When to Toss Your Makeup

We love our makeup! And, we do mean all of it. From shadows to foundations, there are so many ways to play and have fun with different looks. Another person who loves makeup just as much as we do is our founder and CEO, Tiffany Haas, who learned to apply her own stage makeup daily when she was part of the hit musical WICKED. So we always go to her for the most innovated tips and tricks.

One of the questions we recently asked was about the shelf-life of our makeup, and we were surprised by some of her answers. We know some of you have the same question, so we decided to share her insight on makeup expiration dates.


Self-life: About three months

You have to be careful with mascara. The contents of the bottle are wet, and typically the container is dark. What does that mean? It's a breeding ground for bacteria. Swiping it on our eyes creates an opportunity for the bacteria to transfer. To avoid that, we recommend tossing the mascara after three months. Besides it becoming germ trap, the attributes that make your mascara length, curl, or thicken your lashes usually expire then, making it a non-performer which is not ideal.

Lipstick and Liner

Self-life: Two years

In the same vein, lipsticks and glosses are made of similarly wet ingredients that attract bacterial growth. Not to mention, we apply and then often reapply throughout the day. That increases the chances of putting even more bacteria into your lipstick or gloss. Additionally, these wet ingredients will dry out over time. If you see the contents starting to split it's time to get a new one just for the sake of proper application and performance. Your pencil lipliners will last a little longer because they aren't full of moist ingredients.

Face Makeup

Self-life: Six months for liquids and two years for powders

If you can't tell already, wet ingredients are tricky to keep around once they have been opened. Plus, when you repeatedly dip your brush into the foundation your swiping a lot more bacteria on your face than you realize. This action will create breakouts which we don't really want. What we recommend is only using a brush to apply your makeup and cleaning it at least twice a week to get off residue. Any foundation made with oil will separate over time because oil is heavier than water. You can tell it's time to toss your foundation when this separation begins.

Eye Shadow and Liner

Self-life: Cream based, six months; liquid eyeliners, three months; pencil and powder shadows, two years

In our experience liquid eyeliners tend to dry out before we ever have time to question whether or not it's expired. Which is a good thing because swiping expired liner on your eyes can cause a sty. If you've been fortunate enough not to have one, they are very painful and can last for days. After about three months, we would highly-recommend tossing it. Pressed eyeshadows and liners are less likely to contamination of any kind which means you can keep them around for a lot longer. However, you will want to watch their performance. They can dry out over time and not deliver the best results. Just be sure you regularly wash your brushes to keep things clean.