Are you smart with your beauty waste?

Thanks to the many companies that have introduced sustainable packaging, we are able to recycle many of our cosmetics and skincare waste.

But lately I have been thinking of another issue of mine: product waste.

As a beauty editor I review a LOT of new products, but don’t necessarily get to finish them all.

Over the summer I received lots of sun care products, with most brands sending me the entire range.

Recently, I received countless hair products, and even though we all know I have extremely long hair, it’s not like I wash my hair every day.

This month, I have been given tons of complexion products for testing, but most  don’t even match my skin colour. I can never finish using them. Ever.

How then do I cut waste?

First of all, stick to the motto  ‘first-in-first-out’. The products that you buy first should be used, or disposed of first.  

Unfortunately there is rarely a ‘best before’ printed on most beauty products except sunscreens. But there is a cute little sign on each packaging to remind you how soon you should consume it. 

It’s also handy to use a waterproof marker to write the unboxing date, or the date you started using it, next to this sign.

We all follow trends and love trying the newbies seen on Instagram.

But how many do we actually need? Think about the ones that are already open. Stop buying or opening the items you don’t need.

Many of us are happy to get sun-kissed and tanned, but not so happy when our favourite foundation is not ‘shade up-to-date’.

Don’t throw the old bottle straight away.  It can be applied around the T-zone and cheekbones as a highlighter.

Unwanted concealer is great for travel makeup bags.

High coverage concealer can cover birthmarks and bruises after dressing up.

Do you find you struggle to finish a mascara within three months? Unfinished mascara is a great eyebrow tint.

Unfinished skincare bottles can be useful too. Use facial mists as an anti-static spray for legs after you put on that beautiful silk skirt.

Facial scrubs are friendly for delicate areas before shaving. Shampoos are perfect brush cleansers. If your shoes are making your heel uncomfortable, rub a tiny bit of rose-hip oil onto the area where there is discomfort.

I have a girlfriend who loves collecting limited edition Crème de la Mer. She will then rinse the empty jars and use them to store her bobby pins or hair clips. I saw her using empty hairspray cans to hold hairbands too. Good on her. Empty wax candles are great makeup brush containers. Washed makeup sponges are wonderful sneaker cleaners. Right?

How much of a ‘beauty junkie’ are you? Next time before you throw those empty bottles or half finished beauty products into the bin, think again. Are they trash or treasures? It is up to you.

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