Fun and messy experiments in the name of beauty

We have all done it. The lure of a free gift with purchase. Eye shadow you don’t want, lipstick you already have and skincare that smells nice, but doesn’t achieve much. It’s the freebie that seduces you, begging you to take it home, making you ignore the little voice inside telling you that you don’t need it, but giving you the fleeting high from a new discovery, which rationalises the purchase.

And then there are the non-impulse purchases. You research, walk into SpaceNK, talk to a nice salesperson and leave with £300 of what you hope will be the answer to your lackluster skin. You follow the new ‘routine’ and ignore the skin irritation or lack of results because, after all, you just spent £300 and for that price, it must work. Then frustration (or guilt) builds. At this stage, you either return to your tried and tested favourites or venture into Harrods to be wowed anew – I always opt for the latter to keep the discovery high.

So now all of these products sit in a drawer, gathering dust, wasting away because you can’t bear to toss perfectly good products. To assuage your guilt, I am sharing a few clever and useful ideas to put those products to work.


Clear nail polish mixed with eye shadow

  • Eye cream works wonders around the delicate area of your lips – it penetrates quickly and works harder to nourish and erase wrinkles than most lip balms.
  • Try face cream on your hands. One that includes Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid (the best anti-ageing defense) together with SPF is ideal. Your hands reveal your true age, so start protecting and caring for them now.
  • Use lipstick as blush for a sun-kissed, natural look.
  • Mix eye shadow or face powder with Vaseline to create your own lipstick (or even cream blusher).
  • Face exfoliator can be used on your entire body. This is an obvious one, but why let face products sit unused – that’s much more wasteful.
  • Mascara wands are perfect for grooming eyebrows. Black is too strong for most people, but you can wipe off excess before using. If that doesn’t achieve your ideal look, then clean the wand and use it to shape. Strong brows remain on trend for spring and summer. Try adding concealer first, then use the mascara wand to tint.
  • To keep your brows in place, spray hairspray on your fingers and apply to brows – works wonders.
  • When clear nail polish is still wet, dust eye shadow on top. It will give subtle depth of colour (see picture). With nail art remaining a huge trend, experiment with different colours – each nail will be different so embrace it. Don’t forget a top coat to seal the effect.

Kid-friendly ideas:

Foundation mixed with water-based blue paint

  • Mix eye shadow with water to paint. If you only want a subtle hint of colour, then use dry. While Christmas has past, glittering shades make perfect highlights for snowmen. If you want to capture the sun blazing the sand, try gold shades.
  • Concealer and foundation mixed with paint diffuse the colour – much more interesting than adding white paint. As most make-up has an oil base, the colour won’t mix with water-based paints, but the result is beautiful (see picture).
  • Eyeliners and lip pencils double as pens and add texture to pictures. You can also stand in front of a mirror, trace your face and then fill in silly details.
  • Face painting is an obvious suggestion, but kids love playing dress-up. Let them try their hand at lipstick, blusher and eye shadow. It will occupy endless hours of fun.

Experiment. Test. Be creative. Be provocative. Share your discoveries (please).


What about expired products? Are they really dangerous? Are they safe to use on less sensitive areas of the body? For these questions, we suggest you start by looking at the product and its expiration date and then using common sense. If the colour is wrong or it smells, it has gone off and should not be used. Expiry dates on cosmetic products exist for two main reasons: bacteria build-up and loss of potency after repeated exposure to light and air. You should always try a patch test before experimenting with alternative uses of beauty products.


If you are wondering which products I am using now, it’s a lot of the same with more focus on Chantecaille (I can’t help it, I’m a SpaceNK girl) and new additions Radical Skincare Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum and Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. My skin is soft and glowing. I’m in love.


Radical Skincare Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask



Following are the products featured in this blog (and part of our secret drawer of beauty), including Chantecaille, Nars, Laura Mercier, By Terry, Yves Saint Laurent, Bobbi Brown, Dior, OPI, Chanel and Burberry.

by terry blush.jpg
bobbi brown shimmer.jpg
ysl mascara.jpg
laura mercier.jpg
opi top coat.jpg