Six Easy Swaps to make Your Makeup Bag More Sustainable

Are you looking to make your Makeup bag a bit more planet friendly? We are here to help! In this blog we cover simple swaps that you can make that have less of an impact on the planet and will continue to help you looking and feeling fabulous.

Most of our suggestions in this blog are plastic free, as this is undoubtedly one great way you can lessen your impact on the planet. But ⁠don’t forget there are many other factors to consider when making choices about everything we consume in our day to day lives.

Animal agriculture has a huge environmental impact on our planet so by choosing vegan alternatives you are already making a positive difference in so many ways. Cruelty-free and vegan beauty products are also usually more sustainable because they tend to use natural ingredients rather than chemicals that are harmful to the planet (and our skin).

All of our products at Greener Beauty are chosen with their sustainability in mind, we look at company ethics, manufacturing processes and packaging and we provide all of this information on our product listings so you can shop with confidence.⁠ We also have a filter that means you can choose to only browse products that are made in the UK or a little further afield, made in Europe. All you have to do is click on our ‘Eco Friendly’ filter and select what you’d like to see! This filter also allows you to highlight plastic free, refillable and palm oil free products.



One of the easiest and simplest swaps you can make is to move to refillable makeup.

Lots of brands are now switching over to a refillable model. The range comes in two different types of packaging; a full size and a refill. In the picture we have Love the Planet who package their range in aluminium tins and the refills are in a compostable kraft paper bag. Of course you don’t need to use their tin either, you could use straight from the kraft paper bag or decant into a pot that you already have.

This works really well for mineral makeup such as the range from Love the Planet. But what about makeup that is not in powdered form?

Don’t worry, there are still options.

I am yet to find a range of refillable nail polish, but honestly, who would want that mess! I think I would honestly get it everywhere. So best we accept that nail polish will never be refillable. However you can select options that have less of an impact, what is the bottle made from? And the lid? Traditionally the lid is made from plastic but there are more sustainable options out there such as the Zao Bamboo lid. It still contains a plastic brush but this is definitely a more sustainable and lower impact option.

So what about other types of makeup like mascaras and lipsticks?

As you move away from mineral makeup and pressed powders it becomes harder to find refillable options. However we stock the full range from Zao and the full range of makeup is refillable from the liquid foundations to the lipsticks, the mascaras to the eyeshadows. While the refills of the lip glosses, lip  polishes, liquid eyeliners, Light Touch Complexion and Mascaras do contain plastic this is PET plastic which is fully recyclable. Even with this plastic refill it is a far more sustainable option than traditional throw away makeup.



Cotton buds can be so useful in getting those wings absolutely perfect or tidying up some eyeshadow that might have fallen on your cheeks while you were getting those fabulous Smokey eyes. But what is the impact of using these on a daily basis and how can we make this step in our daily makeup routing more sustainable?

Traditional cotton buds or cotton swabs are made from plastic. These buds never degrade and the fear is that they end up in the ocean where they will stay forever.

We have all seen that famous picture of the seahorse floating in the open ocean clinging on to a cotton bud. It breaks my heart to think that it might have clung to the cotton bud thinking it was seaweed and was then carried away with the current.

Luckily these plastic cotton buds were banned from sale and distribution in the UK on the 1st October 2020 so the hope is that there are no more of these available anywhere.  However a quick google at the time of writing this and I have found that the plastic versions are still available to purchase online. I know, I am as disappointed as you are!

Here at Greener Beauty we have never sold plastic cotton buds even before the ban and instead we have a few more sustainable options available.

Made from organic cotton with paper stalks, the Simply Gentle cotton buds are the first plastic free range that were available in the UK. Each one is 100% biodegradable.

A fun and colourful alternative are the cotton swabs from The Humble Co. The handles are made from sustainable bamboo while the ends are made from organic cotton and come in a range of colours.



Choosing miniature products means that these products will not last as long and will need to be replaced sooner. Choose full size bottles or large sizes so that the packaging lasts as long as possible.


The sustainability of the ingredients used in your makeup bag can have a big long term impact on how sustainable your makeup bag is. Whether its the use of unsustainable palm oil in products that is causing deforestation and the extinction of species of animals or that the product you are using contains petrochemicals such as paraffin wax (this is a by-product of petroleum).

Using organic products can also help with this. Organic products use no fertilisers, pesticides or growth regulators on the ingredients in your products. This has less of an impact on the natural world and the life around crops.

You can select to only see organic makeup by using the Clean Beauty filter anywhere on Greener Beauty and selecting organic.


You can make a huge impact on your own sustainability by using a reusable make up remover. We all know that lots of the face wipes just move makeup and grime around your face but did you also now that lots of them contain plastic?

A great alternative is using a washable or reusable cloth to take off your makeup. Here we share the options we have here at Greener Beauty.

I have been using my Ditsy cloth since around May 2019 and it is still like new after a wash. They are a good size meaning that mine will last a week of makeup removal before needing a wash. And the best bit, you don’t need any product with it, just some water. Like magic at removing your makeup. You can get yours here.

Another reusable option is the Konjac Sponge Company Eye Cleansing pads. Made from the sustainable plant fibres of the Konjac plant these are an incredibly sustainable option. They last approximately 3 months just be sure to rinse well with water after each use.

Get yours here.

Another sustainable and zero waste option is to use a washable makeup remover cloth. We have two options of these here at Greener Beauty. The one pictured is the Zao Washable makeup remover cloths made from organic cotton that come in a pack of 5 with this net bag which can be used in washing them.

Get yours here.

Alternatively we also have the organic cotton pads from Flawless which are available here.


When it comes to mascara wands there are currently no sustainable options alternative to the plastic wands, that I am aware of. So what to do with these plastic wands?

The best thing you can do is clean them off with warm soapy water and then donate them to a wildlife hospital where they can be used in the care of small animals. Research where you can send them local to you.



So there we have it five easy swaps to make your makeup bag more sustainable! Don’t forget that any and all small swaps can make a huge difference so rather than getting overwhelmed with where you are and where you might like to be, you can always just pick one or two things to focus on and add in more when you feel ready.

Another important piece of advice we can give is to start slowly and just replace things with a more sustainable option as you finish them. It would not be sustainable to throw out a full makeup bag full of products to just replace them with more sustainable options.

Don’t be hard on yourself. If you can only make one swap now that is amazing. If everyone on this planet made just one swap imagine the impact that would have on this planet.

If you need any more advice or help with swaps or anything greener beauty related please do get in touch via or our live chat and we will always be more than happy to help!


Pin it Six Easy Swaps to make Your Makeup Bag More Sustainable
Pin it Six Easy Swaps to make Your Makeup Bag More Sustainable
Pin it Six Easy Swaps to make Your Makeup Bag More Sustainable

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