Expiration Dates: Makeup Edition

Unfortunately, makeup does not last forever. If you have a product that you don’t use often, it’s hard to keep up with the quality of it. Just like food, makeup has expiration dates and it is very important that you keep up with them. I’m not saying to write down the exact date that you bought the product, but just make a mental note of it for future references. Each product is different and expires at different times. Even if you can’t keep up with the dates there are signs that show when a product is no longer good. Checking expiration dates of products is not as hard as it may sound. Here are some easy tips to help you out!  


Does this symbol look familiar? Just like you, I’ve seen it multiple times but haven’t paid any attention to it. But now, I will and here’s why. This number tells you how many months (M) or years (Y) the product can last once opened. Not only can these be found on makeup products but on hair, skin care and even nail polishes sometimes. Hopefully you will pay more attention to the products that you buy now! Unfortunately, this image is not always present. Good thing you’re reading this post, right? Here is a breakdown on the expiration dates on some staple makeup products.

*Images are products that I actually use

Too Faced BTS

Pictured: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara


Mascara can last for about 2-3 months. If you’re unsure about when you bought it, you know it’s time to throw it out when it’s clumpy and beginning to dry out. It can also develop a smell, so please throw it out if it smells weird!

Revlon CS

Pictured: Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Liquid Foundation and Concealer

Makeup in liquid forms like foundation and concealer are much easier to decide whether or not they have expired. They have a shelf-life of about 6-12 months. If you’re unsure about when you bought it, you can tell if these products are expired just by looking at the bottle. If these products have expired you will begin to see it separated into layers or discoloration. If you notice one of these signs, throw it out!

Milani BB

Pictured: Milani Baked Blush

Powders, Eye Shadow + Blush

These powder based products can last a bit longer than the others, expiring after 2 years. Powder-based products that have expired tend to be dry and flaky. Also, you may notice some spots of discoloration on expired products. Make sure you inspect your makeup before applying!

Maybelline MPP2

Pictured: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen

Eyeliner (Liquid and Pencil)

Eyeliners can last for about 3-6 months. This may seem like a short amount of time, but this is a product that is used more often just like mascara. Also, you do not want to keep it too long because it is applied more closely to the inner eyelid than any other product. You want to make sure you have fresh eyeliner in order to cut down on bacterial growth, which can cause a serious infection.

Milani LS

Pictured: Milani Naturally Chic

Lipstick + Lip Gloss

Lipstick can last as long as 2 years and lip gloss can only last for about 1 year. It is time to throw out the lipstick when you notice it becoming dry. For matte formulas this may be a little hard to decide, but if you use the product enough you will be able to tell the difference between “normal dry” and “expired dry”. Lip gloss needs to be thrown away when you notice it is stickier than what it normally is. I know it may be harder to throw away lip products but don’t worry, you can always buy more.

Essie EO

Pictured: Essie Eternal Optimist

Nail Polish

Nail polish should be thrown out after 2 years. If you begin to see the polish separate into layers or if you try to shake it and it doesn’t blend in a timely manner, please throw it away! You will also notice that application becomes harder and the product is goopier and not as runny.

Tips on Ensuring the Product’s Full Shelf-life

  • Keep the products closed! Do not leave them open during the day because they will more than likely dry out. This changes the form of the product and makes application a bit harder, depending on the product.
  • Store in a dry, cool place, preferably indoors. This should be no surprise. Do not keep makeup in the car! The sunlight can destroy certain preservatives in the makeup and can spoil it much quicker.
  • Don’t buy products you are not going to use! I know this may be hard for my fellow makeup junkies out there, but if you know you do not wear makeup that often I do not recommend buying a lot of it at once. Buy what you need as you go along your makeup journey. This will save you money because the product isn’t just sitting there collecting dust.

Hopefully these tips will help you in the long run! I know they have definitely helped me. Be on the lookout for a hair product version of this post as well!

Stay pretty!


Author: kierstinbeauty

26 | New Orleans | MUA | Blogger

One thought on “Expiration Dates: Makeup Edition”

  1. Hi there, Good day! I have my inquiry about expiration. My sister bring lots of make up from Canada, and I am happy for that. But as I check the expiration of my liquid foundation it is expired last 2011 and 2013. Is this make should not be use anymore..? That is too bad.. I love the make up and want to use if I can..


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