Posts tagged "cosmetics"

How can I reduce my use of make-up sponges etc?

We’ve had an email from Charley:

I’ve read your pages about reducing toilet paper and sanitary towels. I’m not sure I want to go that far yet but I do want to find an alternative for makeup sponges like for applying liquid foundation. Do you know if there are any recycled sponges on the market or what else can I use?

I’m hoping we’ve got some make-up experts in the Recycle This community — I’ve only worn foundation twice in my entire life so I don’t know much about that sort of thing. It’s an evasive answer but that is one way to reduce using synthetic sponges/foam pads – and other make-up consumables such as packaging: wear less make-up and less regularly. I realise it’s not an answer for everyone but it is something to consider. I think I used to wear make-up out of habit but once I got over the shock of going cosmetically nude, I quickly normalised to not wearing make-up.

Now to Charley’s actual question: with Google, I can find sponge scourers make from recycled but not finer make-up sponges. Anyone got better Google skills or with more cosmetics knowledge, know where/what to look for? You can get natural sponges for applying make-up (which could be composted at the end of the life) but they usually have their own environmental impact. Anyone got any advice on those?

Alternatives: again, possibly not for everyone but switch to a powder foundation that can be applied with a brush – a good quality brush washed regularly will last a long, long time. (On a similar point, I can’t believe I stuck with sponge eye shadow applicators for so long — trained into them by the “free” ones with some shadows I guess — when a shaped brush does a far better job and lasts a lot longer too.)

I know a lot of people make their own make-up removal pads to use instead of cotton wool but has anyone made their own reusable application pads?

Any other suggestions or ideas for Charley to try?

How can I reuse or recycle plastic hand cream/moisturiser tubes?

plastic-tubeWe’ve had an email from Sally asking about squeezy hand cream tubes:

Do you know what number plastic hand cream tubes are? The ones with the flip lids. I don’t know whether or not to put them in my recycling bin.

Along with the inconsistency of facilities available, lack of information on packaging is one of my major pet hates when it comes to recycling. I’ve got three different types of face/hand moisturiser in our bathroom cupboard and only one has recycling information on it – it’s number 4 (LDPE). LDPE isn’t as widely recycled as PET/PETE (number 1) or HDPE (number 2) but it is recycled in some areas – my old council Leeds used to pick it up at the kerbside so it’ll be worth checking your local advice to see if you can do the same.

Aside from recycling, any ideas on how the tubes can be reused? I suspect there will be some overlap with squeezable plastic toothpaste tubes but any new suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle lip balm tubes?

lipbalmWe’ve had another email from our good friend Am (aka Delusion):

Me again, just wondering how can I recycle / reuse empty lipbalm tubes? I use the twisty lipbalm sticks and admit I use them a lot. I have a stash of small tubes with their lid casings and no ideas on how to re-use them.

I emailed the company that I got them from to ask for any suggestions / ideas on if they could be re-used by the company or recycled and surprise, no response! Anyone else help?

I’m also a bit of a balmaholic, particularly in the winter, and seem to have about a half a dozen sticks on the go at the moment in various bags and pockets around the place. I think I might move onto little pots – since they’re been easier to refill/reuse – for some of my balming needs but since I don’t always carry a bag, I’ll have to stick to tubes for those slip-in-the-pocket moments.

So any suggestions?

Apparently you can use Chapstick ones to hide microphones when you want to take down a president but, personally, I think those wires give it away a bit.

If there are any balm-makers out there, can you tell us if it’s possible to make homemade balm solid enough to refill the tubes?

(Photo by asolario)

How can I reuse or recycle unwanted deodorant and body lotions?

antiperspirantbottles250.JPGDeodorant bottles were one of the first things we featured on the site but Julie has a bit of a spin on that suggestions:

Could you help me with what I could possibly do with toiletries such as deodorant, body lotion that have either not been used or of they have only once. These have either irritated the skin or just don’t like them now.

It seems such a waste to throw them away, so I would welcome any ideas of organisations that might benefit from them.

I’ve had the irritating the skin problem with some deodorants too and now they’re sitting in the bathroom cupboard until the day I, I don’t know, develop leather-like lizard skin that can’t be irritated by anything in a roll-top bottle.

I suspect like with old cosmetics and unused but not required sanitary towels/tampons one answer might be a local women’s or homeless shelter – but any other suggestions?

I think I remember something about some body lotions being used as a moisturiser/softener on old leather but have no idea where I picked that up – anyone know either way?

How can I reuse or recycle cosmetic compacts?

Eyeshadow compact caseWe featured make-up itself a while ago and have also looked at mascara wands and nail varnish, but Annie G has come up with a clever idea for old pressed powder compacts:

As I was coming to the end of my blusher I wondered what I could do with the plastic container afterwards and had a great idea. I travel by train regularly and found the empty blusher container makes a compact and secure travel case for flattish earrings.

That is a great idea – I always need a little baggie or something to keep my earrings in when we’re going away, but that’s a better idea because it’s solid and I’d be less likely to squash them by mistake.

Any other clever ideas for them though?

(Photo by esrasu”)