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Health & Beauty

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Makeup

plastic-free makeup uk

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A couple of beloved makeup items of mine have just run out.  A lovely peachy cream blush, and some black eyeshadow that I use to line my eyes.  As much as I have loved these products, they are plastic based, so rather than do the easy thing and replace like for like, I’ve been in prime research mode for the last little while.  This has seen me searching out zero-waste and plastic-free makeup options, to see what’s out there before I make any purchases.

I’ve been down all sorts of internet rabbit holes, and come up with what I believe are nine zero waste and plastic-free makeup brands.  I’ve concentrated primarily on what’s available in the UK because that’s where I live, but I have included two US options for international readers.

Here’s what I found!

Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Makeup

Antonym

plastic free makeup uk

image via Antonym’s Facebook page

Antonym* sells a beautiful range of cruelty-free and ECOCERT certified organic makeup.  Packaged in bamboo and paper, the range is free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, preservatives and other nasties.  All products are vegan, with the exception of their lipsticks, but not all products are plastic free, so do check before you purchase.

I have only been able to source Antonym on Amazon, but the good news is there is a wide range available on there.

Clean-Faced Cosmetics

Clean Faced Cosmetics* are a US-based zero-waste and plastic-free makeup range.  It’s all vegan, organic and cruelty-free too, and made in small batches by hand.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere and don’t mind paying the shipping, then this shop may be the one to visit.

Fat & The Moon

zero waste make up

image via The Future Kept

Fat & The Moon are a US brand that is sold in the UK via the lovely online store The Future Kept.  The makeup range is limited – an eye coal, a lip tint, and a cheek tint, but all are completely plastic-free and made from 100% natural ingredients.

Vegans, note that these products contain beeswax so are not vegan-friendly.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis*, which is available in the UK via Cult Beauty, sell certified organic natural makeup in beautiful refillable metal compacts.  Even the lipsticks and mascaras are refillable.

Kjaer Weis is at the pricier end of the plastic-free makeup spectrum, but get rave reviews from all around the internet and are truly beautiful items that you will want to cherish forever.  The initial price shock is overcome when you realise that once you’ve bought a cream blush in its beautiful compact, for example, the refills are then £17 cheaper.  You can find out more about the refill system here.  I truly love this refill concept.  One day, when I’m a rich fancy lady, this is what I’m going to splurge on!

Luna Beauty UK

Oxford-based Luna Beauty sells a small range of zero-waste, plastic-free and cruelty-free vegan beauty products.  They also offer a great refill service, where you can send back your empty tins and bottles for a 15% discount on your refill order.

Lush

Lush sell a range of plastic-free or packaging free cosmetics.  From unpackaged lipstick to unpackaged eyeshadow (that apparently also makes a great highlighter) there are a host of products to explore.  With Lush I personally find it easier to browse in-store than on their website.  Just me?

RMS

plastic free cosmetics

RMS Beauty*, again available in the UK via Cult Beauty, sells a beautiful range of plastic-free makeup products, packaged in only metal and/or glass (with the exception of the mascara).  What’s more, RMS pride themselves on using only natural and organic ingredients, sourced from sustainable sources, that soothe and soften skin, and have many celebrity endorsements, including Meghan Markle.

Keeping It Natural

Another US-based shop, Keeping It Natural sell a variety of zero-waste makeup options and refills.  Every item is handmade in small batches to ensure freshness, and contain only natural vegan ingredients.  Eyeshadows, foundation and lip tints are their speciality!

Zao

Zao sells a wide range of certified cruelty-free beauty products in refillable bamboo boxes.  Currently, Zao says all products can be refilled, with the exception of mascara and lipgloss.  Zao state that some of the refills are housed in recyclable plastic so you may want to check this before purchasing.  The very extensive FAQ is a good starting point!

Have you tried any of these brands?  What did you think?  Or do you have any other plastic-free or zero waste makeup recommendations?  I would love to hear!

ps: if you are looking for a zero waste, plastic-free makeup removal option then do try this handy reusable cotton wool pad tutorial!

plastic free makeup guide

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Washing & Cleansing The Eco-Friendly Way

eco friendly bathing products

I’ve fielded a lot of queries lately about my washing and cleaning routine and if I can recommend eco-friendly replacements for much-loved bathing products.

I thought I would share what we are doing right now – not by way of saying that what we are doing is perfect – but in the interests of satisfying reader curiosity!

Shower

We have switched from using liquid shower gel in plastic bottles for a plain old bar of soap.  I thought I would miss shower gel but actually, I am quite enjoying using bar soap.  I have found both Faith In Nature soap and Suma soap unpackaged at my closest health food store for little more than a pound a bar so it’s a fairly economical switch.  If you want something a bit more luxurious then I really like Marie’s Artisan Soaps.

When it comes to scrubbing I just use a plain old flannel.  It’s not fancy but it does the job effectively.

If you want to be a bit fancier, there are a few different options that aren’t heavy on the plastic.  Natural ramie shower puffs are a natural alternative to those nylon/plastic shower puff things.  They are made from natural fibres for a biodegradable clean.  Alternatively, you can buy little bamboo bags that you pop your bar of soap into for a bit of an upgrade from a flannel.

You can even buy soap pebbles, which are bars of soap wrapped in a felted wool cover.  I bought one out of curiosity and have regretted that purchase ever since.  I’ve personally found it makes for a really unpleasant showering experience.  I’m using it up because I don’t want it to go to waste but it’s safe to say I would not repurchase.

Bath

eco friendly bathing products

My kids love a good bubble bath.  Trying to find a less plastic version has been difficult, and the best solution I have found is from Lush.  Lush sell solid bubble bath bars, and my kids current favourite is this packaging free bubble spinner – a solid bubble bath bar that spins around under the tap as it releases soap.  Let it spin round under the tap for 1 minute, and then dry it off and store it away for next time.  One spinner lasts for up to 10 baths, and the wooden bit can just go in our fire or the composter once it’s finished.

The ingredients aren’t perfect, but when you’re walking a fine line between trying to live a little more lightly, keeping your kids happy and not spending a fortune then this wins for us.  My kids, who aren’t always on board with reducing waste, adore this bubble bath, so it’s a keeper.

Hair

Since the start of the year, we have been on a mission to switch to a solid shampoo bar.  This has proved to be tricky as not all of them perform how we would like, and some I’ve found have been very expensive.

So far we tried a Soapnuts one that I picked up for £6 that is SLS free, but sadly none of us got on with it.  It left our hair greasy (even the kids) and with what felt like a nasty residue in our hair.  Let’s also just say it doesn’t have the nicest of scents.  It has since been relegated to use a soap for washing our body as I’m keen not to waste it but even then it isn’t my favourite to use.

I have struggled to find other shampoo bars that have good reviews and are effective and affordable.  I have heard good reviews of this one but it’s £11 a bar, and with four heads to wash on a regular basis it’s not going to happen!

As such, we are currently using Lush solid shampoo bars.  We have tried a few different ones but so far Montalbano has been our favourite.  One bar lasts the four of us around a month and costs £6.50 a pop.  It lathers up really well and does a great job of cleaning our hair, but, boy, I wish they would remove the slice of dried lemon from the bar!  Towards the end of the bar, you end up with bits of lemon pip and pith in your hair, which isn’t the best!

My hair requires conditioner otherwise it becomes a dry tangled mess, so I have also been using Lush’s solid conditioner bar, which smells divine and does the job.  It took me a little while to get used to it – it can be hard to gauge exactly how much conditioner you are using – but now that I’m more accustomed to it I am really enjoying using it.

Again, in both the shampoo and conditioner bars the ingredients aren’t perfect, but for us, the choice has been a more affordable packaging free product that works and everyone is happy to use, or switching back to shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles.   We’ve made a compromise here, but are still on the lookout for an affordable and effective shampoo bar so if you have found one then do let me know!

Perhaps the most sustainable option would be to stop washing our hair.   There are many advocates of this no hair washing movement, which is called the No Poo method.   I know – what a name – talk about selling it to you!  I’m not ready to make that leap yet.  Call it a hunch, but I don’t think this one would go down that well with the rest of my family either!  One for the future, maybe…!

Face

A few of the questions I’ve fielded lately are on how I wash and cleanse my face and remove makeup.

My routine is really simple.  It’s probably as simple as it gets – all I do is use a bar of soap (the one from the shower – no need for a separate bar of soap) and a flannel and that’s the full extent of my face washing/makeup removal/cleansing routine.  The flannel acts as a gentle exfoliant, removing the need for a separate exfoliant, and it removes all traces of makeup.

I’ve been using this method for year upon year and haven’t found anything better.  Even beauty expert Sali Hughes swears by the flannel so I know I am on to something good.  I keep a stack of them in my bathroom cupboard, use a fresh one each day, and then chuck it in the washing machine in the evening.  Simple, quick, cheap and effective.  What’s not to love?

If you are after something more like a cotton wool pad then you can try this reusable cotton wool pad pattern.

Sink

handsoap recipe

I keep a bar of soap beside my kitchen sink for handwashing.  I tried this in the bathroom too, but what I found was that my kids aren’t keen to use bar soap.  The other thing I’ve found with bar soap by the bathroom sink is that even in a soap dish the soap sits in a puddle all day.  This makes for a soggy soap that isn’t pleasant to use.  Instead, I make my own liquid hand soap – delicious scented grapefruit and ginger foaming hand soap – pictured above, that you can find the recipe to in Fresh Clean Home on page 90.

Making hand soap sounds like a time-consuming and difficult process, but the reality is it takes approximately 5 seconds to make, and just a handful of easily sourced ingredients!  There is nothing more involved than mixing a few liquids together!

If you have any other questions or have any recommendations for what’s working for you then do let me know – I’d love to hear!