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When to Break Up With Your Make up

This month we kicked off with decluttering the bathroom, which seems like a simple enough task but chances are there are a whole lot more items in your bathroom you should be throwing out. Just like our fridge and pantry, our bathroom cabinets tend to be full of items that also have a limited shelf life or expiry.

Lucky for you we have an expert guest blogger, Nikky from Lipstick and Motherhood to give you a little guidance on when, how and why you need to break up with your make up and skincare items.

Here is Nikky’s post:

Have you ever noticed these little signs on your beauty products? It says 3M, 9M, 12M or 36M. Do you all know what it means?

I had no clue until I did my makeup course and was kind of shocked to find out that make up had an expiration date. Different products have different expiration dates so here is my guide for you all.


The life of foundations can vary from product to product, but the average shelf life for foundations is 24 months. How can you prolong the life of your foundation? Simple! Use them in the most hygienic way possible. Here is an example:

  • Always try to use foundations that come with a pump. You don’t actually need direct skin contact with a pump and therefore it prolongs the life of your foundation.
  • If you have a foundation that doesn’t have a pump, then I would suggest using a cotton tip or a disposable spatula to scoop the foundation out of it’s packaging.
  • If your foundation starts to change colour, smells differently or irritates your skin it’s time to get rid of it. Pronto!


This is a tricky one. Most concealers state that they are only good for 6 months, but let’s face it, unless you use it on a daily basis to cover up spots, hide dark circles and to highlight your face, chances are you won’t use it up in 6 months and that would be a big waste of money. This is why I prefer to use a concealer that has a pump. Those concealers I will keep for a little longer than it’s expiration date, but the same rule applies, if it changes colour or smells bad, get rid of it.

  • Concealer that comes with an application brush is in contact with skin every single use, therefore it collects bacteria. Those concealers get tossed after 6 months or earlier if they start to look gross.

POWDER PRODUCTS (Face Powders, Blushes and Eyeshadows)

These products vary from brand to brand. Face Powders have an expiration date between 24-30 months, blushes around 12-24 months and eye shadow is usually 12 months. To find out how you can prolong the life of these products keep on reading for more tips.


Eyeliners can last up to 30 months. A little less for liquid eyeliner because that usually dries out after a few months. Even though the packaging says 30M it doesn’t mean that you can keep it that long.

  • Have you ever had conjunctivitis? I’m sure many of us have especially those with kids. You may not realise it, but the virus/bacteria would have already been spread even before it was visible on your eyes, therefore if you have used an eyeliner or mascara the chances are that the product is contaminated and should be disposed of straight away.


Mascara will only last between 3-6 months or less. Chances are if you use your mascara on a daily basis you would have to repurchase a new one within 1-2 months because it’s empty, but if you are like me and have a few open at the same time, then you won’t finish it and will sadly have to get rid of it within the 3-6 months time frame.

  • Just like with eyeliner, if you do have a contagious virus, you need to get rid of it ASAP.


Most lipsticks and lip glosses will only last 24 months. The good thing about lipstick and lip glosses is that because of the oil and wax that is in them, you can pretty much feel and smell as soon as they go off.

  • Again if you have applied a lip product and end up with a cold sore a few days later, it’s time to throw it away.

You much be thinking that if you follow all these rules, you will be wasting a whole lot of money, but don’t fear. There is a way that you can make sure you use your products in a hygienic manner and also prolong the life of them.


As a make up artist, I do a lot of sanitising.

  • Use a rubbing alcohol sparingly on by pouring a few drops on a make up remover pad and rub it over your lipstick, eyeliner pencils, cleaning the pumps and lids of your foundations and primers.
  • Pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spray a very small amount over your eye shadows and powders.
  • Unfortunately there is no way to sanitise mascaras or lip glosses.


If you use make up brushes to apply your make up, make sure you clean them on a regular basis.I try to clean my brushes weekly or fortnightly.

  • All you need is some baby shampoo and warm water.
  • If you don’t have the time to clean the brushes that week I would recommend going out and buying yourself a good quality brush cleaner.
  • Brush cleaners are fast drying and it means you can use your brushes again pretty much straight away.
  • This should not replace a good deep clean.

There you have it, the life span of all your make up items, plus the best ways to keep your make up healthy and long lasting. I don’t know about you, but after reading Nikky’s post, I need to back and cull a whole lot more out of my bathroom cabinet. There may also need to be a mini shopping spree to replace some of my favourites too since I have been hoarding them much longer than I should. But now we all know how long to keep makeup and when to part ways… even if it is sometimes hard to see those dollars go down the drain. Thank you Nikky for such a fabulous post!

Now who wants to admit the approximate age of some of the make up in their stash? Or are you on top of it already? 




Wednesday 25th of February 2015

Ok - phew - deep breath. I rarely wear foundation but when I do I wear the bottle I bought for my wedding. I got married in 2008!! It smells fine, looks fine and doesn't irritate my skin, it was really expensive, I don't think I can afford to break up with it!!


Wednesday 25th of February 2015

haha Morna, sometimes we are just a little too attached to a certain something. I still have the powder from my wedding which is actually a little silly as it only suits me when I have a spray tan but sometimes I have spray tans for special occasions so it pays to have make up that suits... right? ;)

[email protected]

Saturday 14th of February 2015

Some great tips - Thanks for joining in with this week's #FabulouslyFrugal, we hope you'll join in again x


Saturday 14th of February 2015

Thanks Cass :)


Saturday 14th of February 2015

I SO need to do this!


Saturday 14th of February 2015

I reckon 90% of us are guilty of hoarding old make up hehe

Carrie Groneman

Sunday 8th of February 2015

GREAT post! Thank you for the information and stopping by from Sat Evening Family Friendly Free For All. Carrie, A Mothers Shadow


Wednesday 11th of February 2015

Thanks Carrie.

Stella [email protected] Purfylle

Sunday 8th of February 2015

I am guilty of keeping my makeup for too long. I need to go through it all. Thanks for the push.


Wednesday 11th of February 2015

It's so hard to part with but I will learn to declutter mine more too lol no more make up hoarding!