What to do with your old makeup

What to do with your old makeup

We’ve done some research on what you can do with your old makeup. Image by Adobe Stock.

Makeup is all about trial and error, think about it, you buy a foundation and the formula just doesn’t work well with your skin. You buy a new lipstick only to find that the shade isn’t quite right. You buy a shampoo that leaves your scalp oily and the list goes on. But where do these unused, half-used and nearly finished products end up? The bottom of your bathroom drawer? A beauty shelf? The bin? It’s said that on average a woman can spend upwards of $40,000 in her lifetime on makeup, so when you put it that way, it seems kind of like you’re flushing your money down the toilet. Makeup also doesn’t last forever, they all have a shelf life until they aren’t safe to use anymore, here’s a quick breakdown:

Mascara – four to six months

Eyeshadow – 18 to 24 months

Blush – 18 to 24 months

Eyebrow pencil – 18 months

Lipstick – 12 – 18 months

Lip gloss – 12 months

Eyeliner – 18 months

Lip liner – 18 months

Not to mention all of those makeup containers that aren’t recyclable or compostable are just adding to the giant heaping mass of rubbish that is polluting our planet. So, I did a little research and came up with a list of options on how to get rid of your old makeup. Remember reduce, reuse and recycle? Well, this rule applies to makeup too and you’ll be surprised at just how crafty you can get. So do your part to save the planet with these 10 ideas for getting rid of your old makeup.

Gift unused products to friends
Brought a product you decided you don’t like but didn’t open? Save some money at Christmas and birthdays re-gifting to a friend, they’ll never know!

Melt old lipsticks together to create new colours
Have you got a bunch of lippies that are almost finished? Try scooping the remaining product out with a knife then melting them all together on a spoon or in the microwave then pop the mixtures into small containers and let set in the fridge. Voila, you’ve got a bunch of new lippy shades!

Fix cracked pressed powder by pouring alcohol onto it
Damn! You’ve broken your fave pressed powder compact! Well, don’t throw it out, mush all of the powder together then pour high percentage alcohol onto it and mix together until it forms a paste, leave it to sit overnight and the alcohol will evaporate to form a hard powder again.

Pour the last few perfume drops into an unscented body lotion
If you’ve still got a few drops left of your fave perfume that you’re just not quite ready to part with, pour the last of the product into an unscented body lotion body to create your favourite scented moisturiser. Then keep your old perfume bottle as a decor piece for your house.

Clean off a mascara wand and use it as an eyebrow brush
Instead of chucking your old mascara wand out, clean it and use it as an eyebrow brush for perfectly brushed up brows!

M.A.C product recycle
M.A.C has an awesome recycling initiative where you can bring in any 6 empty M.A.C containers and in return, you’ll receive a free lipstick or mascara. Free stuff and helping to save the environment, that’s a win-win.

LUSH pot program
LUSH is another sustainable brand that offers a recycling program. Bring back five clean, black, LUSH pots and receive a free lush face mask.

Create pretend makeup for your kids
Got young children who love getting into your makeup? Wash out the old bits and create a pretend makeup kit for your kids, they’ll love you for it.

Repurpose an old compact into a solid perfume container
Repurpose an old compact by creating your own solid perfume balm. Add beeswax and your favourite essential oils for a scent that is your own creation.

Buy sustainable products
The best thing you could do for the environment is to buy sustainable beauty products, whether that be “naked” products which are package-free, compostable products or create your own. Brands like LUSH and Ethique have great sustainable product lines.

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