Zero Waste Makeup
I have to be honest as I write this: finding good quality zero-waste makeup is really hard. I recently wrote this post on my favourite three foundations – all three are cruelty free and vegan, but only one is zero-waste. The bonus is that the majority of companies looking at zero-waste and low-waste options are already cruelty free and vegetarian, if not vegan.
I know this is totally not the point of this post, but you shouldn’t kick yourself for buying plastic. It is really easy to get overwhelmed when you first start on your journey towards living a more eco-friendly or sustainable lifestyle. Take it easy, and reduce where you can – that’s my motto.
Makeup generally only amounts to a small part of your consumption, but every little helps! I’ve split these eco-friendly foundations into ‘zero waste’ and ‘low waste’ so you can browse depending on your preference.
Zero Waste Foundation
All three zero-waste foundations below are suitable for vegans.
This Lush foundation-in-a-bar was revolutionary when it first came out, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. It comes in a simple cardboard box, with one end dipped in wax so you can hold it without getting messy. Once you’re down to the end, you can peel off the wax or go in with a brush. At £17 for a bar this isn’t the cheapest foundation out there, but it goes a long way!
Like I mentioned above, I did a miniature review of this a few weeks ago – you can imagine the verdict, given the name of the post: “The Best Vegan Foundations for 2020”. TL;DR: it’s not great if you have oily skin or live in a really hot country (it’s pretty melty), but I personally found it quite forgiving and really easy to apply. I LOVE how many different shades this foundation comes in – there really is something for everyone – and they sell complimentary brushes and concealers.
Antonym Cosmetics do a baked foundation in a wooden palette, which is plastic-free and looks gorgeous. This is slightly less pricey but still not cheap at £36. Again, if you’re in the UK you have to order through a limited number of third party sites, which just isn’t the same as walking into a store and finding the exact right shade for you. They also sell a whole range of other makeup items that are plastic-free, if you’ve got the budget for it!
This highly pigmented loose mineral foundation by Wearth is the cheapest zero-waste foundation on this list, but it’s still not what I’d call ‘wallet friendly’. The cheapest packaging option is £14, but it comes with a few different packaging options. This zero-waste foundation can be applied dry, mixed with with cream, balm, water or serum to create a consistency that adapts to your skin type and requirements.
Wearth cosmetics come in a ‘pot for life’ made from sustainably-sourced beechwood, with the sifter made from 100% recycled fishing nets. They’re ‘pots for life’ because you only buy one. The pot can then be refilled with foundation that comes in a completely recyclable cardboard tube!
Zao is certified cruelty free by Cruelty Free International, and every single one of their products is certified vegan by the Vegan Society. I have never seen them in-store anywhere in the UK, so although they don’t directly state this I can only assume they’re exclusively online.
Most of their makeup products are refillable or have low-waste options, which is great, and they do several foundation ranges. You can purchase this with a case or just the refill, which can go into the original circular case or their gorgeous refillable boxes.
Kjaer Weis zero-waste makeup is hard to find in the UK. Although you can get it delivered through Cult Beauty, options for finding a discount or coupon are limited, which really stings at £51 a go. I haven’t tried this, partly due to the cost and partly due to the fear of buying the wrong shade! It is currently on offer at £30, so if this is something you’re tempted to try, try it now!