Of course, trying to reduce our individual waste footprint starts with buying less and recycling what we do use. But when things can’t be recycled, up-cycling (creating something brand new out of your used packaging) can be a great solution. From using candles to house your makeup brushes to keeping jewellery in empty lipstick cases, here we share seven clever ways that you can completely re-use your beauty empties. No waste necessary!
Glass candles are one of the easiest beauty items to re-use. From pretty brush holders to jewellery trinkets and cotton wool jars, an empty candle glass has endless uses! Once you’ve burnt out your candle, fill the inside with boiled water (leave the water to cool for a few minutes first, otherwise the glass can crack.) This hot water will help any leftover wax melt and rise to the top, where you can easily take it out. Clean the rest of the jar with soapy water, dry and voila: a brand new pretty trinket holder.
Finished your favourite lipstick? Scoop out any excess, clean and dry the bullet and re-use to keep hold of smaller items that can easily get lost in your bag— like kerby grips, tampons, earrings or hair bobbles. It will not only help to keep things sanitary, but organised too.
Bath salts, perfume bottles and body oils often come housed in pretty glass bottles that, when emptied, can be reused fairly simply. Remove any caps or pumps, wash and dry the bottle— then use as a vase for flowers.
Keep empties for travel
It’s always a good idea to keep smaller empties for travel. Whether it’s your old foundation bottle, a bottle of eye makeup remover or body scrub— clean out the tub, bottle or tube and keep it safe for when you need hand-luggage friendly packaging. It will stop you having to buy more travel-sized plastics at the airport as you can decant your favourite products into your upcycled empties.
Turn palettes into compact mirrors
Palettes are hard to dispose of as the glue and mirrors used inside aren’t widely recycled. Instead of chucking your palette in the bin however, save it and keep it as a handy compact mirror. Keep one in each of your bags and never be without a mirror on the go again.
When shopping for beauty products it’s always worth looking around to see what recycling, exchange and refill options are available. For example, if you take any empty Le Labo bottle back to one of their boutiques, they’ll refill your fragrance bottle and give you a 20% discount. Origins accept any empty beauty products— from any brand— and will recycle them on your behalf. Whereas LUSH offer free face masks to customers once they’ve brought back five empty Lush pots. It’s always worth doing a bit of investigating, before you throw away!
Words: Chloe Burcham