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How to Make Your Own Zero-Waste Makeup


Going plastic-free should not mean sacrificing makeup. As someone who both loves zero-waste living and playing with a full face of lipstick and eyeshadow, I don’t think I could ever choose one or the other. Of course, dedicating yourself to a plastic-free life can be difficult once you realize just how much minimal-use plastic is used in the makeup industry.

It might not be “single-use” technically, but makeup is most often housed in short-term use containers. How long does a tube of mascara last? Two or three months maybe. Add that up over a lifetime, plus all the other makeup you may use and the number becomes astronomical. So how can we have our cake and eat it, too? Or in this case, play with makeup and still save the environment?

While there are some eco-friendly makeup brands out there, if you consider yourself a DIY queen or Susie Homemaker, then there’s always the option of making your own zero-waste makeup at home. Yep, that’s right you can make this stuff at home! In most cases, all you need is a few ingredients typically found around the zero-waste home. Just a few quick trips to the pantry and move over, Sephora, we don’t need you anymore.

Eyeliner and Mascara

Yup, they’re the same recipe. Green Matters borrowed this recipe from our go-to zero-waste guru, Kathryn Kellogg of the blog Going Zero Waste. The mother of all things zero-waste went through the trial and error of it all (eyeballs burning, unable to rinse it off) so that you don’t have to.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal
  • ½ teaspoon of shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay
  • 2-3 drops of either sweet almond or olive oil