Seriously, makeup expires? The short answer is, yes. The long answer is, yeeeeeeeeeesssss. #sassy

You may not have thought about it- but makeup actually does expire. I know, crazy at it sounds, but makeup does breakdown over time. Or sometimes, based on the type- it can become unsafe due to potential for bacteria buildup.

So what’s a girl to do? Sure you paid $60 for that bottle of Kat Von D or Marc Jacobs- but is it still good? Using expired makeup doesn’t do you any favors dearhearts. Yeah, you bought the good stuff. But if it’s past it’s prime, then it won’t work as well as it should. It’s time has passed.

Much like Eddie Murphy.

The 80s

Damn, I wanted a leather jumpsuit.

I digress. Makeup has a shelf life, and thankfully makeup guru Wayne Goss is here to help us out.

And here is the cleaner that Wayne talks about:
[amazonjs asin=”B00775RTJQ” locale=”US” title=”BeautySoClean Cosmetic Sanitizer 4.1 oz (120 ml)”]

Can’t watch now, or want an easy to copy list? Here are some guidelines.

The Expiration Guidelines

makeup expiration


Water-based foundation lasts for up to a year and the more common form of oil-based, up to 18 months. The two different types will be clearly visible on the label.


Has a shelf life of one year. Avoid using the concealer directly on the spot, as this can leave bacteria on the product and, when used elsewhere on the face, lead to further outbreaks. Instead use a short, pointed brush to dot the concealer over the spot, then clean the brush using Mac’s brush cleanser.


Lasts, in pressed form, up to 18 months with the loose variety lasting up to one year. Makeup sponges don’t need to be thrown out but they do need to be washed every week. Use soapy water and allow them to dry naturally before you place them back in the compact to avoid encouraging bacteria. But once a sponge has lost it’s original shape, smells off or is shredding at the edges, replace!


Has a shelf life of one year. Over time, they get cakey and dried out, making them difficult to apply, so toss them! Cream blushers will last longer, as the pigment and oils preserve them.

Eye shadow

Has a shelf life of one to two years for both powder and cream formulations.

Lipstick and Lip Gloss

Both have a shelf life of up to two years. As with cream blushers, pigment and oils preserve lipsticks but if you get a cold sore while using one, throw it out immediately – the same goes for gloss. And if you use a lip brush, wash it twice a week with Mac’s brush cleanser.

Nail Polish

Lasts for up to a year or two years if stored properly.


This is the product that got the short straw in the shelf life stakes – it needs to be replaced after a mere four months. Don’t share mascaras with friends – the wand harbours a host of bacteria that are naturally present on our eyelashes but can cause infections to others. If you have a stye or any other kind of eye infection replace your mascara immediately. Oh and NEVER SHARE MASCARAS!!

You can also make your mascara last longer by not double dipping and using disposable mascara brushes.

[amazonjs asin=”B014R19NT6″ locale=”US” title=”Smilesun Disposable Eyelash Eye Lash Makeup Brush Mascara Wands Applicator Makeup Kits (100PCS Pink)”]

Why should I care?

Always remember, this isn’t to get deeper in your wallet, it’s to make sure you get the highest quality. But more importantly, it’s to protect your health and avoid any infections.

Plus, these are just guidelines. It’s not like milk. If you take care sanitizing and keeping your makeup and brushes clean, as well as the other tips here- your investment will last.

About The Author

April Marshall
Editor in Chief

April Marshall, our Editor in Chief, is a ::mumblemumble:: year old trans woman from Kansas City. April has a very strange background including acting, stand up comedy, playwriting, running Rocky Horror shadow casts, and professional wrestling. You may have also seen April, in another life, on the Jerry Springer show. Yes we are serious.

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