Looking for the best zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands? Right this way! I’ve got nine brands for you to know about, all eschewing single-use plastic.
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A couple of precious 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, the packaging they are in is plastic-based. 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. This is 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 2022, and no one should be left out of the make-up discussion.
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. Whilst many of its makeup products are plastic-free, not every single product is plastic-free. Do check carefully 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. I’m on the lookout for more UK stockists, so watch this space.
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. These Lip-To-Lid Balmies also suitable for all skin types.
Prices start from £12.
Clean Faced Cosmetics* is a US-based zero-waste and plastic-free makeup range, selling products such as mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, eyeshadow, and more. As well as being mostly organic, its products are all vegan and cruelty-free. Its products are also made in small batches by hand – helping to reduce waste.
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
image via The Future Kept
Fat & The Moon is a US brand sold in the UK via Peace With The Wild and The Future Kept. From highlighters to lip and cheek stains, to lipsticks there is a small but perfectly formed selection of zero-waste makeup. These are all completely plastic-free – coming packaged in metal tins and cardboard.
As well as being free of plastic, their makeup is made from 100% natural ingredients. Fat And The Mood work with abundant, organically cultivated and ethically harvested plants to create their products, all of which are completely non-toxic. No synthetic chemicals are used in any of their formulations. What’s more, the brand is also cruelty-free and avoids palm oil.
Vegans note that Fat & The Moon products contain beeswax so are not vegan-friendly.
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 admittedly at the pricier end of the plastic-free makeup spectrum. However, its products do get 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 £17 cheaper. You can find out more about the refill system here. I truly love this refill makeup 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.
Lush sells a range of cruelty-free and plastic-free or packaging-free cosmetics. From unpackaged lipstick to an 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
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* 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!
Since writing this post, I’ve found a heap of eco-friendly lip balms that are plastic-free.
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! Whilst we are talking about makeup removal, do also check out my plastic-free makeup remover tips.