Spring Clean: Makeup Bag

I don’t know about you but nothing feels better than sorting out clutter. Tis the season to get spring cleaning, but its something that in theory we should extend to your beauty stash... not just your wardrobe or home. Today I'm looking at giving your makeup bag a little spring clean and talking makeup expiration. While I could talk about streamlining your stash... It's not quite something Im prepared to do yet so I shouldn't be the one to preach right now. So today I’m just gonna fill you in on spring cleaning your everyday makeup bag… not trying to decide which of your 238729871 brown eye shadows that should be passed on!


On average a foundation can last around a year to 18 months. If it’s in a pot you need to apply with your fingers then get rid of it sooner than you would a bottle with a pump. Bacteria from your fingers will contaminate the foundation.The best way I find is to check the texture and the smell. If it doesn’t look or feel right then toss it.

Powder Products

I'm talking eyeshadows, face powders, blushes, that sorta jazz! These products will all last a lot longer than cream and liquid formulations. I’d say two or three years maximum. But obviously if you’ve had that eyeshadow since 2005 and not used it then it might be time to toss it


Im incredibly funny with mascara and will routinely toss a product within about 2 months, but on average 3-4 is a good guideline. Overtime you’ll notice how a mascara can get clumpier as the air gets to it. Pro Tip: Dont have more than 2 mascaras open at one time and try to keep a record of when you’ve opened the last one. Just so you know when it's best to throw it away. However normally a good test is if it's really thick, dry or doesnt perform as well as it once did, then it's time to part ways!


Lipsticks have a shelf life of around 1-2 years, possibly more. If it smells funky or looks weird then pop it in the bin. Lip glosses go nasty very quickly and you can normally tell when they’ve gone off. Gloopy, smelly or a funny taste are all easy tests.

Eye/Lip Pencils

If sharpened and refreshed regularly then a pencil can last 1-2 years before drying out. Each time you’re sharpening you’re effectively getting a brand new pencil so it’s one of those products you don’t need to worry about. If it goes too dry, unsuable or starts to scratch you’re eye area, then to the bin it goes.

Nail Polish

Nail polish is pretty hard wearing and can last 2-3 years. When it starts to separate in colour or goes really gloopy and unusable it’s time to toss. You can always try and refresh the polish with a little bit of nail polish thinner or specialised nail polish revivers, but I feel it effects the quality too much and you may as well go out and get a new one.

Overall this whole post has been a drawn out way to say : Use your noggin'. Just use a little bit common sense and if it smells weird or looks not quite right then throw it out.  if there is ever a doubt about whether to keep it or toss it, I'd just throw it out. It's not worth it!

Do you have any makeup spring cleaning tips?