Friday, July 12th, 2013

Choose or Lose


What do you do with makeup that doesn't work for you?

Check out the results!

Thanks to Christina for today’s question!

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61 thoughts on “What do you do with makeup that doesn’t work for you?

  1. VickyM

    I don´t do anything with it, it just sits around unused forever, thankfully I only have about three such items in my makeup collection right now.

  2. Avatar of T Violet Lee

    I usually put it aside, intending to try to give it away, totally forget about, find it a year (or more) later when I’m cleaning out my stash and finally toss it.

  3. I usually give stuff that I don’t like enough to hold on to away unless the quality is really bad. In that case, it’ll more likely go into the bin.

  4. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    Fortunately, that very rarely happens. I’m not attracted to shades that don’t work for me, so I never buy them. If it’s a GWP/PWP, it’ll most likely be a lip product, and I’ll try using it to layer. I have several blushes that came in palettes, so they just sit there…

    Foundation products are the ones that are most likely to have issues, so I just *always* get a sample before buying. It’s just not worth the extra effort to return it.

  5. Brianna

    All of the above, depending on the situation.

  6. I will return it if I can, or give it away to friends or family. I have even tried swapping with someone, but that didn’t workou these days

  7. Avatar of Laura Laura

    We can’t return things here in the UK, so if I buy something that I later decide I don’t like I’ll either see if my mum/sister/friends want it or sell it on eBay or just toss it if it was cheap.

  8. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I throw it in the back of a drawer and forget about it! My collection isn’t that big in the first place and I do a lot of research before I buy so I don’t get too many flops. If it was a big item, though, I’d definitely return it! Or maybe give it to a friend. I feel awful because whenever a return is made to Sephora the product gets thrown away :(

  9. Avatar of Littlehell Daniela

    Usually these two things happen: I keep using it or I just leave it where it is and forget about it.

  10. I love the return policy in the US work. We do have some return policy but you usually have to pay shipping for them in Canada. Unless the product is defective or gone bad I don’t return them just pass them one.

  11. Lauren

    Swap on Makeupalley!

  12. My sister sort of plays around with makeup so if it’s something I think she might like then I give it to her, if I can’t return it.

  13. Jolie

    I had a MAC concealer that wasn’t the right shade for either my under eyes nor blemishes. I ended up using it to conceal my eyebrows, whenever I fill them in!

  14. I return it if I can, if not I’ll give it to my little sister or a friend. Or put it on Makeup Alley.

  15. If it’s a lip product I tweak it to make it work (mix it with something to lighten or darken it for example). I think the only thing I MIGHT return is a higher end foundation because it’s not the easiest to just give away (you have to find someone that the color is perfect for). I hate that a product that is returned will be thrown away, even if it’s unused (but love it too because it means no one is getting used products)…but if I paid a lot for a foundation I will definitely take it back and exchange or get my money back.

  16. Kate

    I’ve become bolder about returning things that don’t work for me, and saved myself a lot of money/space in the process; however it is rare that I have to return, because I have also learned to shop smarter by reading reviews exhaustively to prevent impulse buying, so I tend to think things through a lot more. Often that means I miss out on limited edition products, but oh well. Also I ask for samples; a lot of the time the sample convinces me I don’t need the product.

  17. Jayda

    I always try to find an alternate use for it or try to apply it a different way. If it looks a little light on me, I give it to my mom because she has a lighter complexion that me. If it’s a product that I spent $30 or more on, I return in it for a refund.

    Sometimes, I’ll toss it in my kit, come back to it a few months later, and realize that I love it!

  18. Since we have a ‘no returns’ policy in my neck of the woods, I’m stuck with anything I buy and don’t like. It’s kind of a Catch-22, it kills me to throw new makeup out, but I won’t use it, so I let it sit there and accumulate for awhile. If I know someone who may want it, I’ll ask them. If no one wants it, I’ll usually toss it after several months during one of my cleaning binges.

  19. manuela

    it s impossible usually return it to the shop
    and it s often going to mam or friends but most of the time i just dont use it and it s lie about

  20. Avatar of Malinda Jane Malinda Jane

    If it’s pricey, I return it. If not I keep a little basket near my makeup stash and toss things in there that I don’t like or don’t find myself using enough and when it gets full I let my mom pick through it, send everything I think my best friend might like to her, and the rest I let my mom take to the girls she works with or throw away.

  21. Marti

    Where I live return policies aren’t as nice as in the US! So I try to be careful about what I buy to avoid a huge waste of money and that’s why I loooove your blog Christine, I always check out your reviews before buying anything! But, If I do buy something impulsively and I end up not liking it or the shade isn’t right or whatever, I try to make it work and use it anyway, maybe during days I don’t have to look perfect. Most of the times I use it for a while and then I get tired and it just sits in my drawer for ages until I throw it away!

    • Aww, thank you Marti! <3

    • Avatar of Mairyn Mairyn

      Same here – return policies aren’t as laidback here in Australia as they are (or seem to be) in the US.
      For me, generally the only products I’ll have a problem with is foundation. Sometimes if a foundation is too dark for me and the product itself doesn’t really seem decent enough to justify lightening it every time I used it (e.g. a Mac foundation I bought recently, which was too dark for me, and it didn’t seem to sit well with my dry skin) I’ll give it to either my sister or a friend at work, who are both more tanned than I am.
      I agree with Marti; it definitely helps having Christine & temptalia on hand for checking product reviews before buying! :)

  22. Yellowlantern

    It gets thrown in an old makeup bag and only gets used on random occasions when I decide to look through it.

  23. I don’t normally return beauty products, unless they make me break out or if I get sold the wrong shade of something (like foundation). Usually I decide I don’t like a product after trying it out a few times. So then I wind up giving it away to my mom or another family member.

  24. It really depends. If it’s a HE product or DS product over 10.00 I return it. If I think my bff can use it I’ll give it to her or her three daughters, and anything else I toss.

  25. Jo

    Wish we had some kind of returns in the UK as you do in the US!
    I usually give to my mum or friends if the shade wasn’t right for me or I wasn’t getting enough use out of it. If the product wasn’t a quality one then I would just throw it away

  26. Avatar of Kristen Kristen

    I should return it. But usually it goes to my mom LOL. I have returned very few items (Crushed Metal Pigments from MAC. Ugh, I didn’t want them in my sight they were so bad).

  27. Avatar of Lauren Lauren

    I usually will try to return it, but if the store has a no return policy (like Target – for makeup), I usually will throw it away or give it to my mom, if she likes it.

  28. Avatar of Pamela Pamela

    Swap, swap, swap–it’s the best way to give and get! Recycling at its best!

  29. Katie

    If it’s the MUA’s mistake (wrong color matching) I’ll return it. If it’s my mistake (impulse purchasing a lipstick without trying it first) I won’t return it because I feel like that was my mistake, which they shouldn’t have to pay for.

  30. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I wish we could have chosen more than one answer because, on one occasion, I have returned a product (to MAC) but I tend to shop pretty carefully and don’t often have epic “fail” products end up in my possession. When I do, I honestly tend to feel it’s my own fault, so I’m more likely to give those away (I have a 20-something daughter who loves makeup as much as I do).

  31. Merty

    Makeup cannot be returned here, and I would find it unhygenic to give most things to other people, so I tend to keep stuff…I do try to find uses for them though, maybe mixing and experimenting with other fail buys.

  32. Avatar of Dorottya doroffee

    Where I live, it’s kind of hard to return stuff, especially in drugstores, when they are not faulty. I usually try to reuse products – and actually, most of the stuff I can use for something else. Like pairing a lipstick in a shade that looks weird on my lips, I use different glosses on top, or a not too pigmented eyeshadow as a softening/transitioning color or a blush or a bronzer, if I can. Or just wait until summer to see if I could use an off-colored lipstick or blush.

  33. i’m in the “i feel awkward returning things” club. I’ve done it for makeup once and I hated it. So usually I’ll just pass it on to a relative. Or if it’s MAC product, I’ll just save it to to use for B2M.

  34. Kristy

    I’ve kept my mom and sister well supplied for years now with the stuff that I can’t use. Usually when something doesn’t work for me it’s because it had hidden warmth to it, peachy or orangey tones, which happen to work well on both of them.

  35. Avatar of Madelyn Madelyn

    A lot of times, if it is expensive, I try to return it. If it is a less expensive item, I hang onto it. Sometimes I can mix it and transform it into something cool (light simmer in lotion = simmer lotion) or wait until I start to become interested in that style again. My tastes are always changing. Sometimes a dud now can be a gem later.

  36. Avatar of KaseyCannuck KaseyCannuck

    Some things get offered up to my daughter, although she’d rather have my clothes!
    I’ve set things aside that I didn’t like, usually a GWP item, and gone back to it some time later and loved it! I do this mostly with lipsticks. I think it’s kind of strange how a colour I used to hate suddenly looks great, and sometimes a colour I used to like looks just awful.

  37. leo

    If it´s high end foundation/ concealer/ skincare etc. I usually return it, because in my country you are not allowed to get samples, so I can´t test it before. If I can´t tolerate an item, I always return it, because IMO that´s a feedback for the companies and if many customers return out of the same reason they maybe change sth. I even returned a drugstore mascara for 4€, because it had such a heavy marzipan-y smell, my eyes burnt and teared using it, which never happened to me before.
    If it´s lipstick, blush, eyeshadow etc. where I just don´t like the colour, I give it to my mum or friends.

  38. I will return items in a hot minute. The money from the returned items can pay for something else that I like and that works for me. My 13 year old is too young for my stash.

  39. Avatar of BooBooNinja BooBooNinja

    If it is new or in a sanitary and I’d-use-it-myself condition, I usually donate it to a local women’s shelter. I’ve given the odd item to my family and friends, the majority of whom aren’t into makeup.

  40. Zoe

    I usually mix things together or make alternative products! I am actually excited when I get makeup that doesn’t work out 100% (as in receive at low or no cost, buying pricey stuff that doesn’t work out sucks).
    For instance, I don’t use liquid bronzer, so I mix it with eyeshadow to make cream shadow, highlighters, or blush. And then mixing lip colors is fun, because you can customize the color to go with your skin or an outfit.

  41. If it’s a matter of shade, I’ll try to mix it up with another product to create a better suited hue to my skin tone. Like, it’s wasn’t until after a lot of trial and error that I realized that neither very cool nor very warm light lipstick matched me very well, so I mix those colors up.

    If it’s a matter of product performance, then I’ll return it or if I’m too lazy, it’ll stay on my make up drawer until my annual cleaning.

  42. Avatar of Janelle Janelle M

    Well I just give it away to my sisters. Thank goodness for sisters. Lol

  43. If it’s drugstore stuff or cheaper stuff I keep it. Eyeshadow is the only thing I’ve returned.

  44. Clara

    I return items which don’t work for me. Sometimes it’s a pity: we have a strange policy: you don’t get samples but you’re allowed to return stuff. So for foundations it’s a huge waste and i’m forced to buy it if i want to try it.

  45. I keep it for costume or themed parties (especially during Halloween or Christmas) when I need to create outrageous one-off looks for myself or others. If the products really don’t work for me I just give it away to friends or family.

  46. I normally try to use finish it or just think of another way to use it. No wastage!

  47. Avatar of Patricia Patricia

    I sell it at ebay!

  48. Avatar of Chelsea chelsea

    I try and make everything work, with foundations/concealer, etc.. I’ll mix it with something else to create a better shade/texture!

  49. Jen

    unfortunately, it usually sits in my makeup dresser collecting dust…

  50. Items that I can’t use go either to my daughters (they love Mama’s makeup) or into my professional kit (because it might work for one of my clients).

  51. zainab

    Fortunately I tend to be pretty careful about what I buy. I have tried giving things away, but my sister doesn’t wear much makeup and my mother has a totally different skin tone and also doesn’t wear much, and I’d feel weird trying to give ‘used’ makeup to my friends (who also don’t wear much, I am the only makeup junky I know…). Since you can’t return things here I tend to hold on to everything and just try and find a use for it. I guess that forces me to be a bit creative when it comes to certain colours.

  52. Avatar of Alison Alison

    In Australia, we’re not actually allowed to return makeup that doesn’t work for us – the only condition they allow returns in is in original packaging, new and with a receipt! If I lived in the States, I’d research my purchases thoroughly and save myself a lot of money and return things if I ended up hating them (because they’re cakey, itchy, goopy…), but here, unbearably, I just end up getting rid of them. Eeek!

  53. Avatar of Alyssa alyssa

    It depends on the product. First, I always try and see if I could do something to make the product work – layer it, use it for something else, etc. I’ve tried a few concealers that were crappy all around (they didn’t work on blemishes, under eyes, red spots, to cover pores, etc) so those such products I toss out after I’m sure I’ve tried everything to make them work. With lip products I usually always keep them because my thoughts tend to change over time with lip products. A shade I didn’t like 6 months ago may be the perfect thing I’m looking for now. Also, lip products are very easy to layer and play around with so I never know when I might start to like a lip product. (Unless the formula is really uncomfortable and drying – those instances mean I would try to give it away or throw it away).

  54. Avatar of Maggie Maggie

    I have sensitive facial skin–including my eyelids and lips. Because it’s always a gamble whether or not something will make my skin react, I seldom buy from retailers who don’t have good return policies. Blogs like temptalia are so wonderful for finding/researching products that work well (THANK YOU, Christine!) so I seldom purchase a product that hasn’t been reviewed and liked by others first. That said, if it feels comfortable on my skin and works as expected, I don’t return.

    If my skin reacts to it later after the return policy, I hang onto it with the ingredients list and try to find a correlation between it and other products that make my skin react.

  55. There’s no return policy where I live as well, so I must have spent tons of money on makeup that don’t work for me. I’ll give them to my sister or friends, and bin the really bad ones (i.e. Majolica Majorca’s Lash King, which smell made me throw up).

  56. Andrea

    If it was expensive, I return it, although I’ve only done this twice in the past.
    Otherwise I give everything else to my make-up obsessed bff who goes through products faster than anyone ever. She puts me and my stash to shame, haha.

  57. Avatar of Mallory Mallory

    usually it will just sit unused or, most of the time, I try to find a way to make it work for me…whether that be blending it with other products or experimenting with the product itself…I feel so wasteful if I just throw something away that’s a perfectly good product but just doesn’t work for me.