How Long Does Foundation Last? On Your Face and On The Shelf

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Picture this. You’ve found the perfect foundation. It doesn’t streak when you put it on, it doesn’t wash you out or give you an orange tint, and it blends in perfectly for that professional, red carpet finish. The only downside is that it only lasts for a few hours.

Even if you find the best foundation, if it doesn’t last you all day long, it’s not doing your makeup routine justice. Finding a foundation that does last all day, even through sweat, tears, and rain, can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible.  HIDE’s Premium Foundation offers coverage lasting all day and has a long shelf life when stored properly!

Knowing when to take off your foundation and when to throw it out is vital to keeping your makeup routine fresh, your skin clean, and your body healthy. Let’s go over how long makeup lasts on your face and on the shelf!

On Your Face

Depending on what kind of foundation you have, what ingredients it contains, and how you use it, the length of time it can last on your face varies. Foundations that last long are typically higher-end options. There are certain characteristics of a high-end foundation that set it apart from cheaper options.

High-quality foundations have high-quality ingredients, while low-quality options may use filler ingredients or synthetic ingredients. Not every foundation is going to use high-quality ingredients. In fact, many companies tend to compromise and cut corners on ingredients for the sake of affordability and convenience. These ingredients, however, can cause redness or irritation and aren’t ideal for your skin.

High-quality foundations are also lightweight, offer medium to full coverage that you build upon to reach your desired level of coverage, and offer a wide variety of shades to match any skin tone. Another quality that sets apart a high-end foundation from a regular foundation is how long it lasts.

If your makeup doesn’t last you all day, there’s a good chance it’s made with synthetic filler ingredients that aren’t designed to stick to your face. When shopping for foundation, look for one that lasts at least eight hours. This will last you through your whole day of work or school.

Even better, aim for one that lasts 12 hours or more! HIDE’s Premium Foundation lasts for at least 12 hours and longer! Plus, it feels weightless on the skin, is waterproof to stay on through the sweat, tears, and mess, and adjusts to whatever coverage you need.

Tips to Make Foundation Last Longer on Your Face

Even when you find a foundation like HIDE’s that lasts all day plus some, it’s still wise to take all the measures you can to make it last as long as possible. Here are some of our favorite tips to getting the longest life from your foundation.

Prep Your Face

First, prepping your skin can take your makeup from long-lasting to nearly indestructible. Having the right skincare routine before applying makeup and when taking it off can make a big difference. You can stick with the basic cleanser and moisturizer or incorporate more complex skincare products.

By cleansing your skin, you get rid of any dirt or oils that could get trapped underneath your makeup. When dirt and oil get trapped under makeup, it can loosen makeup, alter the length of time it stays on your face, and even change how smoothly it applies.

Dermatologists recommend using a gentle cleanser with warm water and a moisturizer to help seal in hydration and prevent dry, flakey skin. An effective moisturizer should also make your skin smoother, which in turn allows for smoother foundation application on your skin.

Prime Your Skin

Once you prep your skin with cleanser, moisturizer, and any other products in your skincare drawer, it’s time to prime. The right primer can extend the life of your makeup and help it last even longer. It seals in the moisture in your face, fills in pores, and evens out textured skin to allow for a smoother application.

When your foundation goes on smoother, it’s less likely to get cakey or crease, and you’re less likely to have to reapply. Choosing the right primer is key. Look for one that is built for your skin type or for combination skin. For instance, if you have dry skin, look for a hydrating primer. For oily skin, find a primer that has a matte effect on your skin.

Simply dab a small layer of primer on your face after you’ve cleansed and moisturized and let it dry before applying the rest of your makeup!

Use a Setting Product

Similar to primer, using a setting powder or setting spray can extend the life of your foundation. If you have oily skin or struggle with sweating, you may want to opt for a setting powder. This will help absorb any excess moisture, giving you a smooth finish and extra wear.

If you have dry skin, using a setting spray over your foundation can add hydration, seal in moisture, and create a smoother finish with a longer life. There are different finishes to choose from based on the desired look you want. For instance, there are illuminating sprays, mattifying sprays, softer finishes based on your preference.

On the Shelf

Knowing how long foundation lasts on your face is vital to knowing when to reapply and being prepared throughout the day. But knowing how long foundation lasts on the shelf is also important! Using expired makeup can lead to acne, breakouts, irritation, and even an allergic reaction. Here’s why!

When you use makeup, there are certain industry guidelines set in place that determine how long that product is safe on the shelf. After the expiration date, the product could contain dangerous levels of bacteria. Plus, if your foundation has expired, it may no longer be effective as a makeup product.

Depending on the type of product, how you use it, and how you store it, the shelf life varies. For example, eye makeup tends to have a much shorter lifespan than other types of makeup. Most eye makeup products last a maximum of six months before they’re no longer safe to use. If you keep using mascara after it’s expired, you risk infections due to the bacteria in the product.

Foundation, on the other hand, lasts a bit longer than eye makeup. If you’re using a water-based foundation, it can last up to one year. An oil-based foundation can last up to two years when stored and used properly.

If you’re using a foundation with SPF as your main form of sun protection, it will only be an effective form of UVA and UVB protection for six months.

Tips to Make Foundation Last Longer on the Shelf

Here are some tips to extend the life of your foundation to make it last longer on the shelf!

How you store your foundation is key to getting the most out of it. Since the shelf life is determined by how much bacteria your foundation is exposed to, limiting this exposure is key.

Try to avoid storing it in a place that’s warm or moist. Warm, moist places create the ideal environment for bacteria to grow, so leaving your foundation in the bathroom while you take a shower isn’t the best idea. Instead, store your foundation in a cool, dry place. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy. That drawer in your bedroom will do just fine.

It’s also important to read any instructions on how to properly store your foundation so you can get the most out of its lifespan. For instance, make sure it’s properly closed when you’re not using it. Foundations with a pump handle are best because they avoid contamination from your skin by pumping it directly into your hand with little to no contact.

It’s also important to never share your foundation with someone else. This can cross-contaminate your bacteria with theirs and lead to bacteria growth and infection. 

Diluting your foundation with more water can actually decrease the lifespan! If you find you need to mix your foundation with another shade to match your skin or that you want to mix with a moisturizer or sunscreen, do so in a bowl with clean utensils and then place on your skin. Never dilute with water, as this can dry out the product.


Knowing how long your foundation will last on your face and on the shelf is vital to being prepared when it runs out. But luckily, when it does run out, HIDE’s got you covered. With their Premium Foundation that you can order from the comfort of your own home, you can be prepared for expiration dates and reapplication.



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