Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #10

Makeup Expiration Dates

Photo grid of my order from UltaThere are very few things I feel I truly need. For example there’s air, water, shelter, food, clothing (although I suppose this could be optional if I lived in a warmer climate, but then again I’d probably scare the natives). These things I couldn’t live without for sure however I’m gonna tack on a couple of extras:

  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer & shower gel
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Makeup

I just want to point out in case you missed it, I didn’t add shoes to the list, although I probably should have added Mollie but her yipping can be a real buzz kill. See, I’m not so high maintenance. Now back to what I was saying.

Chart of makeup and expiration dates. This info is listed in the post.

Thank heavens for the internet, Ulta, and the United States Postal Service. You see, I was running way low on foundation, eyeliner pencil, and my mascara was several days past the toss date.

Because makeup falls under the list of must-haves—and I couldn’t get out to the store (this is code for it was too cold to go to the store)—it was from the comfort of my cozy home I placed my order. Two days later who should appear at my door but the postal worker with my package.

The box arrived yesterday and the only deviation from my makeup needs were two lipsticks. Several freebie fragrance samples were also included.

Expiration dates. How many of you adhere to, or know about expiration dates on your makeup?

In view of the fact my mascara was a few days over the three-month period, I thought sharing expiration dates with you could be of use. I found the chart in today’s post on Pinterest compliments of Makeup.com.

  • Mascara – 6 months
  • Liquid Liners – 6 months
  • Foundation – 6 to 12 months
  • Lip Gloss – 1 year
  • Concealer – 1 year
  • Nail Polish – 2 years
  • Lipstick – 2 years
  • Powders – 2 years
  • Eye Shadow/Bronzer/Blush – 2 years

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to check out your makeup cache.

Have a nice weekend and for those of you experiencing the extreme cold, stay safe and warm.


Published by Stephanae

👩🏾‍🦯 | INTJ | HSP | Collector of knowledge | Alpaca Fanatic “If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I'm going.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee Hi, I'm Steph! I'm a highly sensitive proud introvert and a recovering people-pleaser. These traits or quirks used to bother me because I always felt out of place until I began a recent process of self-acceptance. While I'm still a work in progress, I view my quirks as my superpowers and am grateful that they contribute to who I am today.

20 thoughts on “Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #10

  1. Many cosmetic companies do not currently put expiration dates on their products. I wasn’t aware of the length of time makeup would keep but I saw a similar chart a number of years ago and made sure I at least adhered to eye makeup expiration guidelines.

  2. Wow I had no idea there was expiration date on makeup, I think I’m way over mine aha but I like your post, check out mine?

  3. One of the things I like most about being older is less makeup. Don’t get me wrong l love wearing it an how it makes me feel but I no longer want oodles of it which is a good thing with my recent life purge.

  4. After the holidays I’ll purge my makeup collection 🙂
    Nail polishes seem to keep good much longer than that though. I think I’ve got probably 40-50 different shades of nail polishes, an addiction to lip balms with a nice scent (easy to go thru those: if it doesn’t smell right, ditch)… and weirdly enough a pile of mascaras. I quit with eye makeup a few years ago, and it feels awesome. Thank goodness for lovely sunglasses and shades and tinted lipbalms…

  5. Hi Faith, thank you so much for reading and commenting on this article. According to the FDA, where cosmetics are concerned, they leave it up to the manufacturers to print expiration dates on their products. “There are no regulations or requirements under current United States law that require cosmetic manufacturers to print expiration dates on the labels of cosmetic products. Manufacturers have the responsibility to determine shelf life for products, as part of their responsibility to substantiate product safety.” I did see an article this past summer indicating that the FDA will be tougher on the ingredients lists for cosmetics but as of now the rules differ greatly from this industry vs food and pharmaceuticals.

  6. I went to Culinary School where I learned that a chemical change and bacterial change / load takes place after the expiration date. Those dates are there because it is known that wide variables will change the product make up after a certain time. Expiration dates are not a sales trick but a government mandated warning concerning the safety of your purchase.

    Good to see this article.

  7. Thank you Robyn and no worries. We’ve all done it and will likely continue to do so. Since you and I have been communicating for some time now I feel like I know you well enough to understand a minor technical glitch.🙂 Merry Christmas to you as well.💗🎄

  8. You’re so organised Steph. I must apologise for the response to your comment on my blog. It was the kind of mistake one makes when replying on a phone in a half awake state without glasses. Why do I do it?! So sorry. Have a great Christmas Steph. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  9. I don’t think I realised make up could expire haha. Mascara I know is one to be careful of as it it is old one can get eye infections. Ideally I prefer to use natural makeup, yes even natural mascara…more expensive but healthier as it all gets absorbed through our skin.

  10. You’d be in good company Katelon. When I first heard about this I thought it was just a ploy by the cosmetic industry to get us to buy more frequently. For the most part I’m only diligent with mascara and eyeliner.

  11. You’re not alone in keeping makeup longer than the recommended expiration guidelines. Before I came across these guide I thought it was okay to let it dry out then purchase a new one. After learning about how long to keep the products after opening I’ve been particularly careful with mascara.

  12. I’m with you on the mascara, too risky to keep it beyond 3 mths. I used to do the same thing with nail polish.😉As a matter of fact when it got thick that was my indicator to toss.

  13. Thanks for the make up expiration guide. I’m always looking up these guides for food…this morning it was for hazelnuts and raisins, but I’m negligent about keeping track of make up dates. I’m sure I’m way over with my mascara and liner. Good reminder to treat myself soon.

  14. I had no idea make up of any kind had an expiration date. Now I guess I might as well through out the stuff I brought when we moved here in 1997! Aww, just joking with you. But I did assume if it had not dried, shriveled, or turned mushy, it could be used. How do you know the expiration dates?

  15. Great post Steph! I have so much make up. The only product I really watch is mascara. I write the date I bought it on with a sharpie. I have nail polish that I’ve had for years. If it’s thick and gloppy it gets tossed.

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