Fall Beauty Week: When to Throw Away Your Makeup

Sep 19, 2014

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.

Did you know these rules of thumb?

Only a few hours left to enter the Fall Beauty Week Giveaway!
And you can enter a second giveaway and win sample sizes of Laqa & Co Lip Lube, Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner, Marcelle Gold Glow BB Cream, and Supergoop! Hand Cream. This one only goes for a few hours so enter now!
Hope you enjoyed Fall Beauty Week 2014!


  1. This is so useful! I'm not always the best at remembering when it is time to throw stuff away so I'll keep it handy. :)

  2. I need this! I am guilty of using my products wayyy too long!

  3. Ahh I'm so guilty of having makeup that's wayyyyy to old! This makes me want to go through my cabinets and bags and purge purge purge!!

  4. Great tips!! I'm usually pretty good about purging makeup (except for eye shadows...)

  5. thanks for the reminders on these products! i'm now buying new mascara this weekend. :)

  6. This reminds me that I need to go through my stock and throw away the old pieces. Thanks for reminding me! :)

  7. I am so bad at throwing my makeup away. I use it so rarely.. does that maybe increase the shelf life? ;D


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