The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words “expiration date” usually involves food. But did you know that your favorite beauty products have expiration dates too? Yep, the time has come to clean out those medicine cabinets and makeup bags. Personally, I know I’m guilty of putting away my favorite lipstick and eye shadow colors when the seasons change, disregarding whether or not they’ll actually last. It turns out that the shelf life of your makeup varies from product to product. So, my team and I came up with a chart to help ourselves (and all of you!) keep track of expiration dates and whether or not we should be keeping or tossing our beauty products.

Ready to learn something new? Here we go…

Do you know when your makeup expires?

Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner

Mascara and liquid eyeliner are two products that you should be swapping out regularly. Since I use these two beauty products on a daily basis, I run out of them fairly quickly. Because that isn’t the case for everyone, experts suggest that you keep mascara and liquid eyeliner no longer than 2-3 months. The wands and brushes in these products tend to collect bacteria and could lead to some serious consequences.


If you’re like me, you tend to have two foundations in rotation: one for spring and summer months (hello, tan!), and one for fall and winter. If you’re using your foundation on a regular basis, it’s ok to keep it around for 6-12 months. If you have a bottle that you’ve opened and haven’t touched in a while, I suggest throwing it away. Chances are you either didn’t like it or it was the wrong shade for your skin tone. Unopened foundation, however, can last up to 2 years.


Concealer has a little bit longer of a shelf life than foundation, but not by much. Concealers have a tendency to shift in color or become clumpy if you don’t use them quickly enough. No one wants a concealer that does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do! I suggest keeping your concealers for up to 1 year and then tossing.


I have to admit that the hardest products for me to part ways with are my favorite lipsticks. I’m sure I’m not the only one with a drawer full of colors for every occasion… But unfortunately, lipstick doesn’t last forever. Lucky for us, our favorite lipsticks can give us up to 2 years good years. Lipgloss, on the other hand, should be thrown out after 1 year.


Powder foundations, eye shadows, and blush all fall under this category. While most makeup in powder form can last up to 2 years, it’s important to keep your brushes and tools clean. The cleaner you keep products in your makeup bag, the less likely you are to grow harmful bacteria on your makeup, including powders.

Nail Polish

Nail polish seems as if it lasts forever, right? Wrong. I’ll admit that before I learned the expiration date, I had way too many nail polish bottles taking up my medicine cabinet. Nail polish typically lasts 2 years, but if you start to see clumps or separation in the pigment it’s time to toss it. To help you clean out your colors, I recommend going through all of your polishes and shaking them to see if they separate or not.

Makeup Brushes

With a little TLC, your makeup brushes can last at least a few years. Be sure to thoroughly clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis and store them in a dry area. Each brush is unique, but if they start to shed or feel a little rough around the edges, it’s time to replace them.

Is it time to empty your makeup bag?

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…

XO Lauren