In the early days of our pandemic-induced quarantine, we started off each morning with a confident swipe of crimson lipstick just to boost our spirits (and look cute on Zoom). But let’s be honest, we’re long past that – like, a full five fingers’ worth of root regrowth past it.

But don’t despair! While we’re all housebound, your carefully curated collection of beauty products – you know, the ones that have been collecting dust the past few weeks – can serve as fodder for a few fun pastimes that promise to help keep your mind sharp during these dull times. (Because no one cares about that shelfie right now, no matter how much you spent on those German super-creams.) Here are the best possible pandemic uses for your treasured products.

Not sure if you can tolerate another fight with your partner? Consider alternate means of aggro communication, like using your most arresting lippy to scrawl a threatening note on your bathroom mirror. “Stop blinking so loud!” might be taken more seriously if it’s written in Chanel Rouge Allure.

Starting to talk to yourself? Reach for your waterproof precision-tip eyeliners and doodle smiling faces on your produce to create your own makeshift colleagues. Not only will chatting to a cheerful clementine give you more pleasure than catching up with Karen from HR – how does she manage to interrupt you in every meeting? – but you will feel a dark thrill of power when you eat it as your 11 a.m. boredom snack.

Were you once proud of your collection of limited-edition holiday palettes? We’ve got four words for you: It’s fucking Jenga time. The rules are simple: You stack them up as high as they can go without falling and smashing. (What’s that? Those aren’t the actual rules of Jenga? No one cares – we’re living through a pandemic.) Extra points to the players who are bold enough to include the Urban Decay Naked Palette they know they will want again after this is over.

Miss multi-tasking? Since there’s no need for a flat iron when you aren’t even washing your hair, may we suggest using the hot tool for its highest purpose: cranking out tiny grilled-cheese sandwiches you can mindlessly devour while pacing and scrolling your news feed at 1 a.m. Brioche, like loneliness, tastes best when it’s pressed at a scorching 450˚F.

Need to sweat out some sadness? For your quota of physical activity, line up your nearly empty skincare bottles on the floor in a tight V-formation. (Read the room – it’s not the time to stage that #beautifulempties shot.) Then get ready for a rousing round of beauty bowling – the most expensive game you’ll likely ever play – as you use a Beautyblender to try to knock the products down. The infuriating shape rolls about as well as you walked in heels as a teen, but, hey, you’ve got the time to practice your form.


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