How to extend your makeup's shelf life

August 17, 2015 - 2 min read

Read our top tips for extending the shelf life of your makeup.

Shelf life for all products

The recommended shelf life for any beauty product can be found by locating the open jar symbol with a number, followed by the letter M, normally on the bottom of the product. This number is the use by date, and indicates the number of months you can safely use the product once opened.


Shelf life: 3 months
When to throw out: After 3 months, also if you have recently been sick it is worth disposing of your mascara to avoid infection, or if the smell, colour or texture changes.
Don’t pump the wand into the tube: By repeatedly pumping, large amounts of air enter the tube causing the product to thicken and dry out.
Revive dried out mascara with saline solution: Add a few drops into the bottle, secure the lid and shake to extend your mascara by a week or two.

Liquid foundation

Shelf life: 6 to 12 months.
When to throw out: After 6 to 12 months, if the colour has lightened or if the product has separated.
Store in a cool, dry place: Keep away from warmth and humidity (like a steamy bathroom) to minimise the growth of bacteria.
Pour product onto back of hand or makeup pan: Keep tools and fingers away from the bottle opening, as the oils from our fingers can increase the chances of contamination.


Shelf life: Dependent on care
When to throw out: Throw out sponges within 1 to 2 uses, and brushes when they start to heavily shed, turn stiff or smell bad after washing.
Wash regularly: Using a brush cleanser or baby shampoo, washing brushes (sponges after every use) once a week will prevent premature need for replacement.
Dry correctly: Lay the brushes flat on a dry soft surface so water does not seep down into the handles, creating mould.

Other tips to prolong the life of your makeup:

  • Leaving any products containing SPF in direct sunlight will activate and kill the SPF — so ensure you store in a cool location out of direct sunlight!
  • Revive dried out nail polish with a drop of acetone nail polish remover.
  • Restore cracked eye shadow by pressing product back into the palette, adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol and pressing the powder with the back of a spoon.