Do Eyeshadows Expire and How To Reuse Expired Eyeshadows?

do eyeshadows expire

A powdery substances that illuminates your eyelids instantly is bound to last long. But have you wondered do eyeshadows expire? There are makeup products that don’t always come with a death date, but does that mean they long forever? No!

Our eyes are said to be the windows to our hearts and mind. As an integral part of our face and facial or even emotional expressions, our eyes are always the focus of our external being.

Hence, as humans, we focus more on our eyes, and those who like to make up our eyes are always the cynosure. In makeup, too, we tend to give more attention to our eyes. So, here’s an article discussing exactly all the details you need to have about how long does eyeshadow last.

Also, it is vital to be a conservationist when you can see the impact of climate change all around you. So, what better than finding out the answer to when do eyeshadows expire. So, let’s explore some ways you can reuse them without harming your beautiful eyes.

Do eyeshadows expire or do they not?

Well, enough with your curiosity about this question. Sadly, eye shadows do expire. In some cases, it is easy to identify an expired eye shadow palette just from the looks of it.

But some expired eye shadow palettes might look okay, but they are really not. The real catch is here!

Now, you must be wondering exactly when does eyeshadow expire or how to we identify?

In most cases, an eye shadow palette is usable for only up to two years. Rather, it is advisable to not use an eye shadow palette for over two years.

Knowing things superficially is not enough, so let’s dig a little deeper. Here is the answer for those wondering exactly when eyeshadows expire or at what point per se. An eye shadow palette expires simply when its basic formula breaksdown.

There can also be other reasons, like incorrect or poor storage conditions or contamination by bacteria and germs. However, the bottom line is once you realize your eye shadow has expired, you must stop using it immediately.

do eyeshadows expire

Figuring out how does eyeshadow expire

While we mentioned above that eye shadows usually last two year, the real answer will depend on the brand.

Most branded eye shadows typically last between 6 and 12 months. However, there are two important considerations here:

Is eye shadow cream-based or powder-based

If you are using cream-based eye shadow, it maximizes hydration on the lids. Hence, it constitutes hydrating substances in its formulation as well.

Anything that is hydrated can grow germs or bacteria. Hence cream-based eye shadows are more prone to getting decayed quickly, i.e., mostly six months only.

If you are using a powder-based eye shadow, then worry not. We still advise you to check the expiry date of the product on its packaging before your purchase it.

If you have the manufacturing date, it will be easy for you to calculate how long eyeshadows last.

If eyeshadows have preservatives or is 100% natural

Now coming to the important topic of whether your eye shadow has chemicals. Well, to begin with, any eye shadow comes heavily laden with chemicals should be avoided at all costs.

It is harmful to the eyes and can often have irreparable effects on your eyes. Regarding the decay rate, the more natural your eye shadow palette is, the higher its longevity.

So, if you are using a 100% natural or organic product, you have nothing to worry about for six months. Beyond that, just keep checking the expiry date.

In the case of eye shadows that have a certain level of chemical content, you must avoid using them for a day over six months.

Why do eye shadows expire?

Sadly, the most expected answer to this question is to keep you safe.

Now, elaborating on the same, most cosmetic companies usually assign an expiry date to their products because the ingredients of any product can decay over time. Be it food products or cosmetics. Hence, it is important to understand that your make-up products, especially eye shadows, can dry out, decay, rust, or decompose over time.

The harmful effects of applying such eye shadows are rashes, pimples, sty, or even permanent damage to your eyes, thus impacting your vision!

Hence, the next time you apply your eye shadow and wonder if eyeshadows expire, check the expiry date first. An essential consideration with eye shadows is that they come in constant contact with your makeup brush.

Most of us are not disciplined about keeping our makeup brushes clean. Hence, your eye shadows are almost always more prone to bacteria.

On top of that, there is our annoying habit of sharing makeup with friends.

Let’s admit our guilt at once.

We either borrowed makeup products or lent them to our friends and colleagues. This deteriorates the freshness of eye shadow palettes further.

It also paves the way for bacteria to breed in it. Hence the next time you wonder if eyeshadows expire, just remember to keep your eye makeup products, especially your eye shadow palette squeaky clean.

Do unused eye shadows expire?

Now this is what pinches.

When you bought the most beautiful eye shadow palette, you could not find the right occasion to apply it!

What next? It has been too long, and you cannot use the palette anymore.

While this hurts a lot, throwing away an expired, albeit unused, eye shadow palette is necessary.

Now you might wonder why your unused eye shadow will expire. After all, if it’s new, you are not using brushes on it or opening it and letting it get in contact with air.

But, in this case, the internal formulation of the eye shadow might change even if unused.

If kept unopened, an eye shadow palette’s ingredients can deteriorate. Hence, the palette becomes consequently unusable.

How to identify expired eye shadows?

Ideally, you must always keep a check on the expiry date of the eye shadow so you know exactly when your eye shadow expires. However, if you are forgetful or careless about these things, then worry not.

We have brought to you some simple and easy identifiers that will help you realize immediately whether or not your eye shadow has expired.

Change in texture

This is easy to spot. You will notice roughness on the surface.

You might also see some moisture on top of the palette.

If it feels crumbly, you know you cannot use your eye shadow palette anymore.

Change in color

If you feel the color of some or all shades of your palette look off or a bit dull, that’s your red flag. This usually happens because of the change in internal composition over time. Hence, do not use the palette in such a situation.

Change in fragrance

All eye shadow palettes have some amount of fragrance in them. This is common across most categories within the cosmetic industry. So, if you notice a foul smell or no fragrance in your palette, you will know it is time to bid adieu to the palette.

What can you do with your expired eye shadow?

Well, the question should be, what can you do with your expired eye shadow?

Because this is where the good news comes in! Even if expired, you can use your eye shadow palette for many purposes. Some of these are listed below:

Turn it into nail paint

Well, surprised, are we? Read on to learn how you can save money on nail paint with the help of your expired eye shadows.

You only need to take a clean bottle of nail paint or nail enamel. Pour some clear nail paint into the bottle, one that is transparent.

Then, crush the eye shadow shades you know are spoilt until they become powder.

Now, put all the powder in the bottle and mix it well.


Your brand-new nail paint is ready. With this quick and easy solution, you don’t need to fret about wasting your eye shadow palette.

What more? You get as much new nail paint as you want!

Scotch-tap the palette

First things first, this tip doesn’t apply to eye shadow palettes that are expired. It applies only to the ones that have gotten dry or dirty.

If the shades in your palette have gotten a bit dusty, then all you need to do is stick duct tape or scotch tape to the surface of the shade and let it remain for 10-15 seconds.

After that, pull out the tape gently, and you will see that the shades are much cleaner. You can also use this trick to maintain your eye shadow palettes and avoid any kind of eye infection.

Use for homemade candles

Well, we all love watching DIY videos online and replicating the fun stuff in our homes, don’t we?

So, why do the same with your eye shadows?

All you need to do is crush the colors of the palette and put them into the hot candle wax. You can get a candle that has a blend of various shades!

So, even after getting spoilt or expired, eye shadow palettes have a lot of use in our daily lives.

You can use them for other cosmetic items not used internally and only for external applications.

You can also use them in some form or shape in your home décor. So, now you must be feeling much better about your eye shadows expiring, right?

Try these amazing tricks with your eye shadow palette and save money!

do eyeshadows expire

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When should I ideally throw away my eye shadow palette?

You should ideally throw away your eye shadow palettes somewhere between six and twelve months. While the longevity of eye shadows depends from brand to brand, you should also check the expiry date of the product.

2. What happens if you use expired makeup?

Using expired eye shadow can be fatal, especially because it can also come in contact with the inner part of your eyes. It can cause rashes, itching, irritation, and inflammation. Also, using expired makeup products can lead to skin cancer. This applies to eye shadows as well.

Most importantly, if you use eye shadow contaminated by bacteria, that’s it for you. Because it can even cause permanent damage such as blindness.

3. How should I check the expiry date of my eye shadow palette?

All you need to do is check the stickers attached to the product, i.e., the box. It is usually mentioned at the back or the bottom of the box. There is typically a symbol to indicate the expiry, also known as the PAO or the Period After Opened.

Final Thoughts

By now you have the answer to do eyeshadows expire and sadly the lifespan of an eyeshadow is quite short. The best tip to buy eyeshadow is to ensure checking the manufacturing date.

If you buy a product that was produced six months earlier, the eyeshadow is probably on its way to expiry. You must get your hands on a fresh piece and use it before it lasts.

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