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How Long Does Your Makeup Last?

How Long Does Your Makeup Last?
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Laura's profile

It is often only after we've opened up all our makeup drawers getting ready for a special occasion that we notice how much we have. It can be so easy to hold onto every eye pencil and lipstick just in case, but how long does makeup last for really? We're sharing the use-by-dates you should follow to keep your makeup collection at its best.

Tips for Keeping your Makeup in Top Condition

Even when makeup is fairly new, it can cause skin problems and reactions if you aren't careful about keeping it in good condition. There are a few housekeeping rules to look out for when storing your makeup, to make sure you can use it right up to its best before date.

  • Don't double dip. Only use clean brushes and sponges to dip into product, so you don't spread any bacteria into your makeup. Pump products are usually the most hygienic as they stay sealed shut.
  • Don't pump your mascara. This actually just ends up drying it out faster and can introduce bacteria into the tube.
  • Keep things in the dark. A lot of formulas are prone to sun damage; they can degrade and lose efficacy. Keeping your makeup away from direct sunlight can help it last longer.
  • Check any changes in texture. If the formula separates, becomes runnier or thicker, then it is probably past its best.
  • Keep it out the bathroom. To make sure you don't encourage the growth of things like Yeast or Mould in your products, avoid storing makeup anywhere with a lot of warmth or humidity.

How Long to Keep your Makeup

Depending on the type of product, your makeup tends to have different shelf-lives. Although you should always keep an eye on the condition of your makeup, these are the ballpark figures you should use as a guideline for keeping your makeup around:

  • 1.Mascara & Liquid Eyeliner

    Mascara & Liquid Eyeliner
    Keep for: 3 months These are the products in your makeup bag that are most sensitive to drying out and getting bacteria in. Swap out your mascara and any liquid liners every season to avoid the risk of eye infections. Treat yourself to a new one: The Sumptuous Knockout Mascara from Estée Lauder is a really conditioning mascara that gives great volume, lifting and intensifying the lashes.
  • 2.Lipstick and Lip Gloss

    Lipstick and Lip Gloss
    4.51 Stars 45 Reviews
    Keep for: 6 months to 1 year Everyone knows about that lipstick that your nan wore decades ago and still keeps in her bag, but most lipstick won't keep beyond a year. If you notice it drying out, any oils separating or a funny smell, it is probably time to clear it out and replace your favourite colours. Treat yourself to a new one: With a soft liquid formula that glides onto the lips and leaves a matte finish, we love the Bourjois Rouge Velvet Lipstick.
  • 3.Liquid Foundation and Concealers

    Liquid Foundation and Concealers
    4.63 Stars 500 Reviews
    Keep for: 6 months to 1 year Foundations and tinted moisturisers can easily degrade and oxidise with time, as well as becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. This is the same for cream blushes and bronzers too. If you have a pump or tube formula, it may last for longer but to keep your skin breakout free, keep it fresh. Treat yourself to a new one: The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is our number 1 bestselling concealer and gives a totally flawless finish.
  • 4.Eyeshadow and Eyeliner

    Eyeshadow and Eyeliner
    4.2 Stars 10 Reviews
    Keep for: 1 Year Eyeshadows and pencil liners generally last quite well, at their dryer formulas tend to keep them more stable. The trick to keeping them effective and hygienic is to always use a fresh makeup brush and to sharpen the pencils regularly. Treat yourself to a new one: Maybelline's palette of nude shadows is one of those ideal everyday products that can be used for everything from subtle to bold.
  • 5.Powders

    4.64 Stars 11 Reviews
    Keep for: 18 months to 2 years Your powder bronzers, blushes and foundations tend to last the longest of all of your makeup. Just keep an eye on any that are enriched with ingredients like Jojoba oil, as these can destabilise a little earlier, turning your powders chalky and crumbly. Treat yourself to a new one: Benefit Hoola Bronzer is a cult classic. This matte bronzer works for so many skin tones, giving a perfect healthy glow.
Writer and expert
View Laura's profile
Major fan of scented candles, Make Up brushes and Highlighter. I’m always on the hunt for those Holy Grail products and my dressing table is covered in more beauty products than I like to admit. As an adopted Northerner originally from Brighton, I spend most my days wondering what all this rain is about. My hair isn’t grateful for the move. Currently loving: NIOD Photography Fluid