Let’s Get Some Used Makeup!

Pic is of my Melt Cosmetics lipstick haul that I sold on Depop. Very disappointed with their INCREDIBLY drying texture. They actually hurt! Their Dark Matter eye shadow stack is a great color palette but the shadow breaks easily. Sad face.

I hope I’ve succeeded in grabbing your attention as I admit that I wanted the title of this post to be clickbait.

As a beauty enthusiast, I’ve worked hard getting myself in and out of debt to try the latest, greatest and newest products available. Once I became a makeup artist and then esthetician who’s now in her 40’s, I can say that I’ve gone through hundreds of products. Not a typo, either.

Controversial statement: there’s not much differentiating many skin care “professionals” from sales associates at a makeup counter. Just because you’re licensed doesn’t mean that you always know what you’re talking about.

Hear me out. We’ve all been salespeople in some shape or form. I’ve met many beauty professionals that were phoning it in, though.

They shouldn’t have been advising anyone of anything. I’ve also worked alongside makeup artists that possessed much more knowledge and enthusiasm about skin care! So far, I’ve learned more from self-taught artists than the pros.

Mileage varies. A non-negotiable fact is that you NEED to put in the hard work and expand your knowledge base. Bare minimums should never be the standard for anything.

So what happens to all of the makeup that’s sold annually? As of 2007, Americans spend nearly $39 billion on cosmetics. Damn. So where does it go and how does that relate to this site?

Reduce, reuse, and recycle, and I do so at nearly every turn!

But I draw the line at products (except in a few cases that I’ll mention in a moment), unmentionables, and hosiery.

During my thrifting adventures, I have encountered many products of all types. Unopened gift sets to nail polish to eye shadow palettes. Obscure products with labels printed in other languages. It’s been interesting.

We’ve all been there. Retail therapy. Open your makeup bag, drawer, case, or wherever you stash your loot. How many different brands do you have of what is the same color of lipstick (or within the shade range)? How much you did you spend in the process? Yeah, not so fun.

Below are my three go to cases, not everything by a long shot. Quality, not quantity is my ultimate goal.


In my great purging as of late, I confess that I’ve been selling off some of my beautification products, specifically on the site Depop. There’s a MAJOR market for everything there.

I’m considering some new brushes as well. Brushes that I like outside of big beauty brands include Crown Brush, Morphe Brushes (use NaYeon’s code ADOPTLOVE for 10% off!), Pretty Girls, Sigma Beauty, Sonia Kashuk (I’ve used these FOREVER) and Smith Cosmetics. Since that pic above was taken, some of my brushes have shed and have broken handles. Boo. Hiss.

My most recently acquired brushes are Kat Von D’s Shade and Light eye and Tarte’s Slenderizer contour brush.

My favorite purchase from earlier this year has to be Kat Von D’s Shade and Eye face contour palette. The versatility of that palette is unparalleled. I’ve even used it as eye shadow because of its exceptional quality. Well worth the splurge and will last quite awhile.

Better Than Sex

Another amazing splurge was the Too Faced Cosmetics mascara in Better Than Sex. Some gimmicky name alright, but look at the results after 4 coats in these two pics. If I’d kept it up RuPaul’s Drag Race style, HELLLLOOOO TAMMY FAYE.

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I’m wearing said mascara with Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid lipstick in Exorcism, over my Paula’s Choice SPF50 Non-Greasy Sunscreen (my favorite for combo skin, use code PRIMP20 for 20% off anything and get FREE SHIPPING, too).

Take good care of your skin and it will thank you! I’ve stayed out of the sun since I was 16, using a minimum of SPF25 daily, ever since.

You won’t find ANY pics of me abusing my skin with a tan. It’s a health issue, first and foremost. Secondly, who wants to look like a stretched out and faded leather bag? Me neither.

I’ve bumped my daily sunscreen use to SPF50 and should really do a hot weather makeup tutorial. It was 101 yesterday and might be hotter today. UGH!

Here’s a must read about used makeup: This Website Will Sell Your Old, Used Makeup And Pay You For It by Refinery 29

Glampop doesn’t sound like a good deal if they only give you pennies and THEY make most of the money. That is the antithesis of my mission in resale and you should be aghast, too! The name of the game in resale is to find the best commission structure no matter what avenue you resell anything.

How can they truly guarantee that it doesn’t have cooties? You can sanitize, but STILL. A famous friend kept getting recurring pink eye and it turns out that her NARS palette was the culprit and she had to toss it.

After reading this, I wonder why people aren’t taking advantage of the return policy at many merchants. If you buy something that you don’t like, bring it back to the legitimate channel that you purchased it from! Many places have a liberal return policy, but don’t abuse it! It’s up to us as consumers to do research before we buy. Don’t waste time with junk that doesn’t work!

Sephora and Ulta are not your punching bags (I’ve been employed with both). Associates work very hard to share their expertise, unique skills, and lovely enthusiasm. Don’t be a douche and return stuff after you INTENDED to use it just once. Not cool.

I’m also afraid to speculate on the legitimacy of the used cosmetics sold on Depop/other apps. I’d bet money that items are stolen and/or counterfeit. Hard to prove and harder to bust them, too.

Something else that I’ve experienced over the years is used makeup being sold as new. This has been mostly at drugstores, but has happened at some of the big counters. I attribute this to lack of attention and detail on part of the person accepting the return, though. However, some people are plain SAVAGES, I TELL YOU!!!!! and open product to test and then put it back all sneaky like.

If this is you, SHAME ON YOU. It’s gross and very unsanitary, too.

Don’t be unclassy! – Me

As for saving money on makeup, always use the Honey browser extension for Chrome. It will reveal all the codes for a particular website and automatically try them at checkout.

Make friends with people like me that can get you some discounts. Be nice to your cosmetologist and makeup artist friends. Study the endless places on the net like Temptalia that offer new codes weekly.

Join all the loyalty rewards programs like Sephora VIB (hangs head in shame), Ulta’s UltaMATE Rewards, etc. Another way to earn a gift card for Sephora is to use the app Shopkick. Full disclosure says that I can earn points if you click on that link but you should download it because it actually works. I hate MLM scams as much as the next person but I did some user testing at Shopkick’s HQ in Palo Alto a few years ago and they’re growing and doing good.

I use Shopkick whenever I shop big box stores like Target (you don’t even need to spend money to earn “kicks”). Just by using it when shopping elsewhere, I now have a $10 Sephora gift card coming. Hey, every little bit helps, right? Never pay retail for anything, as you don’t have to.

Author: Lisa