How Long Does Liquid Eyeliner Last? (Direct Answer)

It can be a tough call to throw away your expensive and favorite lipstick or eyeliner. After all, you bought it after much searching! It’s easy on the skin, doesn’t smudge, and lasts longer. In a word, it’s PERFECT. So, how can you possibly throw it away just because your think it has expired?

Has the product started clumping? Is it causing irritation? Is it leaving behind oil residue that’s making your face look worn out and old? Not all makeup products spoil or cause side effects in such a manner. Then how do I decide when to throw away my liquid eyeliner?


Quick Answer

The answer might confuse you because there’s no set date to throw away your eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner lasts 3 to 6 months. This doesn’t mean that you throw it away, but you SHOULD! Some makeup experts debate that six months are too long. This is because liquid eyeliner stores germs daily every time you open it, which can harm your skin and eyes.

Makeup products don’t come with an expiry date, making it harder to decide what to throw away and when to do it. Let’s take a look at this problem in detail:

When to Throw Away Your Liquid Eyeliner?

Like other makeup products, liquid eyeliner does not come with an expiry date. However, it does have a quality date, which is about 3 to 6 months. You will not find this date on the product. If you are concerned about your liquid eyeliner harming your skin, know that the right time to throw it away is after three months or when it has dried.

Germs get into our makeup and tools that transfer from container to container and then onto your skin. Once this happens, the quality of your makeup drops and loses its shine. Bacteria settle in hard-to-reach corners, and as a result, your makeup starts to get crusty. The same thing happens with liquid eyeliner.

Let’s take a look at how long different makeup products and tools last:

  • Liquid Foundation: Oil-based formulas last for 18 months and water-based for one year.
  • Powder Products: Products such as powder blushes, setting powder, and bronzer last for two years.
  • Cream-Based Makeup: Concealer and blushes with a cream-based formula last from 6 months to 1 year.
  • Moisturizers: Once opened, they last from 6 months to 1 year.
  • Sunscreen: Lasts for a year before it starts losing its efficacy.
  • Lip Gloss: Lasts from 6 months to 1 year.
  • Lipstick: Lasts for a year or two.
  • Liners: Products like pencil liners, lip liners, and gel liners last for a year. Sharpen your pencil liners every time before use to remove bacteria-laden bits. This will help you avoid eye infections.
  • Liquid Eyeliner: Lasts for 3 to 6 months.
  • Mascara: Lasts for 3 to 6 months. If the product starts to smell or the texture changes, discontinue use immediately.
  • Nail Polish: If unopened, nail polish lasts indefinitely. This is because its ingredients start to evaporate, causing the nail polish to thicken. If opened, it lasts for 2 years.
  • Makeup Brushes: They last indefinitely. However, you should wash them with liquid soap every 2 months to remove any bacteria.

Does Liquid Eyeliner Expire?

Have you ever seen an expiry date on any makeup product? That’s because the makeup industry still hasn’t decided whether providing an expiration date is necessary or not. However, as mentioned earlier, this doesn’t mean that makeup won’t expire. Usually, you will see an open-jar symbol on every makeup and certain skincare products. The container will have a number written on it in months, indicating the amount of time the product will expire. For liquid eyeliner, most jars have 3 months written on them.

After this period, the liner drops in quality. Several signs will show you this, such as the product no longer applies well, it rubs off faster, irritates the skin, and smudges faster. This happens because the bacteria that was on the wand has now transferred into the container.

How is Expired Liquid Eyeliner Identified?

You have been using your liquid eyeliner for months now. So, how do you know whether it has expired or not? Forget about three months. The first thing you need to look for is the smell. If there’s an unusual smell coming from the container, better get rid of it. If the liner has changed in color and has a weird texture, such as grains or clumps, stop using it.

Is Expired Eyeliner Safe to Use?

You won’t find any website stating that liquid eyeliner past its open jar date is not safe to use. However, from what you read above, we highly recommend that you don’t because it’s not good for your skin. You will immediately see the change in expired liquid eyeliner as it will lose its consistency. It might even cause your eyes to redden.

Can I Stock Up on Liquid Eyeliner?

Let’s say that that liquid eyeliner you use is hard to find. So, the next time you see it on the shelf, you buy three. One you should open, and the remaining two should stay unopened in your drawer. The good news is that unopened liquid eyeliner lasts from 6 months to 1 year. That’s double the lasting period of opened liquid eyeliner. You might argue that if the liquid eyeliner hasn’t been opened, how does it lose its quality. The oils in the liner will separate from the pigment, and the end product will just be a clumpy mess.

When Should I Replace My Liquid Eyeliner?

You should replace your old one with opened liquid liners every three months. If unopened liquid liners are stored in a dry and cool place, such as a drawer, they will last for more than a year. However, you won’t know for sure whether the liner is usable or not until you apply it.


We can safely conclude that you should replace opened liquid eyeliner after three months. It’s possible that liner might last 3 months more, depending on the quality of the product. However, experts say that the liner loses its consistency.

If you want your eyes to stay safe and your makeup on point, we suggest you replace your liner immediately! We bet you don’t even know when you bought or opened it. Better be safe now than sorry later.

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