A Guide To How Long Cosmetics Can Be In The Bathroom Cupboard

Apr 19, 2021
03:00 A.M.
Share this pen

We all have makeup drawers filled with way too many old cosmetics. Personally, I think I have a lipstick from 2008 right in the bottom of my makeup bag that I just can’t seem to see long enough to throw it away.


We know that keeping cosmetics for too long will result in them drying up and expiring, but how do we know when to get rid of our cosmetics other than when we open up our gel eyeliner, and it’s turned into a tiny black rock?

Here is how long you should be keeping all of your cosmetics.

Foundation and Concealer


Your foundation and concealer products’ life is dependant upon whether they are water- or oil-based products. Oil-based products will last 18 months, while water-based products will last a year.

Luckily, more often than not, you will finish your bottle of concealer or foundation long before the expiration date. Foundation and concealer are cosmetics products that most people use almost daily.

Liquid Highlight


Using a powder highlight will ensure that you can use the product longer, but there is something about the beauty and luminosity that comes with a liquid highlight that we just can’t get enough of.

The liquid highlight will usually last around six months, but if you store it in a cool, dry place and use a disposable applicator as often as you can allow the liquid highlight to last for at least a year before it needs to be thrown away.

Cream Blush


Cream blush and “multiple” sticks, a product that you can use on both your cheeks and your lips, are similar in texture to foundation and concealer. They feel soft snd smooth on the skin.

It’s time to toss your cream blush if you begin to notice a change in the product’s texture. Usually, this will take a year to 18 months to happen, but it can happen sooner, so watch out for the signs.

Blush, Bronzer, Eyeliner, and Face Powder


Powder products don’t contain any water, making it much harder for them to grow bacteria. This means that you can keep them for longer before you have to throw them away.

You can usually keep powder products for up to 18 months. You might be able to extend this amount of time by regularly sanitizing your powder products with a waterless, alcohol-based sanitizing spray.



Mascara is one of the only products that’s shelf life decreases the more you use it. However, it is another product that you will most likely use up long before it reaches its expiration date.

You can keep mascara for three months if you’re using it every day, but six months if you only use it occasionally. If you abide by any expiration date, it should be mascara because of how close it gets to your eyes.



If you’re using a pencil eyeliner, you can keep it up to two years. You can save your pencil liners regularly by sharpening them. When you sharpen an eyeliner pencil, you get rid of all of the bacteria that it has on it.

However, when you use liquid eyeliner, it is quite similar to mascara in that it is close to the eye and contains a lot of bacteria. For this reason, liquid eyeliner lasts only about three months if used every day.

Lipstick and Lipgloss


Lipstick and lipglosses are possibly the most popular items that are hoarded in makeup bags. Shades that we bought too many of or shades that we purchased but were never bold enough to wear.

However, lipsticks and lipglosses have a shelf life of their own, and it is a year to 18 months. Lipstick and lipglosses do not hold much bacteria on them, so they have a longer shelf life. To extend this, you can use a disposable applicator.



You don’t need to throw away your favorite perfume in too much of a hurry because fragrances are the longest-lasting cosmetic product. You can keep your perfumes almost as long as you kept your toxic ex.

Fragrances last for 5-10 years. If you want to maximize your fragrance’s shelf life, you can store them out of direct sunlight and even in the fridge if you’re looking to make sure that they stay fresh.

Nail Polish


While nail polish is not something that is technically part of your daily beauty regime, it is something that we all have stored in the back of a cupboard somewhere, and it might be time to throw it out.

You can use nail polish for up to two years. Keeping your nail polish stored in a cool and dry place so that it does not separate will help your nail polish last much longer.