What Are The Best Things to Do With Old Lipstick? Try This Simple Hack

Shonagh Scott
by Shonagh Scott
5 Materials
45 Minutes

Ever wondered what are the best things to do with old lipstick? Or are you tired of an unorganized makeup bag? This simple lipstick hack allows you to consolidate your makeup kit, compare colors, have all your lippy shades within easy reach, and find space for old lipsticks at the bottom of the pile!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make your own lipstick palette by decanting and melting down your lipsticks for easy, clean storage.

Tools and materials:

  • Empty makeup palette
  • Spoon
  • Metal spatula or knife
  • Candle
  • Small sticky labels
Things to do with old lipstick

1. Get a spoon and a palette

First, clean out an old palette or buy a palette with a customizable insert. I’ve gone for a palette with 24 options because I can continue to grow this palette as I buy new lipsticks or retire old ones.

You’ll also need a metal spoon. Make sure it has a long handle, as it can get quite hot!

Lipstick shade labels

2. Make a list of the names of your lipsticks

This is actually a really important step. Before you start adding lipsticks to your palette, make sure you have a list of names and brands, so you don’t lose track of which lipstick is which. You don’t want to realize you love one of your palette shades, but can’t remember which brand or shade it was!

Write out the names and brands on small labels you can stick onto the back of the palette, or use paper and sticky tape.

What to do with unwanted lipstick

3. Put your lipstick onto the spoon

Use a metal spatula or a knife to get your lipstick onto the spoon. If you have nearly a full stick, as I do, you may want to gauge how much of the lipstick will fit in the palette. You can always start off with a small bit at first, then add another layer on top.

How to make liquid lipstick from old lipstick

4. Melt the lipstick

This is the satisfying part! Hold the spoon over a lit candle and watch the lipstick melt. Be sure to keep the spoon at least half an inch away from the flame, so it doesn’t turn your spoon black or burn your lipstick.

How to use old lipstick

5. Decant the lipstick

Pour the lipstick into the palette. This is where you can see if you can add another layer. The lipstick sets really quickly. If your spoon starts to overflow, decant a bit at a time.

DIY lipstick palette

6. Label the lipstick

Don’t forget to add the label! I like to add a code for the finish of the lipstick as well. This one is “CS” for cream sheen. Melting your lipsticks doesn’t compromise the finish of your lipsticks, but for some (such as pearly or frosty shades), you may see the shimmer separating. There’s a quick fix for that - just mix the liquid with your spatula once the melted lipstick is in the palette.

How to make your own lipstick palette

How to make a DIY lipstick palette

Here’s my finished palette! I popped the insert back into the box and it’s ready to be used. You can use this technique with any lipsticks, including gel and cream formulas. This is a great way to keep all of your lipsticks in one convenient place, especially old lipsticks lurking at the bottom of your makeup bag that you forgot you had!

Suggested materials:
  • Empty makeup palette
  • Spoon
  • Metal spatula or knife
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 77 comments
  • Erika Erika on May 25, 2023

    Great idea !

  • PCM PCM on May 26, 2023

    Makeup artists have been doing this for years: even creating custom colors for private clients. You must be very careful of bacterial growth due to age. Also, can’t use your old lipstick in client collections. Usually these recreations are applied with a lip brush once you lay a base with a lip pencil which gives the Creme something on which to grip.