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Everything You need to know about dumpster diving makeup hauls


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FEB. 28, 2017:

As the saying goes: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Literally. You will have already heard of food foragers (more fashionably known as ‘freegans’), but now the beauty dumpster diving trend is really taking off.

While some have been living the dumpster diving lifestyle since the 1990s, in the last year or two a growing number of YouTube stars have been putting a twist on their traditional makeup haul videos, by taking their cameras to the trash cans of big beauty brands like Ulta and Sephora.

Turns out, when you return that only-used-once product, it doesn’t always get recycled, but instead makes its way into the dumpster at the end of the day. This environmental cost has been the main motivation for beauty vloggers around the world to start scavenging, while others just want to save money or do something a bit different on social media.

Initially inspired by fellow YouTuber Trina, 20-something Shelbizleee recently hit the headlines when she uploaded a dumpster diving video of her $2,000-worth makeup haul in November – it now has almost 1.5 million views. ‘The things that are thrown out like it is no big deal blows my mind,’ she told British newspaper The Independent. ‘I am surprised every single time I get a haul.’

In the last few months, she’s found everything from a Too Faced Natural Matte eye palette ($36) to an Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics palette ($54), and uploaded further videos sharing tips on how to sanitize your products. You can’t ignore the chance of getting a skin condition from applying used makeup, so divers do this at their own risk.

Despite the (legal and health) dangers, dumpster diving has got so big that the companies have wised up – especially as more and more divers have started selling the salvaged products online. Some have reported finding destroyed products, like bristles cut off makeup brushes before being put in the trash. When contacted by Racked, Ulta responded: ‘We properly dispose of our products per manufacturer requests.’ While Sephora employees say: ‘[We] use returned product as testers or demo products… We almost never throw away ‘damaged’ or returned products.’

Either way, beauty dumpster diving is all over the internet – and it can’t be ignored. So will you dare to dive or dispute the trend?

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