Makeup Bag Makeover: The Time is Now

Posted on January 12, 2018

If you closed your eyes, you could probably recite the contents off by heart, but how do you know when it’s time for a makeup overhaul? What’s hiding in your makeup bag can often be hurting you, instead of helping. Just like milk and eggs, makeup has an expiration date. Using expired products can have an extremely negative effect on your skin as you are likely to experience an irritation response, such as redness. Expired makeup can also harbour nasty bacteria and work less effectively. You’ve been warned, ladies. 

According to Pat McGrath, the must have items to have in your makeup bag are foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick and mascara.

A large variety of makeup products on a counter next to a makeup bag.
Image Credit: Thirteen Thoughts

We tend to carry around the contents of our makeup bags like armour; reaching for each product when it’s time to face the day. It’s important to know when it’s time ditch the old, and welcome the new because understanding expiration dates serves a bigger purpose than merely getting you to buy other products. Keep reading as Red Scout reveals the secrets to mastering an effective makeup bag makeover.

Foundation: 6 – 18 Months

Smear of foundation next to a foundation brush.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Foundation is best stored in a cool dry place. Pump formula can last anywhere between 1 year and 18 months, but foundation packaged in a pot expires in 6 months. If you notice the smell of it change, toss it. Think of foundation like an investment purchase, they can often be expensive so try and find the perfect bottle of foundation that will ensure full usage within the timeframe prior to expiry.

Concealer: 6 Months – 1 Year

Large palette of multi-toned concealers.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Powder and stick concealers are the most long-lasting formulas that can last up to a year, but liquid concealers should be replaced in half that time. Similar to foundations, look out for changes in colour, scent or consistency.

Powder: Up to 2 Years

Large powder brush dipped into loose powder.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Pro-tip to keep your powder products fresher for longer is to clean your brushes regularly, or replace sponges as the moisture or oil from your face can transfer back into the compact. Pressed and loose powders can last up to 2 years.

Blush/Bronzer: 12 Months – 2 Years

Pink blush compact.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Powder bronzer or blush can last up to 2 years. Liquid bronzing and blushing products tend to expire after 12 months. Cream products often require application with your fingers, so stay alert to changes in texture and discard after a year.

Powder Eyeshadow: Up to 2 Years

Range of different coloured powder eye shadows
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Similar to face powder, eyeshadow can last up to 2 years. It’s important to clean your brushes and tools well to ensure no bacteria is picked up from the eye area and transferred back into the shadow or palette.

Liquid Eyeliner: 3 Months to 1 Year

Opened liquid liner.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Your liquid eyeliner can be used safely for a full year, but if you notice that your liner is becoming dry and dragging and you can no longer achieve the perfect cat eye, you may need to farewell the product at the 3-month mark. Pencil eyeliners will last longer than liquid liner, because you are able to create a fresh, clean surface each time you sharpen the product. Just be sure to sharpen the liner regularly.

Mascara: 3 to 6 Months

Woman applying mascara
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Mascara is the most likely culprit for breeding harmful bacteria because it is stroked so close to the eye under the base of the lashes. As soon as you notice the smell shift, or the wand is nearly dry – get rid of it.

Lipstick: Up to 2 Years

Arrangement of berry coloured lipsticks.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Bold reds and berries will last you a couple of birthdays, as lipsticks contain wax in their base. Change in colour, texture or smell are warning signs that your lipstick has expired. 

Preservatives stop working efficiently over time and it’s possible for staph, fungus and yeast to contaminate makeup that has been kept past their prime. With these makeup tips, you can keep your collection fungus free and fresh. 

Red Scout offer 4 amazing makeup training modules! – Foundation, Powder, Eyes and Lips. Click here to learn more about best-practice makeup application and hygiene tips. 


By Mikayla Tabone. 

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