Sunday, 26 July 2020

Re-purposing and re-using my beauty empties


During lockdown I have been trying to use up all the half-used beauty products that I had fallen out of love with. This ranges from body lotion to shampoos and cleansers to face mists. Using these up has been really satisfying but I have also found I end up with a lot of packaging that will most likely end up in land fill. 

I always try and recycle the packaging when it comes to shampoo bottles or shower gels, but often the labels are confusing and the packaging is made up of different plastics that can't be recycled easily. 

So rather than the packaging going to waste I have been trying to come up with other uses to avoid throwing everything away. During July there has been a campaign to go plastic free and so I thought now would be a perfect time to share this post. 


Old candles

Cleaning up old candles and using them for make up brush storage is a great hack, but if you have some pretty candles - maybe colourful ones - then it might be a good idea to get some little candles and create your own tea-lights. Or alternatively you could try making your own candles! From looking at guides it doesn't look too difficult with the right ingredients, and you can scent them however you choose. With the jars already in your cupboard, the rest of the products needed wouldn't be too expensive. I think home-made candles would be a really lovely gift too, especially if you have some pretty jars to repurpose. 

Face mists

I bought a set of 3 Mario Badescu face mists (actually highly recommend them after using them for a while), but it felt wrong to throw away the bottle and spray top. Similarly to the candles, I don't think it would be too tricky to make your own face mists, and I would love to try making my own pillow spray with lavender oils!

However I have used one of my bottles to water the plants I keep on my windowsill. Sometimes they just need a little mist of water to stay hydrated rather than being completely soaked and the spray on these bottles is really strong so works perfectly to keep next to my plants!

Once I finish the next face mist I am going to use the bottle for my Body Shop tea tree toner. I love this toner but I find it can be quite heavy, so I think using it through a spray bottle will mean I reach or it much more. I can also take the body shop empties back to the shop to be recycled. 

Lush pots

I will return my lush containers to the store in exhange for a face mask once I have used up 5 products, but until then, I use my pots to store hair bobbles and clips in. I have one in my bathroom and one in my bedroom so whenever I am in search of a hair bobble I know exactly where to look. 

I also think they would make great (and very cute) flower pots for smaller plants or possibly if you are growing some plants from seeds. 

These pots are also great if you are travelling and want to take a small amount of product away with you and I don't want to take a big bottle. I do try and hold on to mini's that I have bought in the past, and whenever I go away I fill them up with products I am already using and loving. This stops me from buying more mini's and adding to the plastic I am already purchasing. 


I am planning to take this Naobay plastic bottle with me when I go to the zero-waste shop in Leeds. They have re-fills for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel and I think it will work really well for shower gel! This is a really great option if you have larger plastic bottles and you aren't sure what to do with them. The zero waste shop in Leeds Market has a massive range of Faith in Nature products and I am obsessed with their hair products and I am excited to get some of the shower gel when I go next time. 

Perfumes

If you have a little bit of perfume left in a bottle, it can be pretty fiddly to get the top of the bottle but if you manage it you can make it into a reed diffuser. The reed can be bought from amazon super cheap and this is such a great hack to make your home smell like your favourite perfume.I haven't actually tried it but I thought it was a good idea. You could also use the extra perfume in candles to make your favourite perfume last a bit longer.  


Another point to remember is that a lot of shops are staring to do recycling schemes where you can take empties back to the shop in exchange for a product, similar to Lush.

John Lewis have started a scheme in collaboration with Terracycle where you can get a £5 voucher for taking back 5 empty products. Alternatively if you have a lot of empties and don't know what to do with them, you can order a box from Terracycle online and they will send you a box, which you fill up with all you're empties and they organise the sorting and recycling of all the different materials. However this is a pretty expensive option so would most likely be a long-term process. They do have loads of schemes all over the UK with collection points for different products that are hard to recycle. 


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21 comments

  1. I love the reed diffuser idea! I've been trying to get through lots of half used products in lockdown too and have tried to find a home for all the old bottles but it's not always easy so these ideas are great! I really like the sound of the John Lewis scheme too!

    Tash // A Girl with a View

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    1. I know I'm planning on trying it when I am nearly finished with a perfume! It's mad how much stuff I have used up I keep a list so I can actually see what I've finished and what I would like to purchase again! Me too, I'm way more likely to purchase something from a brand which I know recycles or re-uses the empty packaging!

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  2. I always feel awful binning old pots and am trying to move to zero waste. Your tip for oils in spray bottles is genius!! I reuse old candle pots for a variety of things from glasses to containers!
    Viki - www.ohsoviki.com

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    1. Thanks so much I'm glad I could give you some inspiration! I am still stuck with what to use my old oil bottles with! It's great to use everything at least one extra time!

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    2. Such great ideas - I always save up my lush empties to exchange for a face mask :)

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    3. I love doing that! It's great to get a free product for doing the right thing! x

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  3. These are some great ideas here Liz - love them! I know how confusing the plastic on beauty packaging is to recycle; I usually have to end up googling because it gets too much. Something I have started doing is using the shampoo/conditioner bottles etc to take to my local eco-store; which allows you to refill your empties with their various beauty products which is a great way to reduce waste too! Making candles is also a great way to reuse those old candle pots - and save SO much money too and they are fun to make. Love the spray bottle hack - such a great way to mist plants without having to buy something extra. Thanks for all of these great little tips and tricks!

    Paige // Paige Eades

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    1. Thank you Paige! Yeah I have started using Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner and there is a place in Leeds I can get refills so I am going to start doing that! I'm quite excited to go and see what they have available! I think I would love making my own candles I will defo have to get everything I need to try that! Thank you for taking the time to comment! x

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  4. Some great ideas here! I've been using empty 3 wick candles as brush pots for years but smaller ones are great for storing things like liners, liquid lipsticks or concealers too. I love the idea of turning a perfume bottle into a diffuser. I need to try that x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! Yeah I do it with all my candles even if I don't have a use for them! Its such a good idea and way better than spending loads of money on diffusers!

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  5. Great ideas :) We also save the empties of my old spray bottles and use it for something else. Little ways to help the environment x

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    1. Thats so great, I was thinking I might even try to make my own cleaning products I think the spray bottles would be great for that too! x

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  6. Thanks for sharing, I do the same sometimes, I have used a old cotton buds container to put my hair ties and elastic bands in :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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    1. That sounds like a great idea I am always losing my hair ties and clips!

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  7. Some great ideas here. I reused some glass jars that had cheesecake in for tealight holders. It's amazing what you can reuse things as x

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    1. Thats such a cute idea! I will defo have to think about kitchen items I can re-use, I always keep jars to use as storage containers!

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  8. This makes me so happy! I love that you're recycling and reusing things for better purposes. It bothers me that so much plastic is used for these products, but it's great to see some people are making changes!

    Em x

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    1. Me too! I totally agree it seems like a lot of places are really making changes and using less plastic!

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  9. Using a face mist bottle as a plant waterer (I can't think of another way to describe that hahaha) is SUCH a good idea! When I get some plants for my office I'll definitely see if I can do that with one of my empties x

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    1. Ahaha thanks I thought it was pretty genius, still a bad plant mom tho I struggle so much with my plants! x

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