We’re all guilty of it. Buying beauty products because they’re buy one, get one free, then moving on to the next interesting product before even opening the free one. Those products can easily clutter up the bathroom. Don’t throw it all away. Donate it. Once you’ve decided you don’t like them as much as you’d hoped you would, you can clear out the space without feeling guilty by giving them to women who need them. In some cases, you can simply make a purchase and know that all the proceeds go to help others.
While you’ll be hard-pressed to find any women’s shelter or other donation site that will accept used cosmetics, there are options even for that. You could offer a lot on Freecycle.org, Freesharing.org, or Craigslist.com, or you could list items you’d like to trade for other products you love or have always wanted to try on MakeupAlley.com. If you don’t want to swap for something new there, you can give your cosmetics to someone who may not have been able to purchase them on their own. Some products can be sanitized, like lipstick and pressed powder products. Others will just need to be tossed out once they’ve been used because they spread bacteria (lip glosses and mascara, for example).
If you have any unused makeup, shampoo, conditioner, soap, or body wash, you can donate it to several organizations, including:
- The Glass Slipper Project: The Glass Slipper Project provides high school students with prom dresses, accessories, and more, including unused makeup items. You can ship via US Mail to: Glass Slipper Project, c/o Central Blacktop, Co., Inc., P.O. Box 2080, Hodgkins, IL 60525. Check GlassSlipperProject.org/ for more information.
- Promise Place: This Fayetteville women’s shelter accepts gift cards to hair salons, Walmart, grocery stores, and more. Watch for deals on Groupon and LivingSocial, then pick up one for yourself and one as a gift for a woman at the shelter. Promise Place accepts unused shampoo, conditioner, hair accessories, deodorant, soap, body wash, and more. For a full list, visit PromisePlace.org/gallery.htm. You can mail your donations to Promise Place, P.O. Box 854, Fayetteville, GA 30214.
- Mary Kay Cosmetics Soldiers’ Angels: Support the troops by visiting SoldiersAngels.org/operation-mary-kay.html. Find out how you can have body lotion, facial moisturizer and cleanser, sunburn relief gel, lip balm, and acne treatment sent overseas to bring relief to women and men stationed there. The donation method will depend on your representative; some match the products purchased and send a duplicate for each one while others donate a percentage of their profits to the cause.
- MAC Cosmetics Viva Glam: When you purchase any of the Viva Glam items (lipstick or gloss, $14.50), all of the proceeds go toward the MAC Aids Fund. The shades are designed to be flattering on most skin tones and go toward transportation for doctors’ visits, child care during the doctors’ visits, shoes for children orphaned by AIDS, nutritional information for individuals living with AIDS, and more. Visit MACCosmetics.com for more information.
- Dress for Success: This organization, located at 67 Peachtree Park Drive in Atlanta, provides career development options for women so they can become economically independent. Dress for Success Atlanta will accept unopened cosmetics and hair care products. Call 404-589-1177 to find out more and to let someone know when you’ll be making a donation.
When you make a donation, you get to feel good about helping someone in need. In these cases, however, there’s even a little something extra in it for you. You can get a tax deduction or cosmetics for yourself, and you have a reason to finally clean out the clutter of all of those makeup items, skin care potions, and hair products you won’t use. It’s okay to get something back when you make a donation. The key is that you cared enough to purchase the products that would benefit someone else, or took the time to mail or drop off the package rather than simply throwing those items away.