Connect with us


Onimiya Faith: Sticky, Smelly, Clumpy? You’ve Probably Had Those Beauty Products for Too Long



That lip balm you have had since you were a teenager or that lipstick your best aunt bought for you three years ago. We have all been guilty at one time or the other of keeping our cosmetic products for too long.

Most cosmetic products have the period of time for which the products should be kept after the first use. This is different from the expiry date we see on the top or bottom of the product. Usually, you will see a jar symbol on the side of the product with the top of the jar opened and the inscription reading ‘3M’ or ‘6M’ or ‘12M’ in the jar symbol. This indicates how many months the product can be used for, before it should be disposed of.

Where this is not found, irrespective of the expiry date on the product, there are basic expiry rules for cosmetic products.

Mascara and Eyeliners – 3-4 months only
Once your mascara or eyeliner starts looking gooey or clumpy, it’s time to dispose of it. Mascara and eyeliner are exposed to a lot of fast drying action, as opposed to other products. This short time is not entirely far-fetched. It’s a product that comes in contact with the eyes too many times to take risks. So if you have that mascara or eyeliner in your cosmetic purse that you’ve had for a year, it’s time for you to let it go. Cop a new one.

Foundations, Concealers (liquid cosmetics like moisturisers, skin creams etc) – 6 months to a year
Foundations and concealers are very important to our daily makeup routines and come in contact with our skin. They should therefore not be kept for too long to prevent skin irritation and breakouts.

Powder based makeup – 1 year to 2 years
You can afford to have your powder based makeup or anytime between one year and two years, after which it’s time to throw it out and get a new one. Powder eyeshadow also falls into this category

Lipsticks and lipgloss – 1 – 2 years
Be sure to throw away any lipstick or lipgloss you have had for longer than this. The formula used to create such products are not supposed to be kept longer. Save yourself the health risk and get rid of them.

Lip-liners  – 2-3 years
Pencil based lip-liners can be kept for the longest as long as they remain in fair shape and condition. However, endeavour to examine the lip-liner for any changes that might imply an expiration.

Examine your cosmetic bag today and throw out those products that you have had for too long. No sentiments required where your health is concerned.

Once you notice changes in your cosmetic products, by a funny smell or change in texture, throw it away. It means the formula has gone bad. Also, once they have been exposed to heat for a prolonged period of time, toss them in the trash.

Gentlemen, if you read this and know your lady has had that lipstick for too long because she’s too attached to it, be sure to help her throw it out.

Photo Credit: Sophie Davis |

I am a law graduate, freelance writer and a lover of Christ. I am inspired by life, beauty, food and human welfare. Follow me on twitter and Instagram @mimewinifred


  1. Patty boo

    July 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    So I shld throw my Mary kay mascara away?.Hian
    Abeg I’ll just pretend I didnt see this post YIMU

  2. Nneoyibi

    July 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    My lip gloss is 7yrs ooooo! Chai

  3. Missy

    July 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    My RubyWoo ? will be three years old this October.
    Hmm., so going by this, only one eyeshadow palette will make the cut? Ok o!
    What of perfumes?
    One bottle is almost 3 years old.

    • Anon

      July 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      With lipstick, do what they do in stores – dip it in spirit and wipe off. Or, anti-bacterial spray and wipe off. You can do this ever so often especially when you have many and they are just in the box resting.

    • Bola

      July 3, 2017 at 11:01 am

      They don’t do that for preservation. They do that cause multiple people use them (testers) so it’s done to combat the spread of bacteria, not to preserve it or extend the shelf life.

  4. June

    July 2, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    We will have to pretend we didn’t see this post! Counting 5 years on my mac eye palette ?! Some of my eye pencils are 10 and counting???!

    • Anon

      July 2, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      I think eye pencils/liners can last longer. The constant sharpening keeps them fresh. For the twist up ones, just cut off the top bit and you are good to go.

  5. Ej

    July 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Let’s all pretend cos makeup is freaking expensive

  6. aj

    July 3, 2017 at 12:10 am

    lmaooo at pretending not to read this article…you ladies saying this are funny. I feel you guys though. I don’t really use that much make up but my eye shadow palette and lipstick one has been with me since 2012. I don’t even use foundation, concealer and the rest of the stuff used on the face because I don’t know how to use them.

  7. Uberhaute looks

    July 3, 2017 at 12:25 am

    This tip is good but we can’t toss out products like this because some even go bad before expiration date while some lasts for more than 3 years e.g. Ben Nye Powder etc.
    So I’m gonna share my tips that I’ve gathered doing research from other professional makeup artists in the industry.


    1. Powder products : try not to use it wet and scrape off once in a while or spray with 97% isppropyl acohol
    2. Mascara: wipe off with wet wipe after each use to avoid bacteria.
    3. Liquid products: preserve by being careful with the room temperature (e.g. bathroom is not the appropriate place to keep your makeup products) and don’t double dip so as not to transfer germs.
    ***Cream Products; do not double dip or put your brush inside it. Take the little you need and keep the rest.
    4. Lip gloss/lipstick: use fresh wand or wipe after each use
    5. Brushes: wash with warm water and mild soap and disinfect with 80% isopropyl alcohol and above to at least get rid of bacteria
    6. Always wash hand before applying anything on your face.

    • Uberhaute looks

      July 3, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Lip pencils should be sharpened and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol

  8. Yellow sun

    July 3, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I have had my foundation for 4 years oh…and the thing is not showing signs of finishing soon…since I don’t cement my face everyday…lmaoooo
    This article is not for people In this recessional economy oh
    Ain’t nobody throwing away money

  9. Miss Mo

    August 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    These comments though…..lmaoooo.

    Not throwing squat away. My makeup possessions are my treasures. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features