When should you throw away your makeup?

As humans, we love to collect things. Clothes, bags, shoes… makeup. Especially if something is our favorite, we tend to cling onto it, often for far longer than we should. While it’s okay to hang on to clothes (although if they get holes, you really should throw them out), when it comes to makeup, it’s actually incredibly unhealthy to hang onto it for too long. A lot of makeup has sell by dates that we aren’t even aware of! Here is when you should be throwing your makeup away.

Nail Varnish

We all know how gross and gloopy nail varnish can get when you don’t use it for a while – it can also go crusty, and the lids end up sticking to the bottle! That could be because it’s well past its sell by date! You shouldn’t keep nail varnish for any longer than two years, but after one year of use, it will begin to stop working so well.


When it comes to foundation, you really want to be careful about how long you use it for – this stuff goes all over your face, and so it’s very easy to spread dirt and germs! If you’re using a liquid foundation, you shouldn’t keep it for longer than six months. Powder foundations are a bit of a better investment, as they can last for as long as two years.

When should you throw away your makeup?


Similar to foundations, it all depends on what kind of eyeliner you’re using as to how long you should be keeping it for. Liquid eyeliners are welcome in your makeup bag for a maximum of three months, while eye pencils can last up to two years. Liquid eyeliners develop bacteria in them more easily than a pencil eyeliner, hence why they don’t last as long.


Mascara tubes are dark, they’re wet, and they’re warm. This makes them absolutely spot on when it comes to creating the perfect breeding ground for a whole host of germs and bacteria. For that reason, you shouldn’t keep a mascara for longer than 3 months, even if it says it lasts longer on the tube. You can develop eye infections such as stys if you use an out of date mascara, and the actual product stops working so effectively too.


You’ve had that palette for how many years? It’s time to go! If you’re using a cream eyeshadow, you shouldn’t keep it beyond the six-month mark, as the product can dry out really easily which makes it stop working so efficiently. Powder eyeshadows can stick around a little longer, lasting two years before coming cracked and cakey.

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 11.20.37 AM
When should you throw away your makeup?

Eye & Lip Liner

Lip liner should last you somewhere between two and three years before you decide to chuck it out. Sharpening a lip liner pencil – and even an eyeliner pencil for that matter – gets rid of the previous pencil top and therefore all germs and bacteria it may have been carrying, meaning that you can keep using your lip liner for a long time to come.


Surprisingly, lipsticks and lip glosses are actually very worthwhile investments, as you can keep them in your makeup bag for up to two years! They will stop looking so smooth and creamy over time, but they will still be safe to use.

Once the time has come to get rid of a specific product, it’s in your best interest to throw it out. If you don’t, you are opening yourself up to all sorts of nasty things like eye infections and acne-prone skin. Don’t forget it’s also important to regularly wash your makeup brushes, too!