How to Reuse Cosmetic Containers

Once you’ve slathered on the last dip of lip balm from a tin, it’s common to toss it into the trash and not think twice. But rather than adding your beauty regimen leftovers to growing landfills, consider re-using the container. If you start with an esthetically pleasing package, all you need is a little know-how to feel virtuous and organized.

Reuse Old Containers

• Blush compacts or pressed powder compacts: Gently remove the metal powder tin with a flat screwdriver and clean off any glue. Use it to carry earrings.

• Lotion or cream jars: Clean out any residue and stash away cotton balls or rounds. Clear jars look the best.

• Circular lip balm tins: After cleaning, carry ponytail holders and half-size bobby pins with you for on-the-go hair taming, or keep your daily dose of vitamins and supplements in them.

• Cylindrical tube containers: Depending on the size, they can quarantine your Q-tips from other products when traveling. If the tube is small, they serve as good toothpick holders too.

• Mascara brushes: Scrub the excess formula off, or toss it in the dishwasher. Use to comb lashes into place, or to exfoliate flaky lips.

Reduce Cosmetic Clutter

Try these three tips to cut down on your cosmetic waste:

• Be a smart consumer: Support beauty companies that already have recycling programs in place, such as beautyblender, which allows consumers to send back used makeup sponges for recycling as part of their blendersender program. 

• Refill and save: Opt for makeup palettes that you can customize yourself. Once you’re done using the tin of eyeshadow or lip color, all you have to do is buy the refill. Some classic perfumes also have refills that are sold at a smaller price than what it costs to buy a whole new bottle, such as Chanel and Burberry.

• Let them know what you want: If you find yourself a loyal consumer of a product but feel guilty because it’s so perishable and wasteful (e.g., mascara), send a letter or e-mail to customer service expressing your concern, and request that a program be implemented.

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