Makeup Spring Cleaning – When To Bin Everything

It’s spring cleaning time! And this includes things we don’t think about that often, at least not in a “cleaning” sort of way. MAKEUP! Here’s what is in my makeup bag right now… 


And whether or not we realise it, we are probably holding on to beauty products way too long.

With proper care, some makeup can last a long time. But the threat of bacteria is no joke. Eye infections, skin infections can became a real issue if we don’t make sure our makeup and applicators are cared for. Here are the times when we should keep and when we should toss our much beloved (and expensive) makeup. 


Bin it: Every 3 months.

Why? To prevent eye infections you’re advised to replace your mascara four times a year. To be honest… after 3 or 4 months it dries up anyway. Pro tip? Don’t pump your wand in and out of the tube, it only dries it up faster. Instead swirl the wand around.


Bin it: Every two years for powder, once a year for cream.

Why? Just like powder blushes and bronzers, powder eyeshadows can last up to two years. But if you apply it every day, beware that bacteria build up could result in an eye infection (not a good look), so be sure to keep brushes clean. If you’re using a cream-based eyeshadow toss it after one year.

Liquid Eyeliner

Bin it: 3-6 months.

Why? Bacteria is again the culprit for liquid liners. Pencils and retractable pens can be kept for a year as they are constantly sharpened.


Bin it: Once a year.

Why? Don’t use your fingers! Nasty bacteria loves your fingertips. If you use a brush or a sponge you can get a full year out of it. At that point colour changes.



Bin it: 12 to 18 months.

Why? If you have concealer in a pan, it can last up to 18 months if you apply it with a regularly-washed brush or sponge. If you apply with your fingers, though, you’re more likely to transfer bacteria. If you have concealer in a tube with a wand you’ll only want to keep it in your makeup bag for a year before it starts to turn.

Blush & Bronzer

Bin it: Every two years.

Why? Powders, since they don’t contain oils and water, have a longer shelf life than most other cosmetics. As a rule of thumb, toss these when the colour darkens or starts to cake.


Bin it: Once a year.

Why? The preservatives used in lipstick can break down after a year.

Lip Gloss

Bin it: 6 months to one year.

Why? Lip gloss with a wand applicator should hit the trash after 6 months due to bacteria build up. Tube gloss can last a year because of the decreased chance of bacteria entering the product.

Makeup Brushes

Bin it: One to five years.

Why? It’s all about the quality. A good brush that you take care of can last for many years. Wash brushes every day. Pro-tip? Johnson’s baby shampoo works well too thanks to its gentle formula.

Makeup Sponges

Bin it: At least once a month.

Why? If you wash them after every use you can get a month out of them.

Nail Polish

Bin it: After one year.

Why? Chemicals in nail polish will start to deteriorate after one year.


Were you surprised at some of these? I sure was! How often do you “Spring Clean” your makeup? I’d love to hear all about it on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.