simple low waste makeup + skincare


I wore full coverage foundation every single day since I was 12 and in 7th grade.  I had tons of freckles as a kid and I hated it.  Once a boy told me that if I covered them up I’d be much prettier.  So I did, and I basically hid behind a thick layer makeup and false eyelashes for most of my adult life.  Then I started trying to reduce my waste, be mindful about purchases, and use non toxic products.  I also started accepting myself and not allowing myself to get pulled down by patriarchal, unrealistic beauty expectations that had stuck to me like a disgusting piece of gum on my shoe.  I realized I looked fine with makeup and fine without makeup.  I do like makeup and after experimenting for a few months, I didn’t enjoy quitting it all the way.  So now I wear a minimal curation of products.  Here they are:

Warning: Unfortunately, a few products mentioned have beeswax in them.  I use beeswax sometimes- I try to look at things big picture, and plastic contributes to the death and suffering of over 100 million marine mammals every year.  I consider using products that contain beeswax to be the lesser of two evils and until I find a sustainably packaged vegan alternative that actually works, I plan to continue using them.  I’ve made sure to note when a product is vegan and when it contains beeswax.  I’ve mentioned the vegan alternative I will try after I use up my beeswax containing item.  All products are cruelty free and non toxic.

SPF 30 daytime moisturizer from Copper Moon (vegan).  If you’re in the Sacramento area, you can refill this at Refill Madness.  SPF is a must, especially for my fair skin which easily becomes hyper pigmented.

Rosewater spray:  I love using this before I put on my facial oil to add a hydration boost.  Again, if you’re in the Sacramento area you can refill this at Refill Madness.  If not, this one is nice, or here’s a link to DIY.

Concealer:  I don’t wear foundation.  Over the years, I went sheerer and sheerer with the foundations I was using, and then I started just using concealer.  Bare skin is so much prettier.  I just use a bit of concealer where I need it (under eyes, around nose and mouth).  Currently using up my RMS UnCoverup (contains beeswax) which comes in a glass pot with a metal lid and offers great coverage.  I’ll be trying out Elate Cosmetics (V) concealer next.

Mascara:  Mascara is my #1 favorite beauty product and many non toxic brands unfortunately just don’t work.  I’ve been using Pacifica Dream Big mascara (V) which comes in a plastic tube and works well, but it’s almost used up.  On the box when I bought it, it said you could send it back for recycling but now I can’t find anything about that???  So, I’ll clean out the tube super well and recycle it, then send the clean wand to Wands for Wildlife which uses them to remove larvae and clean up their fur.  Next to try is the 100% Pure Maracuja Mascara (V) which comes in a metal tube that the company accepts back for recycling and even offers a punch card- bring back 10 empties and get a free product.  update march 2018:  I started using this vegan mascara from Ilia that I like and it comes in a metal tube, although the tube is still lined with plastic as is all mascara.  The packaging was recycled and recyclable paper, even down to the tape on the box.  I recycle the tube through origins and the wand through the wands for wildlife mentioned above, if you live in Sacramento, Refill Madness is a drop off site for the wands or you can send them in on your own.

Eyeliner:  This will probably horrify some of you, but I just dip a clean angled brush on my my mascara wand and use that.  The Kjaer Weiss eye pencil (V) looks nice though.

Lip color:  Currently working on 2 old RMS beauty Lip2Cheek (contains beeswax) (colors: Promise and Beloved) which stay on forever, are highly pigmented, and don’t irritate my v sensitive lips.  They come in a fully recyclable glass pot with a metal lid.  I’m on the hunt for a vegan sub- so many I’ve tried bother my lips.  Next up to try is UrbApothecary (V) tint that comes in a cardboard tube (you can even choose a sticker free option!)

Highlighter:  Currently sloooowly using up my pre zero waste Glossier highlighter.  I’ll be replacing it with Fat and the Moon Glow (V) which comes in a metal tin.  update march 2018:  I crushed up an old pearly eyeshadow that i never used and mixed it with coconut oil for a highlighter so I’ve been using that for now.

Makeup remover:  local bulk olive oil + water and reusable hemp/cotton rounds

Serum:  I love the True botanicals Vitamin C booster.  Their products are proven to work- outperform top skincare brands like LaMer in clinical trials + use completely non toxic ingredients.  They come in glass and metal bottles and are made in California.  Pricey but I don’t mind splurging here.

Nighttime moisturizer: Chia oil from Coco Kind Skincare (made in San Francisco!).  Super gentle, lightweight, won’t clog pores, anti-inflammatory, and infused with calendula flowers.  I die over this oil- plus its like 10 dollars.  I use it morning and night and my skin looooveesss it.  You can send back your empty container for them to reuse, and they will send you a 50% off coupon to use to buy a new one!  How amazing is that?!  Plus they’re a woman owned and run company.  YES PLZ.  update march 2018: I’ve been using their golden elixir instead and using it on body, skin, and hair with great results!

That’s it!  Heres some more resources if you didn’t find what you were looking for:

Brands that recycle empties

6 Cosmetic Companies with Refillable Packaging

How to recycle and dispose of old makeup

How to recycle nail polish

The best no waste beauty products

Paris To Go’s zero waste makeup routine

Zero Waste Makeup on Etsy

DIY beetroot lip/cheek tint

Fat and The Moon for face and body- comes in metal and glass.

Elate Cosmetics offers refillable plastic free makeup in bamboo palettes.




6 thoughts on “simple low waste makeup + skincare

  1. Love to see more + more people becoming aware of zero waste! Check out Bestowed Essentials as well – it’s my line of ethical + eco-friendly self care products that are handcrafted with all-natural ingredients, no animal products or testing, plastic-free packaging, and solar power!

    1. I love it, it’s super potent. I don’t use all the time but when I do I definitely notice the difference. I am prone to hyper-pigmentation and it definitely helps with that. Hope that helps a bit xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s