Redefining the term "makeup artist"
January 11, 2009 8:13 AM   Subscribe

You’re a former diva who’s decided to eschew cosmetics and let your natural beauty speak for itself, or you just find yourself with drawers full of makeup that you’ll never use. What will you do with all these products? Well, you can consolidate your lipsticks, check out these five ways to use or recycle old makeup, or see the reader comments in these threads for more tips. You could make a snake out of your old fake nails, or take a look at this list of 20 things to do with old nail polish. When your mascara gets too old to be safely used on your eyes, you could sketch a tree with it, or Bette Davis. Here are some tips on how to use makeup as an art medium. And if you decide to paint with your old makeup, please start with the blue eyeshadow and mascara. Merci.
posted by orange swan (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Or you could make celebrity portraits!
posted by zinfandel at 10:14 AM on January 11, 2009

Just in case folks need to know whether or not their makeup is ready for the recycling treatment.
posted by batmonkey at 10:46 AM on January 11, 2009

Nail polish is sometimes popular with the model car building crowd.

[Do not give it to your kids as the one site suggests... do you really want them inhaling that stuff?]
posted by Drasher at 10:57 AM on January 11, 2009

I luuuuuved sniffin nail polish when I wuz a kid, and there ain't nothin wrong with me! Wat, r u 2 good fer huffin nail polish????/?/
posted by nosila at 11:06 AM on January 11, 2009

*melt old lipsticks, takes up brush, quickly paints lip print on orange swan's cheek*
posted by Cranberry at 11:36 AM on January 11, 2009

It seems you can also paint your car with old nail polish.
posted by orange swan at 12:12 PM on January 11, 2009

how to use makeup as an art medium...

I guess with all the surgical and cosmeseutical interventions nowadays, makeup just might become archival.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:17 PM on January 11, 2009

"She said it would be nearly impossible for her to estimate the dollar value of all the bottles, as each brand cost a different amount – anywhere from under a dollar to $5." and "she collected between 100 to 250"

Um, that makes the value between $100 - $1250. I mean, sure, that's not as good as it could be, but it's informative and not exactly hard math.
posted by oddman at 1:25 PM on January 11, 2009

Once I bought very cheap nail polishes to make a painting of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds from Yellow Submarine -- that worked out well.

-- Wait, no makeup product has a shelf life longer than 2 years? I suspected this, but am disappointed. Even when I'm using makeup every day, I don't get through a whole tube of lipstick in two years. And I never did manage to use a whole bottle of nail polish before it dried out.

I still have a couple of blush sets from as early as 1990. One is a Sanrio set with two tiny heart and star shapes. I don't use them, because they're too pink, but I could. I still have my Electric Youth bottle from middle school, although I used up my Poison pen. Surely fragrances don't count, being alcohol? I would totally unironically wear Electric Youth. (Everything in that makeup box smells like Electric Youth mixed with bad strawberry lip gloss.)

Friends of mine once decorated their bathroom with toiletry containers from the '20s and '30s that they found at an antique store. One was an elegant little art deco lipstick. I could not resist opening that thing up and trying just a touch. The lipstick had melted and reformed, but it was still wearable -- and it was a ridiculous clown red that just would not wash off. Luckily a party was going on at the time and I was not called upon to explain.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:40 PM on January 11, 2009

Um, that makes the value between $100 - $1250. I mean, sure, that's not as good as it could be, but it's informative and not exactly hard math.

Perhaps she was assuming people would care if the estimate had error bars smaller than an office building.
posted by flaterik at 4:25 PM on January 11, 2009

I loved the use of mascara to draw bette davis, and checking out other offerings in that artist's collection was hard to resist - elvis with cheese puffs, painting with ketchup & fries... fun stuff. That snake is pretty neat, too.

The lipstick info is neat. If more lipstick wearers were chemistry majors I suppose that'd be common knowledge, but I would not have guessed the base could be melted and resolidified like that... this says it is mostly wax, but that it varies from brand to brand, so that makes me wonder if this info would alter with different brands. I suppose that makes some sense out of how easily it can be melted and reconstituted though. Too bad i only have like one lipstick to experiment with :)
posted by mdn at 4:43 PM on January 11, 2009

mdn awesome! you should FPP that guy.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:13 AM on January 12, 2009

Countess Elena: I'm with you on that disappointment thing. I'm not looking forward to the culling. [self-links]

...actually, I'm looking slightly more forward to it, since now I have a few more options for what to do with the cast-offs.
posted by batmonkey at 12:55 PM on January 12, 2009

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