Now, this isn’t a list of deals and it’s not going to help you buy anything new, but if you’re on a spending ban, or just want to use what you already have more efficiently then these tips should help you out.

Your “empties” are NOT empty


To get the most out of your beauty products you should always endeavour to get every single drop from it. For most products there are ways of getting out just a little bit more, even when it seems totally empty.

For tubes cut the end off and use your finger or a cotton bud to scoop out what’s left, there’s almost always a few more uses in there. Once it’s open re-close it with a clip or a peg.


If you have an “empty” product in a glass pump (like foundation), unscrew the lid and use the residue left around the edges and on the tube leading up to the pump.

Did you know you can also make money from your empty beauty products?

Got a lipstick that’s down to the very end? Apply the last bit of it with a lip brush to get a few more wears out of it.

Try and repair before you repurchase


Gloopy Seche Vite topcoat (or any other polish)? You don’t need to fork out for Seche Restore, any nail polish thinner will make it usable again – mine was £3.99 from Nail Polish Direct, but I’m sure you can find cheaper if you want. Be aware that nail polish remover won’t work to thin out polish, that’s a bit of an old wives’ tale.

If your gel eyeliner or brow pomade is dried out, try mixing in a bit of baby oil and it should be as good as new.

For a broken lippie or chapstick put the loose bullet into a small empty container, and pop it into the microwave for a few seconds at a time, the waxes will melt and you’ll have a depotted lip product that’s easy to pick up with a lip brush or your finger.

Smashed powder?  Fix it like this.

Use your samples


We have a pretty large sample box, things we’ve taken out of magazines, been handed in department stores or applied for online. These tend to get shoved in a drawer and forgotten about, but our money saving trick is to actually USE them.

Here’s how; take a few sachets or minis and put them in places you know you’ll get through them:

  • Put perfume samples in your handbag, they’re always useful
  • Hand cream and facial moisturisers are good in a desk drawer at the office
  • Put shampoos, conditioners and body lotion in your gym bag, they’ll keep you from lugging full sized items around, and save you buying more.

Be aware of use by dates

Yep, makeup has use by dates, it should be on the packaging with a symbol like the little 6 inside a picture of a container with an open lid on this Anastasia Brow Pomade (as if anyone could use that all up in six months). This number indicates how long a product is safe to use once it’s open, so a number 6 means after six months you should throw it out.


The number indicates the amount of months you can use the product before they advise you to throw it away. For some items it’s as long as 36 months, but most mascaras are only usable for 6 months at a time.

It’s up to you whether you want to use products past their use by dates, but mascara and eyeliner you should be careful with, as you can get styes and eye infections from using old makeup.

To waste less product try to only have one mascara or eyeliner open at a time, or use mini/sample sizes if you get bored easily. Put a sticker on your products with the date you opened it on, if you’re worried about keeping track.

If you can’t see your makeup you won’t use it

This is an easy one, try not to hide your collection away in drawers, and rotate what you keep in your day to day makeup bag if you want to actually start using your products.

If you find it really difficult to use up what you have before buying something new, why not look up challenges on YouTube like Project Pan, where people attempt to work their way through entire palettes/lipsticks until they “hit pan” – which is where the name comes from, obviously!

Watching some of these videos is good motivation to start using up what you already have, rather than buying more.

Keep your perfume in the dark


Have you ever had a perfume suddenly smell completely disgusting? It’s probably because it’s been spoiled by being in the sun. I know they look pretty displayed on your dressing table, but we promise your fragrances will last much longer if you keep them out of sunlight in a drawer or in the box it came in.

Got any more tips we should know about? Add them in the comments!

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