As we are all becoming more conscious of the impact that our actions have on the environment, it's no surprise that eco-friendly makeup brands are on the rise. With so many options available, it can be tricky to know which brands are truly eco-friendly and which ones are greenwashing their products.
More beauty companies use sustainable materials such as bamboo, glass, aluminium or even recycled cardboard instead of plastic. Occasionally I have a hard time knowing what material is used since some brands and online stores don't specify it. Consumers would find it easier to find more information about packaging in the FAQ or directly on the item's description.
To help you make the best choices for your green beauty routine, I've compiled a list of the six best eco-friendly makeup brands.
For each brand, I will specify if the cosmetics are (all) vegan and cruelty-free - As a product or a brand can be considered vegan and/or cruelty-free in 2022, that might not be the case in the future for various reasons: their products will be sold physically in China, or their formulas have changed, for example. I strongly encourage you to double-check that the product/ brand is still vegan and/or cruelty-free on the brand's website or the below websites:
Search | Cruelty-Free Kitty (crueltyfreekitty.com)
Search for Cruelty-Free Companies, Products, and More | PETA
Cruelty-Free Beauty Brand Directory - Search 1,000+ Brands! (ethicalelephant.com)
$ = €10 and under per item.
$$ = €10-€25 per item.
$$$ = €25-€45 per item.
$$$$ = €50 and up per item
Created in 2014, the Canadian company manufactures low-waste makeup with ethical ingredients. Additionally, their packaging is eco-friendly, as liquid eyeliners and mascaras are offered in a recyclable plastic inner tube and encased in bamboo. Bamboo is not chemically treated and supplied by a Chinese green-certified, fair-trade manufacturer in China. The refills are packaged in a minimal-waste case created from bagasse material (remaining pulp of sugarcane stalks). Since the makeup is pressed in a recyclable aluminium pan, it fits into any magnetic palette (very convenient when travelling or having a small bathroom).
Their website provides details about the packaging used for each product and how to dispose of the packaging.
Made in Canada and shipping from Canada.
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, as well as makeup tools and refillable palettes.
+75% of their products are organic.
Certifications: Leaping Bunny, B Corp, Beauty without bunnies (PETA),
+ 75% of their packaging is reusable, recyclable or plantable. They also offer refills to reduce waste.
Recycling program: A program is available to Canadian residents but you can contact them to get a label if you live out of the country.
Beauty product I would love to try: Brow Balm
Where to buy? Elate Beauty | List of their stockists here
PuroBio Cosmetics, founded in April 2014, manufactures beauty products made with oils, waxes, plants, and mineral pigments that are free of silicones, petrolatum, parabens, preservatives, synthetic dyes, and perfumes. The company claims that its cosmetics can also be used during pregnancy.
Made in Italy
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, accessories, magnetic palettes, skincare, haircare.
Organic & Natural
Certifications: CCPB, NATRUE, Vegan Ok, Nickel tested, Beauty without bunnies (PETA).
The brand uses BIOplastic for their moisturising styling spray and fully recyclable cardboard & blister bivalve for their refillable packs.
My favourite beauty product: Compact Foundation REFILL
Where to buy? Ecco Verde Online Shop
Zao Organic Makeup This eco-luxury makeup brand was founded in 2012 by four friends. Formulated with natural ingredients (except nail polishes), their beauty products are refillable and offered in sustainable packaging. Despite being based in the UK, the company's cosmetics are widely available, even in Ireland. I find their refilling system pretty clever and it's well-explained on their website.
Made in Europe (Czech Republic, France, Italy)
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, makeup removers, nail polishes, and accessories.
Organic & Natural - Nail polishes are not organic but are claimed to be healthier than the standard ones.
Certifications: Ecocert, Beauty without bunnies (PETA), Slow Cosmetique.
Bamboo packaging is mainly used for the products. In addition, each bamboo product comes into a bamboo fibre pouch which can be reused. Cosmetics are refillable (liquid foundations and lipsticks included).
My favourite beauty product: Eyebrow powder
Where to buy? ZAO MakeUp, Ecco Verde Online Shop, Little Green Shop (Ireland)
For years, this company has been known for offering one of the first natural makeup lines in France. While I was at university, I remember this brand as the go-to brand for natural, fun and eco-friendly makeup (also more affordable than many other brands). Their products have recently been repackaged in a more modern & minimalist design. The new packaging is biodegradable as it's made out of a bioplastic called PLA.
Not 100% Vegan
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, nail polishes, skincare and accessories.
95% of their products are certified organic.
Certifications: Ecocert, Cosmébio, Beauty without bunnies (PETA).
Refills available in eco-friendly packaging for many products such as: mineral powders, foundation powders, eyeshadows, blush powders, bronzers, mascaras,...
Beauty product I would love to try: "Sunkissed" Eyeshadow
Where to buy? Ecco Verde Online Shop, V Claire (Ireland), Couleur Caramel (France), Couleur Caramel (Canada).
Benecos Founded in 2008 by a married couple, Benecos means "good cosmetics" ("bene" + "cos"). Their cosmetics are formulated with essential oils, plant extracts and organic oils & waxes. If you're looking for natural, affordable makeup, I strongly recommend this brand. With refills, you save even more money.
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, nail polishes, skincare, haircare and accessories.
Organic & natural ingredients
Certifications: BDIH, Cosmos Organic, Vegan Society, Beauty without bunnies (PETA).
Highlighters, eyeshadows, blush powders & bronzers come into rechargeable packaging. Refills are packaged in paper only.
My favourite beauty product: Natural Eyeshadow Refill
Where to buy? Ecco Verde Online Shop, Natural skincare (Ireland), Benecos (UK)
Dedicated to natural & organic makeup, Boho Green is a French brand. They use oils, waxes, and plant extracts sourced from organic farming to make their beauty products. The certified organic products contain a minimum of 95% ingredients of natural origin and 10% certified organic ingredients. When I was looking for a vegan eyeliner last year, I was attracted to their cardboard packaging.
Most items are vegan
Made in France & Italy.
Makeup for face, lips, eyes, nail polishes, makeup removers, and accessories.
85% of their products are certified organic. Certified organic nail polish is in development.
Certifications: Cosmos organic, Slow cosmétique
Makeup is packaged without blisters in PFEC/FSC-certified wood and/or cardboard. Refills are also available.
They clearly explain how to discard their products once they are empty here
My favourite beauty product: Black eyeliner
Where to buy? Boho Green Makeup (France), Ecco Verde Online Shop
There are a lot of great eco-friendly makeup brands out there. My makeup use has decreased since the pandemic, but I currently use the black eyeliner from Boho green, the eyebrow powder (refill) and red lipstick (#465) from ZAO. To find out more about sustainable beauty, check out my other posts. And be sure to leave a comment and share on Pinterest!