Looking for zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands? Right this way!
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 eight 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!
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 *.
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* 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* 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 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 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*, which is available in the UK via Cult 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 to bear in mind is that Cult Beauty offers a 10% discount on your first purchase when you sign up to their mailing list, and they often have some great sales.
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 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 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 pride themselves on using only natural and organic ingredients, sourced from sustainable sources, that soothe and soften skin. As much, many products are vegan friendly too. And in terms of inclusivity, their foundation comes in 16 shades.
Sign up to 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.
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.
If you looking for a zero-waste, plastic-free makeup removal option then do try this handy reusable cotton wool pad tutorial!
And finally, this post on the ingredients to avoid in your makeup is an eyeopener.