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Every time you do a good spring clean of your beauty drawer(s), you’re inevitably going to find a lot of old, expired, unused, and under-utilised products in the deep dark corners of your drawers.

Before you decide to dump them all in the trash, consider these 20 hacks for your old beauty products that will do good by your bank balance and Mother Nature!

Reuse mascara wands as spoolies

makeup reuse hack mascara wand as spoolie

Photo source: Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels

Mascaras have a short shelf life compared to other makeup products as they are most prone to bacteria. Before you bin these, save those wands, give them a good clean to remove all the residue, and keep them around as spoolies for your brows. They also work great as a scrub for your lips.

Reuse small makeup brushes for home

makeup tools brushes source jamie street unsplash

Photo source: Jamie Street/Unsplash

After investing in new brushes, it is time to clear out the old ones that are no longer in use. Instead of throwing them away, re-purpose them as cleaning brushes for those hard to reach places around the house. They also work great as paintbrushes for the little ones to hone their artistic talents.

Keep kohl pencils and eyeliners as pencils

makeup reuse hack kohl pencils and eyeliners

Photo source: Valuavitaly/Freepik

Like mascaras, eyeliners tend to have a shorter shelf life. Eyeliners work great as pencils and you can extend their life by keeping them around for sketching or marking things up. If you have children, consider using these old pencils for some temporary body art fun on them.

Re-purpose liquid eyeliners as nail art pens

makeup reuse hacks liquid eyeliners

A fun hack for liquid eyeliners is to use them as nail art pens. Just draw as you please and finish with a topcoat to prevent running.

Convert old eye shadow to nail polish


Whether these are old, broken, or you just got bored of them, the vibrant colours of eye shadows make great nail colours. All you need to do is add the eye shadow powders to clear nail polish and you are all set.

Use liquid lipstick as nail polish

makeup reuse hack liquid lipstick

A fun hack to give your underused liquid lipstick more mileage: double them up as nail polish. Just apply with the wand and use a clear topcoat to set the colour to your nails.

Broken eye shadow as lip tints

makeup reuse hack broken eyeshadows

Like the nail polish hack, eyeshadows work great with petroleum jelly or clear lip balm to create a myriad of lip tints. Just take note that if the eyeshadow has expired or does not smell good, you may want to give this a miss.

Create your own lipsticks

makeup reuse hack create your own lipstick

At the end of the year, you might find that you are left with a bunch of stubby lipsticks. If you are feeling creative, mix and match the various lipsticks to create a shade that is uniquely yours. There are plenty of tutorials online that you can google and follow to create your own lipstick!

Re-purpose makeup containers

makeup reuse hack makeup containers

If all the makeup you are clearing out is way too old and expired, you can clean out the makeup and re-purpose the containers. Compact powder cases, eye shadow cases, and lip pots make great containers to store small items like pins and coins. You can even go a step further and use them to keep all the DIY makeup you are going to make (see points above!)

Do-it-yourself perfumed body lotion

makeup reuse hack diy perfumed body lotion

Ever wondered how to finish up that little bit of perfume stuck in the bottom of the bottle? Add a couple of drops to some unscented body lotion and you have your very own perfumed body lotion at a fraction of the cost.

Do-it-yourself perfume diffuser

makeup reuse hack diy perfumed diffuser

This is a brilliant way to use up your perfumes to the last drop. Grab some reed diffuser sticks, remove the top of the perfume, and stick them in the bottle. It will work just like a regular diffuser. The best part about this hack is displaying the pretty perfume bottle.

Perfumed potpourri


Photo source: Cottonbro/Pexels

If you need more ways to use up those last drops of perfume, here’s another hack. Finish them up with some unscented potpourri, and together with the DIY diffuser, your home will smell so good.

Create your own perfumed linen spray


Photo source: Dmitry Zvolskiy/Pexels

If you love your clothes and sheets to smell good, then create your own linen spray with your leftover perfume. You need water, the perfume of choice and a spray bottle and you are ready to spritz away.

Glitter up some craft glue with eye shadow

makeup reuse hack glitter

For those with a penchant for arts and crafts, bash up some old eye shadow, especially those glittery, shimmery sort and mix them in with some plain white or clear craft glue and get ready for some crafting fun.

Nail polish art fun

makeup reuse hack nail polish

In the theme of getting creative, consider keeping unused nail polishes for arts and crafts instead of chucking them out.

There are tutorials galore of different ways to create art with nail polish. One of our favourites is to paint our keys in different colours for easier identification – one for the letterbox, one for the main door, one for the gate, and so on. No more fumbling!

Leftover conditioner as shaving cream

makeup reuse hack leftover conditioner

Somehow we are always left with bottles of conditioners completely unused. Instead of wasting them, consider using them as shaving cream. It is hydrating and conditioning and will leave your skin supple and smooth.

Reuse makeup wipes as body or hand wipes

makeup reuse hack makeup wipes

What to do with makeup wipes that are unsuitable for your face, you might be wondering? Keep them around in your handbag and use them as hand or body wipes.

The skin on our bodies tend to be less sensitive than our face, so the wipes should be fine to use. Do a test patch on your hands or arms to be sure and if there are no reactions, then you are good to go!

Double up lip balms to tame brows

makeup reuse hack lip balm for brows

Lip balms tend to be neglected in the corners of our handbags. We buy new ones and somehow the old ones pop out of nowhere. Other than creating new lip tints with it, you can also use them to tame unruly brows, while you are waiting for your next threading session.

Pass down the good stuff

makeup reuse hack pass down the good stuff

While spring cleaning, it is always good to also take stock of the products that are seldom used but are in good condition. Pass them down to your friends and family so they can find their way to a good home. Don’t forget to sanitise them with rubbing alcohol before you pass them on!

Makeup recycling


There are plenty of beauty brands now that work with various organisations to help you recycle makeup and beauty products – most of them even reward you for your efforts!

Team up with your friends and family, and start gathering all the products that can be recycled to earn the incentives. If you have exhausted these hacks, then recycling will be a good option before binning everything away.