makeup stash
Credit: Sylvie Blum/Dorling Kindersley/Getty

Spring is right around the corner, so that only means one thing: it's time to go full Marie Kondo and artfully declutter everything in your life, makeup bag included. Though storing away your winter products is a pretty obvious move, now is the perfect time to take a second look at your product lineup, and toss all the items that have gone bad. We put together an outline of how to determine when a few of your makeup staples have turned for the worse, below. Go forth and throw out what does not bring you joy—and whatever dried up, gross mystery products that have been sitting at the bottom of your cosmetics bag for the past two years.

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Foundation and Concealer

Foundation and concealer typically have pretty clear giveaway signs that they've turned—they either dry up, change in color, or end up smelling disgusting. Throw out any that have fallen into the aforementioned categories, as the life span of most creams and liquids is around six months. Powder-based formulas and setting powders can stay shelved, provided that you've bought them within the last two years.


Your lipsticks, glosses, and lip liners should be safe for roughly two years, provided that they don't use their blendable texture. Put all of your dark winter shades into hibernation for another season—preferably out of the way from sun and heat. You'll want to double-check your longwearing formulas, as those tend to be on the drier side to begin with.

Eye Makeup

Generally speaking, powder shadows can last a few years as long as you haven't dug your fingers into the pan, but if you notice a change in color or a more crumbly formula, toss it. Make sure any cream shadows, gel liners, liquid liners, and shadow primers that have since gone dry, as well as any mascaras more than three months old. Pencil eyeliner, on the other hand, can last up to two years (provided you can actually make it last that long). Just be sure to sharpen your tip regularly, and clean it off with rubbing alcohol and a Kleenex if it ever loses its top within your makeup bag.


In the perfume category, the smell-test is of the essence. If any of your fragrances smell off from their original form, dump the liquid and recycle the glass bottle. Same goes for any that seem to have taken on an Italian salad dressing-esque appearance—you know, where the oil is sitting on top layer of the rest of the scent. As for your winter scents, keep them stored away in a cool area that doesn't get direct sunlight, as that can break down the fragrance molecules.