Strict abiders by the 30-second rule, you may want to look away – because in the burgeoning world of beauty dumpster diving, anything (and we mean anything) goes.
The practice of scrounging around (and in more cases than not, physically diving into) dumpster bins in search of discarded beauty product is, apparently, nothing new - but until now, it’s gone largely unnoticed.
Take New Jersey based James Jugan, who’s been reselling make-up found in dumpsters since 1978 and makes 100 per cent of his income from diving. “It’s like having a license to print money,” he told Racked in 2015. But he bemoans the wave of next-gen divers posting their exploits online and drawing attention to the dodgy practice.
Now that big name beauty vloggers are getting in on the action, dumpster diving at make-up emporiums like Sephora and Ulta is going viral. Broadly spoke to 23-year-old vlogger Shelbizleee, whose Youtube video of an Ulta dumpster diving haul (she nabbed over $US2000 worth of product) has garnered over one million views.
"I know I can always go to an ULTA dumpster and basically always find something," she says, revealing the Chanel, Prada, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana perfumes (none full and many practically empty; all ex-testers), highly sought after Anastasia Beverly Hills contour palettes and Lancome make-up she found in a week.
"I don't use any liquid lipsticks, anything that could have been contaminated and couldn't be sanitised," Shelbizleee told Broadly, while Jugan also scrubs his clean before selling, using products like Windex.
We don’t know what’s more amazing about this: that people are prepared to put product found in bins on their faces, to hell with the very real bacteria that could be lurking in them, or the way it speaks to the power of luxury beauty items. If someone’s willing to dive into a bin in the dead of night for an inch worth of Chanel No. 5, the house’s marketing team are doing their job right.
Shelbizleee cites reducing waste as her main motivation. “If you think this is gross, I could not care less,” she says in her video.” I think this is awesome, I think what I’m doing is good for the planet, and if you have a different opinion, like, whatever.”