Waste not, Want not?

repurpose What to do when you want to prematurely break up with a product.

I’ll admit it, I have trouble leaving extra scraps on my plate (esp. when it’s spring rolls, curry, phad thai, or buttermilk biscuits made by yours truly). And I’m one of those people who will squeeze every last bit out of a toothpaste tube.

But beauty products are different. There’s often a lot of trial and error, especially when you’re a fledging skincare/makeup enthusiast.

You’ll encounter both gems and duds along the way. And sometimes you just have to accept that there will be duds, unless if the company’s or salesperson’s claims about a product are unfounded or have more negative than positive effects; then return it, guilt free.

But what about those products that you loved for a long time and then as you approach the final stretch with it, you decide it’s time for a change? Or, what if you discover that a product has some unwholesome ingredients or unwelcome consequences (and it’s way past the point of return)?

There are 2 ways you can wisely move on without being wasteful.

Give it away: Like a good spring cleaning of your closet, it’s really cathartic for me to go through my makeup/skincare infinity pit and giving away items I don’t use to people I love. And even if I may use a certain product in the future, I’d much rather gift it to someone else who loves or could love the product.

Repurpose: One of my favorite words. I love finding new uses for things that would otherwise fade into oblivion. Here are some recent examples of products that I’ve repurposed:

  • Lip treatment: Gawd, I loved using Aquaphor as my nighttime lip salve. I’d wake up the next day with (seemingly) moisturized, plump lips. Even the rich and famous love this cheap business! But then I did some research and discovered that the first ingredient is mineral oil. I found one article by a “scientist” named “Left Brain” who claims mineral oil is “perfectly fine” (makes me nervous) and has been “used for over 100 years” (if that’s the crux of your argument makes me really nervous). But I’m going to side with Lance Armstrong & Co. (among many other reputable sources) and safely avoid direct ingestion of this petroleum-derived ingredient. Anyhoo, I have 3 of these laying around and hate for them to go to waste. So using them on elephant elbows and cuticles now. Yes, probably best I refrain from using at all, but better than on my lips (in proximity to la boca)
  • Face Cream: This would make J Lo, Molly Sims, and Johnny Depp (?) cringe…I now use my Crème de la Mer on my décolleté and hands; remember, these areas show the effects of aging as much as the face, so it’s important to keep them moisturized!.  Discovering the unsavory ingredients and realizing it was the source of my breakouts turned me off from putting it on my face, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be useful elsewhere.
  • Conditioner: I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a drugstore brand that said it was “all natural”; Didn’t realize till after I tried it that I was a victim of marketing since this product was full of bad business. It completely dried out my hair, but didn’t feel like returning it–too lazy. So I used it as a shave cream and it worked quite well. Not as well as my favorite shave cream, but it did the trick.
  • Body Oil: Another great one for the shower. The smell of my Decleor body oil became a little too strong for me, so I now use it right before I shower as a pre-treatment. We all know frequent showering can leave the skin quite parched so I now moisturize before and after showering.
  • Eye Cream: if it’s just not working for me, I’ll put it around my lip area. It’s really important to moisturize that area since wrinkles are unfortunately inevitable (esp.  if you smile and sun like this lady).
  • Eyeshadow: If it’s a darker shade that you simply don’t like anymore, take a lightly damp eyeliner brush, dab it in the eyeshadow palette, and apply along the lash line for a subtle but dramatic look.