford to dump any if we want to build a solid collection of shades that fit our skin tone! However, our lips come into contact with oils and bacteria daily and that also means that our lippies are at the risk of bacteria and food residue buildup if we don’t swipe off that top layer every day. I know how much of a waste it seems to dump that beautiful mauve shade that perfectly tugs your lips but sometimes we need to learn to let go and move on.

Esther Soh A cup of caramel macchiato and a bowl of acai and I'm good to go!


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