How to Host a Makeup Swap

Do you have too many samples floating around? It might be time for a makeup swap!

A makeup swap is a great way to get rid of unwanted cosmetic samples.

If you subscribe to beauty boxes like Play! by Sephora or the Julep Maven Box, it’s easy to end up with a lot of products that you’re never going to use. There are online groups specifically dedicated to swapping unwanted samples, but that requires shipping things and trusting strangers. Too much hassle! It’s a lot more fun to coordinate with a group of local friends.

How to Organize a Makeup Swap

First, you need to have makeup you want to get rid of. Second, you need to have other people who also have makeup to get rid of. Third, you need to set up a time and a place. Easy-peasy!

Gather up your unwanted makeup

Now’s the time to gather up those foundation samples that were too dark, the duplicate samples, the perfumes you don’t like, the lip gloss you’ll never wear, and the numerous empty Ipsy bags (which everyone can use to take their booty back home with them).

You can also go through your collection of full-size products and cull things you don’t reach for often. If you’re bringing used makeup to a swap, sanitize it first and make sure people know it’s been used!

Find other people

It might be your belly dance classmates, your girlfriends at work, or you might even make it a public event if you’re holding it in a public place.

Decide when and where

Pick a time that works for the majority of the people who want to attend, and find a good central location. When my classmates hosted one, we chose a restaurant near where we usually have classes… only to find that they’d had a power outage and closed for the night. Whoops! We ended up in a dive bar which had excellent food and terrible lighting. Try to choose a place where you’ll not only have a table to spread things out, but enough light to actually see the color of the lipstick you’re swatching.

Let the swapping begin!

You’ll probably want to decide on some parameters ahead of time… Is it a one for one swap, how do you make sure everyone gets a fair chance to get what they’d like, are you going to allow buying and selling, or just swapping?

The one I attended was a free-for-all. Several of us had a lot we wanted to get rid of and we didn’t mind not getting anything in return, we just wanted more space in our collection. So it didn’t matter if someone hadn’t brought anything to swap, if they saw something they liked, they were welcome to it.

This is an excellent way to help out your class and troupemates who are new to makeup, by the way! Let them raid your samples so they can try various products and learn what works for them.

If you hold it at someone’s house or in a community room or something, you could even bring some mirrors and brushes and conduct some mini makeup lessons where everyone gets to try out the swap items and learn a bit more about makeup and have fun. Take lots of goofy selfies while you’re at it!

Have you ever done a makeup swap? How did it go?

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