Recycling Cosmetics: How To Recycle Old Makeup

Stylist Natasha

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Recycling Old Cosmetics

Few realise that cosmetics have a shelf life, and even fewer throw out their make up when it lives past this date.

Makeup is not made to last forever – if it doesn’t run out from use then it’s best to stop using it once it’s past its use by date. This is for a number of reasons from loss of quality to an increased health risk, such as contaminated eye makeup products. The chemicals that are used to create makeup suffer with age and breakdown slowly, resulting in makeup no longer living up to its full potential and becoming potentially worthless.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

So what do you do with all this makeup you need to dispose of?

You can recycle your makeup in many different ways. Lipstick, blush, eye shadow, eye pencils, foundation, shampoo, conditioners and other beauty products can all be reused or recycled in some other way.

Repurpose it
If there is quite a bit of product left then consider repurposing it. There are alternative uses for many different types of makeup.

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  1. Blush and Eyeshadow: These two cosmetics make an excellent addition to paint, or even paint itself if you mix it with some water. Simply crush it into a fine dust and mix it into the paint of your choice. Consider mixing peach coloured bleach to some white paint to get a unique and good looking colour.
  2. Lipstick and Lip gloss: Lip gloss and lipstick can be used as paint and to add colour to clothing. If you don’t fancy using them this way, they also make good markers. This will be especially useful for handymen who are always needed to create marks when measuring.
  3. Mascara: The liquid mascara itself can be used for many things such as marking over scuffs on shoes and adding highlights to your hair. Once you’ve washed off the applicator you can also use this as a small brush. This comes in remarkably handy for cleaning jewellery, small items and even for brushing your brows!
  4. Liquid Eyeliner: Liquid eyeliner is one of the cosmetics that should really be recycled after a few months of use. It is great for making tribal art on skin or nails, decorating eggs and other crafts with children.
  5. Hair Conditioner: Conditioner has many uses other than making your hair silky soft. Use it as a hand wash in the bathroom to keep your hands soft and smelling great after washing. You can also cover any tools you have with it to prevent them from rusting. Obviously this is valuable as rusting will irreversibly damage metal tools. While working in a greasy environment rub a large amount of conditioner thoroughly into your hands and then carrying on working. When it comes to removing the grease later on it will come off with ease and save you scrubbing at your hands.

Recycle the Packaging

As with most things we buy, cosmetics come in varying amounts of packaging. Thankfully this is often recyclable and you can add it to your normal recycling routine. However, others may be harder to dispose of, or perhaps the containers are too “nice” to simply dispose of. Some beauty stores allow you to return empty cases to their stores and refill them, or they will recycle them for you and offer you a reward. It’s just a case of asking your local store of cosmetic brand if they have any recycling facilities.

Just thought we would throw in a Barbie Makeup tutorial…enjoy…

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Stylist Natasha

Fashion writer at I over see all articles posted on this site, I hope my writing along side our contributors inspires you and leaves you totally satisfied.