A woman’s makeup collection is a treasure trove including lengthening mascaras, glistening lip gloss and glow-giving bronzers.
However, while a dash of red to the lips or some concealer to hide last night’s lack of sleep helps us to feel beautiful, there is an ugly side to our everyday makeup regime.
The industry makes billions of plastic-packaged products that we simply chuck in the bin and repurchase when done.
We cannot ignore the impact that our throwaway culture has on the environment with our excessive buying, hard-to-recycle packaging and single-use products.
Although it is not the only industry to blame, the beauty industry has a heavy hand in contributing to the 13 million tonnes of the stuff dumped into our oceans every single year.
Scarily enough, it is predicted that our beautiful seas will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
The microplastic gets ingested by fish and make its way to us in the food chain. Yikes. Life in plastic is definitely not fantastic.
One way we can prevent this plastic-infested dystopia by making more conscious decisions as consumers.
Yes, it can be a struggle for us makeup mavens to find plastic-free products, especially when our favourites are packaged in the stuff.
However, in recent years a move to greater awareness of the negative environmental impacts of plastic has definitely put it high on the global agenda, and there is increasing accessibility of great quality and sustainable makeup products on the market.
If we collectively go for more green and earth-friendly products, companies can catch on the plastic-free wave, and it can become the new norm.
If you want to know where you can buy plastic-free makeup in the UK and beautify yourself without any guilt, keep reading!
Etsy is an online global market place that prides itself on spreading responsibility and sustainability.
They connect consumers to entrepreneurs who produce lovingly handcrafted products, and they ship from all over the world to the UK – perfect!
The only thing with Etsy is that you may have to pay higher shipping costs and wait longer if they are shipped from abroad, but is a small price for awesome handmade items.
Buying from abroad will also increase your carbon footprint.
There are several online stores and plastic-free products available on Etsy, just give it a search.
Here are a couple popular Etsy stores selling great plastic and guilt-free makeup.
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Clean-Faced Cosmetics is based in Michigan, USA , and sell completely vegan homemade makeup products.
They sell a wide variety of products from mascara, to eyeshadow to tinted moisturiser, so you have everything to cover your whole makeup routine.
Furthermore, the prices are pretty reasonable, and most of the products are not much more than drugstore makeup prices.
The company provide a personalised service: the owner can make custom shades for you, so you can have your favourite product with a great match for your beauty requirements.
Also, if you return your packaging to her, she will refill it and give you 25% off! Even better!
However, one con with this brand for some is that the owner admits that the products are not 100% plant-based, but this is because after testing them, some people had skin reactions and many people with allergies have trouble using botanical makeup.
Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
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Dirty Hippie Cosmetics is an Australian brand lovingly producing handmade, vegan, toxin-free and ethically sourced makeup.
They also ensure their products are in eco-friendly packaging with options to refill.
What’s even better is that they manufacture in a zero-waste fashion, with labels printed with veggie-based ink on recycled paper, with all energy green powered and water supplied by rain – how amazing!
Their popular makeup products include their mineral concealer and cacao BB cream, both of which are zero waste, toxin free, and also have natural SPF.
Naturismo is an online store selling products that they believe contribute to a more conscious lifestyle.
They pride themselves in providing the cleanest beauty and lifestyle on the planet, and have a huge diversity of products and brands.
It’s worth noting however that not all their products are plastic-free, so finding plastic-free makeup requires a little bit of research, but all the details are in the product descriptions.
Here are a couple of awesome plastic-free brands and their awesome products for you to check out.
Want to be sustainable but a bit fancy at the same time? Well Kjaer Weis has you covered.
It has rave reviews all over the internet for leading the way for luxury and high-performing makeup that is also eco-conscious – fabulous!
If you are a fan of fancy packaging that you can show off as you powder your nose, this has it. What is even better, is that the products are completely refillable.
If that isn’t enough, the award-winning products contain ingredients are all certified organic, with no parabens or silicones, so you can also be kind to your skin.
One of their best sellers is their cream foundation. It is a buildable foundation leaving a natural coverage and is completely vegan.
It contains sweet almond seed oil to moisturise the skin and has age-defying properties.
It is on the pricier side, but this brand is about the luxury after all.
RMS Beauty products are formulated with only natural, food-grade ingredients that also heal and nourish the skin.
An added bonus is that their minimal packaging is all biodegradable, recyclable or reusable. Their products are extremely popular and have a high-profile celebrity following including the likes of Meghan Markle.
This brand is on the pricier side, but the products are high quality.
Try out their popular ‘Un’ Cover Up concealer for radiant coverage with anti-aging properties.
It is a subtle formula that nourishes the skin, and RMS claims that men can wear it too as it is undetectable.
It is 100% natural and vegetarian (beeswax is an ingredient).
Based in Brighton, Glow Organic is an online retailer that promotes natural beauty through products that do not harm the environment, animals or our health.
All of their makeup has been hand selected to only include essential ingredients that are good for you skin, so you can slap on that lippy without any worries.
Not all of their products are made without plastic, but you can apply the ‘plastic-free and refillable’ filter into the search and voila – all the products you need!
Glow Organic have less variety and fewer products than other retailers, but they are a relatively new business and really pride themselves on their product selection.
Here are a couple of the great eco-friendly brands they stock.
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This brand uses only natural ingredients with no chemicals and parabens, and is both cruelty-free and eco-certified.
This brand’s unique selling point is bamboo as a central component of their ingredients and their packaging, so it is super sustainable. They also produce a wide range of colours to suit all skin tones.
Take a look at this lipstick. It comes in a sweet bamboo packaging with a cotton pouch, is 100% natural and comes in loads of colours.
It contains pomegranate butter and castor oil for intense moisture on the lips.
A French brand that makes cosmetics only of natural ingredients, that are ecologically friendly and also a reasonable priced.
They are mindful of the sources of the raw materials so that their products are free from parabens and chemicals.
They also do not test on animals, and only use recycled and biodegradable packaging.
Check out their volumising mascara. It not only will give you a lovely flutter, but is also sensitive on the eyes and nourishes your eyelashes with organic apricot kernel oil.
If you don’t know Lush, where have you been?! It is a UK based company aiming to protect people, animals and the planet.
They have mainstreamed greater consciousness towards the environment, and are found all of the UK, worldwide and online, so there are no excuses!
They have a range of makeup products, so you can fill your makeup bag with these goodies.
Some of the products can be messy to use and difficult to store and require an additional (sustainable) container to hold them in.
Furthermore, at the moment, not all of their packaging is completely plastic-free.
However, any plastic they use is completely recycled for example, their mascara packaging.
They also have a scheme where you can return five plastic packaged items and get a free fresh face mask.
One staple of their makeup range is the Slap Stick foundation.
Lush describes it as a breathable foundation with buildable coverage that does not clog the pores and leaves a dewy, natural finish.
They also have a range of 40 shades, so they are able to cater for almost every complexion. This foundation contains Peruvian jojoba oil, rose wax, extra virgin coconut oil and argan oil, so you can rest assured that your skin will be soothed and moisturised.
Another plastic-free beautifying product is their Lark Glow Stick.
It’s a completely vegan highlighter that you can apply to anywhere on the body to give you a luminous glow. It contains Candelila wax for protective properties, argan oil to soothe the skin and orange peel wax for moisture.
This product also comes in a few shades so you can glitter how you want with no guilt!
So there you go. A variety of different retailers, products and brands for you to take a look at and try out.
There is something out there to suit every taste, pretty much every product that you would need in your makeup bag, and also a range of different price points too.
You’re spoiled for choice. There are no excuses to finding that perfect plastic-free blush to perk up your cheeks.
Our favourite retailer on this list is probably Naturismo because of the range of products and brands on their site.
Let us know where you purchase your plastic-free makeup!
For some more tips on going plastic-free, see our guide to using less plastic.
Naturaler is a UK website full of tips and recommendations for living a more eco-friendly, chemical-free and natural lifestyle.