Beauty: Makeup Swapping

We all have those things in the bathroom drawer that we just don’t use- that bright purple eyeshadow we just had to have, the shade of blush the sales girl was sure would look fabulous, that brow pencil that you don’t use since you colored your hair. Maybe a lotion that broke you out or perfume you’re not crazy about? Historically those items collect dust, get passed down to little sis, or just go unused until they finally get tossed. Now there’s another option: Makeup swapping.

Makeup swapping has gained in popularity as recessionistas have been finding new ways to watch their beauty budgets. Just because your blonde brow pencil is too light for your now brunette hair, doesn’t mean there isn’t a blonde out there longing to have it in her makeup bag- all for the price of postage. A popular and well established swapping community is

You make two lists- Your “Swap list” is a list of items you have that you’re willing to part with. A “Wish list” is items that you want. Both lists are searchable, so you can either look for people who want your stuff (and look at the items they have for trade) or search by the items you’re wanting to receive, and offer up items from your own swap list.

Users communicate via messages within the site, and the community is kept honest through feedback.

Here’s some tips to get started.

  1. Keep it clean. Items should be wiped with alcohol to kill surface bacteria. Swapping is not really recommended for items that can’t be cleaned once used such as mascara or lipgloss. Plus, be honest about the condition/appearance of the items you list.
  2. Be thrifty. It’s common for swappers to reuse bubble mailers several times to be less wasteful- part of the draw to swapping is staying on a budget, so it’s totally acceptable to stick a new shipping label over an old one.
  3. Extra, extra! Getting a package in the mail is fun, and it’s even more fun when there’s a little unexpected surprise in there. It’s good “swapping karma” to throw a fun extra in with your items when sending. Think perfume samples, kitchy trinkets from your home state, or any other small beauty item that isn’t really worth enough to swap on it’s own.
  4. It’s based on trust. Keep in mind that as a new swapper many will expect you to send first. What this means is that you’d send your item and the recipient would send upon receiving yours. Once you build up some feedback, you can start doing swaps both sent out right away. On that note, be prompt in leaving feedback when you have a good experience- and give a person the opportunity to make it right if something goes awry before you jump to leaving a negative mark.

Have fun, and happy swapping!