Make-up Repurposing and Recycling Hacks

Do you have any idea how much make-up you go through every year? How much of the make-up that you buy actually goes on your face, and how much of it just turns to waste? If you want to make the most out of the make-up that you already have, it’s time that you learned about recycling and repurposing make-up.

Recycling is all about finding actual practical uses for anything that’s old, broken, spent, or no longer useful. This may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of creativity and some stuff that you already probably have at home, repurposing cosmetics can be a fun learning experience. Besides your actual make-up, the materials that you can recycle include the packaging that contains the products. Let’s start there.

Cosmetics Cases and Containers

This is the easiest make-up recycling that you can do. All this requires is a bit of detergent and some imagination. Before anything else, pick only the products that are either already expired or used up. Set them apart from your useable cosmetics. Remove every residue of product from these cases and containers.

Whether it’s oil, powder, gloss, liquid, or whatever form that your make-up comes in, scoop, rinse, and clean it all out of its container. This is the first and most crucial step to repurposing product packaging. As long as it’s completely clean, a former container for make-up can be used to contain anything that’ll fit in it.

Tiny flip-top cases can be used for keeping pills, jewelry, sewing paraphernalia, or even as an emergency secret wallet that no one will suspect of containing money. You can even reuse them as containers for some DIY recycled make-up projects, which we will be discussing later.

It’s also more courteous to turn in clean containers to make-up retailers or stores who accept old and spent make-up cases for recycling. You might even get rewarded by some of these companies and programs through discounts, or if you’re lucky, free make-up. Check online to see if similar programs exist in your area.

When you’re picking recyclable containers from your kit, you should know how to decide if a particular product is already expired or not. It’s a waste to clean out unexpired products, but what’s even worse is using unexpired make-up on your face, which could lead to irritation.

How to Tell if Your Make-Up is Expired

Anything that’s smelly is completely expired. This simple rule goes for all types of cosmetics and tools. If it looks like you can clean it up to make use of the container, do it. But if the smell is too bad, and the container’s been compromised, just throw it out. If the label says the product has expired but the make-up itself doesn’t smell bad, you can probably still use it. On the other hand, a bad smell always trumps whatever expiration date is on the label.

Not all make-up products are created equal. Some expire more easily than others, while others have a shelf life of up to 2 years: these are the bronzers, blushes, dry eyeliners, lipsticks, lip liners, lip gloss, foundation, and powdered eye shadow.

When it comes to cream foundation, creamy eye shadow, and concealer, the shelf life goes down to 12 to 18 months. Oil-free foundation and nail polish usually lasts for around 1 year. And finally, for mascara and liquid eyeliner, it’s just a mere 3 to 6 months before expiration. These are averages that don’t necessarily apply to each and every make-up product that you have in your inventory. Check the expiration label for best results.

If you have any unexpired make-up that you don’t really use that much anymore, there are plenty of ways to turn them into unique homemade make-up that you can’t buy anywhere.

Combine Different Lipsticks

Don’t throw out any lipsticks that you’ve used up to the bottom. Instead, scoop the remaining lipstick and combine it all in a large spoon. Use heatproof mittens to hold the spoon and hold it over a very small fire, melting together the lipstick and creating a new shade or color that you can experiment with. You can use any of the small make-up containers that you’ve saved as a case for your new lipstick. You can start using it once the mixture has cooled down.

For best results, you can take note of the possible color combinations and shades that you can create using whatever color of lipstick is available. You can mix and match different colors for new and interesting results. Combining lipstick and other make-up is very similar to mixing paint for the canvas.

Add Powder to Make Tinted Moisturizer

A lot of us end up with powder that we don’t use anymore. There are plenty of ways to repurpose the stuff. If you have a cake of pressed powder that’s too broken to be of any use, you can just completely crush it down to powder and mix it with your favorite neutral moisturizer. This is a great way to create the shade of moisturizer that you just can’t find anywhere.

Add Alcohol to Bind Any Broken Up Powder, Eye Shadow, or Bronzer

This is an instant fix that can save an entire canister of still-usable but cracked up product. You can use a spoon or chopsticks to turn entire cracked palettes into powder. Add alcohol and mix it all together into a thick paste. You can use 70% alcohol, but higher concentrations like 80 to 90% will be better. Leave the paste overnight in an opened container, and the alcohol will evaporate on its own, but not without having done its job of rebinding the powder into a solid cake again.

Soak Make-Up Cases in Warm to Hot Water to Loosen Product

One of the biggest causes of waste is make-up that’s dried-up and clinging to the sides of its container, which is something that mascara and lip balm are both notorious for. Heat up some water in a mug. It doesn’t have to be boiling, just hot. Put your container in and the heat will melt the make-up into a useable state.

Recycling and repurposing make-up is not just healthy for your own wallet, but it also helps in reducing the waste that we send to the landfill. So besides trying them out for yourself, don’t forget to tell your friends about these small but useful DIY make-up hacks.