Beauty Tips | Beauty Tips

The Ugly Side of Makeup

Expired makeup is a cesspool of nasties. Don’t believe it? An Australian woman almost lost her sight after getting an eye infection from using a 20-year-old mascara. Expired makeup’s consistency changes over time; active ingredients like lose their efficacy; and ingredients that prevent bacteria and mold from breeding stop working. Be sure to clean your makeup tools regularly so they don’t breed germs, and avoid using your fingers to apply you makeup! Remember to store your makeup in a cool, dry place — not in your bathroom or hot car. Besides the labelled shelf-life, here are other tell-tale signs of makeup gone bad that you should look out for. Don’t think twice — toss those expired items!

Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation, especially if it’s not in a pump bottle, is a breeding ground for bacteria. Even if it’s within the safe period of six months to a year after opening, if you notice the formula starting to separate, smells unpleasant or the color has darkened, the liquid foundation has definitely expired.

Powder Makeup

Powder-based makeup such as rouge, eye shadow, powder, can usually be stored for a relatively longer period of up to two years. A hard, shiny layer might occur over time due to oil residue that can be safely scraped off. But if the entire pan is hardened, or you notice loose powder has become clumpy or there’s a change in color, throw out the product!


Take extra care with any products that go near your eyes. If your eye pencil has a white hue on the tip even after sharpening, or it no longer glides on smoothly, it means the “lead” itself has gone bad. If it’s crumbling or goopy, that pencil is toast. Gel eyeliner in pots should be replaced every two to six months, or if dried out.


Mascara should be replaced every three to four months. If you notice dryness, small particles forming on the eyelashes or a gasoline-like smell — or worse, itching on your eyelids — the mascara is off or contaminated. Stop using it right away.


Lipstick touches the lips and can breed bacteria. If you notice any white spots or foul smells, stop using it immediately. Dry or clumpy texture is another telltale sign. For lip gloss, cease using it if you spot a layer of oil separated from water.