Refresh Your Makeup Bag For $35 – That Stuff Expires You Know!

Refresh Your Make Up Bag For $35 with Essence

A friend recently decided she is ready to start dating again after the breakup of her marriage last year.  She has a date coming up and wanted some help refreshing her makeup – something she rarely wore while married.  She said she was on a budget and could afford $50 to refresh her makeup bag and she had the basics just needed a refresh.  So off we went in search of her makeup bag, which we found in her daughter’s room and I am pretty sure her daughter has got more use out of the makeup than she ever did.

As we went through looking at each to see if they were usable and matched to decide what we needed to buy, she mentioned that she wore some of them on her first date with her ex-husband – seven years ago!  While I will admit to keeping makeup past the recommended expiry times, years too long is too much for me.

Makeup Expiry Times

  • Liquid Foundation or Concealer — 6 to 12 months (less if it is a pot you stick your fingers in, you increase the chance of spreading bacteria so look for a pump style or tube)
  • Powder foundation – Up to 2 years
  • Cream Blush or Eyeshadow — 6 to 12 months
  • Powder Blush and Eyeshadow — 1 year
  • Mascara — 3-6 months (throw it out if you get an eye infection)
  • Liquid Eyeliner — 6 months or less (throw it out if you get an eye infection)
  • Eyeliner and Lipliner Pencils — Up to 2 years (again throw them out if you get an eye infection or coldsore)
  • Lipstick — 1 year (again with the coldsore)

Yes, most makeup should be thrown out within a year of opening!  She agreed to let me throw it all – but reminded me of her budget for replacing it all.  Not an easy feat, so off we went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of two things clearance and an Essence display.  The first store was a bust, they had neither but we hit the jackpot on the second.

We picked up a Covergirl foundation on clearance at Target for just $4.84 and a pale pink Sinful Colors nail polish for just $1.99 – will go with anything and sheer enough that she isn’t freaking out because kids and nail polish do not go together according to her.  Shoppers Drug Mart had Covergirl pressed powder for $3.99 (I picked one up for myself at that price).  We were a little over $12 with taxes at that point and she needed everything else but the price of makeup adds up!  So, on to the Essence rack for everything else!


We picked up the All About Nude eye shadow palette for just $4.99 – and colours she will actually use!  I <3 Stage eye shadow base/primer ($3.49) because she gets makeup caked in the crease of her eye.  Lash Mania waterproof mascara ($4.99) because she is low maintenance and and doesn’t want raccoon eyes on her first date!  Finally two Stays No Matter What thick eye pencils/shadow ($2.99 ea) in a dark green and brown to darken the look of the eye shadow palette should she go for a smokey eye (working on that) and a regular old kajal pencil ($1.49) if she doesn’t.


Then the basics in nude colours, a lip liner ($1.49), Barely There lipstick ($2.99) and a XXXL shine lipgloss ($2.49) plus a nice pink blush ($2.99).  We were just under $35 including taxes on the rest of the makeup and she had change left from her $50 which we spent on a new makeup bag from Dollarama and I treated her to a bottle of perfume using my Optimum points.

You can’t guarantee the prices on the clearance items, and personally I go for a higher end foundation (mostly because most drug store ones don’t match my pink toned skin, why are they so yellow?) but you can refresh the basics for cheap with Essence and not cry when it comes to the makeup bag cleanup at the end of the year.

2 Replies to “Refresh Your Makeup Bag For $35 – That Stuff Expires You Know!”

  1. Great tips on the life times of make up! Thanks for sharing

  2. […] you check the pigment with the tester (but always wash your hands after using public samples). Tea & Nail Polish has some awesome recommendations for you that are the perfect examples of what we’re talking […]

Leave a Reply