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Zero Waste Makeup Options for Everyday Use
August 23, 2021 · Aaron Burr

Zero Waste Makeup Options for Everyday Use

There is a lot to consider when thinking about our impact on the earth. Different actions will usually carry different weight.𐄷 Different on our personal lives and different weight on the earth. And everyday actions tend to add up, especially when we are consuming a specific product or resource.

Makeup, for many, can be an everyday or even multiple times per day ritual. Since these everyday actions can add up on us and the earth, it’s a great opportunity to have a real impact in our lives.

Use what you already have

Use what you already have

Makeup products have historically been unethically sourced, filled with toxic ingredients, and very wasteful. While there are now tons of better options (which we’ll get into), the best option is what you already have.

When we make changes that involve the brands we support, there is always this awkward time where we want to buy their products right away, yet we already have something which works fine.

Chances are if you use makeup then you probably have some makeup which you’ve already bought. The resources required to make that product have already been used, so we may as well make sure we don’t waste them. 

Unless of course it isn’t adding any value to you or you are worried about the ingredients. Then maybe you could donate it to a friend or something. 

Choose more ethical, healthier, and less wasteful brands that work for you

For when you’ve run out of certain products or you are tired of putting bad ingredients on your skin, here are a few great options! Obviously, everyone has different needs so not all of these recommended products may work for you.

Ultimately, when we are buying something it must be because it works for us! Not because of some crazy person writing a blog post said so (me). But, these products do set certain standards which will help you look for other options. 

Kjaer Weis - Refillable, ethical, and natural

Kjaer Weis

The future of makeup is already here. Enter the world of Kjaer Weis where most of their products come in a refillable container that is replaced by refills wrapped in recyclable paper. 

The cartridges are recyclable once they are empty as well as the products that aren’t in a refillable style. This company is probably the best when it comes to almost zero waste makeup. 

Kjaer Weis has been pioneering a reusable version of makeup while also sourcing their ingredients very ethically which is also amazing on your skin. 

Every batch of makeup has been inspected by hand and remains free of parabens, silicones, petrochemical emulsifiers and synthetic fragrances.” - Company Website

Elate - Minimalist and cruelty free


Elate also has very ethical sourcing while always using ingredients from nature.All of their ingredients are cruelty free and most of it is organic when possible.

What makes Elate unique is their minimalist thinking behind makeup. They created what is called capsule beauty, like the capsule wardrobe. Makeup doesn’t always have to be in a reusable container for it to be closer to zero waste makeup. Sometimes what’s more important is reducing our consumption which in turn gets us closer to zero waste anyways. 

“By selecting pieces that are both versatile and timeless, you are stepping closer toward creating space and time for what you love, and simplifying your rituals so that you have more energy to pour into other aspects of your life that inspire you.” - Company Website

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics - Small batch and back to nature

Dirty hippie

Very simple products, but in a beautiful way. All ingredients are from mother nature, and are handmade in Australia.🇦🇺

The company does offer a recycling program for only Australians, but otherwise you may be able to recycle or repurpose the tins on your own.

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics does a lot as a zero waste makeup company. They ship with minimal packaging, they protect their items with used newspaper, but the real impact is in their process.

They have kept everything very small batch and handmade which allows quality control to stay high while demanding way less resources. Very cool, check them out!

Switch to reusable tools

No matter the brands we support or the products we use, most of them will require either some way to remove or apply them. This oftentimes comes in the form of single use items like tissues, cotton swabs, cotton balls, and more. 

If you already have reusable ways to remove or touch up your makeup, well geez congrats! You should probably just run this blog for me while you’re at it!

If you’re looking for some zero waste makeup tools then you’re in luck, cause we’ve got options!

LastSwab Beauty

You know that product we make that is meant to replace cotton swabs? Well we make two versions to replace both major uses for cotton swabs: ear cleaning and beauty applications!

You can use LastSwab Beauty for touch ups, mascara, and anything else you would normally use a cotton swab for on your face. Not to mention, this saves all of the resources associated with single use cotton swabs. 


Do you ever use tissues during your makeup routines? Well we’ve got a product for that too! Maybe get some extra tissues to leave at home so you can carry the ones you need on the go in its respectable carrying case.

LastTissue is a perfect zero waste makeup tool which also provides tons of uses just like a tissue. But without the poopy impact of tissues.

Marley’s monsters cotton rounds

Marley’s monsters cotton rounds

For those not using tissues much at all and instead using something like a cotton ball, these cotton rounds are a perfect option!

Handmade in Oregon, USA, these cotton rounds are made from 100% cotton flannel which are durable, washable, and can be used again and again.

They are perfect for saving resources associated from single use cotton products and they of course make us feel better knowing our daily routine is that much less wasteful. 



No matter how sustainable or unsustainable a product is, less is always better. Even ethically sourced “zero waste makeup” carries a footprint with it, so it’s best to not buy something if we don’t need it.

When it comes to minimizing makeup, it seems like it’s all about versatility. At the end of the day, minimal makeup will look something like getting clear on things you want and don’t want to highlight. 

Remember when we learned Elates philosophy on capsule beauty? Well they actually have a quiz which allows you to build a minimal and purposeful capsule! Click here for that. 


Whether you are wanting better ingredients, less packaging, more fair trade, or you want more DIY recipes, what matters most is having something that works for you.

A product could be as zero waste, organic, and fair trade as ever but if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t add value, and that doesn’t sound great right?

Find the balance of products that align with your values with what works for you, and you will have a product that contributes to the human experience rather than getting in the way.