When we walk into a shopping mall, those gleaming jars and tubes of cosmetics and fragrance lure us like a mirage. As women, we always strive to look flawless, and it comes at the cost of a number of makeup essentials. Most of these products come in plastic containers or tubes. Perfumes come in glass bottles. Plastics are potentially contaminating the environment in a much greater capacity than any other product. Especially single-use plastics which get dumped in landfills, don’t degenerate and remain in the soil for thousands of years. We are all aware of how marine life is getting endangered by plastics that are getting dumped in the oceans. Thus, the onus lies with each of us to contribute in our little ways of saving our planet. Reusing, recycling and up-cycling (upgrading old containers into something new) is a great solution for reducing individual waste footprint. These cool DIY hacks can help in transforming the jars of your old beauty products into something nice. Scented candle jar Scented candles are a luxury indulgence that we are all guilty of. They come in these small glass jars, which can be very easily reused. It has endless uses like as a brush holder, to storing cotton, keeping those small earrings or the hair clutches, and anything else that you can think of. Once the candle is burnt out, wash out the remaining wax with hot water and soap. Lipsticks We all have that one shade of lipstick that defines us, and we use it till it is completely over, and we get it a new one. So what do you do with the empty bullet? Don’t trash it any longer. Scoop out any remnants of the lipstick, and clean it thoroughly. You can use it to store bobby pins, your key when going out for a party and carrying the clutch, carrying tampons or those loose change that has a habit of disappearing in the abyss of your Tote when you most need it. Perfumes Those exquisite and highly expensive perfume bottles can be made into pretty home decor items. We all have those empty bottles lying around our home, and since perfume bottles are made of glass it can be easily recycled too. But if you don’t want to discard them, just turn it into a vase. Remove the caps, pump and wash it. Put a stem of rose or any other flower that catches your fancy. If you are artistic and handy with electrical work, then you can use it as a decorative lamp shade. Travel toiletries Never throw away those small travel-sized bottles – foundation bottle, makeup remover bottle or any bottle or container whose quantity is less than 100ml in size. FYI, that’s how much you can carry onboard. So, the next time you head for a vacation, there is no need to buy a new set of cosmetics in a plastic bottle. Just use the empties, and refill it with your favourite moisturizer, hand creams or anything else that you would need to look fabulous. Palettes Your eye shadow or blush on palettes, especially the small ones with mirror attached can be reused as a handy mirror that can be easily carried in your bag. Now you can easily touch up your make up in the car or tube. Keep one in every bag. Big jars Big bottles with wider rims can be used as storage jars. You can make homemade face packs or scrubs and store it in them. Store fresh Aloe vera gel in your recycled jars. It would make your skin glow while being a tiny bit kinder to the environment. Spritz bottle So you think the plastic spritz bottle used for body mist has no function. Then you are wrong! It can be used for your DIY face mist or to store your rose water. Next time you are out in the city, just spritz away and notice your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Glass jars Those glass jars that contain your face cream can be turned into a piggy bank. Make a slit in the cap, and you can also remove the label so that you can see your little stash accumulating. Make a quirky design with glass paint. It can be a good gift for your little one! Compacts The used compact container can be turned into a DIY solid perfume holder. Clean and wash it thoroughly, and then pour a mixture of melted beeswax with your favourite essential oil. Take about 15gm carrier oil, 6gm of beeswax and around 40 drops of essential oil. Parboil the oil and wax and after removing from heat, add the essential oil. It will cool down in the container, and you can just rub your fingers on it and apply it on your wrist and neck. Large makeup palette Once you have used up all the eyeshadows in the palette, you can turn it into a travel sewing kit. Carry basic coloured thread, few spare buttons, needles and tiny scissors for those alteration emergencies. Shop responsibly Before you buy cosmetics talk to the storekeeper, and learn about the recycling policy of that particular brand. MAC, Kiehls and several other brands will offer you freebies if you return the empty bottles. Be a smart consumer, and do your bit for the planet. So the next time you discard an empty cosmetic container, ponder once whether it can be reused and upcycled.