words KAYLA WRATTEN images SUPPLIED
If you dig around your beauty bag or pull up your latest skincare shelfie, what kind of packaging can you see? From tubes of mascara to bottled cleanser and your tried-and-tested foundation, the majority of our beauty buys are bound in single-use plastic packaging that’s easy on the eye but disastrous for the planet. Yes, even makeup has its ugly side!
There’s a lot of plastic waste clogging our landfills and waterways once we’ve tossed our empties. Even cardboard can have its downside. Data taken from Zero Waste Week revealed that the cosmetics industry produces more than 120 billion units of packaging around the world each year, equating to a loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. Yikes!
Luckily for us, a myriad of makeup, skincare and fragrance labels are pushing beauty boundaries by embracing sustainable alternatives. Enter the refillable beauty movement, where everything from glossy lip balms to creamy concealers can be replenished, helping us to blitz our cosmetic waste.
According to Netherlands-based organisation LCA Centre, if reusable packaging reigned supreme in the bathroom, an enormous 70% of the carbon emissions associated with the cosmetic industry could be reduced! In light of this great news, we’ve rounded up the cult labels leading the beauty ‘refillution’ in every step of your routine.
Face oil: Foile
Immersed in serene, mint-green interiors and a wave of clean beauty products, stepping into Bondi-based concept store Foile feels like drifting out to sea. As a new refillable beauty bricks-and-mortar boutique, the unisex brand offers a range of affordable oils dubbed Foile Classics that cleanse, moisturise, remove makeup… the list goes on! Whether you fancy locally grown hemp oil or argan oil from Morocco, once you’ve emptied your glass bottle of goodness you can head back to Bondi for an in-store replenishment starting at just $12.
Foundation: Honeypie Minerals
Hands up who wants flawless matt coverage foundation that doesn’t cost the Earth? The reigning queen of mineral makeup, Honeypie Minerals founder Claudia Keogh has you sorted with her beautiful pots of loose mineral powder handmade in small batches in England. The nourishing foundation, comprised of vegan, skin-loving ingredients such as Mica and Zinc Oxide, can be replenished with compostable pouches made from plant-based materials.
We all know bathroom buff Lush has long been a source of sustainable wisdom, bringing naked bath bombs into our tubs for sensuous soaks and package-free pampering. But did you know they’ve created some pretty nifty refillable makeup, too? Their naked cosmetics collection boasts solid foundation in 40 inclusive shades, a vegan concealer stick and refillable lipsticks for eco-friendly kisses. Each shade arrives in a wax sleeve that can be peeled away to slot into your existing lipstick case – easy as pie.
Bronzer: Eco Minerals
Sign us up for the whole shebang from beauty brand Eco Minerals, hailing from coastal hotspot Byron Bay. With bonus points for its natural SPF 24 sun protection, the loose powder bronzer is a fast track to sun-kissed skin that makes us feel like we’ve just returned from a sojourn in the sun. For makeup without the breakup, keep hold of your empty jar and restock with biodegradable refills.
Mascara: Kjaer Weis
Slept in and need to freshen up fast? Swipe some natural mascara from New York City label Kjaer Weis over your lashes and you’ll be good to go. Made with organic ingredients for nourished, lustrous lashes, this lengthening mascara arrives with a sleek silver wand and is designed to be refilled every three months.
Eyeshadow: Ere Perez
Growing up in Mexico with a mother who created home beauty remedies, it’s no surprise the eponymous founder of Ere Perez has established a clean cosmetics label that’s quickly gained cult status as the best in beauty for botanical ingredients and a glowing complexion. We’re obsessed with the eyeshadow palettes, as each shade, from golden Caro to peachy Maura, is available as a refillable magnetic single.