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11 Zero Waste Makeup Brands To Help You Participate In Plastic Free July

Estimated Read Time: 10 Minutes

These 11 amazing zero waste makeup brands will help you ‘clean’ up your makeup routine while reducing your plastic consumption without sacrificing quality.

From influencers to billboards, metro trains and inflight magazines, beauty ads are a guaranteed constant in everyday life. 

Almost everyone owns some sort of makeup product, no matter how few, or how many, that may be. And of course they do! Makeup can pull a look together, boost confidence, help someone feel more comfortable in their own skin, help you find a community of people (we see you Tik Tok makeup artists) and so much more.

But underneath the drama, color, glamour, there’s an ugly side lurking all around the beauty industry — plastic.

Here are 12 zero waste makeup brands that you can add to your routine right now knowing these brands are committed to quality products that don’t come at the expense of our planet.

  • Elate Cosmetics
  • River Organics
  • Fat and the Moon
  • Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
  • 100% Pure
  • Nudi Goods
  • Kjaer Weis
  • Zerra & Co
  • Zao Organic Makeup
  • Izzy
  • Axiology
Top view of a spread of bamboo and glass packaged makeup products, including an eye shadow palette, cream blush, various brushes, a tube of mascara, skin tint, primer, and lipstick

1. Elate Cosmetics

Products: Eyes, lips, face

With refillable and recyclable products, Elate Cosmetics is a leader in zero waste makeup. Every product offered is compostable or recyclable and 75% are plastic-free. As Bamboo is the basis of most of their products it is sustainable sourced and not chemically treated. 

Products come in tin containers with a small magnet that fit easily into their reusable bamboo palettes. When finished, recycle the tin container and replace with your refill which is shipped in a seed paper package that can be planted to grow wildflowers. 

Mascaras, lipsticks, and lip gloss are contained in a recyclable inner tube and bamboo outer casing. Have some fun crushing the outer bamboo layer for composting, clean out the inner tube and recycle with your other household recyclables. 

Shop Elate Cosmetics on Zero Waste Store

Vegan Mascara in compostable cardboard container with bamboo spoolie and eye shadow brush combo

2. River Organics

Products: Eyes, lips, face

An Art Historian and a natural product chemist came together and created this zero waste makeup brand that you can trust to deliver quality products with minimal environmental impact. 

All products are packaged in plastic free paper tubes that are recyclable and are mailed with recycled and recyclable eco-friendly materials. 

Even the labels are made with natural fiber, free of bleaching and chemicals which allows them to be compostable and biodegradable. Business cards are made from recycled kraft paper home printed and hand cut. 

Not only are their products free of plastic-wrapping but their solid makeup such as lip products, highlighters, and blush are a solid 2 inches of product meaning you’ll be able to use it longer and create less waste! 

Shop River Organics on Zero Waste Store

Highlighter product in a small glass jar

3. Fat and the Moon

Products: Eyes, lips, highlighter

Fat and the moon is made from recipes passed down through generations of herbalists and natural healers. Made with plants, ethically and organically harvested and cultivated, their products are handcrafted per order, and the brand is firmly rooted in self care and self love.

Made with cruelty free, natural ingredients, Fat & the Moon is a zero waste makeup favorite as they prove natural makeup doesn’t have to be boring. Packaged in small glass or tins pots, Fat & the Moon makes it a priority to use recyclable and/or reusable containers and minimizes excess packaging wherever possible. 

Beautiful shades of cheek and lip paint flatter every skin shade while the eye coal comes in bright lapiz blue and almost-neon green. The eye coal can be used as a liner or shadow — use them in whichever way fits your mood and feels right.

Shop Fat & The Moon On Zero Waste Store

Three mineral brow powders in small tin containers. In colors light medium and dark

Image By Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

4. Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

Products: Eyes, lips, face

A fan favorite in the zero waste makeup space, it’s very likely you’ve heard of Dirty Hippie Cosmetics. You can find almost anything you need from eye makeup, lip products, concealers, and foundations (in both powder and cream-based form). All products are Toxin free, vegan, cruelty free, organic, and ethically sourced.

Dirty Hippie is based and made in Australia, handmade per order and shipped worldwide using post consumer recycled paper tape and boxes and packaging made from recycled newspapers.

Products are packaged in compostable cardboard, glass, or aluminum containers that can be recycled. If you’re a current Australian resident they also accept empties on all containers except those packaged in paper. 

https://www.100percentpure.com/collections/lipstick/products/fruit-pigmented-cocoa-butter-matte-lipstick?variant=12495008956494

Image By 100% Pure

5. 100% Pure

Products: Eyes, lips, face

Living a truly zero waste lifestyle is hard, but living zero waste imperfectly is better than not trying at all. Adding 100% Pure makeup products are a great addition to your zero waste makeup routine, especially if you live near a physical store. As an incentive to return your empties, after you’ve brought back 10 you get a free trial sized product. 

All product packaging is made from post-consumer recycled glass, plastic, tin, and paper and if you can’t bring back your empties you can recycle it all again! 

When your product is on its way to you it’s coming in a box made from recycled paper, protected by biodegradable packing peanuts (they melt into cornstarch when added to water), even the soy/vegetable ink is non-toxic and eco-friendly.

https://nudigoods.com/collections/makeup/products/yucca-sunset-all-over-shimmer

Image By Nudi Goods

6. Nudi Goods

Products: Eyes, lips, highlighter

After living plastic free for almost a year, Nudi Goods creator Jaime, found makeup to be the most difficult zero waste product to find. As a certified California Naturalist, she saw firsthand the effect of plastic waste in our oceans and decided to create a zero waste makeup company — completely plastic free. 

Switching out your essentials has never been easier. Packaged 100% plastic free in either biodegradable/compostable paper, glass, or tin containers, you can check saving the planet off your list of things to do today.

Nudi Goods encourages you to reuse old mascara spoolies and eyeshadow applicators (washed of course), but should you be in desperate need of new ones, they have sponges, brushes, and spoolies available with end of life instructions. 

5 Curated Cheek palettes with three colors on each of them. All within a red compostable leather lacquer-looking palette

Image By Kjaer Weis

7. Kjaer Weis

Products: Eyes, face, lips, basically everything

Luxury and sustainability — two things that don’t often go together have been seamlessly blended in Kjaer Weis’ products. This brand makes it on the zero waste makeup list for their commitment to sustainability since inception. 

The first luxury beauty brand to start refillable packaging, refilling your palette means you can not only choose your own shades and customize your collection but also choose the actual palette material. 

Options include a reusable sleek metal exterior or a lacquered leather look which can also be reused, recycled, or composted at the end of its life. 

Packaging and shipping materials are 100% recyclable and compostable, printed with water-based ink. In summer 2021 they are introducing 100% recyclable shipping boxes & materials and smaller orders will come in envelopes to help reduce carbon emissions. 

3 liquid eyeliners in small glass jars with tin lids in blue, orange, and red

Image By Zerra & Co

8. Zerra & Co

Products: Eyes, face, lips, biodegradable body glitter

Made from natural ingredients free from petroleum, and palettes made from stiff and sturdy paperboard that can be returned to be repurposed, Zerra & Co rejects single use plastics and limits plastic in packaging as much as possible. Shipped carbon neutral and in 100% recyclable and compostable materials — including the tape! — Zerra & Co even watches single use plastic usage in the lab, preferring suppliers who do the same.

As if fun bright eyelines weren’t hard enough to find in the standard beauty scene, it can seem next to impossible to find them in the zero waste makeup space. Zerra & Co said no longer! Shipped in cute little glass jars, you can find liquid eyeliner in a bright Pacific Blue, a neon orange called Creamsicle and a vibrant red/pink labeled Hibiscus. 

If this is right up your alley then also know they have a biodegradable body glitter. Part of a limited summer 2021 edition, snag these hot girl summer essentials ASAP.

light mineral face powder in circular bamboo container.

Image By Zao Organic Makeup

9. Zao Organic Makeup

Products: Eyes, face, lips, basically everything

Another zero waste makeup brand that recognizes the power of bamboo, Zao Organic Makeup chose to be a sustainable brand from the very beginning. Bamboo is widely used in eco-friendly products because it grows so well without fertilizers or pesticides and can be harvested in 3-5 years compared to 10-30 years for trees. 

Zao bamboo grows in protected forests in China and even the powders, leaves, and oil extracted from the bamboo plant are used in their products. 

At the heart of their products is the option for refillable packaging. Refillable packaging reduces waste and packaging, while giving you the freedom to choose your own colors not bound to a previously created palette. 

Open tube of Izzy zero waste mascara. Wand is sitting on the handle with the bristles pointed up

Image By Izzy

10. Izzy

Products: Mascara

Forget the guilt of throwing away a tube of mascara. Brand new as of Spring 2021, Izzy mascara is the first zero waste and carbon neutral mascara. Made in medical-grade stainless steel tubes, with no outer packaging, Izzy is designed to be cleaned and refilled basically infinitely. 

A leader in the zero waste makeup industry, the only plastic found on Izzy is in the wiper and brush which is reground and recycled at the facility when returned.

In production, the water used during the cleaning process is reused and keeping their manufacturing process close means an Izzy has about a 78% lower carbon footprint after 25 refills than the industry standard. As most things that get better with age, the more the mascaras are used, returned, and refilled, the smaller Izzy’s carbon footprint over time. 

You’ll receive a sterilized and refilled mascara + a reusable mailer to send back your empty every 3 months with their membership program to ensure you never run out of your new favorite zero waste makeup product. 

set of 14 balmies lip crayon in red box in various shades

Image By Axiology

11. Axiology

Products: Multipurpose lip color

Axiology is winning, literally award-winning, in the zero waste makeup space with their 3-in-1 balmies. Designed to be used on eyes, lips, & cheeks these crayon-like balms are wrapped in recycled paper and come in boxes made from 100% recycled paper waste. As you move through the product you simply tear the paper off and recycle or compost. 

While not 100% zero waste, any effort towards reducing plastic waste is a win. Axiology’s lipstick tubes are made from 50% post consumer recycled plastic which can be recycled but not in your household recycling bin.

While a few major brands have committed to more sustainable packaging, more needs to be done and more can be done. 

The U.S. beauty industry is worth roughly $39 BILLION USD. Somewhere in there is enough of a budget to start prioritizing sustainable makeup products ASAP. Not only for our planet but to raise awareness of what chemicals are in these products. 

By supporting one of these 11 brands, or any other zero waste makeup brand, you're using your money to represent what you care about and helping the brands who align with your beliefs keep creating sustainable products.

Shop All Makeup on Zero Waste Store

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