How Can Brands Design Makeup Packaging to be Zero Waste and Less Reliant on Plastic?
This is an exciting topic for me! The amount of plastic used in makeup packaging has always irked me. Eyeshadows, blushes, and bronzers pressed into plastic palettes. Lipsticks, concealers, and mascara shipped in plastic tubes. And then these are placed into another plastic wrapper! Why? Well the short answer is: it’s cheaper, durable, and has lots of design versatility. But the amount of plastic waste adds up.
Zero-waste makeup products are designed to have nearly nothing left over once used up. And most of them shun plastic, or minimize its use as much as possible, in favour of biodegradable or easily recyclable materials. We (should) all know that true recycling of plastic is a bit of a myth that was trumpeted by manufactures, governments, and well-meaning green initiatives alike. The difficult reality is that most plastics put into consumer recycling programs don’t actually get broken down or reused. And the numbers are even sadder at the corporate, industrial, and global level.
The good news is that alternatives to plastic are plentiful. Glass, tin, paper, cardboard, and wood are commonly used by companies seeking better storage options. Even bio-plastics would be an improvement over standard plastic.
Then there’s also the topic of multi-use pigments in makeup, which is something that has long fascinated me. Who says bronzer can’t be used as eyeshadow? Or lipstick as blush? Why do we buy a separate produce for a shimmery face hi-lighter when our shimmery eyeshadows are essentially the same formulation? I’ve always bent those rules since they just didn’t seem logical to me.
Today there are many makeup brands that are experimenting with multi-use products. And I’m excited to get my hands on several multi-use products from Ere Perez and 19/99 Beauty.
19/99 Beauty – Precision Colour Pencil
These high pigment makeup pencils glide on with a creamy-matte finish. The formula is creamy enough to use as a lipstick or lip liner. I love the shade Neutra on my lips. And these pencils are also super blendable. So they can also be used as a blush or as a creamy eyeshadow on the lids.
After a quick sharpening, you can draw crisp lines with this pencil, but you’ll need an additional product to keep your work in place. I tested the shade Barna as an eyebrows pencil and as eyeliner. While the initial affect is really nice, it is prone to smudging. Using an eyeshadow primer, a pressed powder, or a dusting of setting powder helps tremendously with this.
The Precision Colour Pencils are high quality, vegan, and made in Italy.
Ere Perez – Coco Crayon
I really like the design of the Coco Crayons by Ere Perez. They are truly zero waste, since the pencil is wooden and the cap is recyclable tin. As a lip crayon, this formula provides a very saturated colour with decent staying power. I prefer using this style of “fat” pencil on my lips, as opposed to thin pencils. It’s a good width to swipe the product on quickly. And you get phenomenal colour payoff too! Despite being a pencil product, it’s very hydrating and creamy. This is definitely due to the roster of skin-loving ingredients: coconut oil, baobab seed oil, vitamins A, B, & C and omegas 3, 6, & 9.
The shade Charm is a very pretty everyday burnt pink-peach. (Peach colours are super flattering on my skin tone, but if you’re cooler-toned then you may prefer Grace.) And I’m really digging Brave as an autumn lip colour too. When combined, Charm + Brave creates an eye-catching but versatile ombré lip. These dewy shades can also function as a cream blush. Especially for those with dry skin. Those with oily skin, such as yours truly, would benefit from using a pressed powder first to prolong the colour.
Coco Crayons are plastic free (the caps are tin), zero waste, vegan, carbon neutral certified and cruelty free verified.
Hynt Beauty – Duet Cream Concealer
This dreamy cream concealer has been a favourite of mine for a long time. And while not technically a “multi-use” product, I do find the Duet Cream concealer highly versatile as a skin perfecting makeup product. It looks good no matter where you place it! Under the eyes, over dark spots and acne, or even blended into a day cream, it always looks beautiful. The formula is waxy-creamy and has a semi-matte finish which creates a real-skin final look. Recently Hynt launched the shade ‘Buff Medium’, which looks pretty darker in the pot but blends seamlessly into my light-medium olive complexion.