How to get free MAC lipstick… and when to toss makeup


Did you know that you can get free lipstick from MAC? With the Back to Mac program, you can get a free lipstick of your choice for every 6 empty MAC products you bring back to a counter or online.

Which is fantastic because it means I can do my bit for the environment by recycling the old plastic packaging, avoid getting nasty bacteria that grows in makeup overtime on my skin (and therefore avoid potential infections – though I’ve been lucky enough to never catch anything when I’ve used old products!) while also getting rewarded with a new product in return.

back-to-mac-pictures-1 back-to-mac-pictures-2 back-to-mac-pictures-9 back-to-mac-pictures-7 back-to-mac-pictures-5 back-to-mac-pictures-4 back-to-mac-pictures-3

If you’re not sure when to get rid of makeup, here’s a handy breakdown of when you should consider binning certain products:

  • Mascara/Eyeliners: between 3-6 months, depending who you ask
  • Lipsticks/lip glosses/lip liners: after 1-4 years, depending who you ask
  • Powders: after 2 years
  • Liquid foundation: after 1-2 years, depending who you ask
  • Nail polish: after 1 year
  • Makeup sponges: after 1 week

And if you’re not sure how old something is, test the product out. Lipsticks and lip glosses tend to change in consistency and scent, while liquid foundations/concealers tend to separate, and products that are old/out of date also don’t tend to work as well as fresh products.

So, having my eye on Candy Yum Yum and Heroine, I raided my makeup bags for empties, expired products and products I hadn’t used in years. (Those lipsticks and glosses shown are nearly 10 years old, and I’ve had the Lip Gelées – which MAC doesn’t even make anymore! – since at least 2006.) Then I took 12 empty and old products and and traded them in for Candy Yum Yum and Heroine. Result!
back-to-mac_2So now my makeup bags are just a bit cleaner and my lipstick collection is just a bit brighter. A very happy exchange indeed!

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