Old makeup – why waste it when you can repurpose it?

Repurpose old makeup

We’ve all been guilty of buying makeup and then never using it. And, during spring-cleaning, all that old makeup is magically found with half the things way past their expiration date. There must have been times when you’ve found an old lipstick or eye shadow that you didn’t even know you had! The fate of that makeup is in the trash can. All the products that are past expiry date get tossed into the dustbin and those that still have some shelf life go back into that dark corner.

Don’t say it has never happened to you. That red lipstick that looked so sexy in the store but you never really used it again because you thought it didn’t suit you. Or that mascara that becomes clumpy? Even that eyeshadow that looked so good on the model but you don’t really think it’s your color. And, now all that makeup you spent a whole month’s salary on is either in the dustbin or lying in a corner of your dresser. Or with a heavy heart, you will give it away. Yeah… We’ve all been there and done that.

But what if we told you that there are so many easy ways in which you could repurpose your old makeup and use it. Of course, there is no saving some of the things when they expire but for others, well they can still be salvaged. So pull out all your old makeup –  your MAC lippies, OPI nail-paints and those Makeup Forever eyeshadows that you’ve not seen for months and read on to see how you can transform them into something new and useful.

Here is how you can transform your old makeup into something new –


Use as a cream blush

Don’t like the texture of lipstick on your lips? Or maybe you think the color doesn’t pop well. Fret not. Just turn it into a cream blush! (Though there are no real rules of how to use a lipstick as a blush, a matte or satin lipstick always gives good results.)

  • Take a little (or generous, depending upon what kind of color you’re using) amount of lipstick on your finger. Rub it between your fingers to warm up the product and then just tap your fingers on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Rub it between your fingers to warm up the product and then just tap your fingers on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Depending on the kind of pigmentation you’re looking for, you can apply another coat and you’re done.

As a tinted lip balm

Sometimes we buy a shade that on second thoughts may turn out to be a little too dark for our use. But, that doesn’t mean you can use it on your lips. You can, by simply turning it into a tinted lip balm.

  • Melt a small amount of your lipstick (the best way is to use a microwave, it only takes 5 seconds!)
  • Mix it with about three times Vaseline or petroleum jelly.
  • Put this mixture into the refrigerator for the jelly to set well. Your lip balm is ready!

Make a new shade

Got two lipsticks that you don’t like or use? Why not make a new shade out of them? The method is really simple –

    • Melt two lipsticks in the microwave for about 5 – 10 seconds.
    • Mix these two shades on a palette and then pour them into a small container or old lip balm boxes.
    • Refrigerate for half an hour and you’ve got yourself a new lipstick!


Make new nail paint

Over time eyeshadows turn flaky and dry. This means that no matter how hard or well you apply them, the makeup is going to look patchy. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw away these eyeshadows. You can simply turn them into nail paints. Here’s the method –

      • Take a clear nail paint or topcoat
      • Crush the eyeshadow to turn it into a powdery form
      • Add this powdered eyeshadow to the clear nail paint and shake the bottle well. Voila! You’ve got yourself brand new nail paint!
Repurpose old eye shadows
Repurpose old makeup – Eye Shadows

Make a body bronzer

Have a glitter shadow that has become too flaky to use on the eye? Why not make a body bronzer from it and give your neck, back and arms a nice glow, especially when wearing flattering dresses or heading out for a night party?

      • Crush the eyeshadow to make a powder
      • Take a little of your moisturizer and mix this powdered eyeshadow in it.
      • Mix well and apply your moisturizer the usual way you would and there you go.


Use it as a shaving cream

it is needless to say that a conditioner bottle usually lasts way longer than the shampoo. And, if you are out buying a particular brand of shampoo, it is always a good idea to buy a conditioner from the same range because they are supposed to work as a pair. But what about the old conditioner? Well, use it as a shaving cream!

      • Apply conditioner just like you apply your shaving cream. It won’t lather but it will soften your hair for a smooth shave. Using a conditioner also means your skin will feel soft afterward.
      • Shave as you usually do and wash off the excess.
Use old conditioner
Repurpose old makeup – Conditioner

Reverse Shampooing

Sometimes a conditioner may feel too heavy on your hair. Your hair feels oily and weighed down after using it. You don’t necessarily need to change your conditioner. Just reverse the order of washing your hair – use conditioner first!

      • Wet your hair just like you would before washing. Apply conditioner across the length of your hair and wait a minute or two. Applying the conditioner first will make your hair become smoother and hence prevent them from tangling when you shampoo.
      • Wet your hair slightly and apply shampoo. Lather up and wash the shampoo off. Also, the shampoo will not affect the hair follicles because of the protective layer formed by the conditioner. This also means that shampoo will remove excess conditioner and your hair won’t be left feeling greasy.

Finishing Powder –

Repurpose old finishing powder
Repurpose old makeup – Finishing Powder

Make a tinted moisturizer

The last bit of a finishing powder is not only difficult to use since it does not easily get absorbed in the sponge, but it is also harder to throw away unused. But you can use your powder to its last bit by turning it into a tinted moisturizer –

      • Crush your finishing powder (if it is in cake form)
      • Pour your face moisturizer into an empty bottle and add the powder to it.
      • Shake the bottle well so that the powder and moisturizer are well combined. Your tinted moisturizer is ready. Wear it on days you don’t feel like wearing a heavy foundation. Your DIY tinted moisturizer will give you a simple no-makeup coverage.

See, how these simple tricks and methods can totally transform your old makeup into newer products. So pull out all your old makeup and turn it into products that you will definitely use and fall in love with. It is important, however, to note that all makeup products come with an  and using some of them beyond the expiry date can be harmful.

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repurpose old makeup

Is there any other way that you use your old makeup? Have another trick up your sleeve? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Or you can even write to us here.


    • Hi Syd! That’s what happens with most of the makeup. We buy it and end up never using it. This way at least makeup can be put to good use 🙂

    • Awww, thanks Kathrynjane! I realized that it’s a common problem so thought about ways to repurpose old makeup. Glad you liked the post! 🙂

  1. Great ideas! I’ve thrown away so many samples, eyeshadows, and powders because I didn’t love them when I got home. This will be a money and product saver.

  2. Love all of these ideas! There have been too many times I’ve bought lipsticks that just weren’t the right shade on me. Now I know how to not let them go to waste! I will definitely be putting these tips into action.

    • Thanks for the comment, Heather. Lipsticks can be used easily as a cream blush. In fact, that’s how the idea of cream blush actually came into existence. Also, lipsticks set better than powder blushes and don’t turn flaky even if your skin is dry 😉

  3. So many clever ideas here! I always use conditioner much less than shampoo, so I’ve been using it as shaving cream often to use it up, haha.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ivana. Isn’t reusing old makeup in this manner a great way to utilize products that may go waste otherwise. Using mascara brush for eyebrows is a great idea too!

    • Hey Mayuri! A conditioner is a great substitute for shaving creams. In fact, you will find that your skin feels way softer after using conditioner for a shave. By the way, now that we are talking about shaving, coconut oil works great too! 🙂

    • Hey Kim! The eyeshadow+clear nail paint works really well. Just make sure that you crush the eyeshadow to a fine powder 🙂


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