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Make-up Life

Updated on June 20, 2014

When To Throw It Out

At least once a year we should make a point of cleaning out our cosmetics case / drawer / bag / purse. But not all cosmetics get equal standing. Some make-up has a shorter purse life than others because of their composition or where they are used on the face.

Here is a simple guideline for the purse life of some of our most used cosmetics.

The most general reminder for any cosmetic? if in doubt throw it out!

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Cleanser and Moisturizer

make up cleanser
make up cleanser

Your day should begin and end with a cleanse and some moisturizer. You may not think much about them but you should. Check for expiry dates. Generally opened packages are good for eight months. Less if they are made from all natural ingredients.

Do not store spare bottles in fridge unless packaging says so. And definitely be aware of where it sits on your bathroom counter; avoid direct sun and heat from your iron. Changes in temperature can affect the effectiveness and shelf life of both your cleanser and moisturizer. If the smell suddenly changes stop using and discard.

Tip: Date of Purchase

Cut up make at home address labels into tiny squares and keep in an envelope in your main make-up bag. When you bring home a new cosmetic stick one on it and write the date of purchase and/or opening.

How To Make-up with MissChievious

One of my favorite make-up artists to follow on YouTube is MissChievious (you will find two more when you scroll down this page). She is beautiful, has an interesting voice and gives incredible how to make-up tutorials.

Eyeshadow and Eyeliner


If your eyeshadow is water based like a creme eyeshadow it will not last as long as a powder based one; only six months, but powder eyeshadow is generally good for up to two years. Liquid eyeliner should be discarded every three months.

Again, if it smells funny get rid of it. If it changes consistency, get rid of it. You don't want to fool with your eyes!


makeup mascara
makeup mascara

One of the most widely used cosmetic is mascara. Often times if a woman doesn't have time for anything else she'll grab her mascara.

Because mascara is a fluid it has a shorter shelf life. It is also a small container where we are constantly inserting an applicator that picks up dust, grime, and other not-so-lovely things from our eye area and then we close it up; making this little vial a perfect container for culturing bacteria and other nasties.

Mascara tubes should be discarded every three months. Never add anything to thin it. Don't gamble with your eyes!

How To Make-Up with PixiWoo

She is simply divine. Besides great how-to for daily and fun make-up she shares product reviews.

Tip: Cheap Eyebrow Brush

If you can't afford a proper eyebrow comb you can recycle the mascara brush from the tube you are about to throw out. Rinse it clean with soap and water and dip in alcohol and let air dry. Don't keep the mascara tube.


Lipstick Makeup
Lipstick Makeup

Get rid of anything that is more than two years old. Not only is the color outdated but it probably doesn't perform as well as it did when you first bought it.

Lipsticks and lip gloss are being scented more than they used to. If the scent changes then discard sooner.

If you suffer from cold sore break outs it's important to discard the last two lip products you used; especially if it was a wand like from a lip gloss. The whole vial would be infected. If it was a brand new tube of lipstick you paid a fortune for then take a sharp knife and cut off the section that has been in use and a bit more.

Tip: Cold Sores and Lipstick

If you feel a breakout coming on or you already have one. Use a Q-tip to apply your gloss. Don't double dip the tip! Use one end then the other then discard. Don't apply over cold sore. This will help avoid contamination of your tube and the rest of your mouth.

Foundation and Compacts

Makeup Foundations
Makeup Foundations

If your foundation is water based it will be good for up to a year. If it is oil based it is good for a year and half. If the smell or consistency changes sooner then definitely discard.

Powder foundations or compacts are good for up to two years unless it is the creamy powder which would be the same as above.

Don't buy extra of your favorite foundations with plans to use it later. What you purchase now may not be good when you open it a year or so from now. Buy fresh!

How To Make-Up with Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss gives a men's perspective on applying make-up, taking care of tools of the trade, and product reviews.

Have you cleaned out your cosmetics case recently? What old gem did you find? Share it with us or just say hi! Also, if you have a beauty blog please let us know!

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    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Fun lens!!!!

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      It's so funny. My make up life consists of wearing everything I could get my hands on when I was 13 and my face was "perfect." Now I'm old and wear only lipstick - ok occasionally a bit o blush. Cute lens. S/A blessed!