Creative ways to reuse expired (or unloved) makeup

Throwing away makeup- whether because it’s past its expiration date or because you don’t like it- feels bad. You hate to waste product that’s good but not useful for you or product you didn’t use up in time. Plus, it can even be like throwing away money!

Here are some relatively safe ways to reuse old or unloved makeup to save your money and waste a little less.


Mascara always seems to go bad before being used- at least for me. It’s also one of the makeup you really don’t want to use if it expired. It can cause eye infections- it’s so not worth it. With this risk, it’s wise to toss out old mascara. 

But you can make use of the wasteful plastic packaging and wand. So I tend to skip buying it since I know that some will go to waste in my house. 

So to make use of all your expired mascara, look at the spoolie first! After washing it out, it can become your new brow brush. Or, it can also help exfoliate your lips with a light dip in oil. You can spray it with hair spray to assist in smoothing out stray flyaway hairs.

You could empty out the mascara container and refill it with castor oil, vitamin E oil, and Aloe Vera to become your nightly eyelash serum. These ingredients have a proven track record in promoting thicker eyelash (and brow) growth. 

Makeup on a table


With unwanted or old lipstick, you can remake it into a new shade or tinted lip balm. This is relatively simple to do! You can mix the lipstick in a small container with vaseline and stir to create a new glossy shade. 

To make a new lipstick shade, gather two or more lipsticks and remove them from their container into a bowl. Microwave until melted. Pour them into a small tin or old lip balm container. Store them in the refrigerator until they’ve set. Voila!

You can also use them as a creamy blush- dab it in your fingers and let your body heat warm it. Then again, lightly tap to the apple of your cheeks. Blend as needed with a brush. 

Finishing Powder

If you want to reuse finishing powder or foundation, try the following trick before it expires (maybe once you are down to the last bit of it). With finishing powder, you can add it to your face moisturizer to create a tinted moisturizer. You could also experiment with using an old foundation. It can be light “no makeup” coverage.


There is no need ever to buy nail polish again because I know everyone has a collection of old eye shadow palettes. It’s effortless to do. 

Get a clear nail paint or topcoat and crush your powder into the paint. Mix and shake then you’re ready to go.

Toners and Cleaners 

If your expired toners and facial cleansers contain alcohol, they can make for a useful household cleaner. As long as it’s non-whitening, you can use them to spiff up shoes, purses, and other accessories or clean glass and mirrors. 

Eyeshadow pallete

It’s not a hassle to save money and waste less.

Okay, it can feel like it is. It’s so easy just to toss and forget about it! But spending the extra five minutes, being creative, and making something new is worth it. It’s not only better for the environment; it’s good for retraining our throwaway-culture mindset.

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