It’s hard to believe that the gift of beauty could ever be less than perfect – but let’s face it, try as our loved ones might, sometimes the smell, shade and sort just isn’t quite right for our sensitive style and skin. Besides, if the statistics are anything to go by, the average Briton already buys two to three times the amount of make-up that she can physically ever use, so it’s not as if you need it – right?
In Christmases passed, one spritz, squirt, trial or dollop later, an opened and unwanted beauty gift would be tossed aside to gather dust in an unloved corner of your dressing table. This year however, we have good news, because one woman’s beauty trash can now easily become another woman’s treasure thanks to the arrival of some very smart exchange, charity and sale sites for your discarded products.
Here are the best sites to familiarise yourself with, just in case he gets it wrong.
Caroline Hirons’ Give and Makeup: “What if you had nothing?” asked beauty expert and blogger Caroline Hirons. In answer to the question, Hirons is asking us to send all unwanted toiletries and beauty gifts to Refuge, the charity helping women and children escape domestic violence, as well as CRI, the health and social care charity working with families affected by drugs, alcohol and crime. You’ll find information on where to send your goods on her site, carolinehirons.com.
Swap and Sell
MuEx: Set up by ex an ASOS employee with a penchant for beauty, Makeup Exchange (MuEx for short) is a swapshop for products. Email [email protected] to get started. Just take note that MuEx will take 10 per cent of the total price per sale, and you only pay up (via PayPal) once your exchange is complete. Both new and ‘gently tested’ products are welcome, all brands apply.
Reddit Makeup Exchange EU: The giant, online, no-frills swap (and sell) shop for European beauty hacks. All you need is a photo of the product, a roll of bubblewrap to send it on its way, and some patience to help you scrawl through the products to find something you actually want. On the plus side, it’s a completely free service reddit.com/r/MakeUpExchangeEU
BeautyBox Swaps: The Facebook page where you can swap your unwanted beauty gifts in public groups, or private groups (the mind boggles). Beware however, this Facebook page is merely a notice board for swapsies, and the responsibility of lost and found products lies heavily with you. facebook.com/beautyboxswaps
The Perfume Shop: Testing boxes are now being sold as gifts at The Perfume Shop featuring a selection of small scent samples for the recipient to test. The idea is that once she’s chosen her favourite fragrance, she can go back in store and swap the box for the winning bottle. Genius.
Boots: Brands are wising up to the fact that eight out of 10 perfumes bought in December are gifts for someone else, and so attaching small vials of perfume for the recipient to test out on herself, so that she doesn’t end up ripping the box apart first. What your left with is an untouched bottle of fragrance that is easily refunded or exchanged at the point of sale.