SBMA Esthi Blog

How to Reuse Your Old Makeup Containers

Once you hit the pan on a compact of setting powder or spray the last spritz of perfume from the bottle, it’s easy to just toss the container without thinking twice. Rather than sending your old makeup packaging to the landfill, try out these ways to reuse and repurpose these empty containers! A perk? Lots of makeup or perfume containers already have cute, stylish packaging!

Compact Containers

The makeup world is full of compacts – blush, foundation, concealer, bronzer, powders, and more are stored in a compact container. Once you run out of product, you can gently remove the metal tin (a flat screwdriver would be perfect for this) and clean any glue or makeup residue off. The compact container can then be used to store small items that may get lost in a purse, like earrings, coins, mints, or paper clips; you can even make a solid perfume by melting down beeswax or coconut oil, adding your favorite fragrance, and pouring it into the compact to cool. Ta-da, instant travel perfume without the worry of leakage!

There are tons of other options for compacts, since they are such a convenient size and shape. You can turn them into an emergency sewing kit by gluing a small piece of sponge or felt to the inside and storing a few needles, thread, and buttons for quick on-the-go fixes. You can even turn a clean compact into a picture frame (and adding magnets to the back will instantly give you a unique photo refrigerator decoration).

Lotion Jars

Empty jars that once held lotion or cream can be turned into great storage containers. Just clean out any greasy residue with soap and water, let dry, and then store anything from cotton balls to makeup brushes! You can even give the jar a makeover by wrapping it with pretty scrapbook paper.


Tins that once held lip balm or solid lipstick can be repurposed in a similar way; small items like pony tail holders, bobby pins, vitamins, or coins can be stored in them for easy-access and organization. If you want to avoid buying more beauty products and collecting more containers, try making your own makeup! Empty tins can be refilled with homemade lip balms or lip tints. Just melt down a little coconut oil or beeswax, add a dye of your preference (like beet juice, or even non-toxic melted crayons), and pour into the clean tin.

Lipstick Tubes

You may think that old lipstick tubes seem like a throw-away item as soon as you finish the lipstick, but think again! After they are cleaned, these tubes can be recycled to hold Q-tips, bobby pins, or toothpicks. Perfect to throw in your purse!

Whether you try out any of the above ideas, keep in mind that there are also options to send back any empty makeup containers; some makeup companies (like MAC, beautyblender, and Origins) have programs that allow you to send pack used makeup containers and compacts for recycling. Recycle or upcycle, but keep those containers out of the landfill!