Henry & Higby


When to Toss Make-up

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
Henry & Higby Makeup Storage.JPG

We love helping our clients organize their bathrooms and throughout that process we often get asked questions about the shelf life of make-up and other toiletries. 

We did some research to brush up on our knowledge so that we can answer with confidence. However, if you are in doubt, it is probably best to throw it out, says the girl who still has make-up from (ahem!) college…but no worries, it was tossed shortly after we wrote this post. 

Before we dive into the specifics, we have one quick storage tip to share -- to make your make-up and toiletries last even longer; don’t store your makeup in the bathroom where humidity can make it spoil faster.

Happy Organizing!

When to Toss...Make-up

Mascara: 3 Months

The consistent response no matter where you look is to toss mascara after three months or once a quarter. 

Eyeshadow, Cream: 3 - 18 Months

It has hard to find consistent information on when to toss cream eyeshadows. The results of our research ran the gamut from 3 months to 18 months, which is quite a spread. Given this inconsistency and the fact that they tend to grow bacteria more quickly than powder, it is best to pay extra attention to them. Regardless of whether you apply them with your finger or a brush, you need to make sure that your application method is clean. If you notice any product build up, a bit of rubbing alcohol can help refresh the surface of your product.

Eyeliner, Liquid: 3 Months

Similar to mascara, liquid eyeliner should be thrown out about every three months because bacteria tends to flourish in the tubes. This is in large part due to the fact that every time you dip the wand, you are transferring an rapping bacteria. 

Foundation and Concealer, Liquid: 6-12 Months

Liquid foundations have water in them, which means that they can harbor bacteria once they are opened. Look for products with a pump or squeeze tube, but if you find yourself with an open container, on’t dip your fingers directly into the container, use clean brushes or sponges and avoid double dipping, as that can increase the changes of it being contaminated. 

Concealer, Powder and Stick: 1-2 Years

As with other powder based products, a powder concealer can last up to two years especially if you are applying it with a regularly washed makeup brush and/or sponge. 

Blush or Bronzer, Cream: 1 Year

To prolong the life of your blush, clean your brush regularly and store it in a dark, dry place. 

Lipstick, 1-2 Years (or longer)

There is a bit of conflicting information here about how long lipsticks last with the range being from 6 months to 5 years but most sources put it around 1-2 years. However, regardless of how long you have had it or what product you are talking about, keep an eye out for changes in color, consistency and scent which could be indicators that it is time to toss it. 

Lip Gloss: 6 months to 1 Year

We found a lot of conflicting information on he shelf life of a lip gloss, so it is probably best to just keep an eye on it for any changes in color, consistency or scent regardless of when you started using it. 

When to Toss...Powders

Eyeshadow, Powder: 2 Years

Foundation, Powder: 2 Years

Blush or Bronzer, Powder: 2 Years

Powder-based products should be safe for up to two years, larg in part because they don’t contain water. However, since eyeshadows come in contact with your eye, make sure that your brushes are clean, especially if you are using the product on a daily basis. And, keep an eye out for funny smells or turned colors but otherwise they are good to go for quite a while.

When to Toss...Pencils

Eyeliner, Pencil: 2 Years

Lipliner, Pencil: 2 Years (or longer) 

Pencils can last up to two years (or even longer in some cases) because the surface is refreshed every time it is sharpened. However, if you want to be certain that is it okay to use for years to come, make sure that you also sanitize your sharpener with rubbing alcohol or another appropriate cleaning agent in between uses. 

Still wondering about a specific product? Flip your product over and look for a symbol that looks like a jar with a lid, the number inside that symbol represents the number of months the product is safe to use after opening!


If you are looking for advice on how to organize your bathroom, please check out our post here

How to Organize Your Bathroom

Organization, Home StylingAnnie & MichelleComment
Henry & Higby_How to Organize Your Bathroom

One of the best ways to start the day is with an organized bathroom. And, the good news is that by following just a few key tips, you can capture the beauty and serenity of spa at home and have all of your supplies at your finger tips. 

Mixing Form & Function: Beautify your shelves and counters by unboxing some of your daily supplies like Q-tips and cotton balls and placing them in pretty clear containers. You can use canisters from a bathroom set or you can even use Ball jars or inexpensive vases. They are pretty, functional and easy to clean when the time comes - just pop them in the dishwasher. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Finding New Purpose: Maximizing storage space in your bathroom is just like maximizing storage space in any other room of your home so it is okay to steal some tricks from the kitchen. Lazy Susans make corners more accessible no matter where you use them and plastic pantry bins are good for gathering like items - nail polish, sunscreen, travel toiletries - in cabinets all over the home. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Putting it on Display: If you like to keep extra towels and items out of the closet, use pretty baskets or catchall containers that are nice to look at when out on display. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Making Up your Make-up: Finally treat your make-up with a little respect by using a make-up organizer. That doesn’t mean that you have to place it on the counter for all to see (placing it in a cabinet is okay) but you will definitely find your morning routine is much easier when you can see all your products at once. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Shopping Your Closet: Gather your extra toiletries and store like items together in clear bins under the sink or in your linen closet. Clear bins make it easy to shop your house before heading out to the pharmacy to pick up any items you may need. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

What are your favorite bathroom storage solutions?