Reorganize Your Beauty Bag: When to Toss Makeup ~ Guest Post

Whether your makeup collection is comprised of a few favorites or bursting out of your bathroom drawer, it’s a good idea to sort through it periodically. Some products are easy to toss, such as a dried-up mascara or a shattered powder, but others might carry sentimental value. Below are some good reasons to trash your cosmetics.

Makeup Organizer

Expired Products

Many cosmetics aren’t marked with expiration dates, but they still have a lifespan. If a product smells funny, changes texture, or starts to separate, it’s probably expired. When it’s harder to determine if a product is still good, use the guidelines below.

Mascara: Four to Six Months

Liquid and Cream Products: Six to Twelve Months

Examples: Liquid Foundation, Cream Concealer, Cream Blush, Gel Eyeliner

Lip Products: Two Years

Examples: Lip Balm, Lip Gloss, Lipstick

Powders and Pencils: Two to Three Years

Examples: Powder Foundation, Eye Shadow, Eyeliner, Lip Liner



If you appear to be allergic to a product, it’s a good idea to get rid of it. Consult a licensed medical professional to help pinpoint the cause of the allergies. If you have sensitive skin, conduct a patch test before using a new product. Place a small amount of the product in the crook of your elbow or on the underside of your wrist. Check the area after 24 hours to see if any reaction has occurred, such as redness, itchiness, or irritation. If a reaction has occurred, discontinue use immediately.

Not For You

Sometimes makeup just isn’t a good fit for you. The color might wash you out, the formula could be drying, or the finish is too shimmery. Just because you bought a product doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Between free samples, supersized palettes, and gifts from friends, most bathroom drawers are filled with a few duds that never see the light of day. Do yourself a favor and toss them.

Tips for Disposal

When it’s time to toss your makeup, the trash isn’t the only option. If you are allergic to a product or dislike a shade, check to see if you can return it. Some stores accept returns of opened products, but it’s best not to abuse this policy with old or expired products. If the product needs to be trashed, the containers can usually be recycled. If a product has a recycling symbol, it might be eligible for curbside recycling. If not, clean it out and bring it to a store such as Origins, which accepts empty cosmetic packaging (regardless of brand).



Based in Austin, Texas, Kaylin is an eco-friendly makeup artist, author, and blogger. She has contributed to sites such as, Girlie Girl Army, and VegNews. Her blog, Kaylin’s Kit, focuses on eco-friendly beauty and lifestyle. Her first book, The Mercenary Makeup Artistwas released in August 2014.


Leave a Reply

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