Monday, May 14th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You

What do you with beauty products you don’t like but can’t return? Give them to friends? Keep them? Throw away/recycle?

Temptalia's AnswerI give the majority of products to a local organization I work with that provides free/low cost legal aid to victims of domestic violence. I do give a few products to friends/family when they come to visit.

Thanks to Wendy for today’s question!

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

52 thoughts on “What do you with beauty products you don’t like but can’t return?

  1. Miss J

    To be honest, I just let most of it sit around in drawers. Every so often I will go through the stuff I don’t use much, and if it’s a good product, but just not for me then I will give it to my mom or a friend who may not be able to afford to splurge.

  2. I put them up for swap or sell them

  3. Jacqueline

    I have a few family friends that don’t have much,so every few months I’ll go through my makeup and things I don’t like/don’t use I go ahead and give to them.

  4. Melody

    Very cheap items I might not fret over, but in general I will either keep trying to see if I can make an item work or repurpose it.  Like if a highlighter I bought looks weird on, I might try it as an eyeshadow or use it on my body.  It’s fun to get creative.  Or if it’s not gross I’ll offer it to my mom.

  5. Tigress

    I give it to my friend, who never has any extra money for makeup. She’s always super happy with anything I give her.

  6. Veronica

    Sometimes, it will sit for a bit in drawers, but eventually I’ll either find a use for it or give it to friends and family since I don’t like letting things go to waste.  A friend recently commented that she’s pretty sure half of her lipstick collection is stuff I offloaded on her.  😛

  7. I save them for my friends mostly! I don’t have SO MANY that I don’t see myself ever using again to be honest, but that’s probably because my stash isn’t as big! 

  8. MsChatfield

    I just… I let them sit in draws forever and forget about them and then I’ll find them and they’ll be gone off, so ultimately, they end up binned!

  9. I have two nieces who are now learning about makeup so I give them a few pieces to experiment with and one of my best friends is an up and coming makeup artist so she gets the rest. As a matter of fact she exchanges pieces with me that dont work for her too!

  10. wendyclcl

    If it is high end makeup product, and my friends don’t mind to have the kindly used product, i will give away to my friend.  I remember couple years ago, i purchases a Japanese brand cream foundation during my visit in HK.  The sales associate select the color which is too fair for my skin, after two uses i decided to give away to my friend, she has much light skin tone than me.

  11. AwwRITE

    I usually give them to my sister-in-law!

  12. Luiza

    I just toss them somewhere. I might change my mind about them, or throw them away sometime later.

  13. ralbury

    I try really hard not to buy anything I haven’t researched and/or swatched.  Also, I try and buy from Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom’s who all have very good return policies.  But on the off chance I end up with a dud, I will give it to my Mom who loves to try new makeup but is too frugal to buy it for herself.

  14. mpca66

    Generally, I’ll give a product a try for a while, but when I stop reaching for it and it’s taking up space .. then it’s time for the round file ( trash bin ).

  15. I give them to my daughter and they look fabulous on her, then I want them back ;D

  16. blueraccoon

    Not many of my friends wear makeup and the ones that do don’t live near me, so if I end up with a dud odds are it’ll just sit in my drawer until I finally throw it out :( But I really try to watch what I buy so I don’t end up with duds. The only things I have right now that I’m not using are my BE foundation and all-over color.

  17. I either toss it away or let it sit in my drawer so I wont buy that same brand or product again.

  18. keleighbeth

    what a great question!!! I have given a bunch to my little niece (8 years old) but I think she has enough now. I hate to throw things away, so I hope to find some good ideas here. I also have some skin care products with the same issue — still a bunch left but I don’t like/don’t use it.

  19. I really wish I knew what to do with the makeup I don’t like, because I don’t actually have many female friends.  The ones I have would most likely not be interested in used makeup.  I can’t even really give stuff to my mother–I have never seen her wear eyeshadow, and she almost never wears lipstick.  I gave her a grand total of ONE lipstick once (because the one she had on was terrible with her outfit), and I have never seen her wear it apart from that one day.  In fact, she may have lost it.It feels really bad leaving them there unused, but I don’t really know what to do with them.

  20. Makaegan

    It really depends on why I hated the product in the first place. If it smelled off or if I had a bad reaction to it, I’ll throw it away. I won’t risk it being harmful to someone else. But if I just didn’t like the color or the texture or something like that, I’ll give it to someone. I have a system–skincare products, kohl pencils and mascaras that I don’t like, I give to my mom. Lipsticks/lipliners that I don’t like go to my aunt. And if I ever don’t like an eyeshadow (which is rare) or a more bold looking product like glitters and colored eyeliners, they go to my little cousin who is 18.

  21. Michelle Young

    Swap with my besties :)

  22. Nikole LaBelle

    I give them to my sister.

  23. Katherine Yang

    I either give them away or leave them in my makeup piles

  24. Emily Goldsberry

    I recycle them with Origins. If you go to any Origins Store or counter they will give you a free sample of one of their products for recycling your cosmetics. I bring all my empty cosmetics there (except MAC)

  25. Meg Hlushak

    I try to swap them or give them away.. it deoends what I don’t like about them.I don’t give friends nasty stuff.

  26. Emma-Louise Moore

    Usually give them to my mum or sister

  27. Jolene Post

    If they can be sanitized I take them to work and let the gals there take them. Otherwise they go in the trash. Why I refuse to buy high end products

  28. Mila Kurtsman Lowery

    Makeup Alley

  29. Theresa Martinez

    Take to clothing swap if can be sanitized. The women go nuts!

  30. Theresa Martinez

    Or makeup talk trade thread

  31. Asisa Rolle

    Give them as gifts or pass them to my daughter

  32. Viviane Nascimento

    That is a good question… I just got a cancealer from Mac, wrong color, gonna give to my Mom….

  33. Cheryl Lim

    give them away …….

  34. Yer Lo

    i try to change it up. as in make use of it another way.

  35. Veronica Mayo

    Donate cosmetics and beauty products to Project Beauty Share

  36. Heesoo Claire Koh

    Let my little cousin play it .

  37. Erica Galione

    More often than not I give away…otherwise, they wind up in the ‘never to see daylight again’ pile under the bathroom sink, and eventually thrown away.

  38. Tiffany Sollog

    I swap good or better condition ones on

  39. eltscott

    Depending on the product, I may try to use it in another way. For example, if I have a face lotion that I think is too heavy, I may use it as a body lotion instead. I’ve used cream blushes on my lips, if I didn’t like the way they wore on my cheeks. Sometimes, I may not like the way a certain foundation wears on me, but then I find that it mixes well with another foundation. If I can’t find any way to use the product, I’ll try to give it someone. I don’t have many friends who are into makeup though, so if  I can’t use, and no one will take it, in the trash it goes. It’s sad, but I can’t see the point of holding onto a bottle of foundation for two years if I’m never going to use it.

  40. MsChatfield

    Hey Christine, this is going to sound stupid, but I’m interested to know how the donated products actually help? Does the charity sell them or give them to the victims or…?

    •  @MsChatfield They’re given primarily to their clients (who are survivors of domestic violence) and a small portion goes to volunteers for the arm that does domestic violence representation.

      • MsChatfield

         @Christine (Temptalia) That’s a really amazing cause… I’d like to do that in future with any makeup I’ve only tested the tiniest bit. Do you know if there is anything like that in other parts of the world?

        •  @MsChatfield I’m sure there are! The best thing to do is ask around – call up local domestic violence shelters and ask them if they will take anything. If they say they can’t, ask if they know some other organization to ask. Mine does not do it formally, so it’s a one-off for them.

      •  @Christine (Temptalia) Christine, could you share the details of organizations which would accept gently used makeup?  I have a few that I don’t really know what to do with, and I would love it if someone else could find some use for it.

        • The only one I’ve worked with is my local one, which does not do so formally, but they have a relationship with the law school I went to as well as one of my professor’s, so she helped get the ball rolling there.
          I’d recommend just asking around – ask shelters, call up women’s interests charities/organizations (cancer, domestic violence, and the like are good places to start). If they don’t take gently used makeup, ask if they know an organization that would (or might). You can also try local high school clubs around homecoming/prom seasons. 

  41. Twanette L. Price

    This is one of the primary reasons I choose high end cosmetics — even after trying at the counter I find it doesn’t work I take it back! Nordie’s is great for that!

  42. Natasha Garcia

    I too have a “never to see daylight again” pile at the top shelf of my linen closet lol. Eventually I get to cleaning that out and I usually go toss-happy when I do it. I don’t get out much nor do I have friends who like the same stuff I do therefore the trash gets very fat.

    I really wish all companies would back what they sell and allow returns on items that don’t work out!

  43. ahall12

    I pitch them.

  44. MelanieGVF

    If it’s a foundation/bb cream that oxidizes to be too dark, I give it to my 15 year old daughter and her friends. I occasionally press my own eyeshadow/blush so if it’s a color I don’t like, I smash it  and mix it up with another mineral and repress it. I have extremely reactive skin, so if I have a product that I react to, I wind up tossing it, or giving it to my mother if it’s anti aging and my daughter for anything else. 
    I have just discovered the swap boards on MUA, so I am considering using that for things that they don’t want. 

  45. kris10cali

    save them for Halloween, weird colors come in handy for costume makeup.

  46. ingerasata

    I toss ’em. My friends and family members don’t really use make-up. 

  47. beachgal

    Several things – if they are on the accepted list for our women’s shelter, they go there. If They are not able to be donated, I put them in a bag (the still decent stuff) and give that to the teens down the street. What is junk, I toss to the trash.