6 of the Best Zero Waste Makeup Brands for 2021

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Our Picks

#1: Lush
When the team behind Lush turned their ethical focus on makeup, we listen.
#2: Vapour
Ethical beauty from the most exciting up-and-coming makeup brand.
Zero waste, organic and all-natural cosmetics that feel mainstream.
Designed for those of us with sensitive skin.
A bold and fresh brand with an atypical approach to eco-products.
Australia's finest offers a full range of beauty products and innovative programs.
The gateway brand for going green - luxurious and pampering.
#8: Biome
A digital marketplace offering a wide range of eco-friendly makeup brands.

It might sound a bit cringe, but just like we only have one planet to care for and protect, you also only have “one” body to love and nurture. The makeup we put on it might have one hell of an effect on it in a few years, if not today. 

Finding zero waste makeup is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if you are on a budget or looking in drugstores. As a cheat sheet for you, I dove deeper to discover the stand out zero-waste makeup brands that you can order and shop from directly to start your journey. 

These amazing beauty brands are helping us look great while helping to reduce the impact on our planet. 

What’s the deal with zero waste makeup brands? 

The truth is, being eco-friendly doesn’t just mean plastic-free or biodegradable. It's also about the good (and not-so-good stuff) inside the products that influence our planet and our skin, the largest organ we have.

For decades the makeup industry has put some really worrying ingredients into our glamorous products. These ingredients include palm oil, synthetic dyes, perfumes, parabens (real scary stuff if you ask me), and petroleum. Some of them have harmful effects during the harvest process, the production process, when applied on our skin, and/or on the planet when we decide to wash it off. 

But don't stress - there are some amazing zero waste makeup brands committed to plastic-free, sustainable, cruelty-free practices.

Here are 6 of the best brands that I've found - see if you agree and if you do, share the good word!

Lush

#1

Lush is one we all know and love. If you have not been smacked by their powerful scents in shops or soaked for hours with their bath bombs, you have not experienced the power of handmade lush-ous pampering!

We also know Lush for being THE cruelty-free makeup brand out there, but maybe that is because they made such a big name for themselves before introducing makeup?

They have an amazing variety of products, all handmade, and most of their items can be topped up with their own in-house, plastic-free refills. The Lush team also prides itself on being ethical buyers, using fresh ingredients, and being vegetarian!

Besides, for all the good and loving traits associated with their brand and the values, you can also return the empty jars and products to Lush to be cleaned and reused! They really are the rare brand that wanted to do everything and has succeeded.

My personal favorite beauty products would be the lip products and the eyeliner. They are so smooth!

Vapour

#2

Vapour has been featured in Vogue, WWD, and Allure. They are nothing but amazing and focus on the true raw beauty of people while still flying the cruelty-free, eco-friendly, vegan, and even gluten-free flag.

This eco-friendly winner of a brand is one of my favorites and it all started in Taos, Mexico. The brand is called Vapour because they wanted to create something clean, transparent, eco-friendly, and true to the user. They have a stunning variety of products for lips, eyes, skin, even makeup brushes, and deodorant if you want to go all out!

Since they have such a wonderful variety, it only makes sense to have samples to try it. You can order a small sample set of foundation and/or primer to make sure you find the exact fit and shade before you commit to a large purchase.

My favorite feature of their website is the “get the look” section, where they list the exact products used to create a certain makeup look. Such a great idea if you are new to the makeup world or want to try a fresh look!

Be sure to check out their Values section, which goes into great depth on the company's stance towards recycling, ingredients, transparency, giving back, and more. If you're looking for clean-faced cosmetics from a company devoted to going the extra mile for the environment - make Vapour your go-to choice and spread the word!

RMS Beauty

#3

RMS Beauty is not only zero-waste and organic but also all-natural. This clean beauty brand covers all the makeup basics without any strange substitutes, so chances are you won’t even realize that you made the good green switch (comfort zones are a real thing!).

RMS Beauty even has their own brushes, primers, and makeup removers, so they probably can cover any cosmetic needs you might have.

RMS went for the sleek route so their minimal glass and aluminum packaging is obviously recyclable. Did I mention the cute, free samples? What a bonus!

While the brand covers all the basic needs, the one thing I should point out is the sheer-ness of the coverage products. I think they cover what needs to be covered on my face, but if you are a "full glamor, full cover" gal, I would suggest combining the coverage products or doing a few layers. Regardless of which products you use from the range, the amount of moisture they pack will shock you.

My skin feels so plump and soft! The future of zero waste makeup is in good hands with brands like RMS Beauty delivering on quality and promise.

Antonym Cosmetics

#4

Antonym Cosmetics is an organic makeup line focusing mainly on sensitive skin products. Their beauty products are gentle and minimal with loads of pigment and glow! Antonym Cosmetics made sure not to give up any glam in the creation of their eco-friendly line.

My favorite had to be the blush range (those colors are everything!), but some people feel the foundation struggles when combined with other products, on the other hand, it doesn’t oxidize as badly as some products so you won’t look orange later in the day!

I'm a fan. Take a look at their products and I dare say you will be too.

Axiology

#5

Talk about original packaging design, bold colors, and variety! Axiology focuses primarily on lip products and they have set up such an amazing collection of colors to choose from - click the link above and you'll see what I mean, every item looks purely LUSH (no, not the brand). I wasn't sure where to start, luckily, they have an offer where you receive two free samples with any purchase over $40.00.

The first time I found them, I could not believe they were an eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand. They are not leaning into the typical green-tree-hugger vibes, standing out as one of the edgiest, freshest, and most modern zero waste makeup brands around. I even considered a purple and blue lipstick. Look at me trying something new!

They are also plastic-free and focus on natural and organic ingredients.

While their prices are a bit steeper than other brands, I do think every makeup guru deserves a fun Axiology color in their makeup bag! (Speaking of which if you need some good eco-friendly makeup bag suggestions, look no further)

Eco Minerals

#6

Eco Minerals comes all the way from down south. South Australia that is! This Australian brand has put in all the effort to make sure you don’t have to stress in your quest for zero waste beauty. They have a full range of beauty products all the way from coverage to color.

They supply most, if not the full range of makeup you might need; from lipstick all the way to foundation and eyeliner. They also have two amazing programs for new customers. The first is the sample program, this made me fall in love because I find it so hard to find the exact skin tone shade for my foundation based on online palettes and suggestions.

The second program is a refill program, where you can opt for metal case/packaging as a long-lasting option and then order packaging-free refill products whenever you need to. If you decide to use the normal products, they are all packaged in glass, metal, and paper to make them 100% recyclable and eco-friendly.

Besame Cosmetics

#7

Besame Cosmetics is definitely the most luxurious option on the table, for those of you who are looking for the most pampering that a makeup brand can produce.

They did not start off as a makeup brand ready to save the world, but rather as a brand that wanted to hold on to the simple glamor of historically inspired makeup.

The founder wanted to cherish her grandmother’s lavish (yet simple) beauty routine while giving it a few modern twists. While their packaging is not 100% on-the-dot recyclable, it was designed to be a display piece, even when it has run out.

These makeup pieces are stunning and detailed, and the makeup inside is just as gorgeous as the packaging. The pigment in these products really do stand out with their classic glam look and they are all gluten, paraben, and mineral oil-free. To top it off, they are 100% cruelty-free and created for more sensitive skin by the family members themselves who started it all!

If you're interested in zero waste but are finding it hard to let go of traditional products, Besame might serve as a comfortable bridge to a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

Biome

#8

Finally, we have Biome. Biome is more of an eco-friendly beauty and lifestyle marketplace based in Australia. This is a great spot to look at a variety of eco-friendly products and brands.

The options are truly endless!

If you're looking for sustainable and zero waste products, in beauty and otherwise, Biome has you covered, from a recyclable lunchbox all the way to eco-friendly blush. They do loads of important social work to give back to the planet and have very strict ingredient regulations to only give you the best (for example, they don’t sell anything with palm oil).

If you're looking for zero waste products and don't mind shopping Down Under, Biome truly has something for everyone.

FAQ

Now that we have looked into my favorite zero waste makeup brands, you might have a few general questions about zero waste or eco-friendly makeup.

Why are zero waste products so expensive?

It comes as no surprise that zero waste (makeup or otherwise) is more expensive. This is often because the components all the way from ingredients to packaging are of a much higher quality and have a more gentle effect on the environment. It is worth mentioning that with these products you'll often find that the cost might be more upfront, but it could save you quite a bit when you use more affordable refills. 

How do I start living a zero-waste of life?

There are endless ways in which you can live a zero-waste life: you can start recycling packaging, composting, and even looking at only buying products with materials that are not harmful to you or the environment. I created Go-Go-Eco to help zero waste enthusiasts find, with minimal effort, the information they might need to live a sustainable life. 

What are some harmful ingredients to look out for in makeup? 

Some troubling makeup ingredients include palm oil, parabens, perfumes, synthetic dyes, iron, and sulfur. But the truth is there are so many harmful ingredients that it is best to rather find products that you know are non-toxic, all-natural, and/or zero waste just to be extra sure. 

Final thoughts on zero waste beauty brands

Being a greenie doesn't mean you can't still glam-up. These days there are so many makeup brands and tools that can help us to look great without compromising our commitment to helping the environment. Zero waste is not just what you do at home, but also what you do for yourself. 

I can’t wait to share more products and brands with you to help you live that Go-Go-Eco life!

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