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 more pretty.  So I did, and I basically hid behind makeup 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.  A lot of you guys ask me about what makeup and skincare I use, so this is for you!

Warning: Unfortunately, a few products mentioned have beeswax in them.  I use beeswax sometimes and I don’t feel bad about it.  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 plastic free 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.  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.

Eyeliner:  This will probably horrify some of you, but I usually 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.

Makeup remover:  Super simple recipe + reusable hemp/cotton rounds

Serum:  I swear by True botanicals.  They are proven to work- outperformed top skincare brands like LaMer in clinical trials, and they 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.  Skincare is so important and I have yet to find another non toxic line that actually works.  I’ve heard really great things about Osea– vegan and made in California too!

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.

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

Vapor Organic Beauty : this is what Lauren Singer @trashisfortossers uses

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




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