MAKEUP TIPS | What to do with old mascara?

Updated: Oct 24, 2019


As a makeup artist, I'm always gently reminding my clients about the shelf life of their cosmetics. Using out-of-date products puts us at risk of developing infections from the bacteria that can harbour in products, particularly in liquids such as mascara that come into contact with our eyes and the air.


But did you ever think about the impact of all the cosmetics packaging when constantly replacing products?



Mascaras and liquid eyeliners should be replaced every three to four months to prevent health issues. I know- it's COMPLETELY unfair that we spend all that money on makeup only to have the product rendered useless and possibly harbouring germs after only a few months.



So what to do with the product once we need to replace it? All that packaging (not to mention the chemicals in the products) should definitely not be going to landfill!


Instead of adding to the already enormous burden on the environment, think about ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment once it comes time to replace your fave mascara.




So, with the latter in mind- what to do with the container once you can't use it any more?


Here's 4 ideas.

1. Re-use. Rinse out thoroughly in hot, soapy water until there's no product remaining. It may take several goes to get in completely clean. You may also need to use makeup remover or an alcohol solution. Once clean, fill tube using a syringe filled with a base oil of choice (jojoba, castor, argan) and use it to comb on to lashes and brows as a nutrient-rich growth boosting serum.

2. Re-purpose. Clean the wand thoroughly until no product remains. Use the clean, dry wand for brow grooming, combing through the lashes after applying mascara to separate them, or even use it on your hairline with a bit of harispray to smooth down any baby hairs or flyaways. The wand becomes an indespensible tool!


3. Return. Check if the store you bought it from supports a recycling program. Do your research on your favourite brands and ensure that they are doing their bit to at least assist you to recycle the packaging after you've finished. Brands like MAC, Jurlique and L'Occitane do. If so, return it to store for recycling.


4. Recycle

The good news is you can now recycle your used beauty, hair and skin products through select companies. Companies like Australian eco retailer Flora and Fauna are helping to do their bit by offering a recycling program for beauty packaging. They are committed to helping lower our impact so they've partnered with TerraCycle to bring you a recycling program for things like beauty tubes, bottles, and make up packaging that often finds it's way into landfill.

You can return your beauty packaging to them to collate, separate and get them to TerraCycle.

Plus in exchange for returning your bottles and packaging they will credit your Flora & Fauna account AU $10.00 for being planet friendly and helping our environment. 


Killer Queen are currently also looking into being a recycling collection point for Terra Cycle.

You can come and see us for your appointment and drop in your old cosmetics packaging at the same time. If you're interested, let us know and we'll organise a collection box! #envirowin

Remember, the best way to tackle the problem of cosmetic packaging head on is to buy less packaged personal grooming goods, and to "precycle", or make your own. And if you simply can't, the other option is to BUY BETTER.



x KILLER QUEEN x

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Melbourne AU

killer queen creative

coburg north beauty studio

melbourne, AU

EST 2018

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