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My in-progress zero waste beauty routine

My in progress zero waste beauty routine - Green Indy Blog

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I’ve worn makeup for as long as I can remember. When I was very young, it was a yearly tradition for dance recitals. As I got older, it was an everyday occurrence that I hardly thought about. Whether it was to give a little definition to my absolutely blank facial features (oh hey, pale redhead here!) or show off how *~cool~* I was as an angsty teen, makeup was there.

Sure, the eyeliner was heavier some years, or the lipstick darker, or the mascara more slapped on… but it was there.

Suffice to say, I like makeup.

As I’ve gotten older I my feelings toward it has moved away from a sense of necessity to a comfortable morning polishing ritual. All this to say is I don’t see myself going 100% without makeup anytime soon. It is what it is and as one of my non-negotiable zero waste exception items, I’ve had to spend time thinking about makeup and how to create a workable, near zero waste beauty routine.

Here’s where I’m at in my zero waste beauty routine now.

My in-progress zero waste beauty routine - makeup

Maybe it’s laziness (it definitely is), but all I use to wash my face in the morning is a splash or two of water. Honestly, I used to enjoy trying new products but my skin never looked better, no matter how high-quality the product was. Because my skin is naturally unoffensive – I wouldn’t say it’s amazing, but not bad – I decided to just stop spending the money on unnecessary products. I look literally the same; plus, I’ve got a few extra bucks in my pocket.

If patches are looking really dry which happens with Indiana’s wild weather swings, I’ll dab on a bit of my Farmacie hand cream that I always have in my bag.

(I’m really outing myself as a lazy person here, aren’t I?)

Zero waste beauty routine
For reference, about as dolled up as I get (AKA proving to the world I actually have eyelashes). Note the extremely thrown-together compost action going on behind me.

My actual makeup routine is pretty minimal so even if I purchase items in plastic containers it’s only one every quarter or so. Still, I’ll be working to reduce that soon.

As of now, my daily wear items are: Besame cake mascara applied with an old mascara wand, Fig+Yarrow lip tint, and an Essence waterproof eyeliner pen that is not zero waste but absolutely incredible. (I don’t feel too bad – Essence is cruelty free and also makes regular donations to several organizations I strongly support.)

For removing makeup, I stick with coconut oil and a cut-up washcloth. It may not be fancy, but it gets the job done. After that I’ll wash my face with water and perhaps a bit of baking soda if I feel like I need some exfoliation. I’ll either put on just a touch of jojoba oil mixed with tea tree oil or a heavier aloe vera-based cream. For the aloe cream, I used this recipe without coconut oil as I feel it’s too heavy for my skin.

My in-progress zero waste beauty routine - skincare
L to R: coconut oil, tea tree essential oil, aloe vera lotion, baking soda, and jojoba oil.

In general, I don’t feel like I’ve lost a whole lot by cutting out items like foundation, blush, bronzer, etc. At first I felt incredibly self-conscious, but literally no one noticed.

The moral of this story? No one cares as much as you do about how you look. #truestory

So right now I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in terms of makeup. I’ll definitely be keeping the mascara cake. The lip balm is OK but not so pigmented I’m sold on it – I’m considering something from this highly-rated Etsy seller. As for eyeliner? I’m a bit conflicted as eyeliner is my must-have and the DIY/natural items are not working for me. The Ellis Fass option may be the way to go.

No matter what I choose, I continue to keep in mind that going zero waste is an ongoing effort. I don’t have to be 100% zero waste right this second.

It’s OK that my zero waste beauty routine is a work in progress.

What zero waste beauty routine wins have you experienced? Please leave great DIYs or awesome zero waste beauty brands in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “My in-progress zero waste beauty routine”

  1. This is really cool! I won’t ever be zero waste, but I’m trying to do little things to reduce the waste I produce (like using reusable bags when I go grocery shopping).

    Thanks for sharing your tips, though! I’d never heard of baking soda as an exfoliant but I’ll have to try it now.

  2. So cool that you’re introducing zero-waste in all areas of life – I imagine with make-up it must be quite hard! Don’t worry about outing yourself as a lazy person, the only reason I don’t wear make-up is because I’m too lazy to bother haha x

    1. I really enjoy the routine of putting on makeup in the morning (plus, yeah, I’m sorta vain!) so I can’t imagine ever going without. But man, I aspire to your level of laziness 🙂

  3. Baking soda as an exfoliator! Great idea. I use salt in olive oil, which surprisingly isn’t usually too abrasive. I’ve considered switching to sugar as it’s a little less abrasive, but now I’m going to test it with baking soda too. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday blog hop!

    1. If you find salt abrasive, baking soda might not be right for you. My skin is pretty tough, but if you’re sensitive just be careful on your first go 🙂

  4. I have been doing well with DIY skin care. But haven’t tried my hand at DIY makeup yet. Pinning this for later! Thanks for sharing with #wastelesswednesday!!

  5. I haven’t worn make-up for over 20 years and even when I did I just did not get on with it … which has make that particular part of my green journey an easy one! But it sounds like you are doing really well finding a solution that works for you and the planet. #WasteLessWednesday.

    I run a monthly green linky called Going Green and I would love it if you’d pop over and maybe link up. The June one is open now!

  6. I really wish I could cut back on the make-up, but I have terrible skin. Right now my face is breaking out like I’m 15 so I have to cover it up. I also have bags under my eyes constantly. I’ll need to try that eyeliner when I get back. Where do you buy it?

    1. I’m lucky that my skin’s always been alright – although I’ve started to break out more as I get older which is really annoying!

      The eyeliner you can get at Ulta and Target for sure. Probably other places as well!

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