As women, most of us put on makeup. But most of us don’t realize how much waste we actually make when we put it on / take it off. There are lots of things we just toss, toss away. Here, I’ll give you some tips on how to be more friendly to environment, & create less waste.
Makeup sponges: When it comes to foundation, we create a lot of waste when we go through beauty sponges. We use them once, then throw them away.
Use instead: Honestly ALL makeup sponges absorb your foundation, & the worst culprits are the disposable kinds. So not are you only wasting sponges, you’re always wasting your foundation (that you might have spent a lot of money on). Try using a makeup sponge like the Beauty blender, or makeup brushes. The Beauty Blender is said to last up to a year, & there are other inexpensive makeup sponges that you can use instead for a fraction of the price. The Real Techniques make up sponge is only $6. Something you can use again & again, instead of toss into the garbage every time you put on foundation. Also these kind of makeup sponges are supposed to give you an ‘airbrushed look’.
Eye shadow applicators: You also use these once or twice & throw them away.
Use instead: Makeup brushes
They give you so much more control than the simple one time use eye shadow applicator. If you really want to be environment friendly, get a set of makeup brushes from Ecotools, where they say their brushes are cruelty free.
Makeup wipes, cotton pads: These are also things that we use once, & throw away.
Use instead: makeup wipe towels! When you’re done with them, throw them in the wash with the rest of your clothes. The Makeup Eraser or the Wonder Cloth. Supposedly with the Makeup Eraser you can just take off makeup with the towel & water!
I bought these makeup remover towels in Walmart, & they only cost me $3!! (Unfortunately they don’t sell these online) Just use them wet & they can get rid of any waterproof makeup you may have on. Save your money instead of makeup wipes!! You’re supposed to wet them, or if you have really stubborn makeup I would dab a bit of liquid makeup remover.
One time use lip applicators: Cosmetic stores usually use them for you to test makeup, but some women use them at home – I’m not sure why. They probably have a lip palette that they have, & need an applicator.
Use instead: A lip brush. And it’s versatile, for lip stick, gloss, or stain. And not expensive either! You can get one for $2!
An eyeliner or lip liner pencil: God knows how many trees are cut down every year. I honestly can’t stand the constant breaking & sharpening.
Use instead: An eyeliner / lip liner you don’t need to sharpen, or even liquid liner. If you’re the kind of woman that loves to line your whole lips, consider a lip stain. It’ll stay on your mouth longer than a lip pencil will.
Shaving: Disposable razors: I know they’re so convenient, you use them once & you throw them away, especially when you travel. I used to use these disposable razors, but I would use one as long as I possibly could (until it went dull) & then finally recycle them. If you do use them as long as possible, you save yourself a lot of money, & would make a lot less garbage. And they’re so convenient, I’ll use a separate one to ‘shave’ off the pilling on my sweaters!
Waxing: I know you only need to do this maybe once a month or so, but each strip (whether it be plastic or fabric) you can use maybe maximum 3 times & you throw it away. They’re not reusable, & why would you want to reuse them anyway? Would you like to reuse fabric strips with old wax & hair stuck on them? If you were a beautician, think of how many strips you’d go through in a day. And then think about how many strips you’d go through in a year!
Use instead of disposable razors / waxing: A razor you can use for a long time, like Gillette Venus or Schick Intuition. I use Gillette Venus, and one razor blade can last me a couple of months! If you keep it dry & away from water when not in use, you can extend the shelf life of your razor blade. I hardly buy new replacement heads that’s how long they last me! Plus a lot less painful than waxing!
Use instead of waxing your eyebrows: Tweeze, thread, or use eyebrow razors! Tweezing always you so much more control over the sculpting of your eyebrows, & plus a good pair of tweezers can last you for years! Threading is offered in some cities, where there are Indian communities (it’s an Indian tradition). They use thread to pull out each individual hair, & I’m told that it’s less painful than waxing. I personally use eyebrow razors. And again, each razor I can use for a long time! Each one can last me up to months at a time! And they’re so cheap. So many places sell them for $1 a razor. Sometimes I’ve seen it $1 for 3 of them! Cheap, painless, & economical! And when you’re done you can just recycle them.
If you can’t stand shaving: Consider getting laser hair removal. There are lots of deals on Groupon.com & Livingsocial.com nowadays for laser hair removal! And as cheap as $100! That may not sound cheap to you, but IT IS laser & IT IS permanent. No more hair ever!!
Hemp Body Mitt, $10
I’ve mentioned this one before, but I’m a great advocate for exfoliating. This would be a great one for your body. Exfoliating really does wonders, not only getting rid of dead skin, unclogging pores, and making you look more youthful & refreshed. Made from the hemp plant, The Body Shop always donates proceeds from their profits to fund schools in developing countries around the world. (More info on The Body Shop Foundation) Not only do they use only natural ingredients in their products, but don’t test on animals, either. Not to mention that this gives me a great scrub in the shower!
Konjac sponges are actually all the range in Japan. This is a gentle exfoliator for your face! And it doesn’t hurt the fact that they’re made from plants & are biodegradable! And with the 3 colored sponges, you get 3 different kinds to try! The black one (charcoal) is meant for acne / blackheads, the green one (green tea) is meant for mature / damaged skin, and the white one is for gentle skin (i.e. babies) Cut into these adorable heart shapes, before using you’re supposed to soak it in warm water, & wait for the sponge to expand. Then you can use them on your face to exfoliate, then rinse, & then simply press them between your hands to expel the water & hang them to dry. I read an article that you can use them for about a month, here they claim you can use it up to 3 months. You can just toss these into your garden when you’re done with them!
Use makeup / skin care products that are cruelty free: E.L.F., Kat Von D, Bath & Body Works, Marc Jacobs, The Body Shop, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Too Faced Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Wet N’ Wild, LUSH, Montagne Jeunesse, & Milani are all companies that DON’T test on animals.
With beauty products / clothes: In general it’s better to stick natural ingredients / fibers, because natural things are more likely to biodegrade than synthetic materials.
Also buy in bulk: I did write an article on travel sized things, because they’re so convenient, & you can stick them in your bag & go anywhere. When it comes to things like hair products, bath or body products, it’s better to buy it in a large size, because it creates less waste. One big bottle is less garbage than 10 little ones. You save yourself money in a larger size, it’ll last you longer, & it’s also cheaper so it’s easier on your wallet. (Travel sizes are infamous for being more expensive. They are great however, if you just want to try a new product.) Plus if you love high end products, they will be cheaper if you buy it in bulk or large size. And if you live with family, even better! Don’t have a Costco or BJ’s membership? No worries! They sell lots of bulk sizes on Amazon.com, & have it shipped right to your house!
If you read the article, I also included links where you can buy travel sized tubes to carry your items, so you don’t have to carry these massive bottles with you. For a few dollars you can buy silicone travel tubes, where you can use them to refill up on your favorite products. I do this with my shampoo all the time (when I go to the hair salon). Now your favorite creams, lotions, etc can go wherever you want them to go! And because they’re silicone, you can stick them in the dishwasher when you’re done!
Let’s be friendly to the environment. I write to be fashionable, & to save money, but I think it’s wise not to damage the earth, either.