Zero-Waste Makeup: Lipgloss and Lipstick

I’m not gonna lie, I am the kind of person that saves lipstick and lipgloss for special occasions. I admire people who can wear it on a daily basis without worrying about smudging, rubbing or getting it stuck in their hair. I wish I could be that put-together… but I’m not.

I’m not the most experienced in lip products (although anyone who’s been reading for a while will remember my obsession with Gosh’s Liquid Matt Lips). I am, however, pretty good at research, and I’ll go for any excuse to try out a new product. As part of my latest Zero Waste Series, lip products was always going to be the most challenging – but I’ll be damned to miss such an important category from this list.

The options are limited, for now, but I’ll keep adding to this post as I find new products!

Zero Waste Lipgloss/Lipstick Options

Lush is always going to be at the top of my list for zero waste products. I know there’s a lot of debate around their wider ethical practises, but you can’t deny they’re way ahead of the game when it comes to zero waste beauty products and toiletries. They have a refillable lipstick that comes in an impressive range of shades.

The lipstick comes in two parts: a sleek, aluminium case (which is totally plastic free), and refills, which come in a minimal wax wrap (which is biodegradable, but not compostable). Once you’ve bought one aluminium case you can keep refilling it with different shades, or build up a collection, if lippy’s your thing.

The aluminium casing is £8, which is fairly pricey for something that doesn’t come with any actual lipstick in it, and the refills are £10. In my mind, this is fairly mid-range for a lip product, and if you keep using them the case is a worthwhile investment.

Tinted lip balm in a recyclable tin is definitely my jam, especially for day-to-day wear. Even years after roaccutane, my lips get super chapped in the winter and I find it much easier to wear and maintain than lipstick. You can probably pick this up in loads of different places, but a couple of suggestions are:

Vaseline – obviously! I’m not convinced Vaseline is the best way to go in terms of moisture, but they do a lovely coloured rose version. At the moment, it’s only 98p in Superdrug!

NYX Professional Makeup #thisiseverything lip balm is a great choice if you want to go for something a little more glam, as it’s by a makeup brand. At £6, it’s not too expensive, and it has a really nice colour.

Too Faced also do a range of lip balm in tins, but they are only semi cruelty free – they’re owned by Estee Lauder, who test on animals.

Fat and the Moon also do a range that comes in tins, but it’s much more than lip balm so I thought I should include it separately. As well as tinted lipbalms, they also have lip paints in five different shades, and a lip and cheek stain which is (obviously) multipurpose. They also do an impressive range of other makeup and beauty options, and they all come in tins and glass jars!

You can order Fat and the Moon products in their online store, but they have also been stocked in a few of the zero waste stores I have visited, which is a great way to support your local shops.

Low Waste Lipgloss/Lipstick Options

We’re not all perfect and if you NEED a good quality lipstick (and you don’t get on with Lush), then there are a couple of brands that do refillable lipsticks. These work in a similar way to the Lush ones I described above, except that they do contain some plastic. This isn’t everyone’s ideal, but it still helps to reduce your plastic consumption.

Zao Essence of Nature is definitely a brand I would recommend supporting. They’re helping lead the way into more sustainable choices for makeup brands, without compromising on quality. They’re only based in Luton, so you won’t be burning a tonne of fossil fuels by ordering them online, but I haven’t seen them in-store anywhere yet.

Kjaer Weis are another go-to brand for the eco-conscious. They are much higher end than the other brands I’ve mentioned in this post, at an eye-watering £44 for a lipstick with a case, and £29 for a refill. I’d love to try these someday (…for now they’re way out of my price range), but they’re well worth a shot if you’re into your lipstick.

Gosh Velvet Touch Pencil

I’ve seen many self-proclaimed beauty gurus use lip pencils for all-over lip cover, and this is definitely something I’ve done before. If experimenting is your bag, using a lip pencil as your main product can help you massively cut down on your packaging. I’d always shop in-store for these, because you never know which ones will come wrapped in swathes of plastic and other unnecessary waste.

A few examples I’ve tried are:

MUA – their Intense Colour Lip Liner is only £1.50 in Superdrug at the moment!

GOSH – their Velvet Touch Lipliner really does what it says on the tin – it goes on like a dream.

Barry M – although their lipliners come with an unnecessary plastic cap, they’re a great brand to support for their wide range of vegan products.

What are your favourite tips for keeping a low-waste makeup routine?