Tricks on Trading Up

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How many times have you gone to your favorite beauty store, excitedly made a purchase for that hot new eye palette shade or that dewey foundation, only to find the colors made you look like a Disney character instead of a Victoria's Secret Bombshell? What about the time you bought two of something because it was on sale, and you were less than thrilled so it just goes in a drawer for a year before you finally say buh-bye. Before you toss that $38 foundation, or try to return it (if you're lucky), consider swapping with some girlfriends who may just hit the jackpot with your unwanted buy.
So, instead of feeling like you have wasted your hard earned cash that could have gone to a new pair of stylish pumps, grab your gals and throw a Beauty Exchange Party! This party is designed just like a Clothing Exchange, but with your beauty products instead!
Your favorite girls will bring their gently used or new beauty products that they would like to get rid of, or just would not use. Everyone goes home with products that are new to them, and maybe you will even find something new to swoon over!

Here's how they work:

1.    First, select the location for the party, the date and the guest list
•    Select a space that is kid free, and good for mingling and chatting it up.
•    If you know you will be trying looks out of your comfort zone, a weekend will work best for your party. You don't want to end up with stained cheeks from that blush you tried to a lunch with your boss and you don't want to feel rushed coming or going from the event.
•    When inviting guests, generally you may want more than just a few people, as it makes the exchange more interesting with more product choices.  Be selective with who invite as you don't want ladies you have never met bringing their products and you want everyone to feel comfortable swapping.  After all, once all the product is together, you won't know who brought what and we want to keep it sanitary.
•    Lastly when choosing guests, consider those ladies who have the same taste in their beauty regime or want to spice theirs up.  For example, if you have a girlfriend who never wears make-up, never tries new products and is very minimal in her beauty regime, you might assume she would not be interested. But, she may want to learn how to work with more products.  So don't count anyone out.

2.  Send the Invite, and Tell the girls how it works
•    You can use online emailing invite software like Punchbowl to make cute invitations that go straight to your girls mobile phones and social media pages.
•    Give them the rules in the invite.  They are super simple.  Each guest is to bring beauty products to swap (anything from nail polish to curling irons, to body lotion and fragrances.  Anything in your beauty regime can be swapped.)  Also ask each guest to bring a bag for their new little goodies to go home in.  Also, suggest each lady bring both designer or high-end products and drugstore products.  That way there is a fair amount of all things to swap.
•    Let everyone know they may not want to expect to leave with the same amount of products they come with.  They may leave with more, or maybe even less, but that is the great part of the party!  Remind them they are also attending to get rid of that unwanted product and clutter, so its a win-win for everyone!
•    Let the guests know there will be a sanitizing station to make sure their new treasures are squeaky clean and ready for use.

3.  Get Ready for the Par-tay
•    Create two stations: One for all of the products and the other to sanitize the everyone's new finds.
•    You can use a plastic table cloth to place everything on, as its disposable and you can throw it away when you are finished with the party.  If you want a more stylish look, consider using scrapbook paper to place each group of products on, adding centerpieces or decor around it.
•    The station with the products should have labels for each type of product (Face, Eyes,  Nails, Hair, Body, Samples, etc.) or you can write the labels in market on the table cloth.
•    The Sanitization Station should have: make-up remover wipes, rubbing alcohol or wipes, q-tips, cotton balls, make-up brush cleaner, paper towels, and make-up spatula for lipstick, and pencil sharpeners (one for eyes, one for lips) and base make-up in compacts.
•    You may want to leave instructions on how to properly clean various products like lipstick.

4. Party Time!
• Round one: Everyone picks at will. If more than one guest wants the same item and no one is budging, each has to try it on and the party pool votes on who wears it best.
• Round two: Likely, there will still be a ton of stuff that needs to be taken on the table. Now’s the time to get social and recommend products for one another.
• Round three: Gather up the orphans into three piles: (1) items that absolutely no one will want, to be tossed; (2) items to keep for your next beauty swap (invite a few new people); and (3) items to donate to a women’s shelter, especially unused bath and personal care products. (Check to find locations near you.)
When the party is over, don't forget to send hand written thank you notes to all those who attended.  Always a fabulous touch that often goes unlooked in the days of technology.
Post your pics and ideas from your Beauty Exchange Party and let us know how it goes!  We love sharing!
•    If you offer food and drink (always the sign of a great hostess) consider a signature party drink. But remember to keep all of your products and sanitizing away from the exchange.  If you want to be the hostess with mostess consider making a candy bar, or theme around the party.
•    Gift bags for each girl as a parting gift or thank you is a fun idea too!  Go to your local department store and ask for samples, get some of your local biz friends involved to offer gift certificates to all the guests to help promote local business.
•    Host your party at a salon or boutique for added fun!
•    Consider adding a clothing swap to the beauty exchange and make it a shopping extravaganza!
•    Have a beauty swap twice a year or at the changing of seasons