The latest trend in the cosmetics industry is zero-waste, eco-friendly, natural products that make you look beautiful while also helping to protect the planet! After years of excessive packaging and wasteful habits, makeup companies are making the switch to cleaner ingredients and are leading many environmental initiatives. If you’re looking to minimize your footprint without compromising your glam, check out this list of amazing zero-waste alternatives.
1. MakeUp Eraser
Did you know that 1.3 billion disposable makeup remover wipes are used every single day, and that they take 100 years to break down? If these numbers shock you, you can start making more eco-friendly choices by getting a MakeupEraser.
The MakeupEraser is a zero-waste alternative that is equal to 3600 disposable makeup wipes, and one wipe (a one-time purchase of $28) will last you 3-5 years.
Before your first use, make sure to machine wash your Eraser in order to activate the fibres. After that, just soak in water and wipe away!
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If you’re touching up your eyeshadow or removing excess mascara, then you’re likely reaching for a single-use Q-Tip to do the job. Unfortunately, these disposable cotton swabs are adding to the trillions of plastic products disposed of each day.
That’s why you should make the switch to LastSwab, the first reusable and sustainable cotton swab. They’re easy to clean, come in a durable, on-the-go case, and – the best part – they’re only $17 CAD.
The company is also working on a new product, the LastTissue, a reusable handkerchief that is now available for pre-order!
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3. Reusable Cotton Rounds
Another zero-waste makeup removal solution are these organic bamboo cotton pads: they come with a washable laundry bag for easy cleaning, and are even shipped in eco-friendly packaging.
You can also use these cotton rounds to apply your skincare products, such as toners or serums, since these pads are super soft and gentle and are suitable for sensitive skin.
This pack comes with 16 rounds for just $15. You can also find lots of options in different sizes and colours!
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Now that we’ve covered tools, let’s talk zero-waste makeup brands and products! First on the list is Nudestix, a female-founded Canadian company that is dedicated to making cruelty-free cosmetics.
All Nudestix products are shaped like crayons for easy application, and are packaged in reusable and recyclable tins. Once you’ve collected 10-15 tins, you can participate in their Save-a-Tin Sustainability Program, where Nudestix collects tins and sends them to recycling facilities for proper disposal.
Their individual products retail between $25-45 CAD, and value kits sell at an average of $60 CAD.
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5. Milk Makeup
Another environmentally conscious and cruelty-free brand, Milk Makeup is known for their colourful stick products that work to minimize excess packaging.
Their concentrated stick masks, such as the Cannabis Hydrating Mask pictured below, are a great alternative to more wasteful masks that come with unnecessary plastic applicators. All Milk products are also vegan, silicone-free, and paraben-free.
Milk Makeup mask sticks sell for $34 CAD, or get the mini versions for $20 CAD.
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While their products are definitely on the more pricey side of cosmetics, Lancôme nevertheless has amazing and luxurious products that support a zero-waste initiative.
Lancôme products such as the Absolue Creams and the Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation can be refilled – for a fee, of course – rather than having to be thrown out and completely re-purchased.
Although the brand is not entirely vegan or cruelty-free, their products are certainly worth the large price tag (the Absolue Regenerating Cream retails for $265 CAD).
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If you’re looking to swap out your bulky eyeshadow palettes for a less wasteful-alternative, check out the Kosas 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow. Powered with Jojoba and Rosehip Oil, this cruelty-free, water-based eyeshadow retails for $39 CAD.
With a built in applicator, you can say bye-bye to your synthetic eyeshadow brushes for good. The eyeshadow comes in eight different shades which are highly pigmented and crease resistant.
All Kosas makeup products are free of parabens, and the brand is Leaping Bunny certified, meaning they do not test on animals.
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Meet Ilia, another eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand!
Ilia is known for their Limitless Lash Mascara (valued at $37 CAD), which comes in a gold tube made of recycled aluminum. The natural mascara gets its black pigment from charcoal, a clean alternative to the carcinogenic carbon-black.
Similar to the initiative of Nudestix, Ilia also offers a recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box. The platform offers to recycle up to 5 of your empty Ilia products per calendar month.
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9. Isle of Paradise
Pale ladies who love getting bronzed know the struggle of applying self-tanning lotion with an applicator mitt. Thankfully, Isle of Paradise has a zero-waste solution for you!
The Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water is a 200 mL spray on tan with a colour-correcting approach, sold for $37 CAD. Infused with Chia Seed and Coconut Oil, the spray is free from harsh chemicals and GMOs.
Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize 24 hours before applying, then wait 4-6 hours, and you’ll have a gorgeous, glowing, sun-kissed tan!
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10. lilah b.
With a simple and minimalistic approach to beauty, lilah b. is known for their compact packaging and multi-purpose cosmetics.
One of their best zero-waste products is their Bronzed Beauty Bronzer Duo, which fits two different highlight and contour shades in one, sleek compact. The bronzer is made with Aloe and Coconut Oil, and is formulated without sulfates.
They are yet another brand that has a recycling program, and will properly dispose of your empty makeup products regardless of what brand.
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