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A Meaningful Makeup Drawer: Project Beauty Share

April 10, 2017
A Meaningful Makeup Drawer | Tiny Ambitions

Some ‘things’ in the downsizing process are easy to get rid of. Clothes can be handed down or given to charity. Books can be donated to your local library. Electronics can be sold or recycled. However, when it comes to beauty products, it gets a little trickier.

It’s a gray area which products can safely go down the drain and some products are designated as hazardous waste (i.e. nail polish and hairspray).

I personally have an overflow of beauty products that I don’t use. Since I work from home, I hardly ever wear makeup or style my hair. And yet, I still have an entire bin under my bathroom sink full of stuff. Think mini shampoos, styling products that didn’t work, gifted creams that aren’t my smell, and shades of makeup that don’t match me (I’m a unique shade of pale).

So, imagine my delight when I discovered Project Beauty Share® – a 501c(3) non-profit organization that accepts new and gently used beauty products for distribution to women who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise. According to Julie Farley, the founder of Project Beauty Share®, “A lot of what we do is about health and hygiene, but it’s really about dignity. Project Beauty Share® wants to help women regain their dignity and get back on their feet.”

They have a full list of what they accept on their website. For obvious reasons, certain products must be new and unopened to be accepted (i.e. deodorant, toothbrushes, nail polish). But even with those restrictions, any woman with beauty extras should be able to find something that fits the guidelines.

How does Project Beauty Share work?
  1. Pick out the items that you don’t need anymore that fit their guidelines.
  2. Pack it up in a box and ship it to them (they are located in Spokane, Washington).
  3. Feel content knowing you have simultaneously contributed to your minimalist journey and helped a woman in need.
Where does your donation go?

The products are donated (after processing) to local Spokane agencies like shelters, homes, and organizations. A complete list is available on their website.

Because of the surplus of beauty products I own, I decided to box some of it up and ship it! I packed 20ish items in an old box I had been holding onto just for such an occasion and took it to the post office.


Now, because I live in Canada, shipping to Washington state cost me $30.00- which is quite a lot! But it was a cost I was more than happy to absorb. If you plan properly, and pack your box to the brim, this kind of donation wouldn’t need to happen more than twice a year.

From my experience and what I have read online, Project Beauty Share seems like a great organization. I wish we had something like it closer to home.

So next time you’re thinking of chucking out barely used beauty products- now you know what you can do with them!

What do you think of Project Beauty Share? Is there anything like it in your community? Let me know in the comments!

Image Credit: Unsplash

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment April 17, 2017 at 6:00 am

    This is a fantastic project – good on you for putting all those extras to good use! It seems like a total win-win-win – for your minimalist lifestyle, for the recipients who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford them, and for the environment by extending the life of the products. Love it! I have heard of similar projects here in Australia, but they only accept new products, not gently used ones unfortunately. I dealt with my own excess of beauty and household products by advertising them on Gumtree (similar to Craigslist) for free, and to my surprise, I actually had quite a few people very eagerly come and pick things up! There are also a number of useful items that I did decide to keep, which I am slowly working my way through at what feels like a snail’s pace. One day in the distant future my bathroom cabinets will be clutter-free…

    • tinyambitions April 17, 2017 at 6:40 am

      That’s awesome you do have something similar in Australia- even if they do only accept new products. I’m glad you had a good response from Gumtree. The saying must be true- one mans trash is another mans treasure! I often receive tons of beauty products as gifts from well meaning family. But since I have sensitive skin I hardly ever use them. I’m so glad I found project beauty share!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.