Sustainable Ethical Low-Waste Make-up 2022

sustainable ethical zero waste cosmetics

We have all become more conscious of what we ear and the chemicals in our skincare but we don’t tend to give the same attention to our make-up.

I am not a chemist or a scientist so if you’d like more information on ingredients etc check out this comprehensive evaluation of toxins in make-up brands. It’s focused on the US, so not ideal for us in Ireland but it’s the best resource I’ve come across to date. Interestingly they do hightly concerns over mineral-based make-up, which are a popular ingredient with the low-toxin, low-waste ethical make-up makers I list below.

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Sustainable Make Up Brands in Ireland
(made or sold here)

Lush Cosmetics

Lush is 100% vegetarian, cruelty-free UK make-up brand that claims to be committed to ethical buying and using as little packaging as possible. Their website states that ‘when packaging is unavoidable, we prefer to use recycled materials. 90%, by weight, of our packaging material is recycled and we’re working on the remaining 10%. We like our packaging to be reused, recycled or composted at the end of their lives and aim to have 100% of our packaging recyclable or compostable.’ As recycling for their black pots is not available everywhere they offer a free fresh face mask to customers that bring five of them back to their stores. The black pots are recycled or re-used as art material. They now sell package-free vegan lipsticks. You can read all about their governing principles; from air travel and carbon tax to charity donations, on Lush’s policy page. There are a number of Lush stores in Dublin, Cork, Newry and Belfast.

Green People Make Up

Green People make organic mineral make up in the UK. Products are free from crueltySLS, SLES, methylisothiazolinone (MI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), parabens, lanolin, phthalates, propylene glycol, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), harsh foaming agents, irritating emulsifiers, synthetic fragrance, PABA-sunscreen, gluten, colourants, petrochemicals, urea, DEA, TEA or PEGs.  Their products are certified by Eco-cert as being organic. Their website doesn’t mention anything about packaging. You can buy their products in health stores throughout Ireland.

British mineral make-up

Lily Lolo is a British natural mineral makeup brand. They only use natural, nourishing ingredients in their products, which are free from cruelty, parabens, perfumes or dyes. Also 90% of their products are vegan-friendly.

Dr Hauschka Make Up

Developed in Germany Dr Hauschka has makes 100% natural and/or organic make-up that is cruelty-free. They state that they almost exclusively obtain their plants, oils and waxes from controlled organic cultivation (biodynamic quality where possible) and under fair trade conditions. Their factory in Germany recycles rain water, composts waste and have been using 100% certified green electricity for many years. They also use heat recovery heating, provide company bicycles, pay their employees’ public transport fares and provide a carpooling platform. They are also are working with the World Hunger Organisation to offer around 700 farmers who now use organic methods an alternative to opium cultivation. The American website displayed the BDIH standard for organic and natural cosmetics, while the German website shows some products as being certified by NaTrue. Each of the product page lists the ingredients contained in the product and also the nasties that it’s missing and whether it’s suitable for vegans. Their products are widely available in health stores and pharmacies across the country, including Nourish.

Lavera Make Up

Founded in 1987 and located in Germany Lavera make 100% certified natural cosmetics with plant ingredients, using organic where possible. Their 280 products are all free from cruelty, parabens, SLS, silicone, paraffin, GMO ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic emulsifiers, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours. Most of their products are gluten-free and vegan. Each product page helpfully lists all the ingredients contained in each product.  The company is certified by NaTrue. Interestingly the American version of the Lavera website says it’s an ‘organic’ skincare company, while the German one simply states ‘natural’ skincare using organic ingredients. You can buy their products in health stores throughout Ireland.

couleur caramel cosmetics

Couleur Caramel is a French company that makes natural cruelty-free makeup and are acredited by Ecocert and Bureau Veritas (Qualité France), whose main missions are the control and certification of organic products and who’s terms and conditions of certification are claimed by Couleur Caramel to be some of the strictest. The company appears to use quite a bit of cardboard packaging but there is no mention of this on the parent company’s website. You can buy their make up in Nourish stores throughout Ireland and Virginia Claire in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W. On a personal note, I bought their concealer. I found it good but too light in coverage for my skin. I also got a really nasty cut on my finger from the edge of the cardboard-clad aluminium pot the concealer came in. I emailed the company that I bought the concealer from. They said they’d speak to the company and come back to me. I’ve since heard nothing.

Set up in 1972 French brand Phyt’s offer 100% natural make up with organic ingredients online and from the beauty salon Virginia Claire in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W. They list all of the ingredients on their website and the company are signed up to a quality charter by Cosmebio, a self-regulating Professional Association for Natural, Ecological and Organic cosmetics. Their organic ingredients are also certified by EcoCert and Agriculture Biologic. Their range is available to buy in a host of beauticians and retailers throughout the country. 

Pure Bio is an organic make-up brand that uses only with natural ingredients to make vegan, cosmetics that are free from parabens, petrolatum, nickle and all synthetic ingredients in Italy. Their packaging seems to mostly be plastic. You can buy their products in the Organic Hairdresser in Dalkey, Co Dublin or from a host of e-tailers.

vegan natural cosmetics

ZAO is a cruelty-free French brand that offer products said to be made with 100% natural organic ingredients, including bamboo.  Some of their products are refillable and they appear to use quite a bit of bamboo packaging but it doesn’t talk about the sustainability of the bamboo that they use. You can buy their products from

Bellapierre Cosmetics

Available online , in Biofresh Salons in Swords and Drogheda, and on Ryanair and Aer Lingus Flights, US brand Bellápierre, offers 100% natural cruelty-free mineral cosmetics. The company states that it’s mineral foundation contains only 4 ingredients; mica to cover, iron oxides for colour and titanium and zinc oxide to give protection from the sun. Some of their products are listed as vegan.

RMS cosmetics

RMS Beauty products are said to be formulated with raw, food-grade, organic ingredients in their natural state which they claim allow their living, healing attributes to penetrate and rejuvenate the skin. All RMS Beauty products are free of harmful chemicals, synthetic preservatives, synthetic vitamins, and genetically altered ingredients (GMO) etc. Packaging for RMS Beauty products is minimal, and all of it is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable. I’ve been told that Spack NK in Dublin 2 sells this brand.

You can buy mineral eye-shadow, foundation, blusher and concealer powder refills in paper envelopes from Minimalist Grocery. The products are free of parabens and palm oil. It doesn’t say if they’re non-nano.

When it comes to nail varnish or nail paint we can now choose a 4 ingredient nail varnish free from endocrine-disrupting chemicals, like TPHP. You simply set the varnish with a hairdryer and it last just as long as regular nailvarnish. You can buy online from the website above, or McCartan’s Pharmacy, Sutton Cross, Dublin 13 or from or online or at one of the markets that they visit regularly. They also do a kids version called piggy paint.

eco nailvarnish

Manucurist is a vegan, cruelty-free brand of nail varnish made with up to 84% natural ingredients in France. Their products are free of chemicals you’d typically find in regular nail varnishes. They also do a kids range that washes off. Their packaging is recyclable / compostable FSC certified card and compostable packing peanuts. It’s available to buy in a few stores in Ireland now including Avoca.

Bio Glitter
If your little ones love to sparkle do so sustainably with the Irish company Eco Fae, who sell certified biodegradable glitter, which comes in glass tubes with aluminium screw caps. Their mailers, wrap and stickers are made from recyclable materials and printed with soy-based inks in Ireland.

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Like this post? Then check out my article on Natural Organic Skincare Brands


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

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