18 Clever Ways To Repurpose Old Beauty Supplies Around The House

Beauty routines are expensive. According to a survey by Advanced Dermatology, the average person spends more than $700 a year on their looks. Of course, exact routines and products differ from person to person, but even someone who prefers to stick to the basics can go through dozens of products over the course of a year. These items might be essential parts of our routine, but tossing them out once you use them up can still feel like a waste, especially if they're more high-end or have high-quality packaging.

Luckily, there's a solution: upcycling. Before you throw your old products in the garbage, consider giving them a second life around your home. Many brands, especially those who want to give their customers a more luxurious-feeling experience, will go the extra mile to ensure that their products last and look great displayed on your bathroom counter. Because of this, they're a prime candidate for repurposing. Next time you run out of your favorite moisturizer or decide to declutter your makeup collection, consider using the products somewhere else in your space. With some creativity and a new perspective, you might find yourself with some new organizers, display pieces, or craft supplies. By taking this approach, you can both reduce the amount of waste you create and save yourself from unnecessary purchases down the line. Win-win!

1. Serum bottle propgation

Oftentimes, skincare brands try to curate a more luxurious experience for their customers, and a lot of that appeal comes from the packaging they choose. Because of this, skincare bottles are often made of beautiful and high-quality materials, perfect to reuse and display in your space. Serum bottles, for example, can make for a great spot to propagate plant cuttings. Wash them out fully, remove the labels if you want a cleaner look, and fill them with water. The narrow mouth is perfect to help support your cuttings while they begin to grow roots.

2. Face cream jewelry storage

Small jars that hold face cream, eye cream, and heavier moisturizers are some of the most versatile kinds of packaging out there. One particularly convenient use for these jars is as a jewelry organizer. After washing them out, place them on your counter and use them to hold onto rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will keep them all in one place, making them harder to lose, but it can also help your bathroom counters look more organized. As a bonus, you can save the lids to close off your jars if you're looking for a way to safely transport your jewelry while traveling.

3. Skincare packaging bathroom storage

Keeping your beauty essentials visible and accessible can help to streamline your daily routine, but when it comes to smaller items like cotton swabs or bobby pins, it's best to keep them contained in an organizer to help prevent clutter and mess. There are plenty of different items you can use to organize your bathroom, but if you have some leftover packaging from your products on hand, why spend the extra money? Cup-shaped packaging, whether it's from a face mask, moisturizer, or body butter, can be upcycled into a countertop organizer to hold on to tiny items that might otherwise end up scattered across the counter.

4. Face cream succulent planters

Adding a tiny succulent to your space is a great way to bring in some greenery without doing a ton of work to maintain it. If you're looking for the perfect tiny pot to hold it, you might have more luck looking in your bathroom cabinets than in the garden department. As it turns out, small jars that usually hold eye cream, lip masks, and moisturizers are the perfect size to become a home for a little plant. With a container this small, however, it will likely be difficult to create adequate drainage, so be extra careful not to overwater your succulent.

5. Night cream desk storage

Old skincare jars can find a second home in more places than just your bathroom. Office supplies like paper clips and push pins need to be stowed away in an organizer or small container to ensure that they don't get lost or slide off your desk, and a skincare jar can do the job without taking up too much space. Display them on your desk to keep it looking stylish and tiny, or hold on to the lid to store these supplies away in your desk drawer if you don't find yourself reaching for them all that often.

6. Body cream makeup brush storage

Skincare jars have a ton of uses around the home, but so do the larger containers that hold hair masks, body scrubs, and body butters. If you have a couple of shower empties that you're looking for a way to repurpose, consider turning them into makeup brush holders. You can leave them as is if you like the packaging, remove the labels for a sleeker look, or even go in with a couple of coats of spray paint if you want your containers to better match the rest of the décor on your vanity. 

7. Serum bottle reed diffuser

If you want to freshen up your space with a subtle, clean scent, consider DIYing your own reed diffuser with items you likely already have at home. To make your own, grab a small bottle — serum bottles are a particularly good fit — as well as some skewers, your essential oil of choice, and a more neutral carrier oil like avocado or sunflower oil. Mix a few drops of your essential oil into the carrier oil, then fill up your bottle. Cut the pointed ends off of your skewers to make your reeds, and, after placing them in the bottle, you'll have created a low-maintenance room freshener.

8. Makeup brushes for painting

After years of daily use, it's not uncommon to find that your makeup brushes are starting to look a little worse for wear. If this is our situation — or if you just have a couple of brushes you don't particularly like — consider using them as paintbrushes instead. Eyeshadow brushes can be used to create your next work of art, more detailed liner and brow brushes are great for adding details to DIY projects or hand lettering, and larger blush and foundation brushes can be used to touch up paint on walls or more precisely apply stain to woodworking projects.

9. Face mask jar candle vessel

Making your own soy candles is a surprisingly simple process that allows you to get creative with your own personal blend of fragrance. If you're looking for more candle vessels to hold your recent creations, however, it can feel like your options are limited. Luckily, skincare jars are the perfect fit for the job. These tiny jars are great if you need something to hold excess from a larger pour, but it's important to make sure they're made of a material that can withstand heat. Glass and metal jars are usually a safe bet, but it's best to find another use for your plastic containers.

10. Makeup compact purse organization

Makeup compacts are meant to be portable, so once you work your way through a pressed powder or blush, consider turning it into handy storage for your essentials that are likely to get lost in your purse. After the product is used up, scrape out any excess from the pan and give it a good clean with some rubbing alcohol. From there, you can use it to hold bobby pins, mints, or even jewelry on the go. As a bonus, many compacts include a mirror that you can still use for touch-ups.

11. Makeup compact art

One of the best ways to get out of a creative block is by experimenting with different materials and styles, and an old makeup compact can provide a fantastic challenge to help reignite your artistic spark. These cosmetic cases are perfect canvases for pocket-sized artwork using just about any medium, so try your hand at making and framing a mini collage, painting, or a piece of embroidery within the case. Once you're done, take it on the go as inspiration or prop it up as a display piece in your home where you need a touch of unique décor.

12. Eyeshadow palette portable paint set

Whether you're an expert painter looking to recreate scenes in nature or a hobbyist who enjoys having easy access to an activity, a portable paint set can make a great addition to your kit. Old eyeshadow palettes are a fantastic base for this DIY, as they typically already have individual pans that you can fill with your paint of choice. Scrape out any remaining eyeshadow, then fill the metal pans with your most-used paint colors to create your own kit. Let them dry down to ensure you're not faced with any spills, then reactivate them with a wet brush when you're ready to paint.

13. Eyeshadow paint pigments

Physical eyeshadow palettes can be used to make portable paint sets, but the pigment that you scrape out of the pans can be repurposed, too. If you have eyeshadows or other powder products that are expired or don't get enough use in your regular routine, they can be ground down and mixed with paint medium to create your own custom paints. Cosmetic products come in a massive range of shades, so this is a great way to expand your collection of paints to include more interesting metallic, glittery, and even color-shifting options that you might not see as often in stores.

14. Makeup kit first aid storage

A well-stocked first aid kit is an absolute essential in any home, but if your medicine cabinet seems to be overflowing with boxes of bandages and alcohol wipes, it might be time to invest in a better organizational system. Luckily, an old makeup kit is perfect for the job. The divided sections can be used to organize your first aid essentials so they're easily accessible, and the large size allows you to pack everything you might need in an emergency. Once it's packed, it's also incredibly easy to grab and transport during an evacuation or other emergency situation.

15. Product packaging wall décor

Sometimes, cosmetic packaging is just too pretty to toss. If you have a product you've worked your way through but don't want to give up quite yet — especially if it's in luxury or vintage packaging — consider adding it into a frame to create a hanging piece of art. If you want to keep the entire product intact, mount it in a shadow box with some backing to give it the space it needs. If you just like the label or it's a fairly thin item, like a makeup palette, you can also likely sandwich it in a regular frame to display it.

16. Acetone paint remover

Nail polish remover might have a home with your other beauty supplies, but if you find that you have a bottle lying around that you don't reach for all that often, it can also pack a serious punch in your workroom or studio. If you have projects where you're worried about ending up with paint spills or splatters, like painting a mirror or the trim on a window, for example, nail polish remover can be used to clear away excess, help clean up your edges, and even get rid of accidental drips on the floor or your work surface. 

17. Nail polish paints

Nail polish might be designed to add some extra shine and color to your hands, but that's not its only potential use. These tiny bottles of durable paint are great for smaller DIY projects where you might not want to invest in additional materials. Take advantage of the myriad of nail polish varieties available on the market and get creative with different glitters, metallic shades, and bold colors. If you want to explore new paint methods, you can even try your hand at different popular nail art techniques, like water marbling, to bring a more unique finish to your projects.

18. Lipstick tube bobby pin holder

Because they're so small, it might seem like there isn't any way to functionally repurpose your used lipstick tubes. Surprisingly, this isn't the case. Once you've used up the last of your go-to lipstick, remove the bullet of product from the center and give everything a good clean with an alcohol wipe. This empty casing is perfect to hold onto and transport tiny items that might get lost in your bag, like bobby pins, mints, or pills. The caps of lipstick tubes are designed to securely click closed, so you can rest assured that nothing will spill.