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Reusing, repurposing and upcycling your beauty stash!

6 March, 2018 - 08:13pm by - First Lady | 17 Comments

Article by BR Amelia

What do you do with your used up beauty products?  If you're really good you might toss them in to your recycling bin, but if you're like most of us, those empty bottles, pots and palettes are destined for the landfill.

Upcycling might be the latest buzz word (along with 'life hacks') but it's been around for decades.  I remember my Nanna telling me about the war and post-war years, when the economy was stunted and people simply had to make do.  From unraveling too-small sweaters and using the yarn to knit hats or gloves, to reusing the bath water to water the veggie patch, war time households learned the hidden value of many a used-up thing.

Well for the sake of the environment (and your beauty karma), we've come up with some ideas to reusing, repurposing or upcycling your beauty stash!

1. Create household storage from lotion bottles.

Make It & Love It blogger Ashley Johnston has rocked our world with her upcycled lotion bottles.  This hanging laundry room storage system is simple, eco friendly and pretty darn cute.

2.  Store broken powders in your old makeup palette.

If you're a 'dropper' then chances are you've cracked and smashed more than a few powder products.  

Clean out empty moulded palettes and use them to store broken chunks of blushes, powder foundations, bronzers, and eye shadows. Bonus: This trick helps keep your cosmetics area clutter-free.

3.  Contain the clutter. 

Reuse body butter tubs, candle jars and tins and declutter your room.  Store hair pins, pills, cotton buds and whatever other fiddly things you have lying around.

4.  Refill empty containers.  Keep a hold of 'handy' product packaging like glass bottles, pumps or deluxe samples and re-fill them with homemade products or for travelling.

5.  Make statement jewellery.

2nd Funniest Thing blogger Marta used a plastic bottle to create this chevron necklace.

6. Reuse net body scrubbers as household cleaning tools. 

You're supposed to replace plastic loofahs at least every two months for hygiene reasons.  But have you ever unravelled one?  That's a lorra plastic to just throw away - they're great for stubborn surface stains and for hard to reach spots. 

7. Use glass foundation jars as single stem vases. 

 Simple.  Classy.  Frugal.

8.  Overrun with fancy soaps? 

 Use them to freshen drawers and wardrobes until you're ready to use them.

9.  Use cleaned out toothpaste tubes for cake decorating.

Ok, I'm not entirely convinced by this, but people do do it!   Snip the end off, wash well, fill with icing, and off you go...

10.  Check out if your favourite brand has a recycling program. 

Some brands like MAC offer a free product for customers that return empty packaging.  Check out Back To MAC or Lush's 5 pot recycle program.

11.  Turn a lotion bottle in to a cellphone charging caddy.

Make It & Love It blogger Ashley Johnston has done it again.  No more tripping up over wires while your phone is on charge!

12.  Too many nail polishes to use?

Use them to paint bobby pins in the season's must have colours.  Cheap and cheerful!

13.  Is your eyeshadow too sparkly, glittery or bright for your liking? 

Mix it with clear nail polish and rock your own unique shade!

14.  Use a disposable razor to gently remove clothing bobbles.

Go easy or you might end up with a hole and wishing bobbles were your problem!

15.  Collect the mirrors from your used compacts to create your own bit of wall art.

Check out Thistle Wood Farms for some inspiration on this!


Are you into upcycling, re-using or repurposing?  Share your ideas and tips with us below!

Please sign in or register to add a comment.

Love the ideas of creating a phone/cable wall holder. There's definitely wires that extend metres from my wall!

Some cool ideas and some weird ones too lol. The mirror looks cool!

I try to be good at not wasting things. And not buying stuff I don't need (who am I kidding?). Well, at other things, not beauty products!

My favourite ideas are: The phone/charger holder. Painting bobby pins with nail polish. Using soaps to scent my clothes drawers.

I have great ideas and intentions for upcycling, but just never get round to it. Sigh.

Several good ideas here! I’m going to start unpainted that soap one, I mostly use body wash, so bars of soap sit around for years!

I like number 12 will be doing this. Number 13 though, I wouldn't ever put nail polish on my eyes

They mean mixing an eyeshadow shade that you don't like with clear nail polish to make a custom nail polish colour ... it would be applied to your nails, not your eyes. :)

7th March, 2018 at 10:03 am

Lol uhh duh!! I read it wrong haha

7th March, 2018 at 10:28 am

You weren't alone on that one Violet - I had to re-read that section twice - I read it as 'making eye shadow less sparkly' then paused, and read it again lol...

7th March, 2018 at 11:14 am

Hahaha so people if you have a eyeshadow that is too sparkly, just add some clear nail polish uhh no haha

7th March, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I’ll save these ideas for my daughter she’ll love this.

I would rather re cycle than up cycle as I am not a clutter person and I think I would end up with too many bits and pieces gathering dust however the soap idea is good so that is one I will look at.

I'm big on recycling and I reuse containers. I'm not so crash hot on creative projects.

Love these! I love repurposing things. With empty eyeshadow and blusher palettes, I fill them with nail polishes in makeup type tones, leave them to set for several days, and replace the applicators with new ones, and its 'fake' makeup for my little girl, without the mess of actual kids makeup. I've kept soap in drawers for years - my mum used to do that one, and I've kept it going (little hotel soaps are great for that!!). I also use my vitamin containers to hold bobby pins...

That is certainly awesome ways to repurpose beauty items, Hadn't heard of most of them. I can appreciate the sentiment to reuse but I won't be doing any of these.

I'm loving #8 and #11. These are great ideas! I reuse candle jars to hold my makeup brushes

Its certainly great to reuse and recycle. Some pretty crafty ideas here.

Or you can blend up all the broken blush/powder/bronzer/highlight and make a diy overall face powder! And just store it in a jar and use with a puff.

Perfect for the Arts and Craft types - which is most definitely not me!


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