Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag

April 12th, 2021

April 12th, 2021

We’ve been using our make-up much less often recently, which means you may have had your products for much longer than normal.

So, as we prepare to dust off the makeup bags and reintroduce some glitz and glam into our routines (hello beer gardens!), just what is the state of your makeup products? Have they expired?

We asked Carly Cochrane, Beauty Editor at Cosmetify about how regularly we should replace our products and This Morning and Eastenders MUA Michelle Abels shares her top tips on how to keep your make-up bag clean and organised.

Carly says:

It can be really hard to part with our favourite make-up essentials, but it’s really important. In the same way that you wouldn’t eat food that was out of date, it’s important to apply the same rules to our make-up. There has been research conducted that proves out of date cosmetics can include life-threatening bacteria.

It’s especially important to be overly cautious with any products that go on or near our eyes and lips.  While it might be tempting to keep that liquid eyeliner for a bit longer, it’s just not worth it.  The bacteria that can build up in your cosmetics can cause acne, irritation and in severe cases eye infections and even allergies can develop from dirty cosmetics.

My advice to make your cosmetics last longer would be to not open any which you want to save as this will keep them safe and hygienic. It’s also a brilliant excuse to update your looks and discover some amazing new products.

One key pointer to remember is that, typically, the closer the product is to your eyes, the sooner you’ll have to replace it. This is because your eyes are super-sensitive and therefore prone to infection. The good news is that any dry, mineral makeup can last up to two years.


With this in mind, we asked Michelle for her top tips on how best to spring clean our makeup bags.  After all, you spring clean a wardrobe, so why not makeup too?

She said: “Firstly, make some table space, then empty out the contents.  I would make 3 piles:  1 to throw away, 2nd as makeup you don’t use regularly and 3rd your key makeup items. Your makeup bag either needs washing with warm soapy water or if it’s suitable pop in the washing machine. If it’s really bad it’s time to replace it.

“Once you’ve decided which products you are keeping, it’s time to take a good look at them. Powders last longer than creams so if you have had anything creamy or liquidy smelling it is a good way to check if it’s off – any funny smells chuck it out.  For foundations once the product has separated it needs to go.  To give you a rough idea of how long to keep makeup, foundations last 12-18 months once opened, mascara 2-3 mascara, eyeliner 3-4 months and lipsticks for up to a year.

“So now you have your makeup reduced to all that you are definitely keeping clean your makeup with an antibacterial wipe.  I would use a skin friendly, sensitive one to remove all the grime from your makeup.  Once it’s dry pop what you use regularly back into your clean makeup bag and keep your excess makeup accessible but separate.

“It’s now time to look at what to replace, remembering it’s spring coming into summer why not treat yourself to some new products. Spring is always a time to bring in the pinks and soft neutral colours.

“At Mishelmakeup we have a gorgeous eyeshadow palette which has 5 beautiful natural matt colours ranging from a soft creamy beige to a dark reddy brown it’s incredibly versatile It can be used wet or dry and for brows and eyeliners. Also check out our lipgloss pale petal a lovely luxury pinky gloss perfect for venturing out of lock down.”


Cosmetify has put together a handy guide detailing how long it’s safe to keep our favourite make-up products and you can view the full blog post here.

Many products are marked with a PAO (period after opening) symbol, which lets you know how many months the product lasts for, but this isn’t always true for everything.

How long to keep your cosmetics (from shortest to longest life span) 

💄 Makeup sponges – one – three months

💄 Mascara – three months

💄 Liquid eyeliner – three to six months

💄 Lip gloss – one year

💄 Liquid Foundation – one year

💄 Lip and eye pencils – one year to 18 months

💄 Concealer – one year to 18 months

💄 Powders – 18 months to two years

💄 Lipstick – 18 months to two years

💄 Makeup brushes – judge by their condition (if they are beginning to shed, appear discoloured or lose their shape it’s time to say goodbye)



Enjoyed this? Subscribe to Warpaint here.





Posted In

, , , ,


, , , , ,

By Sarah Dann

Comments are closed.