GENERAL FAQ: Shelf-life of cosmetics


Well-known member
Thanks for the tutorial ladies! How do I go about disposing my old makeup? Do I just throw it away in the garbage or is there a specific way I should throw it away?


Well-known member
Thanks for the tutorial ladies! How do I go about disposing my old makeup? Do I just throw it away in the garbage or is there a specific way I should throw it away?

Well, if it's MAC you should B2M it and get new makeup :) For my other stuff, I recycle it myself.. I don't know how it is in other countries, but we have different trash containers/bags, like one for anything biodegradable (is that the word? I mean, stuff that's natural, like left over food or when you peel fruit or vegetables), one for plastic, one for glass.. I just seperate it and toss it in the right container.


Well-known member
To be completely honest, I only throw out moist/creamy makeup and skincare/mudmask close after the expiry recommendations ... . Otherwise, powders I only use clean brushes in and would not throw out unless there was a concern I had (haven't been concerned yet). Also, I've heard you can spray 70% ethanol/alcohol on your powdered makeup to kill surface bacteria, or rub an alcohol wet q-tip across the powdered surface (sometimes you can see evidence of makeup counters doing this). Pencils you can cut/shave off the old part and if it didn't dry-out it would be fine to use.

It's funny. I noticed that symbol on some of my stuff but didn't know the meaning of it. I just checked my powder and it says 24m. I finish my powders pretty fast tough.
I usually use my makeup until it goes bad. I have a 3-4 year old eye pencil and never got an eye infection because of it.


Well-known member
I've been collecting for many years now and the only thing I've had to toss was foundation, mascara, and eyeliner. I also just go by my own judgment. As long as my item still looks, smells, and feels normal then I will not toss it.


New member
I just bought the cream eye shadow yesterday and then came back only i realised that the manufaturing date for the product is 09/2009. So, im wondering that i should consider the shelf life as 1 year from now or from that manufactured date itself? hope to get reply asap so that i can go and change .thanks!


Well-known member
Just thought I'd show you guys this incase you haven't seen it.

It's a youtube video about disinfecting your make-up whether it be eyeshadows, lipsticks, eyeliners etc. I have no idea if it will improve the "shelf life" per se but as it's to kill germs/bacteria, it should at least make it so you can use it longer without worrying about infection.

Also, I know a company called Beauty So Clean. They make stuff as well for this purpose, they have wipes you can buy/use and you can use them to wipe mascara wands off after each use so you technically don't deposit the germs/bacteria back into the tube. Hope that makes sense.

In any case, the products above mentioned are good for powders and creams, lipsticks, eyeliners, etc. The only thing I can't imagine it working for (unless you use Beauty So Clean wipes) is mascara/lipgloss. But it should at least ease the pain of throwing things out.

Hope this is somewhat helpful/comforting to you ladies/gents! :)


Hmm I tried to keep the shelf life of my cosmetic brushes by washing them with a little bit of disinfectent. I felt like this only make my brushes go hard so had to replace them. Will check the video out and see how it goes :)

Ambre Tucker

Well-known member
My Mammy had makeup from the 50's she still insists on using and its never made her sick or anything mostly eyeshadow and powder blushes shes perfectly fine them old folks are frugal.. man i hope im not the same way.


Well-known member
Does that mean I have to clean out my lipstick collection :( I started buying about 2-3 years ago but I don't wear them super often...does that make a difference or will I have to B2M them?

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