Jennifer Chait

How to Prolong the Life of Your Favorite Eco-friendly Cosmetics

by , 05/26/14
filed under: How To


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Image via Shutterstock

The Big Bads: Heat, Light, Air, & Moisture

Don’t double task! Most of us do our hair, makeup and everything else all at once, near the bathroom sink or in a steamy bathroom after we shower, but excess heat, light, air and moisture are like mini-death sentences to cosmetics. Your hair spritzer, blow dryer, shower steam, or droplets from the sink can ruin your favorite products long before their true expiration date.

  • Consider a primping area that’s not in your bathroom, such as a bedroom vanity or even just a nice big mirror hanging in your bedroom.  Or you can keep your cosmetics in a carry case with a decent mirror and do your makeup somewhere else in the house.
  • Keep most makeup, but especially foundations and concealers, out of direct sunlight. UV rays can cause cosmetics to spoil faster.
  • Always make sure you tighten every cosmetic lid or snap that case shut tight after use.
  • Store lipstick, eyeliner, and other glossy/creamy cosmetics in a cool place, or even in the fridge to expand their life. If you find it’s annoying to run to the fridge for makeup, at least place seasonal cosmetics in the fridge, such as storing winter colors in the fridge during the summer, and vice versa.
  • Makeup tricksters will often recommend using a dab of H2O with powders such as eye shadows or liner for better blending, and that’s smart, but don’t dip a wet brush right into the powder. Grab a bit of powder on a clean finger, then dab at that powder with your wet brush.

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Image via Shutterstock

Make Lipstick & Gloss Last Longer

Honestly, lipstick and lip gloss are fairly long-lasting products. The number one wasteful lipstick/lip gloss habit I see is accidentally tossing lipsticks and gloss into the washer and dryer. A sturdy lipstick may survive the washer, but no way will it survive the dryer, and worse, you’ll end up with pink polka dotted clothing. Long story short—always check your pockets before washing your clothes!

  • Avoid plastic tubes of lip color when you can; palettes or pots of lip color are easier to use up. Pots are the best choice because you can carry them with you and reapply more easily than with a palette, plus it’s simple to wash and reuse the pots for lotion on the go, or even refill with your own homemade lip gloss.
  • If you like push-up or applicator lipstick and lip gloss tubes, use a tiny lip brush to get every last lick of lipstick or gloss out of the tube. In fact, you can even buy a special lip gloss scoop and applicator that will pick up every drop of lip gloss from your almost empty tube.

expand shelf life of makeup, expand shelf life of cosmetics, eco cosmetics, green cosmetics, prolong the life of makeup, make lipstick last, make mascara last, make makeup last longer, make eye liner last longer, reuse cosmetics, re-purpose cosmetics, recycle cosmetics

Image via Shutterstock

Make Powdered & Cream Cosmetics Last Longer

When dealing with cosmetics that come in either creamy or powdered form, go with a powder if you can. Powdered cosmetics, such as blush and eye shadow, last far longer than their cream-based peers. Also try the following:

  • You should really only own one foundation and one concealer at a time. Have a professional help you find a perfect shade of each, then use them up before buying more.
  • If you use water-based foundation and it dries out, add a few drops of alcohol-free toner to the bottle and shake well to re-hydrate.
  • Oil-based foundations won’t dry out as quickly as water-based or need to be re-hydrated, but buy smaller bottles when you can, because cosmetics with oils can go bad more quickly.  If you see that your oil-based foundation has separated, but it still smells fine, it’s not a big deal; just give the bottle a good shake.
  • Consider buying foundation with a small-mouthed bottle vs. a wide-mouthed one. Wide-mouths expose more of your product to the air every time you open them.
  • If your favorite eye shadow or pressed powder breaks apart, no need to toss it. You can break it up further and use as a loose powder or add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol to the pieces, then press them back together.
  • If you buy a bronzer or light colored (think yellow, silver, or pink) shimmery eye shadow, and they’re almost gone or not the right color for your face, you can use a clean brush to mix the extra with your favorite moisturizer to create shimmer lotion for your chest or arms.

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