The Siberian American: Toss or Keep? A Guide to Makeup Shelf Life

Friday, July 22, 2016

Toss or Keep? A Guide to Makeup Shelf Life

Hey everyone! While I'm recovering from surgery, I asked several blog friends to guest post for me. I have to say, y'all are in for a treat with these wonderful guest posts! Today, I have Ashley from A Cute Angle with a guide to makeup shelf life! I have to admit I'm the worst at remembering to throw my makeup away, so I will definitely be pinning this post for future use. Thanks, Ashley!

How long have your makeup products crowded your bathroom drawer and your makeup bag? Once you open makeup products they are on a time clock. They only last for so long before being contaminated with bacteria that's harmful to your skin.

Here are some rules to follow on what to toss when:


You’ve got two to three months with your mascara wand once it's opened. Once the mascara has gotten thick, or starts to flake, it means its had too much contact with air, and there could be bacteria lurking inside the tube. To prevent this, never pump your mascara. When pulling the applicator out of the tube, twist it around slowly to build up the product.


Liquid liner is in the same category as mascara - toss it after three months to avoid a potential eye infection and never, ever share!  Pencil eyeliners can have a longer shelf life, but you need to sharpen them regularly. Bacteria can linger and could cause irritation. Spray alcohol on the tip before sharpening and do at least three rotations to remove germs.


Once opened, you’ve got 6 months to a year. Check that the consistency still looks the same and apply it using a brush or sponge. If unopened, it can last a couple of years, so don’t be afraid to stock pile your favorite!


You can get away with keeping your lipsticks for two years without spoiling. If you keep them stored in a dark, cool place they can be kept longer. Once they start smelling rancid or looking fuzzy you’ll know it’s time to throw them away.


Provided they are powders, they have the longest shelf life of any product. If you wet them, it's different story. Wetting them creates a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause eye infections. They’ll have to be tossed around the six month mark.


If they are good quality and you take care of them properly, your brushes should last for life.  Wash after every use with a brush cleaner and lay them out flat on a tissue to completely dry before storing away. You can also use baby shampoo or this DIY tutorial for brush cleaning.

Follow these tips for a healthier you!


  1. Thanks for the tips Olya

    Amy |

  2. These are such great tips! I have a feeling that my current mascara is about to bite the dust and I probably need to toss it!

  3. It's time for me to toss some stuff.

  4. Well this was cool . . . and I am a makeup rule breaker! I should go toss some mascara right about now!

  5. i am the worst with throwing makeup out. i never use all of anything, so i feel like i am wasting it if i throw it out half full lol

  6. Oh my goodness, I am so bad about throwing make up away. I never use it all up in the time span and I hate to throw it away so I just keep using it. ;) I should probably be better about that. Especially with eye-stuff (mascara & eyeliner). The last thing I want is an eye infection!


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