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Ways to recycle used makeup containers

Used lipsticks, foundation bottles and powder compacts can seem totally unsuited to any other purpose, and yet I hate to throw them out because they’re often pretty and handy and it’s always nice to reuse or repurpose old things instead of chucking them in the landfill. This is a collection of suggestions for things you can do with old makeup containers.

Powder container next to lipstick tube

Powder Compacts

I’ve seen several good links on this topic recently. Turn a Used Makeup Compact into a Perfume Carrier shows you how to re-purpose a compact to be a container for solid perfumes you make yourself. This is awesome if you like making and wearing perfumes – they would also make fantastic gifts.

You can also just use them to hold small items like paperclips – particularly the ones that tend to get lost at the bottom of a purse. Mints or pills would work, too (make sure the compact is really clean first).

Loose powder containers

These usually have a top piece that allows the powder to sift through. Take that out, and the container can now hold lots of things. Like stacks of mini-sticky notes for writing To Do items, notes to yourself, or people’s phone numbers. Stuff coins or dollar bills in there for “mad money” or a savings account. Use it to hold jewelry, or take the lids off several of them, put the bottoms in a drawer and use them as drawer separators to hold small items.


Clean old lipstick tubes can hold solid perfume or homemade lip balm. Also, pills, thin necklaces and earrings.