How Long Does Eyeshadow Last?

How Long Does Eyeshadow Last

Eyeshadow adds up the fantasizing look to your eyes, thereby appreciate your whole grooming process. Its color palette paints your lid with bold shades and makes you stand unique. Thus, the presence of one or two eyeshadow palettes in your cosmetic pack becomes inevitable. But, what about the lasting period of eyeshades? How long does eyeshadow last?

Eyeshadow does have an expiration date and its claimed cessation period varies between 6-12 months. In reality, it could last longer than the said period, say 5-10 years, at its true shade and state. However, the usage of expired eyeshadow could sometimes create allergies, damages, and other negative impacts over certain skin types.

Various factors determine the expiry date of the eyeshadows. By this article, you understand how long you could use your cosmetics, the tricks of detecting worn-out eyeshadows, and other related information!

How Long Does Eyeshadow Last? Does Eyeshadow Expire? 

How Long Does Eyeshadow Last

Similar to your other cosmetics, eyeshadows too decay and become inappropriate for usage after a certain stretch. But, its lasting period depends on its consistency, application tool, ingredients involved, etc.

In general, the expiry date of the eyeshadow, as provided by the product package, tends to be 6-12 months after opening the palette. This duration is known as Period After Opening (PAO), which means that the product gets ineffective or oxidized by getting exposed to the air upon unpacking.

But, in most cases, the eyeshadows can serve their purpose for an impeccably longer period than the provided date. In particular, if you use powdered eyeshadows, the product could last for 2-3 years at its rich texture.

But, the cream and water-based eyeshadows have a higher moisture content that could easily trap the bacteria and germs and make the product decayed. So, the shelf-life of such eyeshadows naturally stays shorter than the powdered product. Also, the eyeshadows containing oils can easily get separated and become hard to use.

Consider the formula of your eyeshadow while deciding its shelf life. If your eyeshadow contains preservatives, then you can use the palette longer, say three years, upon which the formula breaks down and goes bad. But, the eyeshadows with organic ingredients and minimum-to-no preservatives have a shorter life span.

Always store the eyeshadows in a cool and dry place. Never place it in high-humidity places such as bathrooms. The moisture in these places trap germs and decompose the product faster. The over-exposure of the cosmetic to sunlight and heat can also alter its shade and texture and make it non-usable.

Finally, pay attention to your application wand. If you color your lids with your fingers, you interchangeably touch your skin and shadow, upon which the palette gets exposed to more bacteria (from your fingers and skin). On using the makeup brush, the germs get into the palette from the brush and skin that again soils the product.

As said by U.S FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, “Dipping fingers into a product adds microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi (mold and yeast)”. So, to make the eyeshadow longer usable, make sure to keep your skin, fingers, and makeup brush (in case you use) cleaner.  

Despite these points, the usage of expired products can lead you to negative skin impacts sometimes. So, be sure the palette is in safe and usable condition when you intend to use it beyond the expiration date. If you have no idea regarding such information, the next section can help you through!

How To Tell If Your Eyeshadow Has Expired?

Be happy the eyeshadows show the visible signs of decaying, upon which you should immediately terminate its usage over the skin. It intimates to you that the germs and bacteria have started breeding, and the ingredients have become ineffective in serving their purpose. So, what are those indications? Let’s see!

1. Foul Smell

Just imagine, you open your eyeshadow and experience the disgusted staling smell. What do you feel? Don’t you think something is terribly wrong?

Yes, this foul smell is the foremost indication of your decaying eyeshadow. Generally, such outdated cosmetics produce gasoline-like or other crazy smells upon which they have to be replaced immediately with a fresh unit.

2. Change of Color

When the eyeshadow expires, its chemicals and tinting agent naturally gets altered, and the shades become faded. In such a stage, the hues appear light and make your final result unappealing.

3. Clumps

Clumps and dried-out textures are well-known signs of bacterial growth. The cakes become heavy and unusable when they get oxidized by the air and penetrated by germs. In such cases, the eyeshadows become decomposed, and to prevent your sensitive eyelids from allergies and reactions, immediately kick them out from your beauty kit.

4. Change of Texture

As long as your palette stays safe and healthy, the hues blend perfectly with your skin and provide an alluring final result. But, once its texture hardens and becomes tough to merge, understand the product is out of condition and replace it immediately.

According to Hadley King, M.D., the dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa in New York City, “The consistency of the product is going to change over time. They’re going to dry out, get clumpy, and not apply as smoothly.”

Normally, the best eyeshadows never indicate these signs before the provided expiration date (PAO date). Only when you intend to use the product beyond this pre-specified period, you should check for these decaying signs and understand its usage reliability.  

Related Questions

The following related questions give you more information about the discussion topic.

1. What Happens If I Use Expired Eyeshadow?

The eyeshadows are meant to use near eyes (the most delicate skin) that involves more risks than usual. It could possibly create eye irritations, redness, acne, rashes, and other allergic reactions over eye areas.

2. How Long Does Eyeshadow Last If Unopened?

In general, the fully-sealed, unopened eyeshadows could last 2-3 years when stored in a cool and dry place. But, if the eyeshadow has more organic ingredients with no preservatives, even the unopened unit can get expired sooner.


The prime role of eyeshadow is to beautify your eyes and upgrade the makeup finish. But, the expired cosmetic could support neither the look nor the skin health. On shading your lids with older color cakes, you experience the clumpy and streaky finish that spoils your entire grooming process.

Though the eyeshadows are usable beyond the expiration date, be sure it shows neither of the above-discussed decomposition signs. These signs can lead your skin towards allergic reactions that require dermatologist inspection. Now, make sure your eyeshadows are in reliable condition to enjoy the colorful day!  

Yogeshwari Ramadass

Yogeshwari Ramadass

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