Keep it or Toss it: Spring Cleaning Your Makeup



In the last few years, makeup companies have actually made it a little easier for us to put a timeframe on how long we should keep a product. If you look very closely you will find a little jar with a number and an “m” (for months) on most products, more frequently on lipsticks or glosses, pencils, and foundations. I grabbed my own makeup bag and snapped a few pics of what was lurking in there.


So these don’t exactly give us a set date of expiration but rather let us know, when opened, these products should last roughly this long. I would suggest using a colored sharpie to write the date of actual expiration when you have opened the product.

Glosses or creams you dip your fingers into have a significantly shorter lifespan. Your fingers can transfer bacteria which can cause breakouts. Liquid eye products such as mascara and liquid liner should only be kept for 3 months. Even the pads on your eyelash curler should be cleaned or changed just as often.

To lengthen the life of your products, I would suggest practicing some standard sanitary methods:

  1. Do not use dirty fingers to apply your makeup. Instead, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer first.
  2. Use clean makeup brushes to apply your products (more on this in a future post).
  3. You can even spray your makeup with 91% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize it after each use.
  4. You can sanitize your lipsticks by dipping them in alcohol and letting them dry.
  5. If you have used your finger or a wet brush in a powder product and it has become hard or shiny, try taking a sanitized pair of tweezers or scissors and lightly scraping off the top layer. Then spray the product with alcohol and let air dry.
  6. To lengthen the life of your pencils, sharpen them regularly and don’t forget to clean your sharpener!

So, how long should you keep different beauty products??


Using the above guide, do you and your skin a big favor this spring and toss those old products and make some room for some fun new goodies!

Good luck mamas and until next time, stay beautiful! 


[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#381b5e”]Written by Beatriz Jarvis[/typography]

BeatrizI am a self-taught free lance make-up artist serving the Burlington area. I have a strong passion for helping people look and feel their best.  I am constantly on the prowl for how I can bring both the latest looks and styles, as well as classic standards of beauty, to my diverse clientele.  You can find out more about me on my Facebook page here.


  1. OMG…I just cleaned out my makeup according to your rules (mostly) and there wasn’t much left. Bought some new eyeshadow palettes yesterday and am so excited to try them out. Also cleaned out my makeup brushes and that was disgusting! Thanks for your prompting on this!

  2. great article! sometimes my sharpie gets rubbed off, so on things like mascara & lip gloss I put some masking tape on the tube and then write the open or replace date on the tape.


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