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Don’t toss ’em out! Check out these surprising uses for old makeup

by Anna De Souza / Friday, 21 July 2017

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You painstakingly research what you think will be a holy grail beauty item only to find it doesn’t quite work with your skin type, tone or face. Hey, we’ve all been there.

While there are some stores with good return policies, many times that facial cream or mascara just ends up at the bottom of our drawer only to resurface months later. Cue the feelings. All the feelings, including disappointment, regret and a touch of sadness.

What if I told you that the product’s next stop shouldn’t be the waste basket, but rather a second life? The key is to think beyond its intended purpose to now benefit another one entirely. One caveat: You’ll want to make sure the products aren’t expired (the cosmetic chemists we spoke were adamant about this point), but they can be previously opened.

These are some of our favorites!

Lip balm

Anna De Souza

Bet you never thought of this trick!

Lip balms must replicate themselves when sitting in a dark, cozy purse. How else can I explain the amount of tubes and tins at the bottom of my handbag?

Well, that waxy lip savior also comes in handy to relieve foot pain! Run a thin layer around the straps of your heels, or wherever you need less friction, typically along your toes, back of heels and ankle straps. Bye-bye, blisters!

Face creams and oils

Anna De Souza

Why not DIY a brand-new product from one that didn’t necessarily work out?

There’s nothing more frustrating than picking up a new cream only to find out that it creates an oil-slick on the surface of your skin or leaves it drier than the Sahara. In those cases, reach for some sugar!

Mix oils and creams together with this one ingredient to create a moisturizing hand and body scrub. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson recommends stirring in turbinado sugar (otherwise known as “sugar in the raw”) with creams and oils to create an exfoliating mixture.

“Since creams in particular are water soluble, it can dissolve the sugar over time,” she explains. So mix what you need, as you need it!


Anna De Souza

Don’t toss that mascara yet!

Whether the formula was too wet, too dry or didn’t deliver on said lengthening or volumizing, chances are this nearly discarded mascara tube can come to the rescue if you’re in a bind. Use it to temporarily camouflage grays when you’ve let your roots go just a bit too long.

Simply run the brush along the roots to deposit enough color to take the edge off grays and whites. Any formula will do, but keep in mind that waterproof is ideal if you’re planning on swimming or heading to the gym.