Don't waste money! Here's how to repurpose products that didn't work for you

After due diligence, we still occasionally end up with products that just don’t workWe may have read and watched dozens of product reviews, asked friends for recommendations, and tried out the testers ourselves, but for some reason the product we had such high hopes for did not deliver. What to do?

It’s frustrating, we know. But before you toss your duds away, try out some alternative uses first and you may still get your money’s worth.

For the record, Nivea lIp butters are pretty good! Just using the photo for reference. :P And yes you can definitely use it for dry patches as well!

For the record, Nivea lIp butters are pretty good! Just using the photo for reference. :P And yes you can definitely use it for dry patches as well!

For the lip balm that fails to moisturize the lips

If your lip balm doesn’t do much for your dry lips, use them on the body. Most lip balms usually contain paraffinum liquidum, a highly refined mineral oil. The latter is really good at sealing moisture and protecting the skin from harsh elements.

Lip balms are so good at moisturizing that some people put it all over their faces in the winter. In hot and humid Philippines, this might not be a good idea, even if you have the driest skin ever. But for dry patches on the body, it works really well. I usually swipe lip balm on my elbows and cuticles when they get dry and scaly. The effect is comparable to leaving petroleum jelly overnight. You’ll wake up with smoother and more supple skin.

For face powders that look chalky or cakey

Use powders that don’t flatter your skin as dry shampoo. I got this idea after trying out a tinted dry shampoo (Jonathan Green Routine Dry Shampoo, from The SM Store). The light brown shade looked so much like a loose powder!

I rarely use dry shampoo these days because this heat requires daily showers. But in colder months, and when in a pinch, I use face powder on my hair. Oil-control powders make great dry shampoos because they’re designed to absorb oil. Face powders don’t always work as well as dry shampoos, but are good enough.

For patchy lipsticks

Buying a patchy lipstick is probably the most common makeup shopping misfortune, next to getting the wrong foundation shade. It’s tricky shopping for lipsticks because it’s not advisable to use testers on the lips--and swatching lipsticks on the arm is not the most reliable way to know if the lipstick would apply evenly. #lipstickaddictproblems

If you’ve been reading Project Vanity like a hawk, you probably already know what we’d propose - use them patchy lipsticks as blush! You’re seriously missing out if you haven’t tried this yet—even with your “good” lipsticks. They make awesome blushes because of how pigmented they are, and the shade selection is literally limitless.

Patchy lipsticks rarely appear patchy on the cheeks. Apply them as you would a cream blush and you’re good to go.

For ineffective oil-blotting sheets

You know those onion skin paper-like oil-blotting sheets? I have to use at least three of those to take out all ze grease off my face, and they tear so easily! So I’ve stopped using them for their intended purpose and used them to mattify satin lipsticks instead (I love me some matte lipsticks!). 

They are better mattifiers than facial tissue because they remove just the excess moisture that make lipsticks shiny. They don’t take off as much of the pigment as you blot.

For the wrong shade of foundation

As a foundation fiend, I’ve had more than my fair share of bad purchases that are usually a result of impulsiveness rather than the product being bad itself.

For foundations that are one to two shades darker than your skin color, use them for contouring! With a dense foundation brush, like the Real Techniques Expert Face brush, apply the dark foundation on the perimeters of the face, the temples, and slightly under the cheekbones. This gives a subtle warmth and adds dimension to the face without making you look overly sculpted.

Light foundations, on the other hand, make good highlighters. I highly recommend this to those who have a hate-hate relationship with shimmer. I’ve only recently started using a light foundation on the bridge of the nose instead of a highlighter. I love how it looks! It’s so much more daytime-friendly than a shimmery highlighter.

PS. You can also highlight with a foundation that’s too dewy for your liking. Over a matte base, highlighting with a dewy foundation will create a matte-but-not-flat look. This is great for oily skinned people who love the dewy look. I do this hack a LOT.

We know there’s so much more we haven’t covered and we’d love to know the beauty product repurposing tricks you have up your sleeve. Please share them in the comments!