How Long Does Eyeshadow Last? What Factors Cause Makeup To Break Down Prematurely?

How Long Does Eyeshadow Last? What Factors Cause Makeup To Break Down Prematurely?

Eyeshadow, just like anything perishable, has an expiration date. But exactly how long does it last? We have the answers below.

Staying on top of your eyeshadow's expiration date is so important. Besides the fact that old eyeshadow doesn’t have the same staying power when applied, it can also be harmful and irritate your skin! 

If you don't know where to find the expiration date for your shadows, you aren't alone. Or maybe you do, but you're always in such a rush to get out the door that you often forget to check. You simply use it until it's gone.

We get it. But it's time to change that. Our health and our skin NEED us to pay attention to expiration dates. So let's dive in! 

Does Eyeshadow Have an Expiration Date?

Yes, and you should be checking it! You're putting this product directly onto your face, so it's always a good idea to check the expiration date on your eyeshadow to make sure you aren't introducing old, expired products to your skin. 

In terms of how long eyeshadows last, all products differ on how long they are good for, especially if it's an all-natural company. There are all kinds of suggestions swirling around on the internet, from tossing all of your eyeshadow away every six months, to keeping it up to two years. 

So, what should we do? 

First, look at your makeup. Smell it. Has it dried out? Is it in crumbles? If it doesn't smell too good or look too good, it might be a good idea to toss it. Second, if you see an expiration date on your eyeshadow, it's always a good idea to stick with that date. If the date on your product is too faded (which is probably a good sign it's expired!), or you're having trouble locating it, you can call the company.

As with all makeup products, remember that you’re dipping brushes or your fingers directly into it, so you’ll want to make sure that you sanitize your hands and regularly clean your brushes to prevent the spread of bacteria. 

Does All of Our Other Makeup Expire?

Yes! All makeup should have an expiration date stamped somewhere on the packaging. If you don't see one or are unsure if it's still good to use, it's always a good idea to contact the company. Better safe than sorry!  

Foundation and Concealer

You can usually tell if your foundation or concealer are long past their time. If your bottle is drying up or feels too thick to apply, it's probably a good idea to toss it. If it's thin and watery, it might be best to call the company and see if it's past it's time as well. It's a good idea to always check the expiration date, even if the product still looks okay, just in case you've had it longer than you thought.


Many of us hold on to our favorite shades way past their expiration dates and don't even notice! This can happen quickly with lipstick colors we don't reach for every day. Keep in mind that all preservatives in makeup break down over time, so lipstick is only good for 1-2 years after you’ve opened it.

Lip Gloss

You usually can tell when lip gloss has expired, but always check the date on the bottom if you're not sure. If your liquid lip gloss is starting to smell funny or if it's gotten too thick or hard to get out of the container, then it's probably a good sign to go ahead and toss it.

Also, if you have a cold sore or if you've been sick with anything contagious, it's probably best to toss your gloss so that the germs don't stick around after you're feeling better. 

Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner

As with other liquid makeup products, if you start to notice a smell, change of color, or change of texture it's probably a good idea to throw it out. Sometimes storing these products in certain environments, such as a hot car, causes them to break down faster. Even if it still works well, but you know that you've had it a while, it's a good idea to check the expiration date just to make sure it's still safe to use. 

Other Cream Products

Most cream-based makeup products expire in a year to a year and a half. You should always be checking for common signs of expiration, such as a change in smell, color, texture, and consistency. And, of course, look for an expiration date regardless of whether you think it's expired yet. Our memories can deceive us. 

What Happens if I Use Makeup That is Expired?

Depending on what products you use, makeup is made to last for up to two or three years, if unopened. However, this timeline shortens when it comes to water or cream-based products, and depending on the environment makeup is stored in. If your eyeshadow is exposed to moisture, dry air, or bacteria, it will go bad quicker.

Every makeup brand is different, especially the more natural brands of makeup that may not use as many preservatives or added substances to extend shelf-life. Experts recommend that you follow the date stamped on the bottle for the health of your skin and body. 

The eye area is especially delicate and can lead to a host of problems if you're using expired makeup, such as pink eye, allergic reactions, acne, and rashes. 

Possible Factors Causing Makeup to Prematurely Breakdown

Okay, so you've checked the expiration, and it's good, and you've called the company, and they say everything should be fine. But your makeup still seems to break down prematurely, especially your eyeshadow, and you're not sure why. It's completely normal. This just means there might be something in your daily routine that affects it, or perhaps it's just the environment. 

We've researched some of the most common factors that can cause your makeup to break down prematurely:  

1. Check the Temperature. 

One of the factors to always check when it comes to the life of your makeup is its storage temperature. For example, do you leave your makeup in the car when you go to work? Is it stored near your hot iron or hair dryer? Always double-check what temperature it should be stored and ensure it's neither too hot nor too cold.  

2. Has It Been Exposed To Air For Extended periods? 

Another possible explanation for why your makeup is prematurely breaking down is the length of its exposure to air. If it's liquid, have you left the cap off longer than you meant to? Exposure to air and the environment longer than needed can also break down your powder eyeshadow earlier than expected. 

3. Is Your Makeup a More Natural Product?

If you tend to buy makeup free from preservatives and other ingredients that keep makeup longer then it's totally normal for your makeup to break down faster. Usually all-natural makeup will have special care instructions such as temperature and, of course, the expiration date right on the label. Always check to see what the manufacturer's instructions are regarding each of your all-natural makeup products.  

4. Too Many Products, Not Enough Time

It may seem like your makeup is breaking down quicker because you have too many open or are using so many products it's hard to keep track of them all. Having several makeup products that are exposed to air and fluctuating temperatures may cause your makeup to break down quicker.

A great way to lighten your makeup load and keep your products lasting longer is to buy multi-functional makeup products. Our Pen Pal 4-in1 Makeup Pen for example is perfect for simplifying your makeup routine. 

Pen Pal is an eyeliner, lip liner, brow pencil, and highlighter in one convenient pen. And, it's TSA-approved and travel-friendly.

5. Buy Quality Makeup Products

If you tend to buy lower-quality makeup, you may notice your products breaking down quite quickly. Just remember to always stay on top of expiration dates and follow the storage instructions. 

You can also choose to upgrade your ingredients. Our 11th Hour Cream Eyeshadow and liner stick, for example, is an excellent option for delivering an incredible payoff with good-for-you ingredients. It's compact and stays on for 11+ hours. It's one of our bestsellers and for a good reason: it lasts a long time, and because it's multi-functional you don't have to have as many products open at once. 

Suppose you like our 11th Hour Cream Eyeshadow and Liner Stick, then the 11th Hour set has all seven shades for you to enjoy. They are all compact and multi-functional. Ready for the day just like you! Is it an incredible payoff and the best news? They’re all waterproof!

Makeup To Have and To Hold, Until It’s Too Old 

 To effectively know how long to keep your eyeshadow, you must check the expiration date on the package. If you don’t see a date, call the company. All makeup has an expiration date and is a good “Rule of thumb” to follow.

With proper storage, your products will last. There are also several other ways to tell if your eyeshadow has gone bad. 

For example, does it have an odd smell? Has the texture or consistency changed recently? Is it lumpy and dry or thin and watery? Be sure to check for any unusual signs before applying. 

At the end of the day, your makeup products should be as fresh as your makeup looks. 


When It's Time to Toss Your Beauty Products | Women's Health Everyday Health

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