Today’s Small Step: Choose to Use

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

2 min read

Choose to Use

There are many great beauty products out there, but here’s the truth: Just like last season’s denim (which is still cool, we promise…), the most sustainable makeup is the stuff you already own.

That’s why today’s small step isn’t to buy more things—it’s to use your existing makeup to the last drop, which helps prevent waste and helps save you money. Here are some ways to do it:

SKIN CREAM TUBES

FOR THIS TIME: Can’t squeeze any more SPF out of your tube? First, check to make sure you haven't passed its expiration date. Then, take a clean pair of scissors and snip off the top. Swipe the excess makeup from inside from the corners of
the tube until it’s totally gone—which might be up to 10 extra uses!
FOR NEXT TIME: Make sure your tubes are made with post-consumer waste, like those from Kinship, which use reclaimed ocean plastic.

MAKEUP TUBES

FOR THIS TIME: Avoid the tiny fury of seeing lip gloss or liquid shadow trapped but unreachable in the tube. Use a tweezer to gently pry off the “stopper”—the small rubber piece at the top—then use your makeup wand to swipe the last drops. (This also makes it possible to recycle your glass or plastic tube, once it’s empty and cleaned!)
FOR NEXT TIME: The more parts your makeup container has, the more impact it has on the planet. Try glossy lip crayons, eye crayons, and eyeliner pencils to reduce waste and eliminate plastic.

EYESHADOW PALETTES

FOR THIS TIME: Unlike Season 2 of Love Is Blind, you shouldn’t give up on your cracked eyeshadow palette. Instead, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the powder, and press it back together with a clean spoon or knife.
FOR NEXT TIME: Consider reducing your impact with compostable or refillable shadows.

BROKEN LIPSTICK

FOR THIS TIME: Ready to feel like a goth teen from The Craft? Take a lighter to the bottom of your broken lipstick, count a few seconds, then gently “smoosh” the pieces back together. Move the lighter quickly across the edges of the break, and let it cool (about 1 minute). You’ll be all set… and feel like an absolute teen witch.
FOR NEXT TIME: Commercial lipstick can use petroleum—aka fossil fuel—or palm oil that’s been harmfully harvested. Check out Fat and the Moon’s excellent lip paint, which is made with small-batch ingredients and packaging you can reuse or recycle.