5 Zero Waste Eyeshadow Palettes

Zero Waste Makeup

This is the third post in our new Zero Waste series, and for the time being we’re still looking at zero waste makeup. Specifically, zero waste eyeshadow. I started trying to give plastic the old heave-ho a fair while back, but it’s been a much longer process than I thought it would be. It was sooo tempting to throw out all of the plastic I owned and replace it with eco-friendly alternatives, but I resisted.

As things have started to run low, I have been replacing them with vegan and zero waste makeup alternatives. This is a long process, and is taking some trial and error, so this series will hopefully give you the advice you need to not make the same mistakes as I did!

When I first went vegan with my makeup (five years ago, now!) I struggled SO MUCH with eyeshadow. Lanolin (from sheep’s wool) gives makeup an incredibly creamy texture, so finding makeup brands that didn’t use it was really difficult. Veganism was only just beginning to become popular, so finding information about it online was near impossible. Although that’s now changing, zero waste makeup has brought t0 me a whole new challenge. 

Zero Waste Eyeshadow Options

Zao are certified cruelty free by Cruelty Free International and by the Vegan Society, which is about the most reliably vegan a brand can be. Add to this their amazing collection of zero-waste refillable palettes, and you’re on to a winner. As far as I can see, Zao are currently only available to purchase online. Although some of their other products contain plastic, their eyeshadows are totally zero-waste and plastic free.

Their bamboo palettes contain a magnet which allow you to fill them with whichever products you like. Not only does this reduce their packaging, it also allows you to purchase just the shades you want and will use regularly. Although bamboo is difficult to compost at home, it won’t hang around for half as long as plastic would. The fact that they’re refillable also means they (hopefully) won’t go to waste, anyway.

Antonym is definitely what I’d call a high-end brand (AKA, a brand I hope to afford one day). Although I haven’t tried any of their products, I have heard amazing things about their formulas. They’re also certified by Ecocert, which (amongst other things) means their packaging is guaranteed to be biodegradable.

ColourPop still hasn’t taken off in the UK in the same way as it did over in the US a number of yers ago. A mightily confusing and complex issue of getting their products through customs put a lot of people off, but ordering from ColourPop is much easier now. Although they aren’t your standard eco-friendly brand, ColourPop’s refillable palettes are a great choice if you don’t want to compromise on colour range. 

Each of their pressed powder eyeshadows can be ordered individually in a metal pan which makes them totally zero waste.

Although their actual refillable palettes contains plastic, you can re-use it and refill it potentially indefinitely. You could also make this a super zero waste option by only buying their eyeshadow singles and finding something biodegradable to store them in.

Beautonomy is another great brand that has an amazing range of colours, textures and finishes. They are a fairly new company and I haven’t tried them yet, but their reviews look really good. It’s easy to see which of the shades on their website are paraben free, cruelty free and vegan, which makes this a great choice if you’re not just looking for zero-waste. They are really affordable, and as with the others you can choose your shades, which means you’re not wasting materials or money on colours you won’t use!

You can also choose the design of your palette by uploading images Moonpig-style, which I think is just AMAZING. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

The Body Shop sell refillable eyeshadow palettes much like the ones I’ve mentioned above. These are in the ‘low waste’ category rather than zero waste because the refills are made of plastic. There are 32 colour options, and you can choose from a single case, a case of four or a case of eight shadows. I have tried quite a few of these shades, and although I loved their texture they are definitely for a more subtle look. If you’re looking for high-pigment, The Body Shop refills are probably not the way to go.

These palettes and their refills are significantly discounted on The Body Shop website, which does make me wonder if they’re discontinuing this line! Fingers crossed, if they do, they’ll be replaced with something with less plastic.

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