What to do with old makeup - alternative uses for cosmetics

Quite a bit of info exists in cyberspace about what to do with old makeup, and I thought I'd add my own thoughts.

If you're anything like me, as time passes you find that you somehow end up with a bunch of old makeup and other beauty products that you no longer use or never really used much at all. Before you throw everything out (waste alert!), see if there's anything else you can do with what you have.

Note: this post will not cover how to revive old make up (eg, melting two old lipstick buds together to create a new colour) because I'm more interested in alternative uses for things, rather than squeezing the life out of products that may have passed their expiry dates.

Here are some ideas:

Make a dry shampoo (powders)

Any old powders - eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, finishing powders etc - can be used as dry shampoo. Dry shampoo essentially soaks up oil so you get some extra time between washes; its base is often cornflour, so there's no reason why you can't use what you have on-hand at home to suit the purpose (cornflour included).

I have an old brown shadow I've been using as a dry shampoo for the last month or so - I just crushed it up and I brush it on when needed. Bob's your uncle.

This tends to work best if the colour is close to your hair, but that's not a tight rule: I have used a paler shadow in the past and it worked just as well because it wasn't strong enough in colour to turn my hair grey (plus there's less chance of getting shadow marks on your pillow if you use something paler ; )). Though of course I wouldn't recommend that blonde lasses reach for the black (!).

While using old powders for this purpose (rather than the real thing) mightn't have all the same benefits - eg making your hair look a bit shinier in the oil-soaking process - the powder thing works well-enough and dry shampoo can be expensive. Plus I'd much rather use that money on something more exciting, like a lipstick.

Make a shimmer body lotion (powders and gels)

You can use just about any powder for this - again, shadows/blushes/bronzers - but I prefer to pick something that's in the cream/frosty or bronze/copper department.

Crush up your powder (or use a loose one) and mix it with your body cream. Apply. Looks great on your legs in summer.

You can also do this with shimmery neutral eye gels, although the mixing takes a bit more work and you'll need to check for streaks.

Makeshift paint (powders and gels)

I haven't actually tried this one myself, but I have a friend who's done it. If you wind up with whacky eyeshadows you won't use from subscription boxes, or have some old ones that have gone off or you're sick of, give them to the kids and see what happens (ha).

I guess you could use them dry or wet as 'finger paints' or dip a paintbrush in water and swirl them in the colours. The gels you could use as is.

Sounds like fun. Who says this idea is just for kids?

An air freshener or scent for your laundry (perfume)

If you're sick of your perfume or it's not smelling quite as lovely as it used to, stick it in the bathroom or kitchen and use it as an air freshener, or add some to your laundry water to scent your washing. Easy : )

A rich foot treatment (lipsticks and glosses)

Since the bases of most lipsticks and glosses are oils and lanolin, these are great as treatments for your tootsies.

Old lip products used for this purpose are of course better when they're not coloured, but I have been known to cover my feet in red lippie, put on (black!) socks and then leave the colour on overnight, washing it off in the shower in the morning.

Sure, your feet might be a little red-stained for the day (so it's better to use the red ones in winter, unless dyed feet come into fashion!) - but they'll feel nice and you'll be happily finishing off a product that you might otherwise have thrown out or left in the drawer for god knows how long.

Doubling up

This one seems obvious but I'll say it anyway: products can be multi-purpose. For example, if a product is marketed as a blush, this doesn't mean it can't be used as an eyeshadow. I reminded myself of this the other day when I wanted to buy a copper eyeshadow because I didn't have one - but I did have a copper blush that would work just as well, so I avoided the purchase.

Also, if you've run out of eyeliner or just want to try another colour, dip a wet or dry angle brush in your chosen eyeshadow and apply (you could also do this with a darker coloured bronzer). You might find you prefer the softer line this creates anyway.

If you subscribe to beauty boxes, you may find you end up with face products (cleansers, scrubs, moisturisers) that you don't like that much or that don't suit your skin. Use them on your body and save some cash on body products.

In sum

That's all I can think of for now. I might do another post like this one in future if I make some new discoveries. Do you have any alternative uses for products? I'd love to hear : )

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