Zero Waste Week 2018

Today marks the start of Zero Waste Week 2018, an annual event that (this year) runs from the 3rd – 7th September. Zero Waste Week first came into existence in 2008 (happy 10th anniversary!) here in the UK but quickly became a global initiative. 

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of waste and to empower participants, whether they be individuals, companies, community groups, schools or local governments to reduce their waste – you can read more about them here.

As a professional Make-up Artist, I try to keep my environmental footprint as small as possible but it is almost impossible to be zero waste; it is significantly easier when you are simply doing it yourself (Zero Waste Guru Kate Arnell has some great tips for DIY beauty as has Kathryn over at Going Zero Waste) but even us pros can do our best to minimise the impact our somewhat wasteful profession has on the environment.

In order to celebrate Zero Waste Week, I thought I would share my tips on creating a Zero Waste make-up kit. Here are some of my suggestions (in no logical order ;)…

You may have seen my post last week about organic cotton Facial Cleansing Pads. These are a fanatastic way to elimate cotton wool from your daily cleansing routine. Cleansing Pads are washable,  completely reusable and available in a whole host of materials, prints and finishes. My current favourites are the afore mentioned Baba and Boo Pads (pictured below).

Tissues are a pretty essential part of a pro kit and arguably not totally banisable however their use can be reduced (and almost certainly eliminated at home) by swapping them out for a microfibre or towelling squares or muslin cloth (depending on what you are using it for) – all are washable. If tissues a must (I’m thinking for those super heavy colds) then choose bamboo or organic cotton based ones.

Disposable brushes/wands aren’t so thing generally found in the personal make-up bag but in a pro kit they are common place. There are various alternatives available: Try using mini fan brushes (such as the LY from Louise Young) instead of a throwaway mascara wand; a synthetic brush will work just fine with a lipgloss, simply make sure you clean thoroughly after use to avoid product build-up (The only issue is with artists/models suffering from Coldsores, in these cases I use cotton buds and then throw them away).

When it comes to brush cleaning, try removing excess product/wiping your brushes with a microfibre cloth rather than tissues. I completely transferred over to this method a while ago and in all honesty it is so much easier and textured surface works the brushes a little harder so products are removed quicker and with less effort.

When it comes to applying make-up many us use brushes or even our fingers but some prefer a make-up sponge. Make-up sponges are traditionally made from latex or polyurethane foam which despite being washable, sadly just end up in landfill. The clever people at ECOTOOLs however have produced one using their Eco-foam technology that is made from 71% plant-based materials; The foam is created from sugar cane and other renewable plant-based materials.

When it comes to nails one of the best Zero Waste alternatives is to exchange your disposable emery boards for Glass Nails files. These files are washable so can be used either in a pro kit or personal make-up bag and are reputed to be better for the nail. They don’t half look a lot prettier in your kit!

Many beauty brands house their products in recyclable packaging (I’m thinking glass, aluminium or card) however one of the most obvious zero waste solutions is to choose products that are also  refillable. Some of the ethical make-up brands such as Zao, Kjaer Weis and Odylique offer some or all of their products in packaging which can simply be popped out of the palette or compact and replaced with another pan.

Another suggestion in the bid to reduce beauty waste is buying in larger quantities. In the case of many products this isn’t really possible however some brands (I’m thinking Dr Bronners and Naissance) offer super sizes of their products so if storage isn’t an issue for you then this could be the way to go.

Although I am writing this as a Make-up Artist with a somewhat extensive pro kit and with Make-up Artist’s in mind, everyone can take somthing away from this and these ideas can be incorporated into a personal make-up bag.

Do you have any zero waste tips?


Images: (1) Zero Waste Week; (2, 3) LJS – OMUA

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