You’re Expired!

To play on The Donald’s famous two words “You’re fired”, the same sorta holds true for make-up items since make-up manufacturers are not required to give dates.   But, I’ve done some research and chatted over time with a few of my beauty gurus (thank you Bobby Brown ‘n Janine at Revive!) to help us know when we need to say sayonara.   Not surprisingly one of the keys is to approach it much as we do food that’s gone bad by using our sense of smell and sight.  If something looks clunky, lumpy, smells bad or has changed color it’s time for it to go.  Face it girlfriends (no pun intended!): the things we use generally don’t last more than six months or if they do we’ve decided to move on to next seasons must have colors so take stock asap…. AND here are a few tips to help keep your make-up ‘fresh-enough’:

  • Don’t wet your eyeliner brush with your saliva. Doing that will leave it damp and breed bacteria on both the product and brush which may leave your eyes with a lovely ‘pinkish’ cast!
  • Throw away anything that smells, is discolored, chunky, or hardened
    • Water-based foundations last up to 12 months so if they get chunky and start to dry out add a few drops of alcohol-free toner and shake that baby.
  • Lengthen the life of your lipstick by keeping it cool in your fridge.
  • Limit pumping your mascara-the more you pump, the more you expose it the air which will dry it out faster
  • Use Q-tips or disposable applicators and sponges
  • Sharpen eye liner and lip pencils regularly
  • If you get an infection, chuck the brush or product pronto.
  • If brushes get stained or misshapen toss
  • Be selfish-never share your make-up or creams
  • Keep creams and fragrances out of light and humidity since it can spoil or change the scent.

Please note the expiration dates that follow apply ONCE OPENED…shelf life for non-opened items is generally 2-3 years.


  • Face/Blush/Bronze Powder: 1 years
  • Cream Blush: 6 months to 1 year
  • Foundation:
    • Water based: 6 months
    • Oil-based: 6 months
  • Concealer: 12 months
  • Lipstick: 1 year
  • Lip and Eye Pencils: 3-4 month
  • Liquid Eye Liner: 3 months
  • Mascara: 1.5-2 months
  • Eye Shadow: 1-2 years or until next season’s hot color replaces it!
  • Make-up brushes: 3-7 years depending upon care and quality.


  • Eye cream: 6 yr.
  • Face cream: 1 yr.
  • Body: 1 yr.


  • Nail polish: 1 year
  • Nail polish remover: None
  • Deodorant:
    • w/out Anti-perspirant: 1 year
    • w/Anti-perspirants: They follow FDA guidelines since they have ingredients in them that cause sweat to stop -check the bottom for expiration date.
  • Body Bleach: 6 months
  • Loofah stuff : 3 months (Be sure to squeeze out moisture after every use and hang dry to avoid mold and/or mildew growing. Discard if start deteriorating.)
  • Perfume: 1-2yrs.

For more tips from The Accidental Housewife visit julies tips

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