After coming across this slightly entertaining article, I thought I’d address the idea of using second-hand makeup and cosmetic products. The general opinion of ‘used’ beauty products seems to be that they are Bad For You, full of herpes, gonorrhea, flesh-eating bacteria and other dirty things. Your mother would probably tell you not to, so it seems like a bad thing to do.
But is there really any ‘right’ answer as to whether we should use pre-owned beauty products? Should we all disregard them completely, or is it time for everyone to embrace used products for the sake of money-saving and sustainability? Personally I don’t think there’s a clear-cut answer at all: it’s all about opinion and what you feel comfortable and happy using. So don’t feel like you should have to start using someone else’s products if you’re not happy with it. Be smart about what you use and set yourself some rules!
My second-hand makeup rules:
– No mascara or lip products: mascara can harbour some nasty bacteria, and I feel weird about using something that’s been on someone else’s lips
– Sanitize thoroughly! Always a good idea. Antibacterial wipes and sanitizing spray are essential. I tend to stick to items that can easily be sanitized or that won’t have collected germs easily.
– Nail polishes are my favourites to buy or swap for second-hand: the chemicals in polishes are so strong you won’t get any strange stuff going on in there. I’ve got OPI, Nails Inc and other high-end polishes in swaps and at car boots sales for incredibly low prices – I love building my collection!
– Only deal with people you trust. I’m not confident about buying used makeup over Ebay or Gumtree since you generally have absolutely no idea who’s used it or how they’ve used it. I use my mum’s products a lot as well as other family members’ since I know they use them in a clean environment and look after their products hygienically. I’m also happy to swap with trusted members of Makeupalley who have a high feedback rating, as you then know others have had a good experience with the other person’s products.
– Stick to lightly used. I avoid anything that’s been heavily used – I’m happy to buy or swap for items like eyeshadows or blushes if it’s only been used a couple of times; not so happy with one that’s almsot empty, even if the price is good.
– Don’t pay too much. I love the (expensive) Benefit box blushes, but why pay £15 for a used one on Ebay (true story) when you can get a new one for just over £20? Madness. A couple of pounds each or a swap for something I don’t use? Happy to.
Have you had any experiences with second-hand products – good or bad? If not, would you ever use them?