Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Axiology #zerowastemakeup
Image by Axiology
Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Bee You Organics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Bee You Organics
Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Fat and the Moon #zerowastemakeup
Image by Fat and the Moon

Zero Waste Makeup: 14 Brands For Glamming Up & Going Green


Commercial make-up is filled with a bunch of (let’s just be frank here) junk, including chemicals, preservatives…and basically all the things you really don’t want in your body.

For years, we’ve been led to believe that’s the status quo, the only option, that even “natural beauty” products are synthetic. False!

There are so many excellent natural makeup alternatives being crafted by eco friendly makeup brands. The brands on this list take sustainability to the next level, by creating zero waste cosmetics. Minimal impact on your health, and minimal impact on the planet.

With rising consumer demand for eco alternatives, more and more options (i.e. zero waste makeup brands and products) have become available.

To learn exactly how we choose brands for these lists based on our sustainable beauty criteria, read beyond the brands (or jump straight down to the bottom of the article).

Some of the best zero waste makeup brands around include: Dab Herb has something for everyone. With thousands of raving reviews, Clean-Faced Cosmetics. And for one of the most sustainable cosmetics brands on this list, Dirty Hippie have considered just about everything from an environmental perspective.

Don’t forget to use a reusable makeup pad to put on and remove your makeup! Etsy has tons of cute options, as does EarthHero (one of our favorite zero waste online stores).

*This post contains affilate links

1. DAB HERB MAKEUP

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by DAB Herb Makeup #zerowastemakeup
Image by DAB Herb Makeup
About Dab Herb Makeup

Dab Herb Makeup offer a wide range of zero waste makeup options: for eyes (including mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and eyebrow grower), face (including foundation, tinted moisturize, concealer, luminizer, primer, contour powder, cheek pinch, blush and color corrector), lips (gloss, tint and balm), the cutest makeup sets and makeup tools (including vegan brushes).

Many of these products come in glass or tin containers and have refill options (the product costs less when you refill, yay!). The instructions for which are very clear once you open the product description.

Be sure to check these before you buy as their policy requires that you send back the cleaned containers for refill. Dab then sanitizes the containers before refilling them.

All Dab Herb’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, mostly organic, food grade (on some of their products they have a useful comparison of the organic food grade ingredients in their product compared to your typical popular brands which are full of synthetics and chemicals, and it’s scary!) and entirely palm oil free.

About Dab Herb

Dab Herb is a “Nature to Nurture” beauty and skincare company that believes “beauty and self-care are inseparable from sustainability, transparency, and wellness”.

What started as small scale sustainable makeup made just for their founder Crissy’s personal use, developed into an advocate for green beauty standards.

For every product, they use only food-grade, certified organic, cruelty-free, and vegan ingredients. Many of these of herb and plant oils to heal the skin itself, not just disguise it.

Dab Herb’s zero waste makeup products are all palm oil free (including free of palm oil derivatives). Ingredients are sourced from fair trade certified farmers and suppliers.

Dab ships their plastic free makeup products and they re-use their own suppliers’ shipping materials for larger orders. Back in the office, any printing they do is on recycled materials.

Dab Herb also support Made In A Free World which focuses on developing and implementing high impact solutions to human trafficking by working with the most effective partners to rescue and care for victims worldwide.

Available:  Etsy  

2. CLEAN-FACED COSMETICS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Clean Faced Cosmetics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Clean Faced Cosmetics

*Note: Be sure to request no synthetic dyes (specifically Yellow No. 5 FD&C Lake and Red No. 40 FD&C Lake) when ordering a custom palette. We have attempted to confirm policies with this brand with no response to date

About Clean-Faced Cosmetics Makeup

Clean-Faced Cosmetics make zero waste cosmetics like tinted lip balm, eyeshadow, and a mascara that doubles as eyeliner (woohoo for simplifying the number of products needed!).

They also make some speciality products including lash lengthening primer powders and custom foundation powders (i.e. matched to your skin tone) in either shimmery or matte finishes.

All products come in reusable metal tins, or you can use containers you already have and order a refill packaged in biodegradable cello bags (which look like plastic but are assuredly not!).

Less waste on postage sending back the containers like other take-back programs!

About Clean-Faced Cosmetics

CFC, based in Michigan, makes custom made-to-order zero waste beauty products that are palm-oil free, vegan, cruelty-free (tested on friends, never animals), and as organic as possible.

They sometimes using tiny amounts of  Yellow No. 5 FD&C Lake and Red No. 40 FD&C Lake to properly create skin tone matched foundation powders, but only when necessary! If getting a custom palette, however, just request they not use these and they’ll oblige.

Creator Laura is currently striving to manufacture entirely waste free makeup, though she, just like the rest of us, knows this is a process. Currently, all product packaging is either biodegradable or reusable (like their metal palates, bamboo applicator, and organic cotton storage bags).

All labels are printed on recycled paper with eco-friendly ink.

Available:  Etsy  

3. RIVER ORGANICS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by River Organics #zerowastemakeup
Image by River Organics
About River Organics Makeup

River Organics‘ “hydrating plant beauty” includes a small but comprehensive selection of zero waste vegan makeup products. This includes tinted lip balms, bronzer, and highlighter. But we really like the look of their compostable blush sticks.

These makeups are formulated using only organic oils and butters, like Cacao butter, Mango seed butter, Macadamia Nut oil, and Coconut oil.  They do use some mineral Mica pigmentation and candelilla wax rather than beeswax. 

Everything is vegan, cruelty-free, and palm-oil free, and of course packed in compostable cardboard tubes.

About River Organics

Based in North Carolina, husband and wife duo Corinne and Fabian handcraft every single one of their products.  Aside from makeup, this includes zero waste skincare inspired by the oil-based moisturizing traditions of Middle East beauty they encountered in their travels.

Fabian used to work as a skincare chemist for Chanel, but they decided to take it a more natural route.

All their packaging is compostable or refillable glass. If you live in the southeastern U.S., you can visit one of their brick and mortar stockists to potentially avoid shipping emissions!

Available:  EcoRoots  |  Etsy 

4. BEEYOU ORGANICS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Bee You Organics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Bee You Organics

*Note:many of this brands products are not suitable for vegans but there are vegan options available

About Beeyou Organics Makeup

BeeYou Organics specializes in eco friendly personal care products for the face and body, including some pretty luxurious spa kits!

For sustainable make-up options, the lovely owner, Larissa makes 100% organic sun-protective bb creams, face powders, mineral eye-shadows, eyeliner, and mascara. Everything you need in zero waste makeup!

Please note that some products, like her mineral eye and face powders, come in tins with plastic sifters, which she will happily omit entirely upon request.

About Beeyou Organics

This Pacific Northwest-based mother and make-up formulator was raised all-natural and holsitic from a young age.

After rebelling against this lifestyle in her teenage years and getting into a horrible car accident, which left her with scarring and lots of sensitivity to her face, she returned to those roots.

Now, all her products are designed to sooth and heal, which leads to her “focus on ingredients”.

Everything she uses is ethically sourced from reputable supplies, non-GMO, cruelty-free, alcohol-free, and preservative-free (no SLS!). Most ingredients are organic. All products are 100% cruelty-free and palm oil free (including free of palm oil derivatives).

On the website, you can read a full list of ingredients, their properties, and why she uses them. We love the transparency!

As with Fat and the Moon, her bb cremes are not all are strictly vegan as they contain beeswax. Some of their face serums and moisturizers also include emu oil which is not vegan. However, there are plenty of vegan options available.

Bee You Organics sources their beeswax from local bee farmers and claims to harm no bees in the process. They are also starting their own apiary this year and support local bee research projects through WSU.

For packaging, they offer tin, glass or paperboard options for all their zero waste make-up and other products (just ask!) and plan to eliminate all plastic packaging. They also accept returns of used containers for recycling/reuse. Their packages all ship in recycled and recyclable packaging (some compostable e.g. EcoEnclose).

Everything from their paper (handmade seeded or recycled), to bags (100% organic cotton muslin), ink and even their shipping labels are recyclable, recycled and/or reusable. They are made from renewable sources and utilize post-consumer waste.

Bee You Organics supports local and small business when possible and also supports various charities in their community. When they start hiring, they plan to hire economically disadvantaged woman and provide a daycare for their children while they work.

Available:   Etsy  

5. FAT AND THE MOON

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Fat and the Moon #zerowastemakeup
Image by Fat and the Moon

*Note: Not all products are vegan but there are many vegan options

About Fat and the Moon Makeup

Fat and the Moon offer a HUGE selection of eco friendly beauty items, sustainable skin care, deodorant and other personal care products.

As for their sustainable make up, or their “adornment” collection, they focus on lip and eye products, including various colors of “eye coal” (which is pretty much like eyeliner but less waxy and in pot form) and several tinted, lip/cheek stains and highlighter.

About Fat and the Moon

Drawing inspiration from herbalists and natural healers, Fat and the Moon creates all natural, mostly organic (and they’re very clear about noting which items are organic on each product page) “potions” that prioritize healing and “empowerment through self-care”.

All products are hand-made fresh to order using “plants that are abundant, ethically harvested and organically cultivated and combine them in formulations that are radically non-toxic”.

All Fat and the Moon products are palm oil free

Depending on your stance on the whole Is beeswax vegan? debate, not all their products may be considered veganfriendly.

Their eye coals and lip stains contain beeswax, but their highligher does not. All ingredients are cruelty-free and ethically sourced, every single product comes in reuable tins and all are shipped without superfluous packaging.

Their packaging is also re-usable, and they “encourage customers to find fun and creative ways of reusing our jars. We design packaging to be a joy to reuse and a breeze to recycle.

Fat and the Moon is a women owned and run business. They also support various charities and causes in their community.

“We should take as much care selecting the things we put on our bodies as we do in shopping for the foods we put in them,” says founder Rachel Budde. “The goal of Fat and the Moon is to make that a pleasure!”

Available: Earth Hero  |  Etsy 

6. NUDI GOODS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Nudi Goods #zerowastemakeup
Image by Nudi Goods

*Note: While most Nudi Goods contain beeswax, some items can be made vegan upon request.

About Nudi Goods Makeup

Nudi Goods may be small, but they aim to give people an affordable way to start voting with their wallet, “to take the risk for creating a new normal for our planet”.

Products include lip balms, mascara, highlighter sticks, and brow taming wax, either packaged in compact metal slide tins or compostable cardboard tubes.

Nudi uses only natural and non-toxic ingredients that are cruelty-free and palm-oil free.  Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find are bentonite clay, activated charcoal, coconut oil, beeswax (read about this in the section below), shea butter, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, and sustainably sourced Mica.

While not everything is certified organic, this is due to the fact that Nudi knows that often “the organic label is just that: a label, and therefore it’s not our highest priority to be able to say all our products are organic.”  They prefer to support smaller suppliers that still adhere to organic practices but maybe just can’t afford to pay for the official certification.

About Nudi Goods

Nudi Goods is a new zero waste makeup brand, founded in 2017 in a cabin in the Marin Headlands on a marine mammal research voyage. Founder Jaime Boddorff started actually developing products while working at a wildlife hospital and ocean conservation non-profit. Today, she is still the main maker, only sometimes hiring an assistant or two during busy times.

Jaime lives zero waste herself, and her company also uses no plastic, in either packaging or shipping. 

They’re very transparent about their ingredients and sourcing which is awesome. For instance, they specify their Mica and other mineral pigments are “purchased from suppliers providing a child-labor free guarantee”. 

Their beeswax, too, is about as sustainable as beeswax gets. In September 2019, they switched from a large supplier that could not provide traceable apiaries or guarantee plastic-free shipping (despite Nudi’s pleas) to a small, family run apiary that, while not certified organic, follows organic practices. No hormones, chemicals, or antibiotics. They do nothing potentially stressful for the bees, like moving hives.  

They also explain why they opt to use beeswax as opposed to a vegan alternative:

“We want to know where our ingredients are coming from, and many vegan alternatives are tropical plant products that come from a large supply chain where we cannot trace who is sourcing of the ingredients. This means we don’t know if laborers are paid fairly, if the sourcing is ethical, if the sourcing displaces animals in the wild or causes deforestation, among other concerns.

Since our beeswax is currently sourced plastic-free and closes the waste loophole, switching to an alternative that is shipped in large plastic bags or buckets would mean moving backwards.”

However, they’ll also accommodate vegan requests by making something custom to order. Just get in touch.  

Available:  Etsy

7. AXIOLOGY

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Axiology #zerowastemakeup
Image by Axiology
About Axiology Makeup

Axiology is a luxury lipstick specialist.

The quality of their products are some of the best we’ve reviewed. So, it’s no surprise that around 70% of the ingredients (e.g. avocado oil and butter, orange essential oil, elderberry extract, coconut oil, and grape seed oil) are organic.

While their classic lipsticks not strictly zero waste (in that their products are not refillable), their lipstick tubes are made of aluminium which is one of the most widely recyclable materials. However, their new “Balmies” range (as pictured above) are essentially delicious looking zero waste lipstick crayons with no unecessary and wasteful packaging! They can also be used on eyes and cheeks – the good old 3 in 1!

Their lipstick boxes are compostable. Note that their lip crayon packaging is not recyclable or compostable so stick with the Balmies!

About Axiology

They’re certified by PETA as being cruelty-free and completely vegan. They avoid the use of palm oil in all their products.

They source all of their outer packaging from a woman-owned recycled-paper boutique in Indonesia.

Axiology also provide financial support to the Orangutan Foundation International and their shea butter and moringa oil are purchased through fair trade channels.

Available:  All Natural Collection  |  Credo  |  The V Spot (Aus) 

8. VYANA PLANT BEAUTY

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Vyana Plant Beauty #zerowastemakeup
Image by Vyana Plant Beauty

*Note: Many Vyana products are palm oil free, however some contain palm derived magnesium stearate (which can be omitted upon request)

About Vyana Plant Beauty Makeup

Vyana Plant Beauty makes a large range of zero waste cosmetics, like lipsticks, organic eyeshadow, blush, skincare products (like eye cream, blemish balms, restorative night cream), and of course, our previously covered vegan concealer (in cream and powder form).

We love how simple the ingredient lists are, having only about 5-8 items!  To give you an idea of what ingredients you’re dealing with, their powders contain hibiscus powder, organic cornstarch, organic beet powder, organic rosehips, organic clay, organic kaolin clay, Mica, and iron oxide.  Everything is natural or mineralic, and even the tints are purely plant-derived.

Note that Vyana is not entirely palm oil free. Some products contain magnesium stearate.  When we reached out to owner Daisy to inquire about this, she explained, “I simply have not been able to find a supplier that sells magnesium stearate with a certified palm oil free certificate. I’m hoping to have a palm oil free certificate for all ingredients in the next few months.”  

She also told us she would happily alter any recipe to exclude magnesium stearate upon request, although that would mean it would have less “slip” and adhesion. We love when companies do little things like that!

About Vyana Plant Beauty

Vyana Plant Beauty is a Swedish-based vegan zero waste makeup brand.  Daisy founded the brand in 2013 to harness “all the richness the earth has to offer”.

As for containers, most of their cosmetics come in recycled plastic tins, metal tins, or cardboard tubes.  This is a recent upgrade from their glass pots with plastic lids and sifters. The reason for this switch came from some careful calculations in which they “realized that with all the extra wrapping materials and increased weight of packages, glass containers would severely increase our carbon neutral footprint.”  Hence the lighter weight versions.

As per their refill program, you can order a refill of any powdered product at a 25% discount which will arrive in a compostable cello bag. Or, if it’s a liquid, clean it out and send back the whole container for a refill at the same 25% discount.

The only products not strictly speaking zero waste are their lipsticks.  The tubes are 100% recycled plastic and can be refilled or recycled as per the Vyana company-sponsored program.

Vyana now offers totally zero waste packaging for shipping, too. Your products will arrive in compostable envelopes with corn-starch dissolvable packing peanuts (for fragile things).

Available:  Etsy

9. DIRTY HIPPIE COSMETICS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Dirty Hippie Cosmetics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

*Note: Dirty Hippie has announced that one of their suppliers no longer guarantees certain ingredients to be palm oil free.  While they search for a new supplier, see below for some of the products to avoid.

About Dirty Hippie Makeup

Dirty Hippie offers a large range of plastic free sustainable makeup and zero waste cosmetics including zero waste foundation, blemish cream, primer, liquid eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, brow powders, blush, lipstick pots, and cheek tint (as well as a decent range of skin and hair care products).

All their products are 100% cruelty-free and vegan.

The only thing to note is that their supplier of Cetearyl olivate and Sorbitan olivate emulsifying wax no longer guarantees them to be palm oil free.  Dirty Hippie is searching for a new supplier of these materials, but in the mean time, that affects their Hydrating Hempseed and Red Raspberry Facial Primer moisturizing creams, cream concealers, mascaras, and eye liners.

About Dirty Hippie 

Based in a zero-waste community in Bywong, Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics are one of the most sustainable zero waste make-up brands we’ve had the pleasure of covering. They create handmade organic and clearly top quality products (based on hundreds of reviews, including our own).

When it comes to sourcing they either purchase through fair trade channels, buy local or grow their own raw ingredients, even making use of naturally collected rainwater.

As for packaging, their zero waste sunscreens, lip balms, and deodorants, are made using recycled paper (which can be composted). Otherwise they use tins and glass bottles which can be recycled or reused of course! Their labels are printed with refillable veg-ink and their operations (which currently have a 50% carbon offset) will be powered with solar when they move into their new HQ.

Finally, they’re involved in a number of charitable initiatives and projects from raising awareness for suicide prevention to animal rescue to support for cancer sufferers.

Available:  Etsy  |  Biome Stores

10. ECO MINERALS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Eco Minerals #zerowastemakeup
Image by Eco Minerals
About Eco Minerals Makeup

Eco Minerals have a range of makeup options including foundation, blush, bronzer and eye shadows. Currently they offer zero waste make-up refills for their mineral foundation, Mineral bronzer and blush and their White Light Illuminate.

They also ship in biodegradable shipping bags, all packing and shipping is re-used or biodegradable, sample sachets are plastic free and they have minimal packing on all products.

About Eco Minerals

Founding in Australia by Lulu in 2007, Eco Minerals are 100% natural, provide natural SPF, are vegan and cruelty free. They contain no bismuth oxychloride, nano-particles or fillers and no dyes and colourings or coated mica.

They also do not source from Africa, India or Asian, given concerns of child labour (more on their approach here).

Eco Minerals have confirmed that they are now certified palm oil free.

Available: All Natural Collection |  Biome Stores 

11. ELATE BEAUTY

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Elate Cosmetics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Elate Cosmetics
About Elate Beauty Cosmetics

Elate Beauty offers a large range of sustainable “products that don’t compromise the health of any person, animal or the planet.

This includes eye makeup (pressed and loose powder, zero waste mascara, eyeliner and brow balm), face makeup (foundation, powder, concealer, blush, highlighter, bronzer), lipstick, lip gloss, palettes (which you can custom create for your complexion!) and kits.

All of which are Cruelty-free International certified, PETA certified vegan, and gluten free.

They do use some palm oil derivatives and their supplier states that this is derived from RSPO certified palm.

About Elate Beauty

This Canadian company lies at the heart of the “conscious beauty movement” that prioritizes ethical sourcing of their ingredients (including refusing to sell into China).

Their ingredients are ~90% organic (the other 10% is a result of their commitment to “always choose fair trade over organic”) and they are phasing out a couple of non-natural ingredients so they will truly be 100% natural.

In the last few years, they’ve moved dramatically toward zero waste beauty products (including compacts, tools, and palates) that are made of or housed in reusable (and beautiful!) bamboo (bamboo is self-regenerative!).

These can then be easily refilled with new product that comes in a seed paper pouch. Just refill your palate then wet the pouch and plant it in your garden to grow herbs and wildflowers. Such a great concept!

They also offset all their emissions with Bullfrog Power and give back to multiple local and women’s-based charities, like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (they sponsor three elephants named Maisha, Dololo, and Larr – which we love!). 

Available:  EarthHero  

12. Sea Witch Botanicals

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Sea Witch Botanicals #zerowastemakeup
Image by Sea Witch Botanicals

*Note: Sea Witch Botanicals is not palm oil free but they do only use palm oil that’s RSPO-certified. 

About Sea Witch Botanicals Makeup

Sea Witch Botanicals sells a variety of zero waste beauty and personal care products, but their makeup line includes facial toner, facial bars, lip balms, and lip tints. 

All products come packaged in their glass dropper bottles (please reuse!) or glass or tin pots. 

Being a “nature-first” brand, they vow to never use parabens, synthetic fragrances, or plastic-based preservatives.  Every ingredient is also certified vegan by Vegan.org and absolutely cruelty-free. 

Some safe and nourishing ingredients you’ll find in their lip products include organic avocado oil, fair trade coconut oil, fair trade cocoa butter, and candellla wax.  Their liquid cosmetics, like their facial sprays, contain such ingredients as witch hazel, rose hydrosol, aloe vera liquid, lavender essential oil, and natural alcohol.

About Sea Witch Botanicals

Bellingham, Washington-based Sea Witch Botanicals (whose name is inspired by their commitment to “keep the world’s waters healthy”) sells anything you might possibly need to beautify yourself and your home in an ethical fashion.  This includes zero waste skincarecruelty-free and vegan perfume, and even zero waste dish soap!

Despite being a small family run business, they’re a certified B-CorpToward Zero Waste certified, and members of 1% for the Planet, through which they donate to causes like Earthjustice and the Environmental Working Group. $1 from every Vasheen: Feminine Cleanser bar sale goes to their local Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood.

Their ingredients are vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. At the time of their B Corp certification, they were using 27.5% certified organic raw materials and 45% Non-GMO verified ones.  You can see yearly updates to these numbers in their published Sustainability Report.

While they do use palm oil in their soaps, they do not support slash-and-burn deforestation practices and thus only use RSPO-certified palm. 

For ingredient sourcing, Sea Witch Botanicals upholds their suppliers to a strict Supplier Code of Conduct for full transparency before even getting involved.  Their cocoa and shea butters are actually sourced Fair Trade because “we’re committed to our core values of stewardship, charity, health, and prosperity. We pay a premium for these butters because we know that fair trade helps the people who harvest and produce our cocoa pods have access to education, safe working conditions, and a better life.”

They’re equally as picky about their stockists, and strive to only sell their products through sustainably-minded channels that support the local economy (like local farmers markets where they offer refills in their area).  This is also why they don’t sell on Amazon. First, shipping emissions are greater, but they don’t want to take away from their local retailers’ business.

Some other cool sustainability initiatives they have going on include using solar panels and purchasing green energy to manufacture their products and their production facility’s waste stream is audited by Sustainable Connections (they divert about 90% of their waste from landfills!).

Available:  Etsy 

13. PLANT MAKEUP

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Plant Makeup #zerowastemakeup
Image by Plant Makeup

*Note: Some products contain beeswax however, vegan options are widely available.

About Plant Makeup Makeup

Plant Makeup is your one-stop botanical shop for foundation balms and powder, lip balm, eye shadows, shimmer sticks, mascara, highlighters (both oil and powders), and makeup primer. If you’re looking for something with some bright colors or items with a little shimmer and shine, definitely check them out.  

Made with love and wholesome ingredients in small batches, without mineral oil, nano particles, palm oil, synthetics, or toxins. While all products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals, not everything is vegan, as some contain organic USA-sourced beeswax or honey. They do not use carmine for coloration, instead relying solely on plant-based dyes.

All products are packaged in either glass pot minis or compostable cardboard tubes.

About Plant Makeup

Plant Makeup was founded by Jes, who discovered a passion for plants back in 2004. What started with blending herbal teas grew into something much bigger. She loves taking plant components (like flowers, herbs, and roots) and transforming them into wonderful scents and skin products. Hence the name!

Aside from zero waste makeup, they also offer skin and hair care, as well as vegan and cruelty-free fragrances and adorably colorful incense cones.

Everything is comprised of local or organic ingredients, all which are non-GMO, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and sustainably sourced. She writes, “We only want the best in each of these creations so they vibrate with as much vitality as they were first gathered from the earth.” 

As for packaging, they use purely recycled and compostable materials as possible, for the product housing and shipping.

Fun fact: Jes also designs all the label artwork herself. As if being a plant artist weren’t enough, she’s a drawer, photographer, and a musician (all of which you can also find on the website). 

Available:  Etsy 

14. NEEK SKIN ORGANICS

Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Neek Skin Organics #zerowastemakeup
Image by Neek Skin Organics
About Neek Skin Organics Makeup

Neek offers a range of lipsticks in a variety of colours.

Certified vegan and cruelty free (Choose Cruelty-Free) and natural, these lipsticks exclude: synthetic dyes, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oils, palm oil, perfume, lead, gluten, carmine, sheep grease, beeswax and other animal ingredients or animal by-products.

Again, while not strictly zero waste, their lipstick tubes are made from bamboo, which reduces plastic and is a better option to conventional packaging.

About Neek Skin Organics

Founded in Australia by Angelique, Neek seeks to empower consumers with ethical makeup and skincare options. They “use sustainable, recycled and recyclable packaging, and keep outer packaging to a minimum to reduce waste.”

They also send their orders out in plastic-free compostable satchels.

Neek’s lipsticks are 100% natural.

They only work with ingredients that are certified as sustainably sourced and organic grade. They also support Liptember each year and are about to launch an exciting recycling initiative that will benefits customers and the environment. Watch this space!

All their products are made in Australia, which reduces their carbon footprint.

They operate as much as possible as a paper-free organisation and are very conscious about choosing recycled, recyclable and ‘green’ options in everything that they do.

Available:  Love Lula (UK)  |  Biome Stores (AU)  

DIY ZERO WASTE MAKEUP OPTIONS

As we mentioned earlier, the best way to take your look zero-waste is to craft it yourself if you have the time. That way, you can custom create exactly what you need using only the ingredients you want. Not to mention zero shipping or packaging required!

While it can be time-consuming and messy, it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. For instance, you can make blush with hardly any more than just dehydrated beets ground into a fine powder.

You can make eyeliner using a combination of just burnt almond paste and aloe vera gel. Notice that all these ingredients are easily found in either the bulk or produce section of pretty much any grocery store.

We won’t get super in depth about how to create your own make-up (yet anyway!); we just wanted to give you a brief overview of what DIY beauty looks like along with the tools to dig a little deeper on your own. See Going Zero Waste and The Simple Year for some (honest) narratives and recipes for homemade make-up. Also check out the wealth of information and tutorial videos on YouTube.


FINDING ZERO WASTE MAKE-UP BRANDS

Still, finding zero waste make up alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components that would need to be separated to avoid recycling contamination.

That’s where we come in 🙂

Remember, zero-waste is not just a lifestyle but an ethos to use only that which can be reused or composted, instead of trashed or burned.

It involves a lot of small steps and incremental changes (just like your beauty or cleaning routine!) and sometimes it feels like you’re never quite there. But just like a little highligher can go a long way, little steps in the right direction can make a big impact.

When it comes to make-up, DIY is one of the best zero-waste solutions out there, but we understand that not everyone has the time to devote to making these things themselves (we sure don’t!).

That’s why we’ve focused on sustainable make up brands that offer products in reusable or compostable containers, so you can look good and feel even better about your impact on the environment.


OUR APPROACH TO ZERO WASTE MAKE-UP

If this is your first time visiting, our approach to sustainable beauty and in this case, zero waste makeup brands, is to look for brands and products that are:

  • vegan
  • cruelty-free
  • non-toxic
  • palm oil free
  • have ethical ingredient sourcing policies and 
  • use thoughtful, (ideally) zero-waste packaging (meaning it either has no waste at all, or waste that is ideally compostable, though with make-up we have to resort to reusable or re-fillable containers in many instances).

We know it’s tall order and believe us, it takes a fair bit of time to find zero waste makeup brands to meet all or most criteria.  


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE MAKE UP PRODUCTS

The beauty industry wants us to believe we need all this synthetic junk to make ourselves pretty and presentable, and we understand how hard it is to wade through the pervasive commercial super plastic packaged product that is on the market today. Beauty is and should be all natural and it’s packaging should be circular, as much as possible.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t glam up as little or much as you want, but we encourage you to be selective about the products you choose and help the above companies redefine the beauty industry.

We think Elate Cosmetics sums it up nicely: “Intentional, purposeful, ritual. For many of us, putting on makeup is an automatic act, a routine. […w]e believe everyday routine becomes ritual when the action is more meaningful than the outcome.”

Zero-waste living, at its core, is also ritual, a habit of being more mindful about our consumption in small, everyday sort of ways that lead to a big difference in the big picture. Make your beauty routine meaningful, too, for both yourself and the planet but choosing to go with products that won’t pollute the earth or your skin.

Remember, you should only put on your body what you would put in it.

We hope this article has given some insight on how surprisingly easy this is to do, thanks to so many eco-minded brands and products.

Who says you can’t spend Saturday night out on the town and still be sustainable? Go green, get glam, and get down on the town!


Finding zero waste makeup alternatives is no easy feat, because traditional containers are difficult (at best) to recycle, being often comprised of composite materials and components Image by Fat and the Moon #zerowastemakeup

6 thoughts on “Zero Waste Makeup: 14 Brands For Glamming Up And Going Green”

  1. Hi
    I’m also trying to shop local miles and so these brands from west coast usa and Australia don’t fit the bill 🙁 Can you please keep with a list of UK//mainland Europe products, do you think? Thank you for the work you’ve done.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback Lorna, we’ve had quite a few folks asking us for this so will aim to do that in our next refresh of these articles. We started with this article which might help, but not many UK/EU brands yet, we will work on building up that list!

      Reply
    • Thanks Abby! We actually did try reaching out to them to try learn more but never received a response. Good prompt to try again, thanks!

      Reply

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