Repurpose makeup: 6 ways you can recycle your unloved makeup

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Repurpose makeup? What are you on about now, Kate? Well, I recently wrote a post on ways you can repurpose the beauty products you’re not using and I thought it would be interesting to extend the concept to makeup. In that post I was talking about the fact that I was a compulsive buyer of beauty products and, while I do love my skin care, the big majority of what I buy is actually makeup. I have a passion for eyeshadow palettes, concealers, foundations and red lipsticks. The thing is that I overindulge and oftentimes I’ll realise that I don’t really like what I bought. While giving unused makeup to charity or friends is definitely an option, there are other ways you can use up your products. 


What you can do with unused mascara

My fellow makeup lovers won’t deny this: taste in mascara is extremely subjective and can prove to be specific.  I’m usually picky when it comes to wands: my eyelashes are short, I’m clumsy and often poke myself in the eye. As a result, my drawers are full of mascaras I hate using

Here are different things you can do with your unwanted mascara:

    • If you do like the wand, clean it and use it with a mascara whose product you enjoy


    • Clean the wand and use it as a spoolie for your eyebrows


  • If your mascara is waterproof, you can use the product as liquid eyeliner with an angled brush. Word of caution: don’t try this with an old dried out mascara. Bear in mind that most mascaras can only be kept for 6 months. Also remember to be quick because it dries faster than liquid eyeliner, it has less playtime.

repurpose your makeup, what can you do with unwanted mascara


Making use of liquid highlighter

A lot of people dislike liquid highlighter because its application can make the products underneath move around. 

Kate’s summer tip: transform it into body highlighter! Apply it on your shoulders, cleavage, etc. for a glowy summer look. It will also make it easier for your partner or friends to spot you from a distance. #nevergetlostagain


Repurpose that unwanted powder highlighter

Some highlighters can look a bit crazy, over-the-top and contain too much glitter. I personally prefer a highlighter that has a wet-looking finish and refuse to put on super glittery products on my face.

Tip to repurpose makeup: wet that brush and slap on your powder highlighter onto your lids!


Give your lipsticks some love

If a lipstick is too rosy for your liking, try it as a cream blush. Conversely, if a cream blush isn’t the shade you expected, make it work as a lip stain.

There’s a hack I read recently about recycling orange lipstick into a corrector for dark circles. I’ve tried it. Forget about it.


50 shades of foundation

Does your stick foundation make your skin too oily? See if it works as a concealer.

Is your foundation too dark? Use it as contour or on the perimeters of your face.

Is your foundation too light? Use it as highlighter or as an eye primer.

Is your foundation too drying? Mix it with your usual moisturiser.

foundation too drying, mix it with moisturiser to make it work

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer is a great moisturiser.

Turn eyeshadow into nail polish

One of the ways you can repurpose makeup is by transforming that palette you dislike or a broken eyeshadow into nail polish.

Crush the shadow into oblivion, transfer it into a bottle of clear nail polish (preferably not full), shake it like a polaroid picture, and you’re done!

It does work, but I bite my nails and didn’t want to inflict that sight upon you.


I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Again, if you know of any other ways to repurpose makeup, do share your hacks in the comments!




repurpose makeup


  1. July 17, 2018 / 9:39 am

    Love these tips! Will try out the nail polish one for sure and will experiment with all the half used foundation I have. I’m also a compulsive make up buyer! 💕 Sarah Elle xx

    • Kate
      July 17, 2018 / 10:17 am


  2. July 12, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    I love the nail polish hack – I think I’ll be trying that one when I clean out my make-up next! I have so much old make-up sitting in my old drawers at home, I really need to have a clear out 🙈 lovely post, Kate!

    Beka |

    • Kate
      July 12, 2018 / 2:49 pm

      It works wonders!
      Thanks for your comment.

    • Kate
      July 11, 2018 / 9:16 pm

      Thank you so much for that comment 🙂

  3. July 9, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    Please don’t judge me but i have some blush that I don’t use for it’s purpose so after I’ve put lip balm on, I dab it on my lips for a bit of subtle colour.

    • Kate
      July 9, 2018 / 8:00 pm

      Not judging you, it’s actually a great idea 🙂

  4. July 9, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    Great Post!!! Now I know what to do with my “Not so great” mascara. Thank you!!!

    • Kate
      July 9, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      Thank you so much, Tamie.

  5. Jenna
    July 9, 2018 / 12:29 am

    Great post! I was actually trying to figure out what to do with a lot of my makeup (I am trying to get rid of the stuff I don’t use), so this post helped a lot! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!
    -Jenna <3
    Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake

    • Kate
      July 9, 2018 / 7:46 am

      Thanks a lot!

  6. July 8, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    I am so very guilty of keeping my makeup too long 🙁 at one point I had a mascara which was older than my daughter. I’ve already made use of one of these tips – and have a gorgeous eyeliner now 😂 Thanks! I constantly need makeup tips because I’m useless!

    • Kate
      July 8, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      Hopefully you used mascara that’s not a few years old (I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but I’m guessing a wee bit older than your son) (call me detective Kate)

      • July 8, 2018 / 11:32 pm

        It was a colour palette I loved and it was 12 years old when I threw it out. NAUGHTY!

        • Kate
          July 8, 2018 / 11:32 pm

          Oh girl, you’re dirty! hahaha

          • July 8, 2018 / 11:34 pm

            I’m just very very cautious about throwing things out. It was a lovely expensive gift 😂😂

          • Kate
            July 8, 2018 / 11:36 pm

            Fair enough!
            Now I’m wondering how many red lipsticks you’ve kept over the years 🙂

          • July 8, 2018 / 11:45 pm

            They get used 😂💄💄 hardly ever seen without my red lippie

          • Kate
            July 8, 2018 / 11:47 pm

            You’re my kind of girl 😀
            We should co-write a post about our obsession for red lipsticks 🙂

          • July 8, 2018 / 11:48 pm

            There’s something about red though isn’t there 😂 Love it! Pick two of your favourites and I’ll pick two of mine and we’ll compare notes 😂

          • Kate
            July 8, 2018 / 11:49 pm

            Consider it done!

  7. July 8, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Thats some of the most genius tips.. :O 😀

    • Kate
      July 8, 2018 / 11:13 pm

      You’re too kind 🙂

  8. July 8, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    Wow these tips are brilliant!! Great blog x

    • Kate
      July 8, 2018 / 2:42 pm


  9. onelostcoin
    July 8, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    These are awesome tips!!!!

    • Kate
      July 8, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Thank you so much.

  10. July 8, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Waterproof mascara as liquid eyeliner…what is this witchcraft?

    • Kate
      July 8, 2018 / 10:31 am

      No hair spray involved huh!

  11. July 7, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    This post is so good! I love all the tips, especially that one of liquid highlighters🤗💋

    • Kate
      July 7, 2018 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you so much.
      Honestly, why pay 50 quid for a Fenty Beauty Body Lava when you can make your own?

      • July 7, 2018 / 10:58 pm

        True you can save and create your body highlight 🙂
        Funny you talk about fenty body lava! I love that product, but it’s expensive true, but i don’t know if I can resist 🙈🙈🙈

        • Kate
          July 7, 2018 / 11:16 pm

          Hehe yeah I saw you bought the killawatt highlighters. They look bomb. I’ve got my eyes on the stunna lipstick, too. Awesome red.

  12. July 7, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    These are great ideas. You can actually donate old mascara wants to some animal shelters/protection groups because they make a perfect brush for small animals!

    • Kate
      July 7, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Oh wow, I didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing and commenting!

  13. July 7, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Omg. I love this. I want to try the lipstick as a cream blush, that sounds like a lot of fun and the eyeshadow into nail-polish.

    • Kate
      July 7, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      That Lemonade Craze shadow is a much better nail polish than eyeshadow 😀
      Thanks for dropping by!

  14. July 7, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    I love this! I haven’t thought of it!

    • Kate
      July 7, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Thanks, Melissa!

    • Kate
      July 7, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      Thanks, Jen!

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