Creating a sustainable makeup Bag

It can be tricky creating a plastic-free beauty kit, however there are many brands enabling us to make great sustainable choices. Discover Sjaniël’s top tips on brands that are playing their part in building a more sustainable beauty industry.

We’re in the midst of #PlasticFreeJuly and whilst being so much more conscious of all the single-use plastic that is in our lives, using less of it in some areas can be rather challenging. One of those areas is definitely with our everyday makeup products. The majority of makeup – if not all – traditionally comes in some form of plastic packaging. Now plastic is not the worst option in all circumstances (you can read more on that here), sometimes it is actually the better option, but what we want to try to avoid at all costs is all the single-use plastic options that don’t have an ability to be reused or given a second life through proper recycling. 

For The kit

Here are some recommendations for great conscious and natural makeup brands that have thought through their packaging and given great alternatives to the traditional plastic by either using other materials or making it easily recyclable and refillable. With these brilliant tried and tested options you can have a decidedly sustainable makeup bag from start to finish.



Both these brands have a full range of skin-tone shades 

  • Kjaer Weis – Cream Foundation. Kirsten Kjaer Weis has always had sustainability at the forefront of her packaging and the new and improved sturdy red fully recyclable & compostable & refillable paper containers tick all the plastic-free boxes whilst still looking gorgeous. 
  • RMS Beauty – “un” cover-up Cream Foundation comes in glass pots that are easily repurposed or recycled means that you can give these a new life once they’re empty




  • RMS Beauty  – “un” cover-up concealer glass pots are available in 16 shades and also have aluminium lids which means both of these can be recycled easily once empty. 
  • Absolution Cosmetics – Le Multi Correcteur Concealer comes in a range of 5 shades in fully recyclable plastic tubes, since tubes have less components than wands or pumps it makes it a more sustainable packaging choice.




  • Soap Brows – this is such a great browsoap that comes in a little tin and works by simply spritzing a little water onto it and then using a spoolie or brow brush (buy a reusable one) to brush up and stick your brows into place – great for those with thicker and unruly brows. 
  • Madara – their Brow Pomade comes in a recyclable glass pot and easily applied with an angle or precision brush to fill in sparse brows.



  • Absolution Cosmetics – Le Smoky Eyeshadow is a great selection of fat wooden 2-in-1 crayon pencils used as both a liner or an eyeshadow colour when blended down, once you’ve used it all, simply send the lid to recycling. 
  • Inika Organic  – with 9 colours to choose from these vegan and organic certified eye pencils are a great sustainable liner option, again, once you’ve used it up, simply add the lid to your beauty recycling.


Liquid Liner

  • Zao – as with their mascara, all their liquid liners (available in 5 colours) come with a reusable bamboo outer and a recyclable plastic refil inner. 
  • ILIA Beauty – the Clean Line Liquid Eyeliner comes packaged in a recyclable aluminium tube with a felt tip point. ILIA has also implemented a Terracycle packaging return scheme for their customers within the US.



  • Hiro Cosmetics – with their pressed eye shadows you have the option of getting a sturdy magnetic cardboard palette where you can keep your favourite colours together and refill and change them as you like. 
  • PHB Ethical Beauty – with 20 high pigment shades to choose from these eyeshadows come in handy individual cardboard holders that are fully recyclable and compostable.




  • Axiology – this natural and vegan lipstick brand  is working hard toward a zero waste packaging system. Their lipstick tubes are made from post consumer plastic and their new lip & lid crayons come simply with a paper wrap and kept in a cardboard box. 
  • Juni Cosmetics – these organic and vegan lipsticks come in an ingeniously redesigned bullet made of 100% of aluminium, which means that it is fully recyclable and has an endless recycling lifespan. 
  • Kjaer Weis – with a range of high pigmented and strong matte colours, this steel case refillable lipstick system is as clever as it is attractive.



Lip Pencils

  • Kjaer Weis – KW has a great selection of lip pencil colours that cleverly come with a reusable steel lid to use again with your next purchase. 
  • Inika – these wooden pencils are 100% natural and vegan certified fat lip crayons that you can use as both a lipstick or a liner and once used you can recycle the lid.


Highlighter & Bronzer

  • RMS Beauty – with a great selection of different toned cream luminizers & bronzer in glass pots plus recyclable aluminium lids these are a brilliant choice. 
  • (M)ANASI 7 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is part of Manasi 7’s sustainability motto – their stunning cream highlighters come in beautiful reusable jars made from 40% biosourced raw material and is fully recyclable.



  • Kjaer Weis refillable – as with all KW products, this handy steel cased mascara can be refilled by removing and recycling the empty inner. 
  • Zao refillable – these varnished bamboo mascara cases can be refilled each time you’ve finished the product with a new recyclable plastic inner.

In Conclusion

Recycling makeup packaging effectively can become quite confusing when it comes to cleaning out and separating different components – the above brands have tried to make this as straightforward as possible and some even have handy packaging and recycling information on their websites (linked below). 

When in doubt, look out for Terracycle schemes with companies like Weleda, L’Occitane and Garnier where you can take any brand’s approved empties to be repurposed or recycled – you can read about these options in more detail here.

Helpful refill and recycling information for:

Kjaer Weis


Zao Makeup 

ILIA Beauty

Juni Cosmetics 


RMS Beauty

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