To chuck or not to chuck

Hands up! Who can look through their makeup bag/kit/case/cupboard (whatever it is they use to store their beauty goodies) and safely say that none of their items have passed their expiration dates? What, no one? No one at all? Really?

Yes, really. It is that easy to go past the expiry dates of the cosmetics we use and some would be surprised that there is even a time limit to stick to. However, whether it’s a case of ‘head in the sand’ or ‘ignorance is bliss’, it really is high time you sat down and dug through your pretty-making treasures and thought about throwing some of the long-timers away.

The longer we keep using makeup, particularly moist water-based products , the more opportunity there is for bacterial contamination. Unlike the food we eat, makeup expiry/best before dates are usually from the day we begin to use them – so once they are opened, we have to take care if they’re to last.

One key symbol you may not have noticed on your products if you’re in Europe, is:


This shows the recommended life span for that product and is a rule of thumb to treat as guidance and the way you take care of your cosmetics will affect this timeline for better or worse.

To give you an idea of the typical lifespan of some products:


Blusher/eye shadow and pressed powder: 12-18 months


Pencil eyeliner: As long as the product remains (with regular sharpening)


Foundation/concealer and tinted moisturisers: 12 months


Lipsticks:18-24 months

Lipgloss: 12-18 months

So although you may be a little shocked when you calculate how long that lip gloss has been in your makeup bag. It’s just one more good excuse to go out buy some more goodies!


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Hi, the Beauty Ten blog has been created as a hobby and space for me to focus on all things beauty, lifestyle and fashion related. If you'd like to get in touch or have any questions please contact me on

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