Here’s what you should be doing with your half-used cosmetics

Make recycling great again.

We’re all guilty having a stash of empty makeup bottles in the bathroom cupboard.

In fact, I had to shift about five moisturiser samples, three gift packs from 194BC and a family of squirrels to get to the cotton pads this morning.

As our beauty collections grow, so too does our pile of half-used, oft-expired, beautifully-packed rubbish. So the question remains: what do we do with it all?

Great news. Whether you’re an avid hoarder or a general sloth (me), there’s a range of programs designed to help you responsibly say goodbye to your ever growing pile of stock. Some, by miracle, even reward you with little treats in the process. Let’s make recycling great again.


Terracycle’s partnership with L’Oréal (and Maybelline and Garnier) allows users to provide a second life for their used cosmetics through the Beauty Products Recycling Program.

All you have to do is sign up on the site, compile your empty items and ship them on over.

Accepted waste includes any cosmetic and hair packaging such as used lipstick and glosses, bronzers, shadows, shampoo/conditioners, hairspray, soap dispensers and more.

Terracycle also offers a fundraising reward system, which entitles customers to redeem 2c per item (to go towards a non-profit organisation of their choice).

For any L’Occitane lovers, you’ll be pleased to know the French favourite is also among Terracycle’s partnered brands. For every empty product brought into a participating L’Occitane store, a 15% discount off any eco-refill product awaits you. Je t’aime, Terracycle.


Back to MAC

You know you’ve found something good when “saving up for a lipstick” equates to just using your makeup as normal.

MAC’s Back to MAC program entitles customers to one free lipstick of their choice, in exchange for six empty MAC products made from glass or plastic.

Whether it’s old foundation bottles, blush containers or the lime green eyeliner you spent your week’s paycheck on at age 15 – save yourself a trip to the yellow bins and collect your well-deserved lippie instead.


Loyal Lush

The great thing about a fresh face mask is absolutely everything. Loyal Lush users may already be aware that five empty black pots grants you a brand new one, absolutely free.

The brand has also partnered up with Terracycle to make your cosmetic spring clean easy and stress-free.


Lazy Loading