Green Tips: Halloween Makeup

Green Tips | October 26, 2018

For this ghoulish season, makeup is a necessity. From hyper-realistic scabs and spooky eye shadow, to the brushes that make it all possible, you will be sure to look the part. However, all of this personal-care can take a toll on the environment. To help you navigate the scary world of cosmetics, we’ve made a guide to sustainable purchasing in the beauty industry.

Self-care and beauty products comprise a large portion of consumer purchases. As a $445 billion-dollar industry, these consumer goods have a considerable environmental footprint. The cosmetic industry faces sustainability issues around energy consumption, sourcing, formulation, and waste management, to name a few.

Big brands are notorious for excessive packaging that not only adds to the pollution problem, but to the price tag as well. Furthermore, this packaging is often made from mixed material (that glossy label) which is incredibly difficult to recycle, and hold little product, forcing you to toss it out every few months to buy a new bundle of waste.

But this only points to some of the environmental horrors. Along the supply chain, the cosmetic industry racks up a considerable amount of energy usage, which is exacerbated by shipping and transport to retailers all over the country.

There’s hope: Trends show a growing consumer demand for sustainable products, prompting eco-friendly brands to start popping up all throughout the cosmetic industry. Here is a short list of some products to consider:

  1.     Afterglow Cosmetics: Offering a wide range of products from application tools to eyeshadows, this brand demonstrates its commitment to quality and sustainability. They suggest a donation to The Conservation Fund upon checkout, use and ship with reusable and recyclable packaging, and are certified cruelty-free and fair trade.
  2.     Axiology: For some vibrant lips, give this brand a try. Their lipstick comes in 100% recyclable aluminum, while garnering Sephora’s Clean Seal—cruelty-free and lacking any of those scary chemicals like formaldehyde, sulfates and parabens.
  3.     Antonym Cosmetics: While on the more expensive side, we can assure you that with your purchase, you are paying for environmental safety. Antonym uses recycled paper and bamboo as packaging, and includes all vegan, cruelty-free and natural ingredients. Their products are certified by ECOCERT too.
  4.     Elate Beauty: This brand is suitable for the zero-waste environmental warrior, offering products in sustainable bamboo and recycled packaging AND refills for most of their cosmetics. Once again, they are vegan, cruelty-free company.
  5.     RMS Beauty: This is transparent about their ingredients and sourcing; they package using 100% recyclable glass and tin, and are certified organic, GMO-free and don’t test on animals.
  6.     Tint & Tonic: A small, but purposeful brand, selling body paint, hair chalk and other fun beauty supplies. All of their packaging is sustainable and reusable, while their ingredients are naturally sourced.

Don’t forget to check: The makeup industry has long since been self-regulated, meaning most of their standards and certifications come from within the industry itself and not the Food and Drug Administration, making it easier to throw empty promises on labels.

Phrases like “natural” and “organic” can be abused in this industry, making it your job to ensure the products you’re buying fit environmental and health standards. You can double check sustainable ingredients through the Environmental Working Group’s Consumer Guide. As for waste and packaging, look out for the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and see if your brands pass the test!

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