Switch to zero waste cosmetics, try to find brands packed in reusable pots or cardboard pots, rather than simple throwaway plastic containers. Many cosmetics brands use animal ingredients (like dead red beetles) for red and pink colours, so find vegan brands too. Also avoid cosmetics made with talc (an inorganic substance not good for health – better brands use arrowroot or cornstarch). Use with reusable makeup pads and vegan brushes (below).
Avoid shea butter (found in some lipsticks) for latex allergies. If choosing lipsticks made with carnauba wax, ensure they are Fair Trade, as reports have been of unfairly-treated Mexican harvesters/workers. Avoid cosmetics with zinc oxide if you live with pets, as it’s toxic if licked off your face (same with sunscreens).
This make-up packed in cardboard pots is by All Earth Mineral Cosmetics, a collaboration between a make-up artist and natural skincare expert. Everything is sold in cardboard pots or sustainably-harvested beechwood pots (the liners are made from recycled fishing nets). Made in Cornwall and Kent, the items are sold with linen storage bags (the vegan brushes do contain plastic but if you purchase direct from their site you have the option to send them back to the maker in a returns envelope for recycling).
These vegan beauty tints are available in 6 lovely shades, sold in a linen storage bag (tick the box, if you prefer not to receive the bag). Made with natural ingredients, they are stored in glass jars with metal lids (do not use near pets, as they contain zinc oxide that is toxic if licked off – also found in many sunscreens).
Choose your favourite pop of colour to add to lips, cheeks and eyes. Also contain vitamin E, jojoba oil and lavender. Apply with a brush or dab on with your finger. Choose from:
- Nude Pink
- Peach Pink
- Salmon Pink
- Candy Pink
Love the Planet (Scotland) makes cosmetics from ethically sourced minerals (full sourcing information on their site). These cute little tins are sold with their own compostable pouches (including the zip lock strip that is made from starch). Orders are sent out in paper envelopes, with products decanted into a container already owned by customers, and wholesale orders are sent in biodegradable packaging.
Zao makes this makeup in biodegradable bamboo pots. If you wear mascara or prefer ‘tube lipstick’, this company offers bamboo casings that you buy once, then order refills (in recyclable plastic). Industrial bamboo is not the same as the fresh green shoots eaten by pandas, but with its popularity (and the fact it’s not local) we have to ensure we don’t go overboard, in case companies start chopping down forests, to grow more plantations. But as a fast-growing grass, hopefully that’s not likely to happen.
Honeypie Minerals offers natural vegan mineral make-up, created by a woman who suffered years of breakouts and scars due to high street skincare. Made in the UK, the range includes eco refills and vegan brushes.
Badger-Friendly Make Up Brushes
Conventional make-up brushes can sometimes be made with real animal hair, often from culled creatures (mostly squirrels or badgers). These make-up brushes use synthetic bristles, and often use eco-friendly handles too. Use them if you wear make-up, a small set is usually enough for most, but there are bigger sets, if you like to plaster it on! For longer use, wash as instructed, leave to air-dry and store as recommended.
The Natural Beauty Pot offers a set of vegan make-up brushes with bamboo handles, sold in a cute cauliflower blue cotton bag. The range includes a flat top brush (to apply foundatino), a blush/contour brush, a highlighter brush, a concealer brush, a fluffy eye brush and smudge eye brush, a flat eye shadow brush and an angled liner brush.
Flawless Vegan Makeup Brushes
Flawless Vegan Makeup Brushes are made with bamboo handles and vegan bristles. Conventional makeup brushes can often be made with badger or squirrel hair, and the animals are culled to make them.
- On the Go Brush Set is perfect for travel. A set of 4 brushes: angled brow/liner, flat eyeshadow, blending brush and mini kabuki brush.
- 11 Piece Set is for those who wear a lot of makeup. It features brushes for contouring, foundation, buffing, powder, highlighter, blending, diffusing, eye blending, a small flat and hard angled brush and a mini kabuki brush. Or for minimalists, there is the essentials set that just contains a flat foundation brush, a powder/blush brush, a contouring brush and an illuminating highlighting brush.
- Eye Makeup Brush Set is a set of of 4 brushes: define and line, shade, blend and paint. Trilogy Eye Makeup Brush Set features an angled blending brush for the crease of the eyelid, a blending brush for blending concealer around and under the eye, and a paint small flat brush to apply powders, minerals or creams (can also be used for concealer and contouring the lips).
- The Blending Brush is ideal for concealer and eyeshadows. The long dense bristles are designed to diffuse powder, cream, gels and liquids. You can also use it to create smoky eyes and build up concealer (including hiding dark circles under the eyes).
- Powder/Blusher Brush glides over the skin using the ergonomically designed handle, for a comfortable grip. Ideal to sweep blush or loose/pressed powder on top of foundation.
- Highlighting Brush has super soft bristles for highlighter or bronzer, with a narrow head and dense bristles for layering.
Zero Waste Eyebrow Tweezers
These are used for plucking eyebrows and stray hairs from the face or body. JCH Respect Slant Tweezers are sold in cardboard packaging and made from rust-free stainless steel, with an angled tip. Ideally tweeze after a shower (when hairs will come out easier) or after numbing the area with ice cubes. Or just put a warm wet flannel on the area for a few minutes beforehand.
To tweeze eyebrows, make a straight line up from the inside eye to know where your brow begins. Then fan it out so that the eyebrows ends in a diagonal line from the outer eye. Holding the tweezers like a pencil, tweeze close to the root, following the direction of hair growth. If you have large eyes or brows high on the forehead, it’s best to leave your brows thicker, to help to frame your eyes. Don’t tweeze too much, or your eyebrows may not grow back!
Bomonde offers vegan mineral cosmetics, packed in refillable bamboo palettes. These are in several colour combinations, along with vegan makeup brush sets which include 4 powder brushes, and a complete eyeshadow and eyeliner kit. The range was founded by a semi-permanent make-up artist.