Recycling used make-up

Fall has certainly arrived here! Our house has been sniffly, sinus central for about two weeks! So I’ve been very behind in my posting. Now that we’re all on the mend, hopefully my posting will become more regular.

What do you do your old make-up? Do you just throw it out? Do you actually use all of yours up?

I’m a sucker for a cosmetics sale, and sometimes the colors or styles do not work when I get home. That happened with some lipstick that I got for a great price a few months ago. I’ve tried and tried to make myself wear it, but I don’t like how it feels on my lips. It’s tingly, and not in a good a way.

I finally took the lipstick out of my purse and got some colored lipgloss that said it was eco-friendly. But what should I do with the old lipstick?

If you think your make-up might be too old to keep using, check out this handy guide.

I know that you shouldn’t donate used cosmetics (concerns over germs) and worry about throwing them away.

But I found some really great uses for old cosmetics online at various message boards, and I wanted to share them.

  • Let your kids do crafts with them. This is great if you have kids who like to play dress-up or color (liners and lipsticks can make cool coloring implements.) My oldest son is not an artist. I like to call his artwork minimalist. I’m lucky to get one line out of him. My youngest would just put them in his mouth. But I know I used to love playing my mom’s make-up drawer when I was little, and many kids are budding artists.
  • Make crafts more colorful. You can use eyeshadow and blush powders to tint craft paints and polymer clay. That’s a really cool idea.
  • Use on home improvement/sewing projects. You can use lipstick or liners to mark drywall, and I like to use eyeliners to mark fabric when I’m sewing. For the sewing project, make sure your marks will be sewn into a seam or use liners that aren’t waterproof. This is a much cheaper option than buying sewing chalk to mark garments.
  • Use them for Halloween or stage make-up. I guess this works if the make-up you bought is way too bright. Make-up does spoil, so don’t put super-old make-up on your face — especially not near your eyes or mouth.
  • Touch up shoe polish. I’ve done this with old black mascara in a pinch. If your black leather shoes are scuffed, you can cover up the scuff with black mascara. If you’ve got brown mascara, I assume it would work on brown shoes. I’ve also attempted to touch up red leather shoes with red nail polish, but that didn’t work as well because the reds weren’t the exact same shade.

I will say that I’ve seen people post on craigslist looking for used cosmetics before. The woman wanted some used make-up for her young daughter to play with. I don’t recommend accepting used make-up, especially from people you don’t know.

What about you? Do you have any cool ideas for recycling used make-up?


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