5 beauty and makeup hacks to reduce waste and save money

I am always trying to think of ways to reduce waste. Reducing waste and saving money go hand in hand. These simple beauty hacks are a win-win for the environment and your hip-pocket.

Apply toner with your fingers or choose a spray-mist toner!

If you’re used to applying toner or lotions with cotton pads, applying it with your bare fingers will feel foreign at first. But as long as you’ve just stepped out of the shower or wash your hands, there’s no issue. Many toner bottles say you only need a few drops, but for years I soaked cotton pads all the way through, drowning my face in toner and then throwing away so much of the product still soaked on the pad. When you ditch the disposables you will find you truly only need those few drops, as the watery consistency of toner distributes easily over your skin with just your fingers! You will reduce waste and your toner will last a lot longer, too.

Alternatively, you can now purchase many spray-mist toners which can be misted directly onto the face. I find this works well with the more hydrating, gentle toners (like rosewater) as they don’t irritate the eye area.

Tip: It’s tempting to put your hands straight on your cheeks, but start the toner on the t-zone and work outwards instead.

Invest in a beauty pod or beautyblender – not your average sponge!

Beauty Pod Airbrush FX

My beauty pod is my new favourite beauty tool. I haven’t been so impressed with a makeup accessory in a long time. Perhaps not since I discovered eyelash curlers! There are two brands I recommend: the original beautyblender hailing from the US, or the beauty pod which is readily available here in Geelong at Blush Bar. I personally have the beauty pod and from the reviews I’ve read, it lives up to the beautyblender’s reputation.

So how does a makeup sponge reduce waste and save you money? Ohhhhh so many ways. Firstly, the genuine pods and blenders are crafted from high-quality material that is resilient and will last a few months, as long as you follow the correct care instructions. So you no longer have to change your average little latex sponge every few days or once a week.

Secondly, these sponges are designed to use damp! By dampening the sponge it won’t suck in your product. Liquids and creams literally float on the surface of your sponge and end up on your skin, not inside the sponge. Not to mention the cool damp feeling is ultra soothing and awakening in the mornings.

Thirdly, once your sponge is no longer suitable for makeup application, you can wash and then use it for other purposes like home cleaning and applying fabric stain removal products to clothes.

Don’t keep the water running while you wash your brushes and invest in brush sanitiser

This might seem simple, but I’ve actually seen people leave water running while they are foaming up their brushes. Only leave the tap running when you actually need to wet or rinse your makeup brushes as this uses enough water as it is, without leaving the tap on while you foam your brush up away from the water.

There have been many times when I have been tempted to wash my own makeup brushes because I haven’t used them in a while or I’ve pulled them out of a drawer to use with a new product. Instead of using water to wash and rinse a brush that isn’t really dirty, a few sprays of brush sanitiser will remove dust and surface product ready for hygienic use again. I use brush sanitiser on my own brushes to keep them fresh between washes.

Use a clean microfibre towel or muslin cloth to squeeze excess water from your clean makeup brushes, instead of paper towel or tissue

I used to squeeze excess water out of my freshly washed makeup brushes using pieces of paper towel or tissues. Then I’d lay them on another strip of paper towel to dry. I realised this was just plain wasteful. Now I use a clean microfibre towel to squeeze the excess water out of my brushes, and hang them upside-down in a brush tree (see image below). If you have clean kitchen or baby muslin cloth, this would also be ideal.


Make sure you don’t rub your brushes on the towel, this will just splay the brush hairs and make it dry out of shape. Always gently squeeze to remove excess water, squeezing into shape as you go.

Re-use candle jars as makeup brush holders and makeup jars to hold bobby pins, flowers and more!

Brushes in candle jar

I am a glass-jar fiend. I just love reusing glass jars. Candle jars are often the perfect size to hold your makeup brushes! Just make sure you thoroughly clean the candle jar first to remove waxy residue. To do this, burn your candle down as far as is recommended (usually written on the bottom of the jar, on the label or packaging). Then, very carefully use boiling water to melt the bottom layer of wax. I usually do this on the front lawn so I can easily pour the wax out without making a mess inside! Repeat the hot water process until you’ve melted away most of the wax. Then, wash your candle jar in hot soapy water to remove the rest. The best part is, once clean, candle jars often retain the sweet smell of the candle they held!

Glass foundation jars are perfect for filling with bobby pins or cotton buds. I also keep makeup jars and pumps for when I travel and fill with products from home that are too big to carry.

I hope you’ve found this post useful! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you try any of these methods and how you enjoy them!