5 UK Zero Waste Makeup Brands
Since starting out in my mission to reduce waste and hopefully become fully zero waste one day soon, I have done A LOT of research into zero waste brands. I am based in the UK, so as well as wanting to reduce my plastic consumption, I also want to support UK brands. Initially I found it difficult to find UK based makeup brands, so after doing a lot of research I’ve rounded up the 5 best UK zero waste makeup brands to make it easier for you, should you be seeking out the same thing.
Best For: Eyeshadows
Based in Nottingham, Nicmac Beauty is a 100% vegan and cruelty free brand that creates beautifully pigmented eyeshadows and makeup brushes. The brand is centred around caring for the planet, environment and everything and everyone in it.
The brand was founded in 2018 by Nicola McFarlane. Nicmac’s journey began after Nicola grew tired of buying plastic eyeshadow palettes that included colours she never used. After searching for customisable palettes, she realised the good ones were overpriced and predominantly made from plastic. So after 18 months of learning and testing out formulations, the Nic & Mix custom palette was born.
Nicmac stocks a wide variety of highly pigmented coloured eyeshadows which are all manufactured in the UK. Each eyeshadow pan fits perfectly into a high quality, plastic-free magnetic palette, so you can customise a palette to suit your makeup style.
Tip: If you sign up to NicMac’s newsletter you get 20% off your first order.
Love The Planet
Best For: Mineral Foundations
Love The Planet is an award winning brand that specialises in vegan, plastic-free mineral makeup. What started as a kitchen based project for Laura McComiskie back in 2002, quickly grew into a successful business with loyal customers all over the world. The zero waste mineral makeup collection includes beautiful products that are free from palm oils and parabens. The range is vegan and completely cruelty free and has won numerous awards at The Green Parent Magazine Natural Beauty Awards.
Love The Planet stock mineral foundations, concealers, blushers and eyeshadows in a range of shades. All the products are dispatched in either a recyclable tin or a compostable pouch – for if you already have a container you’d like to fill.
Tip: You can buy 2g samples of the foundations for only £2 to see which is the right shade for you.
Zao Essence Of Nature
Best For: Pressed powders
Zao Makeup is a vegan, cruelty free organic makeup brand, based in Luton, UK. They are often in the zero waste section of a lot of eco beauty retailers, however they’re not actually 100% plastic-free. Their lipsticks, mascaras, pencils, foundations and concealers all contain some form of plastic, and while they try to keep plastic to a minimum, it’s certainly not zero-waste. Zao are always looking for plastic-free alternatives and update their plastic policy regularly, you can view it here.
Having said this, they do stock some plastic-free products, which I wanted to highlight. Their pressed powders – eyeshadows, finishing powders, blushes, cooked powders, eyebrow powders and eye primers are all plastic free. They are housed in tin pans and encased in bamboo packaging. I think their stand-out products are the eye primer and eyebrow powder, I’m yet to see anything else in the market that rivals these.
Tip: Shop around for this brand, they’re stocked on a lot of eco-friendly beauty sites. You may be able to get discounts elsewhere, rather than shopping directly on the brand’s site.
All Earth Mineral Cosmetics
Best For: Mineral Blusher & Bronzer
All Earth Mineral Cosmetics are an eco-friendly makeup and skincare brand based in Cornwall, UK. They sell a range of mineral cosmetics, cream tints, skincare and makeup, all in recyclable or refillable packaging.
Their mineral range is extensive and has everything you’d need for the perfect base – from foundations to powders, concealers, bronzers and illuminators. If cream formulas are more your thing, they also stock some beautiful cream tints which come in a glass jar with aluminium lid.
Tip: You can buy samples of a lot of the products for only £2 to test them out before buying full-size versions.
Best For: Lipsticks
For anyone based in the UK it’s doubtful you won’t have heard of cosmetics retailer, Lush. I would say Lush are the mainstream pioneers of zero-waste beauty on the UK highstreet. They stock a wide variety of solid hair, body and skincare bars both online and instore.
They also stock a great selection of ‘naked’ makeup, in a wide variety of shades. From foundations to highlighter sticks and lipsticks, there’s truly something for every skin tone. They use wax to encase their naked products, so all you have to do is peel off the wax shell and pop your product into one of their reusable makeup cases. I have seen that the wax can be a little messy to unwrap, but surely it’s better to have a little mess over wasteful packaging?
Tip: Head to your local store to test out the samples before buying, the staff are super friendly and helpful!
I hope this has helped you in finding some affordable, plastic-free alternatives for your makeup routine. Please comment below if you have tried any of the products mentioned in the post or if you have any other UK brand recommendations.