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Re-purpose Expired Makeup & Cosmetic Containers

Updated on August 22, 2016

Some of us are guilty of hoarding cosmetics, because the colors are irresistible, the bottles are super cute or they were on sale. But these could go bad long before you get to finish using them. If you are not sure about cosmetic shelf life and expiry, check out this chart and learn a thing or two about maximizing the longevity of your makeup.

Recycle and reuse your expired makeup in unexpected ways. Here are some ideas that could put them to good use.

Perfume bottle turned oil reed diffuser
Perfume bottle turned oil reed diffuser | Source
Colored candles
Colored candles | Source
MAC's Young Punk + clear varnish = a delicious matt deep purple
MAC's Young Punk + clear varnish = a delicious matt deep purple | Source

Never use mascara that have past their expiry, I have had a friend suffer from a serious eye infection due to this. It caused major inconveniences for her at work, where the infection meant that she could not wear her contact lenses. The pigment in mascaras however, are great for drawing beautiful art works.

When you have emptied the tube with your masterpiece, take out the wand, wash it. Now, the wand becomes an instant brow brush!

Powered pigments can be added to a variety of gel, liquid and cream mediums.

Add them to:
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+ paints, to create new shades
+ melted wax, give them a couple of swirls with a stick to create abstract-looking candles
+ clear craft glue, to make soluble paints the kids will enjoy
+ clear nail varnish, mix thoroughly to remove the grainy bits. Your polish will come out matte, very cool!

Just like crayons, your lipsticks can be used for coloring and drawing.

Expired nail varnishes can be used to paint on glass, if they are too thick to be applied with the included brush. Add some paint thinner and mix out the chunks to make it fluid.

When you have cleared the contents of your cosmetic products, keep the containers!

You can save eye shadow pots for little doodads in the house, like pills, pins, earrings etc.

Spritz bottles can be used to water plants. Smaller bottles are perfect for dispensing a refreshing, cooling facial mist to your skin, on hot summer days.

Glass bottles from perfumes can be used to decorate your house, fill them with water and pop in a flower or two. They can also act as oil reed diffusers.

Compacts can be used as little clip wallets, a cute way to stash your money and pop it in your skirt pocket.

Compacts with mirrors can be used as a little dental kit. Store some toothpicks or interdental brushes in your compact, it will save you from those embarrassing you’ve-got-something-in-your-teeth’ situations on a date.

✧ remember to clean and disinfect your containers before using them to store consumables!

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Hubber RunningDeer asked a very good question: since these cosmetics are doomed and at the end of their makeup lives, if we are going to use them for our artworks, will they turn icky on the canvas after some time too?

From personal experience, the less oil content in the cosmetic the better it stands against time. What I have found to help a lot is to spray 2-3 thin layers of water-resistant sealant/varnish to act as a barrier, protecting the artwork. It creates a shield against humidity and an air-tight environment.

© 2012 Peony


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    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I love this!

    • P FOR PEONY profile image

      Peony 5 years ago

      @ Modern Lady - Glad that you enjoyed it!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      How creative! Thanks for sharing!

    • P FOR PEONY profile image

      Peony 4 years ago

      @ Angela Brummer - Thanks! I hope it was of use to you (:

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      I just love these kinds of crafts! Thank you for all the great ideas!

    • RunningDeer profile image

      RunningDeer 4 years ago from Iowa

      Cute ideas! I like the using makeup for art. Does it stay okay on there? It doesn't disintegrate or look gross after awhile?

    • P FOR PEONY profile image

      Peony 4 years ago

      @ Mama Kim 8 - Hope it gave you some fun ideas to play around with (the little ones will love it too)!

    • P FOR PEONY profile image

      Peony 4 years ago

      @ RunningDeer - Thanks! You've pointed out something really good. Depending on the type of cosmetic – some do (liquid cosmetics/basically the 'oilier' stuff) and some don't (gel and powdered cosmetics). In my experience, what I've found to help a lot is to spray 2-3 thin layers of water-resistant sealant/varnish to act as a barrier, protecting the artwork. Hope that helps (:

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

      Hey these are nice ideas! Clever and cute, plus they are also money-saving tips. Sharing your hub. Thanks! :)

    • P FOR PEONY profile image

      Peony 3 years ago

      @ FullOfLoveSites - Thank you! I'm glad you found them useful (:

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