When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Products

Augusta Falletta
When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Products
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We all have beauty products that we swear by. We ritually apply them in the morning and reapply them throughout the day, but we easily forget about how long we’ve been applying them for. A year? Two years? Five years? It comes to a point when we need to say ‘goodbye’ to our old (and most likely expired) products in favor of fresh tubes and bottles.

For almost all beauty products, an off-putting odor or indecipherable discoloration is a sure sign that the trash can is calling them into Makeup Heaven. A good rule of thumb? When you open a product for the first time, write the date on the bottom of the bottle or the side of the tube. That way, you’ll never have to wonder if you’re using expired foundation. Your face deserves better than that!

So say ‘ta-ta’ to these ten expired products and say hello to the beauty counter!

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Water-based foundation can last up to 12 months, while oil-based foundation lasts up to 18 months. Foundations with a pump survive longer because they aren't exposed to as much air. If a bottle requires you to use your finger, bacteria builds up quickly, so try using a brush instead.

(HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $40, Sephora.com)


True to its name, lipstick is one beauty product that you can stick with for a while. Keep your favorite shade for up to 2 years, or until it starts to smell a little off. Store it in the fridge to extend its life and keep it in top shape.

(Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Rouge Blossom, $32, bloomingdales.com)

Nail Polish

You can keep your nail polish for up to two years. Store it in a cool dry place, standing upright, so that the color doesn't separate, making it harder to shake together.

(OPI Nail Lacquer in I Brake for Manicures, $8, drugstore.com)


The beauty product with the shortest shelf life, mascara only is only good for up to 4 months before the tube is dry and bacteria is growing. To avoid drying out your mascara faster than necessary, try swirling the brush around in the tube instead of pumping the brush in and out to get mascara on the brush.

(Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara, $7.99, drugstore.com)

Face Wash

If you've had your face wash for 12 months, it's time to toss it. Usually, one bottle doesn't even spend this much time on your shelf if you use the product every day.

(Sensitive Facial Cleanser, $10, burtsbees.com)


Just like face wash, your moisturizer is fair game for up to 12 months. Moisturizer in a pot that requires your fingers for application doesn't last as long as a pump application, because your fingers will put bacteria into the lotion every time you dip. Try using a cotton ball or sponge for application.

(Radiance Day Lotion SPF 15, $18, burtsbees.com)


After two years, your perfume will start to smell a little funky, which is exactly the opposite of what you want it to be doing. Store it in a cool, dark place to perserve your scent as long as possible.

(Jimmy Choo 'Jimmy Choo' Perfume, $44-$95, sephora.com


 Your concealer should treat you right for  12-18 months tops, or until it starts to be discolored.

(Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Touch Touche Eclat in #2 Luminous Ivory, $40, bloomingdales.com)


If you sharpen your eyeliner regularly (getting rid of the bacteria and old product), it can last up to three years. Liquid liners should only be used for  three to six months tops.

(Dior Crayon Eyeliner Waterproof in Trinidad Black, $29, Sephora.com)


When properly taken care of, your brushes can last you for years. Every month, wash them in warm water with mild shampoo or antibacterial soap and let them air dry flat. If bristles start to fall out, it's time to say au revoir.

(Double-Ended Brush Roll Set, $58, sephora.com)

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