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Makeup Expiration Date | Create A Cosmetic Calendar

Let me ask you, do you know the makeup expiration dates for your makeup products? Yes? No? Well, let’s start working on our cosmetic calendar and keep tabs on when it’s time to throw something away!

Makeup Expiration Date Comprehensive Guide

We love our makeup so much and admittedly, we’ve grown very attached to them. The thought of throwing away an Yves Saint Laurent mascara after using it for six months is heartbreaking. We say, “But there’s still so much product left?” Talk about separation anxiety, huh? Honey, we’ve all been there and while it feels miserable to throw away makeup, it’s something you MUST do to keep your skin healthy. So today, I want you to work on your cosmetic calendar, go through this makeup expiration date guide, and start keeping tabs on every product you use. Trust me on this ladies, your skin’s health must always be your top priority!

So, when does makeup expire? Check out the infographic below:


Makeup Expiration Date | Create A Cosmetic Calendar

Makeup Expiration Dates

Ladies, let’s break it down further just to make sure you got every makeup product locked down. Get your pen and paper ready for this one.


  • Mascara – 3-6 months
  • Liquid eyeliner – 6 months
  • Retractable liner – 18 months
  • Eyeliner and eyebrow pencil – 24-36 months (if properly sharpened)
  • Eyeliner gel – 6 months
  • Eyebrow gel – 12 months
  • Eyeshadow powder –  18-36 months
  • Cream eyeshadow – 12 months


  • Liquid Foundation – 12 months for water-based, 18 months for oil-based
  • Powder Foundation, Powder Blush, Powder Bronzer, Pressed Powder – 18-36 months
  • Foundation Primer – 12 months
  • BB cream – 12 months
  • Tinted Moisturizer – 12 months
  • Cream Bronzer – 12 months
  • Concealer – 12 months


  • Lip liner – 24-36 months
  • Lipstick – 18 months
  • Lip gloss – 12 months

Makeup Tools

  • Makeup Brushes – wash every 2 or 3 months with mild soap
  • Sponge – Wash weekly, replace monthly


Why do some makeup products expire faster than others? For one, all-natural and organic makeup does not contain any preservatives or paraben, so naturally, they’ll expire faster.  As for makeup with water, they have a short shelf life because water is an easy breeding ground for microbes and bacteria. This is the same reason why makeup in powder form can last up to 3 years due to the absence of water.

The Importance of A Cosmetic Calendar

You know what? I’m also very guilty about not having a cosmetic calendar to help me check which products are about to expire or has already expired. I’m sure I’ve used expired makeup before without even realizing it. Now that I know better, I want to share with you how important it is to know the makeup expiration dates of the product you use.

So why is it important to keep tabs on your makeup expiration dates? With food, anything expired should not be eaten and can make you sick. That’s the same thing with makeup, except our skin won’t be able to scream at you and tell you that the product is already rotten.

However, your skin has a not-so-funny way of telling you that the makeup you’re using is no longer okay. How? In the form of breakouts and skin bacterial infection! And if you still don’t get it, things can get ugly really fast, especially in the eye area where damage can be irreversible.

One of the best ways to know when your makeup expires is by looking at the back of your makeup products. Try it right now. You can see the image I posted above. It’s what you call a PAO symbol, it’s short for “product-after-opening” symbol. It indicates the shelf-life of the product after you open it; the “M” stands for months. You can see this in most makeup and skincare products. So if you’re starting your cosmetic calendar now, you can always refer to this symbol the moment you open up a product and just keep checking in the coming months.


Stephanie Nicole’s way of keeping track of her ginormous makeup collection is neat, watch the video below:

I truly hope that this guide will give you a good idea of makeup expiration dates for the products you use. And if you’ve already forgotten when you’ve opened a product, always make sure to check the texture, smell, and appearance of the product as well. If you’re in doubt, just throw it away. And please, don’t feel bad about tossing out old makeup because your skin is more important! You’ll actually spend more on skin treatments if you chose to continue wearing expired makeup products. So, I won’t keep you any longer and let you work on your cosmetic calendar already. Enjoy makeup cleaning ladies!

Have you ever experienced wearing expired makeup? How did you know it was expired? We’d like to hear from you in the comments section below!

Need help in cleaning and sanitizing your brushes? Don’t worry, just check out Brush Cleaning 101 | How To Properly Wash Your Makeup Brushes!

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