Any environmentally-conscious beauty junkie worth her salt should know that there are a ton of ingenious uses for old mascara wands, so don’t throw them out as soon as you use up the mascara in the tube.
Reusing old mascara brushes or wands is a great way to reduce waste — and every little bit helps, considering how it’s been estimated that each person in the US contributes about 200 pounds of the plastic waste littering landfills throughout the country yearly.1
By finding new ways to repurpose that old wand, you might also be able to save money on other beauty tools or gear you’d otherwise drop a pretty penny on. More than just applying mascara, your wand has a host of other applications or purposes that extend past eye makeup — you might be surprised to learn a few of them.
This is also great news since mascara expires quickly. Now that you know you can use the wand, you’re sure to think twice before tossing these old mascara tubes out.
Read on for all the ways a clean used mascara wand can be the DIY beauty brush you never knew you needed.
Cleaning And Prepping Your Old Mascara Wand
First things first: Make sure your mascara wand is clean and sanitized for reuse. Remove the mascara wand from the container (feel free to chuck that out, because you won’t be reusing the mascara tube itself). Run it through a piece of paper towel several times to remove any mascara still clinging to it.
There’s still bound to be residue, so the next step is to loosen up all the debris stuck to the mascara wand bristles with some warm water. Immerse the wand in a small glass filled with warm water — not boiling, as this can damage the plastic material.
Leave for a bit to let the warm water do its work. Repeat as necessary until water no longer runs black or cloudy from residual mascara. Then, sanitize your wand or mascara brush by spraying some alcohol on it, or soaking it in alcohol for a few minutes. Make sure you dry the wand thoroughly before use. Take care to clean the little crevices well with a cotton swab.2
Not Just For Applying Mascara: A Clean Mascara Wand Can Elevate Your Eye Makeup
It’s a given that nothing can apply mascara as effectively as the wand it came with, but it’s also interesting to note that having a separate, clean mascara wand at the ready for a second sweep can really lock in your look.
Use your spare mascara wand to remove clumps and eliminate those dreaded spider lashes and potential eyelid smudges. Running the old wand through your eyelashes after your first coat of mascara might actually help you save on product. This is especially true if you’re fond of wiping down your current mascara wand to rid it of excess mascara just so you can use it to “clean up” your mascara application and separate lashes properly.3
Use An Old Wand For Eyelashes And Brow Care
Instead of spending money on disposable spoolies (the proper makeup artist term for mascara wand or brush), use a cleaned old mascara wand to apply any special eyelash or brow serums. Make sure to clean and sanitize after each use.4
Tame Or Fluff Eyebrows Just Right
A spare soft-bristled mascara brush or old wand can really compliment your eyebrow makeup routine. Brush bushy brows and tame with a pomade or eyebrow gel, or use to apply tints or dye if DIY-ing at home.5
Use A Mascara Wand For Your DIY Haircare And Styling
Eyelashes aren’t the only hair your old mascara wand can help you with. You can use a clean spoolie for hairstyling, too. Spray a bit of hairspray on the mascara wand and use to tame flyaways and baby hairs that would otherwise ruin your hairstyle.6
Touch Up Your Roots
A small mascara brush can really get to your roots, making it an efficient tool for touching up any greying hair growth. Some mascara brands even have angled or flexible wands that are perfect for this purpose.7
A Clean Mascara Wand Can Be Helpful For Your Lips And Nails
This DIY beauty brush can even make manicures even better. A clean used wand is a great addition to your home nail care kit.
Use The Soft Bristles To Clean Nails And Push Back Cuticles
The soft-yet-sturdy bristles can help clean under your nails (safer than poking at it with sharper nail gear). A mascara spoolie can also serve as a nifty nail brush to help push back cuticles. Soak or spray cuticle solution on your nails to soften, then simply scrub and buff nails gently using the old mascara wand.8
A Mascara Wand Makes A Great Lip Exfoliating Tool
Use those bristles to your advantage. Apply a lip balm or exfoliating product on your lips, let it sit for a bit, and then use the spoolie to gently buff any dry skin and flakes away. Make sure to clean your old mascara wand thoroughly after using.9
Beyond Beauty: Household Uses For An Old Mascara Brush
You’ve got yourself a handy cleaning tool for tiny spots and tight spaces. Use your spoolie to pick up any dust from vents, your keyboard, or even to buff old jewelry and restore it to its glory.10
Gentle Enough For Animal Fur
As it turns out, old mascara wands may help clean animal fur, removing insect eggs and dirt. If you have a furry family member, having a few old wands or brushes on hand might come in handy in keeping their fur clean and healthy.11
Think Before You Toss
With all of these smart uses for old mascara brushes or wands, there’s really no reason to throw them away. Unless otherwise damaged, you can simply clean and disinfect them before reuse. Make sure to wash them thoroughly each time you use them, and it might be smart not to mix applications. Keep one for your brows, a couple for your nails, and one at your work desk for cleaning your gadgets. It seems there’s no limit to these versatile lash tools.
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