Zero waste make-up is something I get a lot of questions about. Excess packaging is a topic that more and more of us are becoming aware of, particularly the problematic nature of plastic and effects on the environment. As someone who loves make up, is it possible to cut back on the use of plastic? This is one of the questions I have received the most via email, people looking for items with compostable or plastic free packaging. With this in mind I thought I would put together a post, sharing natural brands who offer zero waste make-up, refillable, reduced waste or plastic free options. I think it is worth pointing out that some items are much easier to find without plastic, mascara for example is tricky. I have received emails recently, from people telling me they are going to make their own and I have serious concerns for the safety of a lot of the DIY recipes out there, so it is not a route I recommend. Your eyes are delicate and should be treated as such. Here are some make up brands I recommend who have options to help you cut back on packaging:
Zao – Zao is a brand that has been on my radar for some time, they offer a variety of make up products including a nice selection of cream foundations (good shade range too), blushers*, highlighters* and eye shadows* as refills or with beautiful bamboo packaging. I purchased a blusher to try and love the shade, quality and application. I bought the refill only and put it straight in a palette I already have, but I was slightly disappointed to find the refills do come in a small plastic case. Still much less than you could expect with other brands, but something to be aware of if you are looking for completely plastic free. (EDIT: Zao have now switched over to cardboard packaging for their refills, so are even more eco-friendly than before! Great news).
Pure Anada – Are a Canadian brand who offer a range of powders, blushers, bronzers and eye shadows that can be popped straight in to any magnetic palette. I tried some of the eyeshadows and was very impressed with the pigmentation and colour options. The refills come in cardboard sleeves and it is easy to build a palette full of colours you actually like and use. See my review and links of where to buy here.
Kjaer Weis – This iconic beauty brand was founded by make up artist Kristin Kjaer Weis and one of the few brands to combine luxury with its eco friendly credentials. The entire range is refillable, including lipsticks and mascaras*. Some items like the cream blushes and foundations can be put straight in to a magnetic palette, or Kjaer Weis also has it’s own palette so you can build your own collection. You can also invest in the beautiful metallic packaging which is simply stunning. The pressed powder* is a firm favourite of mine as are the lip tints*. See my review of the lipstick here.
Hiro (Vegan brand) – This is a new to me brand I spotted recently on Love Lula. They carry a variety of sizes of palettes (small*, medium* and large*) for you to add products to and you can also buy several of their products as refills including the eyeshadows. They have a selection of talc free, matte and shimmer shades.
Couleur Caramel – Are a French brand that is certified organic by Ecocert. They offer blushes*, as well as matte* and shimmer* eyeshadows as refills in recyclable cardboard packaging. Some of their other products such as concealers* also come in recyclable cardboard which is great. This is a brand I am yet to try but have heard good things about.
Green People (Carmine Free) – I have mentioned Green People many times before on this blog, but I still feel that the make up is a bit of a well kept secret. Although it isn’t possible to buy their blush* or eyeshadows* as refills (I have asked!), they come in cardboard rather than plastic and last a really long time. The rose blush is a really pretty option for everyday and they also offer a powder foundation in several shades as well an illuminating duo* that can be used on the eyes and as a highlight.
PHB Ethical Beauty (Vegan brand) – I recently reviewed the PHB Ethical beauty blush in blossom (see that here) and the brand mentioned that they would be making refills available of their pressed make up products very soon. For now, just like Green People PHB offer cardboard packaging which can be taken apart and composted when you are finished with the product.
RMS Beauty (Carmine Free) – RMS has a few zero waste make-up options in glass containers and their make up lasts a long time, so is a great investment. The Lip2Cheek’s and Lip Shines have been make up bag staples of mine for years, see my review here. The un cover up* is a good option for dry skins that need a light to medium natural looking coverage, as it can be used as a concealer and a foundation and the Living Luminizer* is a beautiful cream highlight that suits most skin tones.
Ere Perez (Vegan brand with the exception of the mascara) – I have raved about Ere Perez several times on this blog, they are a natural make up brand that has a really gorgeous selection. Several of their products are also refillable or plastic free. The new eyeshadow palettes, are refillable which is great news and my favourite Carrot colour pots and highlighter* all come in glass packaging. Expect a review of the eyeshadows soon and see me rave about the Carrot colour pots here.
This is a selection of the brands available offering zero waste make-up options, I will update this post as I find more to share with you. Quite a few of the brands are European and most of the retailers linked ship internationally, but for my US readers you can get RMS and Kjaer Weis at the Detox Market*. Is packaging important to you? Are you trying to move towards a zero waste lifestyle?
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