A Sustainable Makeup Bag: Where to Start & Tips to Change

[Image by Anna Shvets on Pexel]

Sustainability within the beauty industry only up until recently, seems to truly be filtering in and change slowly but surely being seen. Whether this be big brands launching refills to their best loved products or recycling schemes being rollout nationwide, more sustainable practices are gradually taking effect.. but if it is truly enough is an entire other question.

Following on from my previous post in the ‘Where to Start & Tips to Change’ series here on The Low Waste Weekly, today I thought I would continue this with a Makeup Bag addition! Ideas and tips in which you can begin your plastic audit of your makeup bag. Whether this be how you tackle the amount of plastic it contains, where to dispose of items once you hit pan or simple suggestions of products that you can purchase to tackle the seemingly never-ending wave of unsustainable products… your sustainability overhaul can begin right here.

Where to Start

Beginning to tack your makeup bag is as simple as laying everything you have out and observing. Is everything packaged in plastic? What products are cruelty-free and which aren’t? (this may require a google search) The questions you may ask are endless.

Of course, the trick isn’t to throw every item away and start again, this causes waste in itself. It’s all about using up what you have. Disposing of it appropriately (see point 2). Then, if a purchase of new products is needed, looking for more sustainable brands. There are countless refillable or package free makeup on the market. So, keep reading to discover some you may want to swap in!

Recycle in Superdrug or Boots

If you have makeup in plastic packaging you have just finished up, placing it in a household recycling bin is little to no use, due to a mix of plastics likely used to make the packaging itself (as well as there being product likely still inside most tubes).

Instead, I suggest finding your nearest Makeup recycling bin; Maybelline have recently launched a bin where they take any brand of makeup. They can be found in Superdrug and Boots in the UK or Terracycle® have makeup recycling centres across 20 countries world-wide, including the US and Europe too.

Package-Free Makeup

Although not extremely common, more brands now are creating package-free makeup. They use little to no packaging and It’s completely plastic-free. Brands I have discovered, that are worth mentioning are Axiology and Lush. As well as refillable makeup option, ZAO being a brand I have looked into quite a lot recently (planning my next swap).

Of course, the affordability does vary when it comes to package-free or refillable makeup. But, I do think the same can be said for the likes of Tom Ford or YSL. Ultimately, if you are able to both cut down the plastic items you are using in your makeup bag, and increase the package-free or refillable makeup you do use, you’re definitely onto a winner!


It goes without saying that when streamlining your makeup bag, the most ethical products you should own are those that are cruelty-free. Meaning, the product wasn’t tested on animals in it’s preproduction. More and more brand now are slowly becoming cruelty-free. But when curating a sustainable makeup bag, check a brands credentials is definitely important.

Tips to Change & What I’m Doing

Of course, curating a Sustainable makeup isn’t an overnight solution that’s easily doable. I myself still have makeup containing plastic admittedly, that I am in the process of swapping out. But it’s simple about cutting down on the plastic you do posses. Starting the journey of being more conscious of what you use. Besides, package-free make has to be the future due to the the endless stream of plastic causing unnecessary damage.

So, if your mascara is running out, why not consider the switch to a refillable version? or if you’re in need of a blush, perhaps invest in a package-free stick. The planet will most definitely thank you for it.

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