Did you know that your beauty routine can be beneficial to your health as well as the environment — especially if you opt for zero waste makeup brands?
More and more makeup brands are producing items made with natural, organic ingredients and presented in eco-friendly packaging.
Whether you’re a makeup junkie or you’re looking for ethical gifts, check out these high-quality ethical beauty must-haves, all of which are particularly perfect for conscious carry-on travelers.
Additionally, make sure to share your favorite zero waste brands in the comments below!
12 Zero Waste Makeup Brands
One of our favorite zero waste beauty brands is Elate Cosmetics, an ethical company using cruelty-free ingredients and sustainable practices for its products.
Not only do they seek to create solutions to the issues surrounding daily beauty rituals, like waste production, but they donate at least 2% of their annual sales to charity.
Moreover, about 90% of their ingredients are organic, and the brand also works with Fair Trade guidelines in mind to ensure workers throughout the supply chain are treated and paid fairly.
While you can feel good about buying any of the products from their collection, a few zero waste makeup favorites include:
The Elate Cosmetics Black Mascara will not only give you natural-looking lashes at home and on the road, but it is also eco-friendly and contains natural ingredients.
The container and lid of the mascara are made with ethically-sourced bamboo. Additionally, the mascara itself contains vegan-based carnauba wax, which is a sustainable alternative to palm oil.
Once you’ve used the item up, you can recycle your mascara wand while helping animals through Wands For Wildlife.
If you love making your eyes pop as well as natural zero waste makeup, the Elate Black Water Resistant Eyeliner made from ethically-sourced ingredients is perfect for you — and their gentle formula is great if you have sensitive eyes!
In terms of packaging, the eyeliner comes in a compostable bamboo tube while the inner tube is recyclable.
River Organics is obsessed with creating zero waste beauty products that are healthy and hydrating to the skin, using plant oils as the basis of their cosmetics.
Additionally, their sustainable and eco-friendly makeup is cruelty-free, vegan, and plastic-free, with a portion of each sale donated to One Tree Planted to help stimulate the planting of new trees.
They’re also a sponsor of the Plastic Ocean Project, an organization working to remove marine plastics from the earth and to prevent more from accumulating.
Having your products shipped?
Feel good knowing they’ll arrive sans marketing materials as well as in recycled envelopes with sugar cane-based labels.
If you’re looking for vegan zero waste makeup that also provides some lip therapy, the River Organics Vegan Lip Balm has it all.
Along with abiding by River Organics’ ethical guidelines mentioned above, it’s delicious, featuring cacao and mango butters that keep your lips moisturized and shiny.
The lip balm is the perfect ethical travel accessory — especially as it comes in a plastic-free, compostable paper tube and recyclable packaging.
We also love their vegan brow wax, which allows you to care for your brows with a cruelty-free, organic, and vegan product.
The brow wax by River Organics is made with plant oils of jojoba, apricot, and shea, which helps keep your skin nourished.
It’s also packaged in compostable plastic-free packaging!
For a fresh and luminous face, try River Organics’ Rose Quartz Highlighting Makeup Stick.
The stick contains cruelty-free ingredients, including hydrating shea butter, anti-inflammatory grapeseed, and rosehip oils.
It also comes in a recyclable, compostable paper tube for waste free packaging.
Aether Beauty is one of the top eco-friendly makeup brands, with a focus on clean vegan products sold in sustainable packaging that are “good for you, good for your skin, and good for the planet.”
In fact, along with creating sustainable products, Aether Beauty donates a portion of their sales to environmental charities.
In terms of which of their zero waste cosmetics to try, their Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Palette is highly recommended.
Made with organic coconut oil and organic shea butter, this beautiful palette makes your skin smooth and radiant, while the rose quartz helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
To top the look off, the palette’s light-reflective crystals illuminate your eyes, and you can use the palette for your eyeshadow as well as your eyeliner for added glam.
The colors are super pretty and come in a variety of finishes, and the palette is fully recyclable!
Antonym Cosmetics is an Ecocert-certified natural and organic makeup brand that produces cruelty-free and zero waste products.
Their focus is on “gentle face fashion” that bridges the gap between performance and sustainability to sell zero waste beauty products that not only work, but make you feel truly radiant.
For a youthful glow, try their Antonym Baked Blush, which feels weightless and looks natural.
It’s also 100% cruelty-free and vegan, and you can choose from copper, peach, and rose shades.
This product comes in a beautiful zero-waste wooden case!
Another ethical product recommendation is the compact Antonym Eyeshadow Quattro.
It showcases four basic colors — black, beige, brown, and pink. It is pretty handy and compact — and is also vegan and cruelty-free.
The palette comes in a wooden case, making it super portable as well as eco-friendly.
Badger is one of our favorite small, family-owned brands. They use organic plant extracts and sustainable sources for their beauty and personal care products.
In fact, Badger is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they are required to consider how their business decisions impact their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
What we also love about Badger is that their ingredients all seem to tell a story, whether it’s their organic extra virgin olive oil sourced from a single-family estate in southern Spain or their organic rose essential oil that is steam-distilled in Bulgaria from rose petals picked that on the same day.
If you’ve never tried Badger, we highly recommend you start by grabbing a pack of their popular Mineral Lip Tints.
The product is made with cruelty-free, fair trade ingredients, including cocoa butter and shea butter.
If you like a little color, the product features natural minerals — not artificial dyes or parabens — for a lovely sheen you can also use on your eyelids and cheeks.
Once you’ve run out, you can send your empty tubes to EarthHero for recycling.
Fat and the Moon believes that self care should be synonymous with Earth care, and their high-quality natural products utilize old herbal remedies and plant-based ingredients.
In fact, this conscious company was founded by an herbalist, and now includes a team of two additional herbalists (one budding and one practicing), a baker, and an esthetician.
Once you place your order, it is custom-made using time, care, and even magic, which leads to a finished product you can feel good about using.
While you truly can’t go wrong with anything in their shop, the Fat and the Moon Beetroot Cheek + Lip Stain is a top pick.
This incredible cruelty-free product is void of bad-for-you heavy metals. Instead, it’s made from natural and organic ingredients like beetroot powder, sunflower oil, and beeswax.
It arrives to you in a recyclable metal tin and plastic-free packaging.
Another must-have is their Beam Highlighter Cream, which goes on silky smooth and is made from organic ingredients, including sunflower oil and beeswax.
It also infuses the magic of the Madrone Tree, known for helping humans stay connected to themselves.
It’s perfect for all skin types and looks stunning on brows, cheek bones, and around the eyes. For travelers who want a low-maintance makeup routine but like a little sparkle, this is truly all you need.
In terms of zero waste packaging, your product will arrive in a reuseable and recyclable container.
7. Raw Elements
Raw Elements is a plastic-free brand that uses natural and organic ingredients, while also creating a positive impact on the world.
In fact, they are a member of 1% For The Planet, whose members donate at least 1% of their profits to environmental nonprofits. Additionally, they’re certified by The Natural Products Association.
Raw Elements is known for its all-natural biodegradable sunscreens that also act as daily moisturizers. With their tinted sunscreens, you have the benefit of an added glow.
Their products are Reef Safe, using Non-Nano Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient, and are packed with antioxidants and vitamins to protect you from the sun as well as free radicals in the environment.
In terms of packaging, your sunscreen will arrive in a zero-waste plastic-free aluminum tin.
The sunscreen is water resistant up to 80 minutes!
Axiology is one of the top eco-friendly makeup brands focused on zero waste lipsticks, crayons, and balms that also prides itself on being plastic-free and cruelty-free.
Their passion for animals runs deep, and they also donate to animal welfare organizations throughout the year.
Additionally, each Axiology product includes 10 ingredients or less, and you can expect to see inclusions you can feel good about like organic castor oil, vitamin e oil, and elderberry extract.
Most of their packaging is also recyclable and compostable.
Bonus: Use code “EPICURE” for 20% off your purchase with Axiology!
One of your first purchases from this ethical beauty brand should be their sustainably-made Cotton Candy Skies.
Not only do these crayons offer multi-use color for eyes, lips, and cheeks, they’re also hydrating and go on buttery soft, packed with oils, butters, and antioxidants.
They fit the bill for zero-waste cosmetics, coming tube- and cap-free in recyclable paper and a recyclable box that is handmade from reprocessed garbage by a women’s cooperative in Bali.
Talk about an ethical plastic free makeup brand taking sustainability to the next level!
Looking for sustainable makeup brands with a creative twist?
Bésame Cosmetics is a vintage luxury makeup company that uses natural ingredients, never tests on animals, and minimizes single-use material in their products, all of which are gluten-free.
Their production process is really fun, too, as they purchase actual vintage makeup from various auctions and antique stores and then recreate the colors and textures using modern ingredients.
If you’re new to Bésame Cosmetics, try their Black Cake Mascara.
Inspired by the 1920s, this product is perfect for those with sensitive eyes.
It is made from a natural wax that blends with your skin and is packaged in a gorgeous vintage-style box that you can reuse.
Another recommendation is their Crimson Cream Rouge, a 2-in-1 cream rouge that is super practical.
It can be applied to your cheeks and lips and offers a long-wearing matte finish.
Additionally, it comes in a cute reuseable tin that’s easy to pack into your purse or carry-on.
10. ILIA Beauty
ILIA Beauty produces clean, natural makeup products with sustainable packaging.
This conscious brand believes that makeup and skincare don’t need to be separate, and thus they create beauty products that are truly good for your skin.
Sustainable beauty lovers will also appreciate ILIA’s makeup recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes. You can send them your empty beauty products and they will recycle them responsibly.
Now let’s look at some of ILIA’s great zero waste makeup — like their Necessary Eyeshadow Palette.
If you love wearing nudes, this eyeshadow palette offers six beautiful skin-toned shades in a mix of matte, satin, and metallic finishes.
The product is also compact and comes with a mirror.
This versatile product is a great makeup item for travelers.
You can apply it to your lips and cheeks for a soft hint of beautiful color thanks to 100% natural dye.
The Dusty Rose Multi Stick is a fan favorite as it looks stunning on all skin types.
Bonus Zero Waste Makeup Brands
Want more beauty brand suggestions?
A few other companies making zero waste makeup not mentioned in the list above include Clean-Faced Cosmetics, RMS Beauty, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics, and Dab Herb Makeup & Skincare.
Check them out, as well, if you’re interested in going zero waste when it comes to your beauty routine.
Zero Waste Beauty Tips
Use these zero waste tips to take your sustainable beauty routine to the next level.
1. Recycle your old mascara wands while helping animals
Send used mascara wands to Wands For Wildlife, a nonprofit organization that repurposes wands to groom, clean and treat wild animals behind rehabilitated.
2. Opt for zero waste makeup remover.
Instead of using makeup remover from a plastic bottle, opt for reuseable makeup remover pads. Pair these with a DIY zero waste makeup remover made at home by mixing equal parts witch hazel and grapeseed oil.
3. Choose beauty product bars over bottles.
Instead of plastic bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, and soap, opt for an alternative in bar form, which can often be found in recyclable paper packaging.
You can click here to peruse a large section of sustainable personal care alternatives from zero waste face wash to shampoo bars and beyond.
4. Recycle the right way.
Before simply tossing your beauty waste into the trash, do a little research to see if it can be reused or if there is a proper way to recycle it.
For instance, many brands — including both small and large companies — partner with TerraCycle to help consumers properly recycle packaging that typically isn’t easy to.
Click here for a full list of their recycling programs.
5. Pay attention to zero waste skincare brands.
Before you put on your makeup, it’s important to consider your skincare routine. Luckily, there are loads of ethical and zero waste skincare options, as you can see here.
One of our favorites is Booni Doon, who make eco-friendly Calm Cleansing Capsules. These capsules are super easy to travel with and help to eliminate single-use plastics and unecessary waste.
What are your favorite zero waste makeup brands?
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