There’s an indescribable excitement that comes with buying cosmetics that only a beauty lover will understand. The planning, the experimentation, the inevitable over-eager purchase, then that final rush as you hurry home to try your new prize. It’s a scenario many know all too well. But after the glowing fluorescent lights of the beauty counter have dimmed and the adrenalin wears off, what happens if that red lipstick you thought was “gorgeous” actually makes you look like a clown with yellow teeth? Or that “amaaaazing” new face cream makes you break out in hideous welts after an hour on your skin? 

What do you do (after you’ve picked up the pieces of your broken heart off the floor of course) with these disastrous beauty buys? Whether it’s a flaky eyeshadow or a clumpy mascara, no one wants to throw their hard earned cash in the garbage so here are some alternative ideas to help make the most of those products you hate.


A shade too bright? Uncomfortable texture? Whatever your lipstick gripe you can transform it in to a beautiful new tinted lip balm. Take half a teaspoon of your undesirable lipstick and blend it with some pure Shea butter or even vaseline for a super smoothing lip moisturiser with a hint of colour.


If you love the colour of your eyeshadow but the texture leaves a lot to be desired, try turning it in to a liquid eyeliner. Use a makeup setting spray to dampen the palette then use a fine eyeliner brush to paint on your line as usual. Alternatively, try using a makeup transforming medium like Inglot Duraline. A tiny drop of this magical serum will turn your powder makeup in to a silky smooth liquid in no time. If your eyeshadow is a neutral brown, you could also use it to define your brows or even camouflage gaps in your hairline.

Face Cream

It’s not easy to switch to a new skincare product and more often than not, a little transitional breakout is inevitable. If after two weeks your skin hasn’t settled down, then your new cream probably isn’t the one for you. Skin on our faces might be sensitive to change but our hands and bodies are far less fussy. Use your face cream to soften your hands and anywhere else from the neck down. Not only will it hydrate the skin but you’ll get the added boost of high-impact anti ageing ingredients.


Not all conditioning hair treatments were created equal. If yours isn’t giving you the mane of your dreams, try using it to get rid of hair instead- on your body that is. When it comes to shaving, conditioner works wonders. The rich cream will soften hairs, condition skin and give the razor excellent slip for a super close shave.


Mascara that clumps lashes or dries too quickly might be a lash disaster, but the formulation could work well as a classic liquid liner. Remove the wand and dip a fine eyeliner brush in to the tube. Paint on your line as usual for a super pigmented, gloss-free finish.

Face Wash/ Shampoo

Whether it’s a drying face wash or the wrong shampoo for your hair type, these cleansing gels are excellent when it comes to getting rid of dirt. Should you get caught without, they work well as hand wash- albeit quite expensive, very foamy hand wash.

What do you do with the products you don’t use? Have you tried any of these alternatives before?


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