Minimal Waste Makeup? - Sustainable Beauty Brands *

Plastic free makeup.  Zero waste makeup.  Minimal waste makeup.  What's the difference??!

Today I'm excited to share all about sustainable makeup, breaking down the differences between packaging and highlighting some of my top picks for brands that offer natural and low waste makeup!

First up, what's the deal with all these terms?

Honestly, a lot of it has to do with marketing, but there is an important difference:

Plastic Free Makeup is pretty straightforward in that these products contain no plastics!  No plastic packaging.  No plastics inside the formulations.  Just no plastic!  You might see bamboo, glass, metal, or paper used instead.

Zero Waste Makeup is a little more complicated.  I really am not keen on the term zero waste as I think it is super misleading, especially for customers.  Nothing is zero waste.  There is *always* waste involved, even if you don't see the end result.  Things are shipped in packaging, raw materials are used to create items, and there will always be some element of disposability to products.  However, I would say that for me personally zero waste makeup comes in two forms: fully home compostable packaging, or no packaging at all.  This includes mainly solid and powder products.

Minimal Waste Makeup includes products that are refillable and have cartridge inserts.  These might use small amounts of plastic, but are low on waste and are more sustainable since the main unit is reused time and again.

Okay, so that's sorted, but what about brands we can turn to??  What makeup ranges out there are actually sustainable, and what products are worth checking out?

Sustainable Makeup - Plastic Free, Zero Waste Beauty Brands Review

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 Gifted product

No matter how I have received a product, whether it has been purchased with my own money, gifted by a brand, been subsidized by a brand, won, gifted by friends/family, or purchased with a gift voucher, my approach is always the same -- honesty, integrity, and highlighting both the good and the bad.  You can find more information on Disclosures and Privacy here.

Their IT Pieces line offers a more eco friendly and affordable way to try out natural plastic free makeup than ever before.  They have a selection of pre-filled palettes, or if you are one for creating your own style, you can pick up the compact on its own and fill it with your choice of pressed powders!

I picked up the empty Refillable Makeup Palette on Love Lula recently, along with two Natural Highlighter Refill packs - Shooting Star and Gold Dust.  These fit snugly inside (no danger of falling out!) and there is still room for at least two more inserts making this a great little compact for on the go or for everyday wear.  The palette is plastic, but it is intended to be a lifetime purchase that you use again and again, meaning the material is not just single use.  It's super sturdy, and will definitely hold up over time I think!  Plus, it can hold any of the refill cartridges from Benecos, from blusher and eyeshadow to highlight and bronzer!

As for the pressed powders themselves, well, I am definitely impressed.  Benecos makes quality makeup so affordable, and I have to applaud them for that!  Both formulas are silky smooth, and they apply so easily.  Each has a luminous glow that is accentuated by the definitive shimmer within the product - these are perfect for those wanting a real pop!  Golddust is a gorgeous champagne shade, verging on gold but with a subtle elegance that is soft and refined.  Shooting Star on the other hand is a delicate but quietly fierce snowy diamond colour that captures the glitz and glam of old Hollywood.  I'm totally obsessed with both, especially as I find they can be used as highlighter OR as eyeshadow.  I love a multi-purpose product!!

Sustainable Makeup - Benecos IT Pieces Refill Palette Review

Kjaer Weis
When mentioned minimal waste makeup, Kjaer Weiss is always on the list - not only do they offer refillable options for all of their products (INCLUDING samples), the packaging they use is low on plastics!  Instead, they opt for high end metals that are timeless, luxurious, and quality (and are actually working on compostable materials now too!!).  Sustainability is at the heart of this beauty brand created by Danish founder Kirsten Kjær Weis, and it's something that permeates every little detail of their range.

I have to say tthis is by no means an accessible makeup brand - the exceptional dedication to being eco friendly comes at a price.  But if you can pick up the initial product in a sale or save up for the splurge, it is definitely worthwhile.  I've invested in a refillable lipstick from Kjaer Weiss, and I have to admit I'm impressed by every aspect.  The formulation is on the waxier side, but it is long-wearing and not at all patchy, plus the colour I chose (Believe) is picture perfect with a satin rose sheen that is familiar yet exotic.  The tube itself is weighty and feels like a lifelong product rather than a throw away, and I love how the brand is helping change attitudes towards makeup.  It's not about trends - it's about BEAUTY.

Sustainable Makeup - Kjaer Weis Refillable Lipstick Review - Believe

Boho Green
As soon as I discovered Boho Green I knew I had to order ASAP - this natural beauty brand has a wide range of minimal waste and plastic free makeup products, spanning eyeliner, lipstick, pressed powder, and more.  And as I had not come across many palettes that are truly plastic free, I had to scoop up their eight shadow collection!

The Boho Gypsy Eye Palette in Earth is a perfect palette for those who like neutral tones and a subtle everyday look.  It has two compartments that are held together by magnets, and the wood case is stunning to look at with a natural grain texture and appearance that is accentuated by a carving of the logo on the top.   Boho Green has packed this palette full of complimentary colours, all of which capture the warming familiarity of the natural world.  There are a mix of matte and pearlescent formulas across the eight shades inside, and a pretty good variety of pigmented shadows: Seagrass, Cedar, Chiffon, Black Rose, Shadow, Copper, Wool, and Cashmere.  My one complaint is that none of these are labelled so I have no idea which is which, even after having looked online.

While all are smooth and comfortable wearing, I am really drawn to the rich metallic tone of Copper as well as the dusky pigment of (what I assume is) Black Rose.  In terms of application, these shadows go on easily and don't have too much fallout though the matte shades do have a bit more, especially the lighter cream colour (Wool?).  I find they last a long time, and I love how they are able to be blended!  I am definitely a fan of this palette, and am so pleased I stumbled upon Boho Green.

Sustainable Makeup - Boho Green Gypsy Palette Earth Collection Review
Boho Green Gypsy Palette Earth Collection Swatches, L-R: Cashemere, Copper, Shadow, Wool, Seagrass, Cedar, Chiffon, Black Rose.

You all know I adore PHB, and I couldn't write a post about minimal waste makeup without mentioning them!  While not all of their products are low on packaging, their pressed formulas certainly are!  These come housed inside cardboard cases with a magnetic mechanism that keeps it firmly shut when not in use, and I love how convenient they are in both size, shape, and utility.  They have a mini mirror inside making these exceptionally handy for on the go, and they are so compact that you can fit them in your pocket or handbag with ease.

I wish PHB offered refills for these compacts, as that would make them 100% perfect for me, but even without them they are lovely.  I think the range of shades is great, as you have a bit of drama mixed in with the "safer" everyday colours, and each has the tiniest bit of iridescence which helps provide a subtle pop in even the simplest makeup look.  My favourite has to be Almond, as it is great on its own, as a transition shade, for blending, or even as a little natural highlight.  I'm also a huge fan of Rose Quartz, a pretty pink shade that has major unicorn fairy vibes, and Forest which is like a woodland nymph meets mermaid tone that is so bold and beautiful.  Next on my list to try is Amethyst - oh how I love the look of this one!!

Sustainable Makeup - PHB Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow Review - Rose Quartz

Pure Anada
I've shown my love for Pure Anada before, but I have only just recently discovered they offer a selection of plastic free makeup products.  Of course I had to check this out!!  This Canadian brand has a great variety of pressed powders that includes blush, eye shadow (some of which double as highlighter, bronzer, or contour), and foundation.  They also make empty compacts and palettes so you can mix and match the products as needed!  I will say there is a tiny plastic insert in the compacts so you can see inside the super cute cardboard packaging, but these are intended to be used time and again which means minimal waste!

I picked out the shade Darling to try for a wedding look, and I also got an empty Cheek Colour palette to fill up in future.  The compact is adorable, with flower patterns on both the inside and outside, and I was impressed by how generously sized it is - the space inside fits a 9g circular insert, meaning this will last ages!  As for the eye shadow...  I am blown away by how absolutely stunning Darling is!  The shade is a light neutral pink, very natural and subtle but truly special.  It's like rose quartz, and the iridescent finish adds such a beautiful touch that brightens up the eyes and draws attention to them.  I cannot wait to play around with this more, and I have a feeling it will end up being a staple in my makeup bag.

[P.s. use code BryannaMartonis15 for 15% off your purchase using the links above!]

Sustainable Makeup - Pure Anada Eyeshadow Review - Darling Swatch

Another sustainable option comes from the beautiful Zao, a beauty brand that focuses on offering not only plastic free packaging (almost all of their casings are made from sustainably sourced bamboo), but reusable products -- their range can be refilled whenever it runs out, meaning you are saving on all sorts of waste!  Their dedication to being transparent with customers quickly won me over, and I cannot wait to delve even deeper into what they have on offer in future.

So far I love their Pearly Eye Shadow, a lightly shimmery formula that really helps eyes pop.  A favourite of mine is Golden Sands, a beautiful coppery bronze shade that is exactly what I want in the summer months.  I always go for a bit of glow when the sun is out, and 'Golden Sands' is my ideal colour.  You can sweep it on your lid for a night out, do a fine line across your lash line for a little luminosity during the day, blend in for a more subtle shimmer, or if you want to get a little creative you can dust a little bit across your skin for a cheeky highlight or sun kissed contour look!

[P.s. grab 10% off using the links above!]

Sustainable Makeup - Zao Eye Shadow Review - Golden Sands

Okay, so this one is a little bit of a cheat, but hear me out!  Bloomtown is well known for having eco friendly packaging and keeping sustainability at the heart of everything they do, and one of the products they have developed captures this perfectly.  The Red & Berried Lip Balm is an affordable multi-tasker that straddles the boundary between a tinted lip stain and a glossy balm.  Made with simple natural ingredients like sweet almond and castor oils, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, and raspberry ketone, this is a plastic free moisturizing treatment that also provides a hint of colour.

Red & Berried has a subtle berry tone that is understated but super pretty, plus it smells fruity and fun which is always a nice touch!  The emollient qualities of the balm provide a smooth finish and a clear shine that accentuates your lips, making this a great product for those who aren't super keen on bold makeup and just want a little extra oomph from time to time.  This is perfect for those with dry or cracked skin as it heals as well as adds a bit of colour, and I find it can also be used sparingly to double as a protective balm blusher!  It's a little sticky, but fab for windy days, and  I couldn't not mention this as I think it deserves more recognition as a plastic free makeup star!

Sustainable Makeup - Bloomtown Red & Berried Lip Balm Review

Le Papier
Le Papier is connected with Beauty Made Easy, and it is the first of its kind in the whole world.  They introduced "a whole range of products that are plastic-free, biodegradable, vegan and based exclusively on natural ingredients" plus their raw materials are sourced sustainably.  They use paper wrappings that you can peel off as needed, and all of that comes from a Scandinavian forest "managed in sustainable way" (which honestly I would like more info on!). Their idea is that "when you have used up your lipstick, you have also used up the packaging!"

Right now they have two types of products in their range - a lipstick and a lip balm.  I have had the pleasure of trying out the Linden Flower Moisturizing Lip Balm thanks to The Cruelty Free Beauty Box, and I have to say I was really impressed by the texture of the formula as well as the innovative packaging.  Basically you just peel off the paper whenever you need more product - no twisting device, no faff, no plastic!  It's really a simple but clever solution, and I love that Le Papier has developed such an eco friendly lip product.  And the formula itself is really silky and lightweight, making it totally comfortable to wear and pretty nourishing too!  It applies easily, has no strong scent, is really cute to look at, and works great to add some shine on its own or can help smooth out lipstick if worn as a base.

[P.s. grab 15% off your first order by using my link!]

Sustainable Makeup - Le Papier Lip Balm Review - Linden Flower
Wake up, make up - well, lip balm at least!

You may remember I raved about RMS a while back, but today I'm exclusively talking about their lineup of low waste products.  While not all of their formulations come inside plastic free packaging, there are several that do, including their Luminizer, Lip2Cheek, Contour, Bronzer, Master Mixer, Lip Shine, "Un" Cover-Up, and Eye Polish.  All of these have a frosted glass pot and are really compact so they are easily stored and can be packed up to travel!

I have been loving the Eye Polish in shade Lunar as well as the classic Living Luminizer, both of which have a gorgeous glow to them.  I find each pretty versatile, being a good pick for eye shadow or highlight, but I definitely am drawn to using the Eye Polish as intended since it is just so easily blendable and adds a lovely colour to my lids without being overly flashy.  It has a creamy formula, but it isn't super rich and doesn't feel heavy on the eye, though I do find it pretty moisturizing which is a nice bonus.  As for the highlighter, the OG shade (which can now be found in their quad palette!) it is perfect for illuminating areas I want to really pop.  I use this primarily on my cupid's bow, collarbones, and on the inner corners of my eyes, as I love the way it brings a natural glow and really brightens up my features.

Sustainable Makeup - RMS Makeup Review - Eye Polish Lunar Swatch, Living Luminizer Swatch

Fat & The Moon
A fully plastic free makeup brand, Fat & The Moon was founded by herbalist Rachel and provides intentionally made potions that are simple, healing, and good for both body and the environment.  This is translated into minimal ingredient formulations, minimal packaging, and an artisanal vibe that carries through every aspect of their range, including their makeup goodies which come inside super cute metal tin!

I have had the pleasure of trying two different makeup treats from Fat & The Moon previously - their Lip Stain which is a pigmented creamy formula and their Highlighter that has a radiance that cannot be ignored.  Both are easily buildable and versatile, are super comfortable on the skin, and apply nicely without much effort at all.  There are several shades available for both products, and I have been head over heels with Beam and with Dusk.

Beam is a six ingredient wonder that gives a natural glow like the dusting of clear crisp moonlight, and I love to apply on cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, or bring some extra attention to my lips by adding some to the cupids bow.  As for Dusk, this creamy formula has a matte finish and inspires 70's bombshell vibes mixed with a evening boho princess.  The deep mulberry merlot tone compliments my fair skin without being too dark or making me look washed out, and I find it is elegant yet still ideal for day to day!  This can be applied straight to lips, or can be used as a blusher - how great is that??

[P.s. use code BryannaMartonis15 for 15% off your purchase using the links above!]

Sustainable Makeup - Fat & The Moon Makeup Review - Beam Highlighter, Dusk Lip Paint

Of course there are more brands out there offering low waste eco friendly makeup, and I cannot wait until I get a chance to try them out in future.  I've got my eye on trying more from Sappho (LOVE their gloss already!), as well as goodies from Couleur Caramel, Hiro, Gressa, Hurraw, Ere Perez, and Odylique.  All of these natural beauty brands offer either totally plastic free makeup products or refills, both of which are brilliant alternatives to traditional plastic packaging!

Have you tried any of these brands already?  Which is your favourite??  And have I missed any must try minimal waste makeup ranges?  Please do let me know as I am always looking for more plastic free and refill options!

And of course let me know if you have any questions!  I am happy to answer any and all either here or on my social pages.  It's great having a chat, so even if you just want to share some thoughts I am ready to listen! xx

Sustainable Makeup - Zero Waste Plastic Free Makeup Brands Review

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