Having been an ex-Sephora addict (VIP Rouge easily 5 years in a row), I have spent a lot of money on makeup and skincare (I also used to buy many a duplicates of stuff whenever Sephora would have their sales). And having moved from house to trailer to apartment means that all those beauty products have lived in a plastic bin for the last couple of years. Well now that we’re settled in this apartment for a bit, I decided to finally go through that bin to either use or lose these things. Hence my return to powder foundation (but also due to more even skin thanks to Augustinus Bader Rich Cream). And having gone through all my beauty stuff, I have now vowed not to buy any more lotion until I’ve used up every tube or bottle I have stocked in that bin. Ditto for lip products and nail polish. But now that my skin is at a happy place, I’m hesitant to use some of the stuff I purchased on a whim but haven’t tried yet. Like those clay masks and serums. And yet to straight throw them away would be such a pity for both my wallet and the environment.
So I did some research and found several places you can donate your gently used or unused items. My favorite and the one I sent my products to is Project Beauty Share, based out of Spokane, Washington. They distribute donated items to women who are trying to get back on their feet, whether from homelessness or addiction. And here are the things they accept and don’t accept. Also if you happen to be a hotel bath products hoarder like myself, then you can also donate all unused hotel products. I liked Project Beauty Share the best of all the organizations out there because they’ll take your gently used items (not just brand new and unopened). Because hey if it’s good enough for most people to try the sometimes gross-samples laid out at Sephora, a gently used item from one person shouldn’t go completely to waste (and fill up those landfills). So if you have any gently used items that, c’mon let’s be real, you’re not going to be using any time soon (or at all) send them to Project Beauty Share at 2718 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99202. If you live in Spokane, there are physical drop off locations to save on shipping costs.
And when you have your box all packed (but before you tape it up) take in all the things you didn’t use. Also add to that the cost of postage to donate (depending on what you’re donating, it might be cheaper to do a flat rate box, especially if you’re shipping across the country. And if you’re doing a flat rate box but it’s not full yet, go and ask your friends or family if they have anything they might want to donate). And remember all this before you splurge on your next skin care or makeup item.
P.S. Project Beauty Share will also take individually wrapped tampons and pads so if you have any that you’re not going to use, send them those as well (I have some pads that I bought for the post-pregnancy bleed but I hate pads and will not use the rest of them so I’m glad they’re going to get used by someone else).
P.P.S. I used to be a crazy nail polish consumer and I had several smaller plastic bins of it (this was before learning about zero waste and being more conscious of my consumption habits in general). But since you can’t send used nail polish to Project Beauty Share, I’ve sold my nail polish via storenvy and had moderate success. I also gave many of my bottles away to friends. I might not be making my money back but I’m feeling good that they’re being used by somebody else (and TBH nail polish is shared so many times at a nail salon so again getting a personal nail polish used by one person is comparatively nbd). Just something to keep in mind if you’re ever trying to get rid of nail polish (because also technically you should not just be throwing these away in the trash—here’s how to safely dispose of them).