How to: Reduce Beauty Product Waste

There’s been a renewed push in recent months for companies to reduce plastic used in their products and shops, in favour of compostable, recyclable or biodegradable alternatives. The beauty products you use every day might be cased in plastic tubes or bottles – or the packaging that surrounded them when you bought them might have been made of plastic.  As consumers, we can also play our part in reducing plastic waste.

Reducing beauty product waste can be done in two ways:

  1. Buy products with less packaging, or recyclable packaging.
  2. Buy fewer products, or make full use out of products you buy before throwing them away.

The first method requires no explanation – but we know it can also be really tough to ditch favourite beauty products in favour of one that doesn’t work so well for you, just because it has recyclable packaging.

Going down the second route is more realistic for most of us – and the good news is that a few small tweaks can reduce significant amounts of product waste.

#1 Buy products that would otherwise be binned

Buying products in clearance sales isn’t just a handy money-saver – it also means that products that would otherwise be headed for landfill aren’t wasted. Look for off-season products that are heavily discounted, and buy tester perfumes that are the same quality as brand new perfumes, but without some of the packaging.

Remember: it’s expensive for both high-street stores and online retailers to hold onto old stock that’s slow to sell. Always look for clearance and end-of-season sales to grab products that might have ended up in the bin.

#2 Understand makeup expiry dates

You might be surprised that many makeup products ‘expire’ within a matter of months after opening. In other words, after this time there’s a risk they could actually harm your skin or eyes – or just not work quite so well as before. If you find that you struggle to use products before they expire, have a rethink about the products you buy. Make sure you only have a couple of types of mascara on the go at once, or try to cut down on lipstick shades (if at all possible!). Overall, don’t buy (and open) more products that you can get through.

#3 Fix broken or mismatched products

First of all, learn how to fix broken powder makeup like eyeshadow and setting powder! All you need is surgical spirit (aka rubbing alcohol) and a little patience.

And what if you buy a foundation shade that isn’t quite right, but you can’t return it? Try mixing it with other products. If it’s too dark, mix in moisturiser or primer – or use it for contouring or as a bronzer. If it’s too light, add bronzer or a darker foundation. You might also find that the shade’s a better match when the seasons change and your skin tone shifts.

#4 Cut into ‘empty’ products

When you can’t get any more product out of its container, transferring it to another pot can help you use every last bit of the product. ‘De-pot’ lipstick ends, warm up your mascara to declump it, and run dried out eyeliner pens under water for a few seconds. You can also cut into any products within soft tubes (like lotions, toothpaste, and even sunscreen), and you’ll find there’s plenty of product remaining that you couldn’t squirt out the usual way!  Just be careful that the container you decant the leftover product into is clean (and preferably sterile), otherwise it won’t be safe to use for long.

#5 Repurpose empty products

Finally, once your products are all used up, you may be able to repurpose them! Try using old perfume bottles as vases or candle holders, or use skincare containers as plant pots!

Overall, reducing beauty product waste can be incredibly satisfying – and save you money. We’d love to hear your tips for cutting back on plastic waste in your beauty routine.

Here at Direct Cosmetics, we sell a range of luxury unboxed products at great prices, helping you cut back on waste while grabbing a bargain.

(Pssst – if you’re looking for some fab deals on top brand beauty products, check out our clearance sale.)

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Cosmetic trendwatch: ditching the clown paint with subtle pink blush

Blush has long been a makeup bag regular that some women reach for with gusto, but others still tend to view it with something approaching trepidation. A subtle, considered application of blush is an excellent way to add a warm, healthy glow to your cheeks but we’ve all seen those women sporting garish red circles more suited to the a circus big top than the high street. Not all cosmetic trends are particularly user-friendly, but this summer’s pink blush trend is one we can all wear with pride – here’s how you can capture that perfect pink blush look at home!

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Top Summer Beauty Tips from the Celebs

Celebrities make everything look effortless – and that includes keeping a perfect face of makeup on the hottest summer days. While the rest of us are sunburnt and sweating, or feeling the effects of the flight home from our summer hol, celebrities stay cool – in more ways than one.

While having several personal stylists and makeup artists certainly helps with that, celebrities have some beauty tips that the rest of us can learn from during the scorching summer months.

Keep sunscreen everywhere

We all know that we should be wearing at least SPF 25 every day in summer, even when its cloudy. Many celebrities go the extra mile when it comes to sunscreen, to make sure their skin is always protected even when they’re on the move. Khloé Kardashian always keeps sunscreen stocked in all of her cars, and is careful to apply it to her hands before driving. After all, when they’re on the steering wheel, your hands are likely going to be exposed to the sun pretty much constantly. Charlize Theron swears by this trick, too.

Don’t forget your hair

Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back for remembering to apply SPF lip balm before a day at the beach. But along with sunscreen, that’s not all the sun protection you need. Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame admits she used to forget to look after her hair in the sun. She’s tackled this problem by always using heat protection spray when travelling or before she hits the beach – after all, you protect your hair it when you’re styling it with heat, so why not when you’re out in the sun?

Sweatproof makeup

Stars need their makeup to last through hours on stage or a long day on set, so it’s no surprise their makeup artists have mastered long-lasting makeup, even in testing conditions. Makeup artists for celebs like Beyoncé and Ariana Grande say the key to a sweatproof face is layering makeup. Ari’s makeup artist Daniel Chincilla finds that primer is key for absorbing oils and keeping eyeshadow pigmented. He says that foundation should always be matte, and applied in thin layers – and don’t forget to use a light powder to set that foundation. Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John has similar advice – and says to avoid setting sprays and instead layer cream and powder for a long-lasting look.

Beating jet lag and fatigue

Most of us aren’t going to be ambushed by paparazzi the second we step off our flight home, but we’d like to look a little brighter when recovering from travelling – who knew that sitting on a plane for several hours could be so tiring? Gigi Hadid’s top tip is to sleep on the plane to tackle jet lag (we would if we could), but Gal Gadot and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley say we should instead be drinking as much water as possible – Rosie tries to get through up to four litres of water on a Transatlantic flight.

One final celeb secret to look more awake? Beyoncé uses gold eyeshadow in the inner corner of her eyes, instead of white – it’s more subtle but just as effective at disguising fatigue.

What are your favourite summer beauty tips? Are there any wonder products we all need to know about? Leave us a comment below!

Makeup TLC: Everything You Need to Know

You always try to avoid eating food after it’s use by date, and you always wash your hands after touching something gross – so why do so many of us apply cosmetics with brushes that haven’t been washed for weeks, or use makeup products that are past their expiry dates?

When we can’t see ‘dirt’ on our makeup, we assume it’s clean and safe to use. But makeup, particularly liquid makeup, is something of a bacteria trap. And we apply cosmetics onto our lips, and around our eyes. Eek!

But by looking after makeup products and brushes and keeping an eye on expiry dates, you can minimise the risks that makeup poses to your health.

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Job interview makeup: how to ace it

You’ve got an interview for your dream job right around the corner and you’ve been prepping for every question you can think they might ask you. Of course, it’s the job of the interviewers to figure out if you’re the right person for the job, but their role extends beyond judging your ability and experience – they’re also going to be judging your appearance and professionalism.

But turning up in trackies or torn jeans aren’t the only the ways to lose your interviewer’s respect. The makeup you wear to a job interview also tells interviewers a great deal about how you view the role, and their business.

Here’s how to ace your job interview makeup!

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Festival beauty: a survival guide

Festival season is in full swing! Whether you plan on rocking out to Muse at Leeds Festival, or chilling at Latitude, a three-day festival can be something of a beauty ordeal – no matter how good the music is!

Here’s what you’re up against:

  • Long shower queues
  • Sweat
  • Heat and sun (hopefully!)

Your standard beauty routine won’t quite cut it here, without the luxuries of endless running water, your own shower, and your stash of makeup and skincare products.

So, with the odds against you, how can you stay looking glam at this year’s festivals? Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and co. make it look easy – but without a team of stylists at your beck and call, you’ll have to do the hard work yourself. Continue reading

Stock up for summer: eight products to top-up on now

Summer is almost here! This year, the UK got an early taste of summery weather, which had us all desperately searching for last year’s sunscreen. If you felt unprepared for 25 degree heat in April, you weren’t alone!  The weather was definitely a reminder to stock up on summer beauty products, and go through last year’s stash and throw away anything that’s out of date. Here are the products that should be on your shopping list. Continue reading