The YUCK Factor…


Giving people make-up lessons, I get to see the insides to a lot of people’s make-up bags, boxes and drawers.  Some are ok, but most are SCARY!!!  Food has expiration dates printed on them (like milk, you’d never keep milk around forever) and while cosmetics have that “expires from opening” little open jar on the bottom of their packages, we women are pack rats and keep everything forever. I think the worst case I saw was a client who complained about all of a sudden dealing with breakouts.  I asked her what in her beauty repetoire she had changed and she said nothing.  Hmmm…then we looked at her make-up bag.  She had been using a cream foundation and when I saw the sponge she used to apply it, I asked her when the last time was that she washed it.  She said never.  I then asked her when she had purchased the compact she was currently using…4 years ago.  FOUR YEARS AGO!!!  Same cream compact, same ooey, gooey sponge.  I explained to her that she had FOUR years of bacteria built up on the cream foundation AND the sponge, it’s no wonder she was breaking out!  Even I admit it…while I’m adamant about expiration dates on my work kit, my personal one…well, that’s a different story.  I do have some lipsticks in there that are over 5 years old.  I’m not perfect.  🙂

So, I decided to compile a quick, succinct list of expiration dates for cosmetics.  Most of the ones out there are long and convoluted.  This one is designed to be printed out and put into your make-up box with a sharpie marker so that when you open a new product, you can write down the date and know when to toss it.


Mascara- 3 months
Cream Foundations/Blush- 12-18 months
Powder Compacts (eye, cheek, face)- 2 years
Lipstick- 18 months to 2 years
Pencil Eye/Lip Liner- 2 years
Gel/Cream Eye Liners- 2 months
Liquid Foundation- 6-12 months
Lipgloss- 1 year
Nail Polish- 1-2 years
Liquid Eye Liners- 3 months
Powder/Stick Concealers- 2 years
Liquid Concealer- 1 year

Make-Up Brushes for Powder- Wash once a week
Make-Up Brushes/Sponges for Creams or Liquids- WASH AFTER EACH USE

So, be honest, in the comments, what item in your make-up bag/box/drawer should you go throw away right now?  Let’s see what type of “make-up graveyard” collection we can create!

Photo from
Information compiled from,,,

We do not work for any of the companies listed nor did we receive any sorts of compensation for this article.

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