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9 Ways to Know When to Throw Out Your Makeup

When Should You Throw Out Your Makeup? 9 Ways to Know When Cosmetics Expire.


You’ve got two to three months with your mascara wand once opened, according to Clarissa Luna, a makeup artist whose work has appeared in ELLE, Marie Claire and Nylon. ”Once the mascara has gotten thick, or starts to flake, it means its had too much contact with air, and there could be bacteria lurking inside the tube,” she says. To prevent this, never pump your mascara. When pulling the applicator out of the tube, twist it around slowly to build up the product.


You can get away with keeping your lipsticks for two years without spoiling, Luna explains. “If you keep them stored in a dark, cool place they can be kept longer,” she says. “But once they start smelling rancid or looking fuzzy you’ll know it’s time to throw them away. Lipsticks shouldn’t have a fur coat!”


Use your judgment on this. “Once opened, you’ve got 6 months to a year,” Luna says. Check that the consistency still looks the same and apply it using a brush or sponge. ”If unopened, it can last a couple of years, so don’t be afraid to stock pile your favorite!”


Liquid liner is in the same category as mascara, says Luna — toss it after three months to avoid a potential eye infection (and never, ever share… but you knew that, right?). Pencil eyeliners can have a longer shelf life, but you need to sharpen them regularly. “Most people don’t do it every day, so bacteria lingers and could cause irritation. Spray alcohol on the tip before sharpening and do at least three rotations to remove germs.”

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