Cosmetic Containers

It doesn’t matter what your favorite beauty brand is — almost all beauty product packages are plastic or glass containers. Those giant bottles of moisturizer. Those little pots of firming eye cream. Those little serum bottles …

The manufacturing of beauty products takes a toll on the environment. If you’re trying to reduce your impact on the planet, it can be tough reconciling your need to be gorgeous with your desire to save our natural resources.

But you can do it — if you learn how to upcycle and repurpose!

Tired of throwing your empty cosmetic containers in the trash, knowing that they’ll only end up in landfills?

From compacts to lipstick tubes to jars of moisturizer, here are seven ways to repurpose cosmetic containers.

1. Use Small Pots as Travel-Sized Containers

Never throw away those small round pots with screw-top lids, like the ones that hold eye creams, lip balms, and loose powders. Once they’re empty and clean, they’re perfect for use as travel-sized containers to hold all sorts of other products.

Save all your little jars for the next time you take an overnight trip. You can fill one with a day’s worth of moisturizer. You can fill one with a weekend’s worth of your favorite serum. You can pack a few applications of your must-have liquid foundation, BB cream, hair wax, or body butter.

Mark the bottom of each jar with a sticker or a label so that you know what’s inside. Otherwise, you may forget that your favorite firming eye cream is inside a container that once held a lip scrub.

2. Store Bobby Pins in Old Lipsticks

Finding the perfect shade of lipstick isn’t easy. But when you do, you use it all the way down until there’s absolutely nothing left.

The next time you use a lipstick tube in its entirety, don’t toss the empty tube into the trash bin. Get a few cotton swabs, clean out the inside thoroughly so that there’s no color or residue left, and use the cylinder to store bobby pins.

You can also use clean, empty lipstick tubes to carry small earrings, pills, or vitamins.

3. Use Old Compacts to Hold Hair Elastics

Compacts wear down pretty quickly, especially if you have a heavy hand with your makeup brush. The next time you empty a compact, clean it out and use it as a travel case for hair elastics and rubber bands.

Even a very shallow compact can hold a few thin hair elastics at a time. And it’s much easier to locate a compact than to have to scrounge for loose hair ties in the bottomless pit of your handbag.

4. Create an Oil Diffuser from a Perfume Bottle

Perfumes come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re almost always in glass bottles that are easy to clean and reuse again.

Whether you have a simple bottle of men’s cologne or a pretty, fluted bottle from a more feminine line, any shape makes a great oil diffuser.

Diffuser sticks are slim, so no matter how big the opening of your bottle is, they’ll fit. Clean out your perfume bottle with soap and water, ditch the cap or lid, and insert two, five, or ten oil diffuser sticks with essential oils inside.

Not that into essential oils? 

Perfume bottles are also perfect as single stem bud vases. Place one or two floral stems inside a small bottle, and you can instantly dress up a bureau, a nightstand, or a bathroom vanity.

5. Turn Moisturizer Jars into Flower Pots

If your favorite moisturizer or body butter comes in a round, wide container, you might not realize it, but you have an instant flower pot.

Wide, deep cosmetic pots make for great flower pots for succulents. If you have a pretty cosmetic jar, plant some small green succulents or a small cactus, and place them on your bedside table or a shelf in your kitchen.

This is the perfect way to decorate with natural, organic greenery without having to spend a ton of money on plants and pots to house them.

6. Use Jars With Lids as Jewelry Storage

Lidded jars from moisturizers, body scrubs, and makeup remover pads are perfect for holding jewelry when you travel. From earrings to watches to necklaces, they’re ideal when you only need to carry a few pieces of jewelry for an overnight trip or a weekend getaway.

To prevent jewelry from bouncing around inside your travel bag, add a little cushion on the inside or wrap your jewels inside a piece of fabric. That will offer an added measure of protection.

7. Turn Tall Bottles into Brush Holders

Tall bottles from shampoos and body creams are perfect for holding tall, skinny items. You can use them to store makeup brushes in your bathroom, paintbrushes in your craft room, or pens and pencils in your office.

You can paint them, decorate them with ribbons, or DIY them with small mosaic tiles or beads. With a bit of creativity and some basic art supplies, you can give those old, tall containers a brand new look and a whole new purpose.

Before You Repurpose Your Cosmetic Containers

Before you repurpose any cosmetic container, be sure to clean it thoroughly.

Empty lipstick tubes may need some scrubbing with a cotton swab or bristle brush. Empty pots and compact cases may need to soak in hot, soapy water to eliminate any remaining residue.

Whatever you decide to store inside, take the time to clean your old cosmetic containers thoroughly. That way, your new products or items won’t absorb any of the scent or color of the old product.


The next time you’re about to toss your old cosmetic containers into the trash, think again. There are lots of ways to repurpose them, endless ways you can decorate them, and plenty of ways to keep them in your home and out of landfills! 

Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Dixon Place with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Dixon Place the place to call home.

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