If you’ve been on the Internet/social media lately, you’ve likely witnessed the sudden movement to ban single-use plastic products. There has been a major push to be “zero-waste” in all aspects of life. But how can you save the planet and reduce your waste as a professional makeup artist?

It’s simple, really. There are so many zero-waste beauty products on the market. And no, they aren’t ridiculously expensive – most are actually probably cheaper or around the same price as your current products.

So , what exactly is “zero-waste” beauty? Everyone has varying definitions. Generally, it means avoiding single-use plastic and metals. Some zero-wasters will only use biodegradable or compostable products and packaging. That means no metal or glass unless it’s going to be reused or repurposed (not just tossed in the trash or recycling).

Keep reading for some of the best zero-waste beauty products out there!

zero waste lip products


Lipstick by Axiology

Axiology has a wide range of gorgeous colors –there’s a shade to go with any look you’re working on! Their lipstick tubes are made from aluminum. So once you’ve used up the product, you can put them in the recycling bin. An added bonus: their products are vegan and all natural!

Classic Lip Pencil by Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis’ lip pencils come in four gorgeous shades. The pencil is made of natural wood, and the product is made (mostly) of natural ingredients. This means, when you’re finished with the product, it can be composted. Or, if it goes in the trash, you can trust it will biodegrade in the landfill and won’t be there 100 years from now (like plastic packaging).

Lip (& Cheek) Stain by Fat and the Moon

Fat and the Moon is a small Etsy store, but many zero-waste beauty gurus swear by it! Their packaging is aluminum tins, which can be easily repurposed after they’re empty (also, they’ll just look super cute in your MUA kit!). Many of their products are multipurpose, making them a perfect addition to your makeup artist kit. For instance, this product can be used as a lip or cheek stain on all different skin tones and it’s all natural!

zero waste eye products


Refillable Mascara by Kjaer Weis

Yup, you read that right: REFILLABLE mascara! This is actually something Kjaer Weis specializes in. Many of their blushes and powders can also be refilled. The packaging is made of durable high-quality metal; so all you have to do is order a refill from their website! Then put it into the old container when it arrives!

Certified Natural Eyebrow Pencil by Antonym

Antonym Cosmetics’ products are packaged in bamboo or wood and recyclable aluminum. They have three shades of eyebrow pencils, which can be used together to make the perfect shade! Plus, all their products are certified natural!

zero waste cheek products


Universal Crème Blush by Elate

Elate’s products are all packaged with bamboo – which is completely biodegradable and compostable. Also, their packaging is just so chic! Though their crème blush is a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth the cost! It is available in three gorgeous shades, and they all result in a natural, dewy look.

Illuminator Pressed Powder Highlight by Elate

Elate also sells a variety of pressed powder products – this highlighter being the most popular. It comes in three colors, all perfect for various skin tones.

DIY Bronzer

Did you know you can make your own bronzer/contour powder using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen? Yes, in your kitchen. It sounds wacky, but don’t knock it before you try it! It works well (especially with some good setting spray) and will save you some serious money on contour palettes.

zero waste face products


“UN” Cover-Up by RMS

RMS’s cover-up aims to brighten skin naturally, rather than cover it up completely. This is a great option for clients with sensitive skin or limited blemishes! All their packaging is plastic-free, and only uses glass or recyclable metal. With a variety of different shades, this is a great addition to your MUA kit!

Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation by Vapour

Similar to RMS’s packaging, Vapour only uses recyclable glass and metal. Their glowy foundation comes in 19 different shades, and you can save money if you schedule regular orders! This is a great option for MUAs if you seem to go through one shade quickly.

Bioglitter® by WilliamsPro

QC Makeup Academy’s very own Azzi Williams is an accomplished makeup artist with her own makeup line! The Australian-owned line is all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and $1 from every transaction is donated to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their claim to fame is their HD setting powders offered in refillable packaging. But we’re most excited about their new Bioglitter® range—an environmentally-friendly, plant-based glitter that’s marine and biodegradable! Can’t wait to test these out? QC students get a a 20% discount off all products!

zero waste makeup brushes

Brushes & Applicators

Various Brushes by Antonym

Antonym sells high-quality brushes made of sustainable and compostable bamboo and recyclable and durable aluminum. Though a bit pricey, these brushes will get you through so many clients. Plus, when they’ve run their course, they can be taken apart, the bamboo and bristles can be composted, and the metal can be recycled.

DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds

Making your own cotton rounds is quick and easy! If you made them with durable 100% cotton material, they can be reused and then composted once they’re worn out. It’s a quick and cheap DIY that will work wonders when prepping your client’s skin!

zero waste skincare


Clarity Organic Makeup Remover by Vapour

In their glass and metal packaging, Vapour also sells organic makeup remover! Without alcohol or harmful chemicals, the product will be gentle on your client’s skin! With your DIY reusable cotton rounds, you’ll leave your client’s skin clean and soft before starting your makeup application.

Homemade Face Lotion

There are so many recipes for homemade face lotion depending on specific needs. The linked recipe is for sensitive skin, as it is free from harsh chemicals or ingredients. The ingredients (Shea butter, apricot seed oil, vitamin E, aloe vera, and essential oils) are all-natural and are often found in store-bought products. Making your own beauty products is an easy way to reduce or eliminate waste and save some cash!

Zero-waste sounds intimidating, but it can actually be quite convenient! DIY-ing products is likely the cheapest way to move towards less waste in your professional makeup kit, but buying the above products can also get the job done. Plus, products using natural ingredients, like many of the ones we have listed, are great for clients with allergies to common artificial beauty ingredients.

How do you reduce your beauty waste? Leave a comment!

There are tons of other ways you can be a more eco-friendly MUA. Check out this article for some tips!