3 Plastic Free Make Up Brands

I think advocating a sustainable lifestyle is all about the ripple effect.  If I harp on about it enough then something I say will strike a chord with someone.  Then they might start harping on about that.  And something THEY say might strike a chord with someone else.  Then they might start harping on about that.  And something… I jest!  You get where I’m going here. So I’m currently very happy to say my ripple has started to turn into a very small wave.  Lots of my friends and family are asking me more and more questions about how they can make sustainability part of their lives.  Go team!

My lovely cousin Louise recently asked me about make up brands that offer plastic-free or minimal plastic packaging.  This is something I have looked into in the past but decided that more research was needed before dedicating a whole post to the topic.   But now I have the fear that poor Lou will reluctantly spend her hard-earned mula on yet more plastic packaged, chemical ridden make up before I get the chance to do the research.  So without further a do, here’s my top 3 plastic free make up brands.

ZAO Organic

ZAO Organic looks and feels like your “standard” high-end high street make up brand.  From what I have read, the Bamboo that features heavily in their formulations and packaging is harvested from China in a “controlled fashion”.  Although I can’t seem to find any information on the sustainability of the bamboo they use, they do mention that the farming practices don’t pose a threat to the habitats or food availability of the Giant Panda so for this, they get my approval.  Despite the Bamboo ambiguity, ZAO certainly pack a sustainable punch.  Their products are cruelty free, vegan and 100% certified organic.  Some products are even gluten-free.  Hands up who knew that gluten in make up was a thing?

As I mentioned, a lot of the outer packaging is made from bamboo and many items are refillable so you only need to buy the bamboo packaging once.  Unfortunately a lot of the refills do come packaged in plastic.  The website states that this is required in order for the product to be certified organic.  After researching other brands offering refills I’m not 100% convinced this is entirely true.


With a lipstick costing only £17.75 (refills £12.75) ZAO give our trusty high street brands a run for their money.  Are they 100% plastic free?  No.  But they’re lots of other great things and if you’re on a budget I don’t think you’ll get much better.

Kjaer Weis

Drawing inspiration from her childhood (Kristen Kjaer Weis grew up on an organic farm in Denmark), sustainability is at the heart of this brand.  Using only plant-based ingredients, almost all of the products have been Certified Natural or Certified Organic.  And yes, all that is really great but, what I love about this brand is the packaging and refill system.  Even their mascara is refillable.  Something I haven’t found in other refill systems.  Packaged in metal casing, these products are the epitome of sustainability and luxury.  The refills are wrapped in paper.  Yes, Kjear Weis is a (very nearly) plastic free zone!

The brand itself is in NYC so I can’t find you a shop here in the UK but fear not, you can purchase most of their items online at Naturisimo.com.

Kjaer Weis isn’t the cheapest.  I guess that’s what happens when you avoid nasty plastics and harsh chemicals.  A lipstick will set you back £51.  Yes, its expensive when you compare it to the likes of Mac.  However the refills are £29 making them slightly more competitive depending on the brands you currently enjoy.  I guess it comes down to priorities and budget.  I would certainly consider this brand, I like their ethos and the quality is unquestionable.

Elate Clean Cosmetics

Last but no means least is Elate Clean Cosmetics.  I really didn’t want to include this brand in my top 3.  Believe me it’s not because I don’t think their products are exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to package free make up.  It’s because they’re Canadian.  More specifically they are based only in Canada.  And no I don’t hate Canadians, I love Canadians.  But, anything you order from their web shop must be shipped across the Atlantic.  Not really the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is it?  Having said all that, I just can’t write my top 3 without them.

So what’s so great about these products that makes me even consider Transatlantic shipping just to get them?  In a nutshell pretty much everything.  The Founder is Canadian so she’s obviously a really nice person.  The brand is all about the Fem.  Elate wants to empower women and encourage them to embrace their natural beauty using natural product’s that enhance, not conceal.  See you like them already don’t you?

“Their bamboo sourcing is pretty transparent”

Of course, the products are naturally plant-based, vegan, cruelty free, organic (only 90% but we’ll let them off) and most importantly, the packaging.  Oh the packaging.  Each product is packaged exactly as you see on their website.  No additional plastic or cardboard boxes in sight.  The pressed powders come in seed paper which is basically paper with seeds embedded in it that grow into flowers when planted.  How bloody cute!  They sell wooden and bamboo palette’s that you can store your pressed powders in and the lipsticks, mascaras, concealers etc come in bamboo casing.  Unlike ZAO, their bamboo sourcing is pretty transparent.  It’s from China, and it’s green certified and fair trade.  The only thing they don’t do is refills.  Shame.

What about the price?  I hope you’re sitting down.  A lipstick costs just £11!  Excuse my French (Canadian) but that just shit’s all over any decent high street brand out there.  Like I said, the only real drawback for us non-Canadians is the shipping both in terms of footprint and cost.  If you’re planning on making a purchase can I suggest maybe doing some kind of bulk order with your fellow Conscious Crusaders?  Yes I just called you Conscious Crusaders.

So there you have it.  Three pretty amazing make up brands that offer quality, natural products (very very ever so nearly) package free.  Please please let me know if you have already tried them out and also what you liked, didn’t like etc.



Its been a while.  I really don’t know where the last couple of months have disappeared to.  I’m hoping you guys have been wondering where I’ve been?  No?  Oh well…  I’m back and this time I mean business.

“This is happening NOW”

So I’m just gonna be honest with you.  I haven’t been writing because I’m petrified.  Not petrified of writing obviously, but petrified of the stuff I’m reading about in order to write.  I am astounded that we as a species have reached a place in our history where we are consuming the Earth’s resources faster than the Earth can reproduce them.  No other species can make that claim.  Aren’t we just a treat!?  Atmospheric CO2 hit a record high in 2016.  All this is happening NOW.  Not in sixty years.  Now.  Children alive today will start to experience the negative impact our mindless consumption is having on the planet.  Actually scrap that.  If you are alive today and reading this you have already witnessed, experienced or read about events that have happened or are happening as a direct result of climate change.

Is it just me or is this information just not being put out there?  Why isn’t this headline news?  Why isn’t this our number one priority as a species?  Why are we more concerned with Kim Kardashian’s latest weight loss tactics or the fact that Prince Harry is marrying a mixed race girl?  HELLO!!!!  This is kind of a big deal.  And yes…  I am disappointed that Harry has given up on trying to find and marry me but I’m also kinda pissed off that the media and Politicians are for the most part, pretending that climate change just isn’t happening.

Maybe its just me that feels this way.  But I’m pretty sure it isn’t.  Is it?  So anyway these discoveries have left me feeling pretty terrible.  What a sorry situation.  And what’s worse is I feel like there isn’t anything I can do.  Here I am walking about with my organic canvas shopper and my lovely metal water canister trying my hardest but am I making a difference?  What’s the point in even trying?

Who am I?

It was at this point that I gave myself a little talking to and reminded myself of who I was.  I’m someone who gives a shit.  A lot.  And I’m also someone who doesn’t like to fail.  And I’m someone who won’t take no for an answer.  So I’m back.  Yes I’m sad, yes I’m scared but in my world doing nothing and lying down to take a big nap while Michael Jackson’s Earth song plays out in front of me just isn’t an option.

When I started this sustainability experiment I genuinely had no idea it would bring me to where I am today.  I have been taken down the biggest longest most eye-opening rabbit hole.  In a matter of weeks my whole perspective on my former life has changed.  I am seeing the world we live in a completely different light.  Some of it good and some of it damn right scary.  I must admit, I have moments where I really wish I could just erase the things I’ve read, watched and ingested regarding climate change, consumerism and our wasteful society in general.  Life would be far easier.  Or would it?  When I think about it my life now is pretty much as it was except that I am awake.  I know what’s important to me and I’m living a life that is in line with my values and beliefs.  So why wouldn’t I want to live my life that way?  It really is a no brainer.

So there’s been some big changes at Lyndseystripped HQ.  Some of them somewhat controversial and some of them just plain common sense.  And luckily for you, they’re easy to do yourself.

Zero Waste Hero.

Becoming zero waste is something we have really made progress with.  We are by no means perfect but I feel like we’ve made small changes that have produced big gains.  We haven’t emptied our general waste kitchen bin for over a month!  Mostly it gets filled with sellophane food wrap.  My hatred for sellophane and food wrap in general has become very real.  I’m grateful to my boyfriend for humoring and supporting me despite my never-ending torrent of ideas, musings and wonderings about our landfill contribution and the environment.  One of which has revolutionised our storage of food waste.

“Keep it in the fridge.”

We’ve started storing it in the fridge.  Yes I appreciate that this sounds weird but is it really that weird?  Most of the food waste we produce was kept in the fridge before it became waste so why not put it back in there to keep it fresh until we get a pile big enough to warrant a trip down the garden to the compost tumbler?   I believe the reason lots of people avoid separating their food waste is because it smells and can attract flies.  If you keep it in the fridge (or freezer, which is where I would like to keep ours but it’s not big enough) its kept fresh and odour free.  See.  Not really that weird at all is it? 

We have also given up our water guzzling dishwasher and replaced it with a recycling station.  This sounds way more impressive than it actually is (it’s just a set of drawers under the work top where the dishwasher used to live that stores paper, glass, metal and plastic).  I believe the trick is to make recycling as easy and convenient as possible.  That way you’re more likely to stick to it.  Our recycling station does exactly that.  Everything has its place and the kitchen stays tidy.  Perfect.

Although our recycling game is pretty strong now, I’m very aware that recycling is not the complete solution.  Ultimately all plastic will end up in landfill because it is only ever downcycled once, twice if it’s very lucky.   So, reducing our consumption of plastic even further is high on the agenda for next year, and I’ve got some great posts coming up that will show you how easy this can be.  This post is largely a personal one and unlikely to be particularly advisory but, if you take one thing from this rambling make it this.  Recycling is a LAST RESORT.  Think Refuse, Reduce, Reuse THEN Recycle.

“Think Refuse, Reduce, Reuse THEN Recycle.”

I really want my little part of the internet to be positive and encouraging and not scary and authoritarian.  I realise that our habits are deeply personal and occur because of many different beliefs and experiences.  I’m really not here to preach about how we should all be living our lives.  It’s REALLY tempting to scare the shit out of you all with facts about how much plastic resides in our ocean (big up Mr Attenborough for finally discussing this issue on Blue Planet II), or about how much pollution your Zara haul produces, but I will resist (for now).  The truth is that whilst all those facts and figures are important I’m hopeful I can make sustainable living so very easy and attractive that I won’t need to bother you with the scary stuff.

So yes.  I’m back.  Please stay tuned for more posts about capsule wardrobes, zero waste inspo and other general sustainable goodness.