The odd-smelling lotion gift set from your aunt, the well-intentioned (but totally off-the-mark) perfume purchase from your mum, or the Secret Santa lipstick you just know you're never going to wear... We've all fake-smiled our way through opening Christmas packages containing beauty products that we know we're just never going to use. Whether it's the wrong shade, not suited to your skin type or from a brand you're just not that into, these beauty Christmas gifts may come with love, but if they're not quite right, it can be pretty disappointing.
But don't just let the pots, tubes and bottles sit there gathering dust. These redundant gifts deserve a second chance at making someone else happy and there's a way to do that. Well, a few ways in fact. From charity donations to regifting opportunities, keep scrolling to find out what to do with your unwanted beauty products.
1. Donate to your local charity shop
It's not easy donating beauty products to charity shops, as many won't accept them for hygiene and health and safety reasons, but some will accept products in their original packaging with protective seals and cellophane wrapping. Hardware like unused hairbrushes and electricals are fair game here too. Just pop in to your local charity shop to check their policy.
2. Give to a beauty charity
If the charity shop route fails, there are charities dedicated to sourcing beauty products for people in need. Take Give & Makeup for example. This not-for-profit initiative founded by beauty expert Caroline Hirons collects unwanted toiletries and donates them to women's shelters and refuges to support women and children escaping domestic violence. You might have to hold onto your products for a while (check expiration dates!) as London donations are currently closed since the original support was that overwhelming.
Any Wales residents can donate through Escentual.
3. Sell on eBay
While a lot of controversy shrouds the sale of beauty products on eBay, it is a good way to make a little extra cash. Just make sure you don't remove any of the protective packaging or seals. Be sure to upload pictures to your item page to prove authenticity. The money you make could go to buying another bottle of your favourite perfume, or you could always donate it to charity.
4. Regift them
Gift sets are prime territory for regifting, but if yours have particularly festive packaging, you can always take the individual items out of the set and use them to bolster up future presents for friends. A tube of hand cream makes the perfect side gift to a bottle of wine for a dinner party hostess, or you could pop that lipstick shade you'll never use into a gift bag along with a few of your friend's favourite things for her birthday.
5. Set up a beauty swap
If your group chat is buzzing on Christmas morning with news of similar not-quite-right beauty gifts, why not organise a get-together in mid-January where you can send the beauty products you don't want to a more loving home. That foundation shade might not be right for you, but it could be the perfect match for your friend. Or they might like the eye shadow palette that you just have no use for, and in return, you could get that perfume you were hoping for in the first place. Everyone's a winner.
Up next, have you planned your NYE makeup look yet? These ideas are pretty easy.