The last cotton ball


Let’s not strike up a conversation about cotton unless we’re both ready to talk about forced labor in Uzbekistan. Or the drying up of the Aral Sea. Or death to cotton farmers by pesticide. Soft and luscious on the outside, cotton is produced in unsustainable and often cruel ways that have not propelled humanity far enough away from the wretched marriage of torture, enslavement, and the antebellum plantations of the American South. The crop isn’t evil in and of itself, but I try to be careful about how and when I bring cotton into my life.

Cotton clothing (and any clothing) is a song for another time, but for today, let’s talk cotton balls. I don’t love ’em but I’ve used them and I recently got to the last cotton ball in the bag—a long-awaited day. And that’s when it was time to finally make my own reusable makeup removal cotton rounds.

Wait. Cotton? Yes. I fashioned these little rounds from a salvaged hoodie that would have ended up in a textile recycling bin. Reuse.

So here’s how I made my own reusable makeup removal rounds.

1. First I took a pair of scissors to my hoodie. You can use a cup or jar lid to measure your rounds to get them to the exact size you want but I didn’t care to do that. First of all, I didn’t care if the rounds were slightly different sizes or not true circles. Second of all, by being flexible about the size and shape, I could use more of the hoodie, especially from the sleeves where the fabric is a bit slanted and awkward.

cutting hoodie diy makeup rounds

2. Before you start cutting, you want to fold your piece of fabric in half. That way you’ll get stacks of two pieces of fabric of the same shape.

two halves diy makeup rounds

3. Place the two halves of the round with the right sides facing in, so you’re left with the soft and textured side facing out.

diy makeup rounds

4. Then, sew the two halves together. You can hand sew the fabric, but I prefer to use a machine because it’s fast. By the way, one hoodie makes a lot of rounds. This is a fraction of what I made.

sewn diy makeup rounds

I ended up having plenty to share with friends.

close diy makeup rounds

5. Trim the extra thread from the finished DIY makeup rounds.

finished diy makeup rounds

6. Now find a storage solution for your new reusable makeup rounds. I used a little parfait jar, which I believe was purchased from Le Pain Quotidien several years ago.

storing diy makeup rounds

Incidentally, this jar looks very neat and orderly next to my attractive toothpaste jar. And I’m not saying it’s all about appearances, but it doesn’t hurt the cause.


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