When To Toss Your Makeup

Makeup Expiration Dates, When To Throw Away Your Makeup

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you all good health, infinite happiness, lovely surprises and many new & fun adventures! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I know I did and it was really great to unplug, unwind and also GSD! With my husband's help, I completed a home project that involved major re-organization and certain upgrades and transitions. This was as much about improving our daily quality of life as much as continuing down a path of wellness and living with intention.

I had downsized my makeup stash quite a bit already but I went all out and finished the process last month. A few items may have initially been harder to part with because the packaging was really pretty or because they were hardly used. I've always been mindful about tossing my mascaras every 3 months or so but as I was cleaning, I started thinking about some of the other products which I've been less vigilant about. All makeup products do in fact have expiration dates and will go bad. In time, products can reformulate and stop working effectively or they can cause irritations and infections due to bacteria buildup. Ewww! So even though it may be a drag to keep track of how old your beauty products are, it is important to do so for both your health and the health of your skin.

Most products are labeled with an open jar symbol and a number that denotes the number of months from the open date that it is good for. An easy way to keep track is to write the month/year on the label once you begin using something. As I was looking up the guidelines on when to toss out makeup, I found that it could vary based on the resource so I thought it would be helpful to make up a composite chart based on information I gathered from Allure, Real Simple and Popsugar. Common sense will tell you that if your products smell off,  have a weird texture or start separating, they should be tossed. I hope you will find this guide as useful as I did. Taking steps to properly store your makeup in cool, dry spaces and keeping it clean will ensure that your products will perform optimally but it's also just as important to know when to let them go.

I'm now left with a well edited makeup collection that goes hand in hand with my skincare focused beauty routine which actually allows me to wear less makeup day to day. I still like to play around with makeup but I only have but one face so why would I need like 10 of anything especially when it will just inevitably go bad. And sticking to a standard routine means that the products I have will actually be used up and not wasted which honestly feels much more satisfying to me than having an abundance of products just for the sake of having them. I also look forward to continue replacing products with clean beauty alternatives as they run out. This recent article about lead in cosmetics really freaked me out!

When was the last time you checked to make sure you aren't using any expired beauty products?


  1. I have eyeshadows in my stash that are at least 4 years old... I know it's bad but they still perform, so I figure I just keep 'em...

  2. Great to know to be honest I did not know about the nail polish so thank you I pin it to my board.

  3. Love it! Happy new year to you and your loved ones.

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


  4. Needed this...I have a bunch of makeup to toss out now, haha! Happy New Year lovely, wish you lots of happiness xx

  5. very useful post
    keep in touch

  6. Happy New Year, Rowena! Happy to hear you had a great time during the holidays:) Much deserved! Thank you for this list. Although I'm pretty vigilant with editing my makeup, there are some stuff I had since I was freelancing as a makeup artist that I still have....more for sentimental reasons than anything. I have to go through those for sure. And OMG! The KonMari! That has been such a game changer. I'm not surprised you've done it:D I can't stop recommending it to people. Even the way I shop has changed. I now really think through what I'm purchasing, instead of buying compulsively. I must admit that after doing KM, I have lost a bit of my desire for clothes and shoe shopping. I hope this stays forever!:P

    And I did finish TWTWB. Holy. Hell. I was sick for a bit so ended up marathoning it for two nights. I am so so in love with these two now. JIS and SHK are truly amazing. So many episodes I was crying like a baby. Such great lines. And I know what you're talking about now! That mountain scene when JIS took her to the top to hear all the trees chime....sniff sniff....I think my only complaint about that show is that I wish there was another episode. I had so many questions after that last episode.

    I was following the KBS award show only on Soompi but have not seen their actual speeches. Thanks for the heads up, chingu! Will search for it on YouTube. And now, I also wanna watch Park Bo Gum's drama!:D

  7. Happy New Year Rowena! It's so important to know the expiration date for these Beauty products! I had to toss a few nail polishes a few months because they were old, but at least I got good use out of them for my nails lol!

  8. I really love your post
    Happy New Year

  9. Happy new year!! ^-^ Visiting rolalaloves regularly for your thoughtful posts is one of the things that I look forward to this year.
    I still refuse to let go of some of the vintage makeup. I think I am pretty good with lip products and cream/liquid, but no so much on pressed powder forms. Some say these and nails polishes last forever..? Haha don't I want to believe that! But I will certainly go through my stash and declutter once again. I did it once last year, and it did a lot of good for me. :)

  10. I tossed out almost half of my collection in the second half of 2016, some of my makeup were around 3 years old and I never reach for them anymore so out they go. I plan to invest in makeup and skincare for 2017 instead of blindingly purchasing everything because they are cheap.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  11. Happy New Year Rowena! Wishing you & your husband many blessings in the New Year! It was definitely your blog that encouraged me to downsize & organize my life. You always give me inspiration. I did two big makeup throw-outs last year and it felt so good. I feel it is a must. Now a lot of things I do keep for packaging and not use the makeup. So that's my excuse! LOL My focus this year, will be a lot more on skincare, so I look forward to your posts as well. Love you Rowena!

  12. Great tips and a very helpful post! x

  13. Que lindas cores amei a coleção, tenha uma semana abençoada,
    obrigado pela visita. 2017 com sucesso em todas as áreas.

  14. This guide is really interesting, thanks for sharing!
    Happy new year darling!
    Kisses, Paola.

  15. This is a great post, Rowena! I rarely ever used to pay attention to expiration dates, especially when it came to lipsticks. Now that I've gone through my makeup stash I've gone through everything and discarded the expired products as well!
    This is very very helpful!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

  16. This is great.. thanks for sharing!

  17. I didn't know that the expire date for a mascara is only 3 months. I always thought it is at least five or six months...guess I was wrong. Now when I think about it, makes perfect sense...because mascara does come into direct contact with our eyes and eyelashes and it can transfer germs and infections to our eyes. This is serious stuff. Sure, eye shadow can get into eyes too but it doesn't happen everything, but with mascara it is always direct contact- and if we happen to be clumsy (like hm me) it can get all over the place.

    This was very informative. I actually didn't know that eye shadows can last up to 2 years. I would always toss them after six months( not that I have that many, right now I don't have a single palette or an eye shadow- perhaps due to this habit!)..Obviously, I got all my facts wrong. I probably read it once and remembered everything backwards or something- so this post of yours was very useful. I now realized that I tossed away some make up ahead of time (like lip pencils and lipsticks- I applied the six months rule to them as well)....and all the time I was using mascara for too long! Tomorrow I'm going out to buy a new mascara.

    Good to hear about that home project! I didn't do much around my house because I will be moving in Spring, but I did some decluttering when I was cleaning for holidays and it is amazing the difference it can make.

  18. Hey Great post and graphic!! This is such and easy way to keep track. I am pretty good with tossing old make up and try to keep what I own to a minimum. But I also like to experiment hahaha.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  19. I've never used up all my mascara. It's such a sad thing that we shouldn't use mascara beyond 3 months :/ That's probably what makes me hesitant to buy a high-end one.

    Oh Dear Bumblebees

  20. Good to know. TFS! Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!!!

  21. Thank you Rowena, this post was very useful! I wish my mascara lasted more than one month lol! Maybe I use too much mascara :-) Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

  22. Great post!

    You have a nice blog!

    Would you like to follow each other? Let me know on my blog.

    Have a great day!

    xoxo Jacqueline

  23. Oh this is a fantastic chart! So helpful. Happy New Year to you! Wishing you a wonderful year with many exciting things. I have been so out of reading everyone's blogs but trying to play catch up now. Wanted to drop by and say hello and wish you a good 2017. xx

  24. Very helpful post, I'm sure I don't check this enough especially nail polish.

  25. I'm constantly getting new makeup products from brands, so I rarely use old items, but I tend to forget to throw out the old stuff so they're just sitting in a draw somewhere. Gotta get rid of them! Thanks for this cool, shareable guide (sharing on Pinterest).


  26. Hi Rowena! I'm just about to discard some cosmetics because they have already been a long time in my drawer and some I must replace, this list with the time of validity I appreciate very useful, thank you for sharing and happy new year for you, I wish that 2017 will come Loaded with good and beautiful things for you! Kisses.


  27. What a great infographic! Happy New year dear! I threw out so much makeup last year and feel a lot better about it. I'm also buying less skincare, but hope to review everything and choose only really great products!

  28. Great post) Happy New Year)

  29. Happy New Year, Rowena! Great post and it is an important one because many people do not change out their makeup. I am quite a nerd when it comes to cleaning makeup & tools because I have servere allergies, not just food allergies so I use a colour labelling system with adhesive dots for my makeup, especially mascaras so it's easy to know when to toss them, as I tend to buy those and lipsticks the most. I like your infographic, simplistic and pretty, it's one of the better illustrations I've seen on this.

  30. Hi Rowena, Great information! I really liked your idea of putting the date on each item when you bring it home so you'll know when it expires! (I'm surprised the industry hasn't thought of this!) Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Janet

  31. Very interesting posts my dear

  32. This was genuinely super useful, thanks so much Rowena! The only one I knew was mascara, as it's so important to look after our eyes. I'm pleased to know lipsticks are good for 2 years, as I'm still working my way through quite a few haha :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  33. Great post dear!


  34. Happy New year Rowena, wishing you and your family a lot of love and blessing. You have kept your finger on a very sensitive topic. It's very useful and informative article. Actually we all know these facts about the cosmetics but still couldn't change out them but it's not good for our health. Very unique topic, thanks for sharing. I'm going to check my makeup product's date today..hehe <3 Kisses <3

  35. Oh man, I've honestly never really thought about this before! But you're so right. Now I want to go home and throw out my mascara, immediately!!

  36. Wow, I think this is a fabulous table, dear! Great tips! xoxo


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