How bloggers are paying up to £20 for EMPTY bottles

Revealed: How crafty bloggers are forking out up to £20 a time for EMPTY bottles from trendy luxury brands – to make it look like they own expensive beauty collections

  • eBay sellers are flogging empty beauty containers as ‘props’ for bloggers
  • Listings include bottles from luxury brands like Jo Malone, Aesop and Chanel
  • Empty box of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle eau de toilette was priced at £19.95
  • Makeup artist Lee Pycroft says women are trying to emulate a ‘premium lifestyle’

Bloggers are buying empty bottles to make it look like they own expensive beauty hauls, MailOnline can reveal.

Dozens of eBay users are flogging used perfume and soap containers from luxury brands to bloggers seemingly desperate to keep up appearances by posting pictures of their ‘high-end’ beauty collections on Instagram.

One seller listed an empty 30ml bottle of Jo Malone’s popular Pomegranate Noir eau de cologne – describing it as the perfect ‘prop’ or ‘flatlay’ (a bird’s eye view style photo popular with bloggers).

Other items, like an empty box of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle eau de toilette, were selling for the equivalent of £19.95 including postage.

MailOnline can reveal how bloggers are buying empty perfume and hand wash containers to make it look like they own expensive beauty collections (pictured: a 30ml bottle of Jo Malone’s popular pomegranate noir eau de cologne described as the perfect ‘prop’ or ‘flatlay’)

Trendy Australian brand Aesop also proved popular on eBay, with empty bottles of its hand wash – which normally retail at £27 each – selling for around £10 despite having their contents removed.

While it may sound extreme, the tactic is nevertheless an eco-friendly one with increasing numbers of retailers now selling hand wash refills – that can be decanted into reusable bottles – in a bid to cut down on plastic waste.

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The trend also allows shoppers to make money from their second-hand products which would otherwise have ended up in the rubbish.

The bizarre trend is thought to be linked to the rise of the ‘shelfie’ which sees bloggers showing off their sees perfectly arranged – and often colour co-ordinated – bathroom shelves stacked with envy-inducing products.

Without the budget to splash thousands on expensive toiletries, it seems some cash-strapped bloggers are resorting to buying empty bottles instead. 

One eBay seller is flogging an empty box of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle eau de toilette, for the equivalent of £19.95 including postage. MailOnline identified a spate of eBay sellers from around the world flogging empty beauty containers to bloggers for their Instagram photos

This Reverence Aromatique hand wash bottle, from Aussie brand Aesop, would normally retail at £27 – but bloggers are happy to spend almost £10 (including postage) for an empty one. MailOnline spotted several eBay sellers flogging empty beauty containers online

Another Aesop product, a geranium leaf body cleanser that would normally sell at £31, is being sold for £11 on eBay. MailOnline identified a spate of sellers flogging empty bottles on eBay

Lee Pycroft, makeup artist and therapist (, told FEMAIL: ‘As the trend on Instagram and blogs for shelfie images and flatlays gathers momentum, it makes sense that some bloggers are looking to create what is a seemingly desirable aesthetic by using these empty premium containers. 

‘Premium products tap into the need each human has to feel that they have status and significance; this is how many high-end brands market and sell their products, and we will also buy into the story of a brand that resonates with us.’ 

Lee added: ‘It’s not uncommon for bloggers and influencers to market themselves to show the edited highlights of their life, as they are essentially selling their skills and services, and to make themselves attractive to brands that will collaborate with them. 

So-called ‘shelfies’ like this one, that see bloggers artfully arranging their enviable beauty and skincare collections, are sweeping social media and may be behind the trend for second-hand bottles and containers being flogged on eBay

With bloggers flaunting their impressive beauty hauls on Instagram (pictured), it’s thought that young women are feeling under pressure to keep up appearances by snapping up second-hand bottles and containers on sites like eBay instead of buying them brand new

‘This trend for buying empty bottles to showcase a premium lifestyle is indeed resourceful, but not necessarily authentic, and questions the necessity to create an unrelenting and unrealistic image of what society deems to be a “perfect life”. 

‘Young girls are often influenced by peers more than their parents, especially as the teenage years progress, and the exposure to relentless images of perfection and these premium brands can amplify their expectations for how their own lives ‘should’ be. 

‘The above issue of the new trend of buying empty premium containers is just one layer of many around the potential detrimental impact of social media exposure, when the viewer is not questioning the authenticity of what they are seeing.’

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