When to Toss Makeup and How to Extend the Life of It

When it comes to throwing away makeup, most of us wind up keeping way too much. Often, we don’t want to throw away a tube of lipstick or eyeshadow palette until we have used up the entire thing. Cosmetics can also be expensive, which makes us reluctant to throw out makeup we love the most. This article will explain how long makeup should generally be kept and give you some tips on how to extend the life of your cosmetics.

Liquid Eyeliner and Mascara

Anything involving the eyes requires special attention. When you take the wand in and out of the tubes of eyeliner and mascara, you inevitably insert bacteria back into the tube. This is one reason why an old vial of mascara gets very chunky and flaky. Liquid eyeliner and mascara have a short, 3-4 month shelf life.


Liquid Foundation

As long as you keep your foundation stored away from excessively warm conditions, foundation actually lasts longer than most other cosmetics. It can be stable for 12 months. If you aren’t sure whether it is still good to examine the container. Are the pigments and liquids separated? If so, it’s time to throw the foundation out.


Powder Foundation and Blush

When cosmetics are powder-based, they last for up to two years. Just be sure to throw them out if you smell something amiss or if the color changes.

Lip Gloss and Lipstick

Unlike mascara and eyeliner, glosses and lipsticks are not liquid-based. This means they grow bacteria much slower. You can keep the lip gloss for about six months. Lipsticks last longer, for up to a year. You can tell when lipstick is going bad if it smells or has a poor texture when you apply it to your lips. Also, beware of an oily film at the top of the stick. This means the whole thing has to go.


Nail Polish

Nail polish can last for over a year. They do not grow bacteria like some other cosmetics. If you notice a smell or the polish gets thick, then they should probably be tossed.


Eye or Lip Pencils

Pencils are generally safe for up to two years. Be sure to keep the tip clean and also clean the sharpener. When the end of your pencil eyeliner becomes white or seems to have a film on the kohl, it’s a goner.


Eye Shadow

Powder eye shadow is stable for two years. Liquid eye shadow should be discarded after a year. The caveat with all eye cosmetics is that if you have sensitive skin or develop an eye infection, you should replace your makeup more regularly. If you suffered an eye infection you should also throw out and replace your brushes.

Tips for Making Cosmetics Last Longer

Here’ s how to extend the life of your cosmetics.

  1. The best tip for making cosmetics last longer is to continually invest in new applicators and brushes.
  2. For mascara, hit up the local beauty supply store and buy applicators in bulk. If you use the applicator daily or weekly, you extend the life of the product by up to six months. You will also be able to extract more of the product from the container with a clean applicator.
  3. When mascara seems like it’s drying out even though it is months before the expiration date, add a couple of drops of saline solution. Shake the bottle up and it should be fresh for a little bit longer. The same tip works equally well for eyeliner gels.
  4. Another mascara tip is to let the mascara sit for a few minutes in hot water, always with the lid on, of course. The hot water will soften up what remains in the bottle, giving you a few more applications.
  5. For foundation, frequently replace sponges and brushes and always wash your brushes out. When you are trying to make an expensive powder foundation last longer, a common technique is to blend the foundation with lotion. Not only will this help the powder stay on longer, it also creates a nice foundation that is akin to a tinted moisturizer.
  6. Some powder foundations will get a hard film or crust on top even before their expiration date. To remove this effortlessly, press tape across the top.
  7. Eyeshadow often gets cracked or even falls out of the palette when it is in your purse or luggage. You can save them by pressing them into the palette and then adding rubbing alcohol. Use the back of a spoon to press the powder into place.
  8. You can keep your makeup lasting longer by using a brush or sponge to apply rather than putting your finger in the foundation, which introduces bacteria.
  9. Don’t just toss a broken lipstick. Put it back together with a lighter. The fire will fuse the two ends back together again.
  10. Keep your eyeliner sharp. This helps prevent bacteria.
  11. When nail polish gets a little thick, try adding a few drops of acetone nail polish remover. Then shake the bottle well, which should loosen it up again. This will add a few additional applications from each bottle.
  12. Lipstick lasts longer if you keep it in the refrigerator – really! Keep lipstick away from hot areas and it will not only last longer, but it will also apply smoother.
  13. Makeup pencils also do better out of the heat. Always try to store them in a cool area of the home.
  14. Perfume is another item that is harmed by warm air. Like other cosmetics,  perfume actually keeps its freshness better if you store it in the refrigerator.
  15. When it comes to cosmetics like liquid foundation, there is often quite a lot of product that you are throwing away when nothing more will be squeezed from the tube. Cut open tubes of makeup before you throw them out. Then you can get all the makeup that is stuck at the bottom of the tube.

Always pay attention to your makeup lids. We’re often on the go and forget to put the lid back on, or else put it on too loose. This introduces bacteria and also causes makeup to dry out. Take the extra seconds to make sure your lids are secure.


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