How long does makeup last?

I think that many of us can admit to literally draining the life out of our favourite makeup products, after all, we did spend all that money on them! However, you should remember that hanging onto your precious products until the bitter end may not be doing you and your beauty any good.

So, when is it time to let go of your favourite makeup products? Even though they may still be doing the same job they did on the day you opened them, makeup products do carry a sell-by date and yes, it can be found on some of the packaging, so keep an eye out for it!

We should all be aware that any makeup product, once opened is open to germs. The longer you keep it, the more chance of an infestation! It does often depend on the brand and product type, but here is a run down of how long is too long to keep your products.


Has a shelf life of about two years but once opened you can expect your concealer be usable for about six months with every day use. The oil within concealer will start to visibly separate once it has over-aged.


Although the actual product may not last you this long, pressed and loose powder can be kept for up to eighteen months once opened. The one thing you do need to be cautious of is how you apply it to the skin. Using the same sponge for this long would obviously not be very skin friendly or foundation friendly! – These should be replaced every few months, Always wash-off a used sponge with make-up cleanser, and if it becomes unusable toss the sponge and get a new one.

Liquid Foundation

Oil-based liquid foundation can last you up to nine months, but the same rules apply as to powder foundation, depending on your application method, always keep it clean. Water-based foundation can last for up to six months. As with concealer, a separation can be seen when you’ve kept the product too long.

Eye liner

An eye pencil can last for up to six to 12 months depending on how often you use it and regular sharpening will keep it clean. A retractable eye liner can last longer as it has a little more protection.

Lip liner

It is a similar story to eye liner. Everyday use will mean the product will have a life-span of up to six months.


This is the one product whoch can be kept for a couple of years and, even with everyday use, can last up to 12 months.


With everyday use a lipstick can last up to twelve months, although lipsticks can show their age through consistency and scent – if this happens it’s time to say goodbye.


Has a surprisingly short life-span of three to six months (depending on the brand). As soon as you open your new mascara the product begins to dry out with air exposure. And the pumping back and forth of the brush will also reduce the life-span as you are only pumping in more air and drying it our faster. Mascaras are probably the worst makeup product for encouraging the growth of bacteria.

False Eyelashes

If you properly care for them false lashes can be reused, although they should only be used a few times before its time to re-purchase. Always remove the glue after you have worn them and keep them safe in their box ready for their next outing.

Foundation and Eyeshadow Sponges

Foundation sponges should be changed every month if you are using your foundation daily, whilst eyeshadow brushes should be cleaned monthly with a makeup cleaner or replaced. Keeping your make up application method as clean as possible as it’s the best way to keep your face fresh and blemish free.

Top Tips

Although some makeup products may not last you very long, the better you care for them the better their performance. Here are a few tips on how to care for your makeup and keep it in tip top condition while it lasts.

  • Not how it used to be – Smellwise? Lookwise? Feelwise? If so, throw it away. Chances are it has gone by its expiry date and should be disposed of straight away for the sake of you and your face!
  • Keep your products clean. Always clean your make up brushes regularly with a makeup brush cleanser.
  • Don’t share. Although it’s fun to get ready with friends, be wary when sharing makeup products because, as I mentioned before, they can carry germs and bacteria.

Now, I think it may be time for a makeup bag spring clean just in time for the summer!

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