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Cleaning out your makeup bag? Here’s a guide on what to keep and throw away

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

New year, new me. Out with old, in with new.

As we step into the new year with renewed energy to start afresh it’s the perfect time reassess all aspects of our daily lives.

After silly season many people are looking to the oh so popular “January detox” mission to get into the “new me” train.

While you’re on the whole “out with old” drive, why don’t you have a look into your cosmetic bag and access your collection of make-up? There’s no doubt that you will find a few goodies in there that should be in the trash bin.

Many of us have the tendency to hold onto old products not knowing that it’s not good for us.

Yes I’m talking about the shimmering eyeshadow pallet you bought back in 2002 and the dried out pink lipstick you so rarely use but simply cannot throw out because you paid R300 for it.

This should help you determine whether your products have reached their expiry date and it’s time to be trashed.

Here’s a look at the top three most commonly used make-up products.

Liquid foundation

The general rule is that throw it out after six months. Whether you’re using your fingers, brushes or sponges, you are touching the opening every time you use it and unless you’re a complete germophobe, whatever it is that your applying it with isn’t 100% clean. If your foundation starts to separate, thickens or starts to smell different, it’s time to let it go.

You shouldn’t use the same foundation for more than a year.


Sorry to break it to you ladies, but your beloved lipstick shouldn’t be taking up space in your bag for more than a year. Had a cold sore recently? Get rid of that lipstick immediately! Has it dried out or become goopy, it’s time to let it go.

Check the texture of your lipstick.


If there’s one product that you should be replacing most frequently, it’s mascara. You shouldn’t be using the same one for more than three months. No mascara is worth risking an eye infection. Never share your mascara and if it starts to smell funny or dry out, get rid of it.

Mascara shouldn’t be dry.

Here’s a quick guide to what products have to be trashed when:

  • Liquid Foundation:
  • Cream Makeup:
  • Lipstick:
  • Powder Makeup:
  • Eyeliner:
  • Mascara:
  • Face moisturiser:
  • Sunscreen:
  • Nail polish:
  • Perfume:

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