How to Recycle Beauty Products You Don’t Use

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How to Recycle Beauty Products You Don’t Use

As someone who hates to waste and throw out things, it’s great to recycle beauty products instead of tossing them. I want to thank one of my readers, Gail, for this fabulous idea for a blog post and for her contributions too. And I would LOVE to include your ideas too. Read more below.

Quote of the day: “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain

This quote struck me funny because even though I have a platform with this blog, doesn’t mean I have all the answers. In fact, I always say that I learn just as much from my audience as I do from reading other blogs.

So what I’d really LOVE to do is add your suggestions to this post. If you have some wonderful ideas of how to recycle beauty products (including makeup), please either comment below or email me ( and I will keep updating this article and credit you.

Recycle Beauty Products Ideas

This whole idea came when Gail read my Basic 5 Minute Face Tips post and one of my ideas sparked her to share some of her repurpose makeup ides.

1-Using lipstick as blush.
This works great when your lipstick isn’t the right color for your lips. Or in my case, when the lipstick doesn’t stay on all day. What I like about this is lipsticks tend to be creamier than powder blush, and I need all the creamy I can get.

2-Use your lip liner or eye liner to write notes. -Gail
Gail said she has done this for years. She will use that old or wrong color liner to put messages on her mirror like a white board. It’s very helpful when you remember things right before bed and don’t want to look for paper and pencil. Then you just need a tissue to wipe it off afterwards.
FYI, after I learned this, I even used it for myself and wrote a quick reminder on paper when I couldn’t find a pen….with lipstick no less.

3-Use eye shadow as nail polish. (see the photo below)
I only tried this recently but I think it could work even better if you spend more time with it. My experiment shows a tad sloppy result, but in my defense, I was in a hurry.
What I did was put a little clear polish in the lid of a container and added eye shadow. Mix and then apply as a polish.
I can think of a ton of disadvantages of this method, but it might be great for a costume or Halloween, when you only need it for that event, and won’t need to reapply.

Nail polish from eye shadow

4-Use leftover conditioner for shaving your legs. -Gail
Gail says she always ends up with more conditioner than shampoo, so she uses the extra conditioner to shave her legs.
Another suggestion she has read (but not tried yet) is to put the conditioner on a wet wash cloth and throw it in your dryer with the wet laundry.

5-Foundation as highlighter
When your foundation doesn’t match because you bought the wrong shade or your complexion has changed due to the season, you might be able to use it as highlighter/contouring.
If the foundation is too light, then you can use it as highlighter in the areas you want to glow.
And if the foundation is too dark, then you use it for contouring.
See the chart here if you need help on where to highlight and contour.

6-Moisturizer as body lotion
If your face moisturizer seems too thick or you don’t like the fragrance, it might work on the rest of your body instead.

7-Mascara as eye liner
Again this is what I shared in my 5 minute face post. I use an angled brush to add liner on my upper AND lower eyelids.
I discovered this trick by accident when my mascara ended up under my eye and I decided to smudge it and see how it lasted. For me and my skin, it stays much longer than any eye pencil or shadow.

8-Combine lipsticks to make a new color-Laura of I Do DeClaire
When you don’t like the lipstick color, add a couple into a microsafe bowl and melt them together. It’s best to use disposable utensils for this because the lipstick is hard to get off. You can keep adding more or one color or another to get it to what you like. Then the EOS balm containers work great to store the new color.
You can also combine lipstick with a lip balm for a tinted lip balm.

9-Reuse a mascara brush.
For me, my like or dislike of a mascara is about the brush even more so than the mascara itself. If you have a brush you really like, when you are done with the mascara, make sure to save the brush. Clean it off and then you’ll have it for later.

Use it All

Since we are talking about not wasting products, I thought I’d also include a couple of tricks to get that last bit of your product.

1-Cut the Container
I’m sure everyone knows to cut your plastic packaging in half so you can scoop any remaining product. What I have learned is it’s better to do this in the middle of the container and then slide the one half over the other so it doesn’t dry out.
2-Beauty Spatula
I have a different brand spatula but this one actually looks better since there are two different sizes. It’s a great way to get the last bit out of those glass bottles.
3-Old Moisturizers -Margie
Use it for fingernail & toenail cuticles instead.
4-Mascara-Em of Dust and Doghair
Add a couple of drops of contact lens solution to get the last bit of mascara out.
5-Nail Polish
Add a little nail polish remover to thick nail polish to thin it out.
When you can’t get the end of the lipstick out, use a brush or cuticle pusher to get the last bits.
7-Eye Shadow-Eugenia of Eugi’s Causerie
When eye shadow gets old, just wipe of the top layer to revive it.

How to recycle beauty products


There’s another option to recycle beauty products. Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen has shared that Project Beauty Share continues to serve women who need help. You can send them the products you don’t want. Here is the list of what they accept.

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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