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Health & Beauty

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Zero-Waste & Plastic-Free Makeup Brands To Know

plastic-free makeup uk

Looking for the best zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands? Right this way – I’ve got nine brands for you to know about.

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.

The Guardian reports that cosmetic packaging is the hardest to recycle due to the mixed materials used in every product. From compacts to lipsticks, and more. As such, 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.  However, I have included two US options for international readers. 

Here’s what I found!

The Best Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Makeup Brands

For this guide, I’ve focused on the plastic-free makeup brands that cater to a wide range of skin tones, from pale to dark skin.  It’s 2021, and no-one should be left out from the make-up discussion.

Please note, to support the running costs of the site, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *.

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.  However not all products are plastic-free, so do check before you purchase.

Antonym is difficult to find in the UK.  I’ve tracked down a limited range on Naturisimo.  Here the foundation caters to 5 skin tones – fair, light, nude, medium-beige, and medium-dark. 

Axiology Plastic-Free Makeup

Axiology* makes plastic-free and zero-waste multipurpose crayons, that deliver beautiful colour for your lids, lips, and cheeks. Wrapped in paper, and packaged in a recyclable cardboard carrying case, these palm oil-free and cruelty-free crayons deliver a sheer colour, that’s easy to apply and blend and are suitable for all skin types.

Prices start from £12.

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.  In terms of inclusivity, their foundation caters to light, medium, and dark skin tones. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere and don’t mind paying for 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 is 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.  However, 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 Content Beauty, sells certified organic natural makeup in beautiful refillable metal compacts.  Even the lipsticks and mascaras are refillable.  What’s more, their foundation caters to 8 different skin tones.  

Kjaer Weis is at the pricier end of the plastic-free makeup spectrum but gets rave reviews from all around the internet. And they 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!

Something that is handy to know is that Content Beauty offers a 10% discount on your first purchase when you sign up to their mailing list.  

Luna Beauty UK

Oxford-based Luna Beauty* sells, via Amazon, a small range of zero-waste, plastic-free, and cruelty-free vegan beauty products.  Here you’ll find blusher, bronzer, and mascara.  

Lush

Lush sells a range of plastic-free or packaging-free cosmetics.  From unpackaged lipstick to unpackaged foundation, there are a host of products to explore.  Their foundation alone comes in 40 different shades, making it the most inclusive range I’ve found.  With Lush, I personally find it easier to browse in-store than on their website, although you do run the gauntlet of their over-zealous sales staff.  Just me?

RMS Plastic-Free Makeup

plastic free cosmetics

RMS Beauty*, available in the UK via Content Beauty, sells a beautiful range of plastic-free makeup products, packaged in only metal and/or glass (with the exception of the mascara).  They get rave reviews, and they have many celebrity endorsements, including Meghan Markle.  

What’s more, RMS prides itself on using only natural and organic ingredients, sourced from sustainable sources, that soothe and soften skin.  As much, many of their products are vegan friendly too.  And in terms of inclusivity, their foundation comes in 16 shades. 

Sign up for Content’s newsletter, and get 10% off your first order.  

Zao

Zao* sells a wide range of certified cruelty-free beauty products in refillable bamboo boxes, all available in the UK through Ethical Superstore.  What’s more, all products are 100% natural, vegan, and certified organic by Ecocert ZAO.  Their foundation is available in seven inclusive shades.

A couple of points to note.  Currently, Zao says all products can be refilled, with the exception of mascara and lipgloss.  Zao also states that some of the refills are housed in recyclable plastic.  As such, you may want to check this before purchasing.

Your Plastic-Free Makeup Recommendations?

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!

And if you liked this post then I have some more that you might like.  Firstly, if you looking for a zero-waste, plastic-free makeup removal option then do try this handy reusable cotton wool pad tutorial

I also have some other useful posts, including plastic-free makeup remover tips, and a natural makeup brush cleaner recipe. And finally, this post on the ingredients to avoid in your makeup is an eye-opener.

plastic free makeup guide

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Top Eco-Friendly Hygiene Products

eco friendly bathing products

I’ve fielded a lot of queries lately about my washing and cleaning routine.  And not because it’s questionable!  It’s to see if I can recommend some good eco-friendly hygiene and bathroom products.

I thought I would share what we are using right now.  Not by way of saying that what we are doing is perfect.  But simply in the interests of satisfying reader curiosity!

Our Eco-Friendly Hygiene Products of Choice

Let me share with you my favourite eco-friendly products and methods:

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.  You can also check out my guide to sustainable soap brands, for more inspiration.

If bar soap isn’t your thing, then if you can afford the upfront cost then buying a bulk bottle of liquid shower gel is another option. I have done this before, and my pro tip is instead of shower gel to buy a 5 litre carton of shampoo*. This means you can use it on your hair, as well as on your body. I also use it as bubble bath, and as handwash too. I just decant into smaller bottles for ease of use.

Scrubbing

When it comes to giving myself a good scrub, 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 buy soap pebbles, which are bars of soap wrapped in a felted wool cover. This cuts out the need for a flannel or shower puff. 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. This is 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 and the shop aren’t perfect. However, 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.

Alternatively, try my bulk shampoo tip, above.

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. What’s more, I’ve found some to have been very expensive.

So far we tried a Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS free) Soapnuts one. However, 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 £10 a bar (plus delivery), 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!

Conditioner

My hair requires conditioner otherwise it becomes a dry tangled mess. Therefore I have also been using Lush’s solid conditioner bar. It smells divine and does the job adequately.  It did take me a little while to get used to it. This is because it can be hard to gauge exactly how much conditioner you are using. However, now that I’m more accustomed to it I am really enjoying using it. I’ve also put together a wider guide to plastic-free conditioner that you might find useful.

Again, in both the shampoo and conditioner bars the ingredients aren’t perfect. However, 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. 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 eco-friendly hygiene products questions I’ve fielded lately are on how I wash and cleanse my face and remove my 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. 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 eco-friendly 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. 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 eco-friendly hygiene products recommendations on what’s working for you then do let me know. I’d love to hear!