I Tried A Zero Waste Beauty Routine | Beauty With Mi | Refinery29

I Tried A Zero Waste Beauty Routine | Beauty With Mi | Refinery29

Hey guys, it’s Mi-Anne, and
this is Beauty With Mi. I’ve always considered myself a pretty
environmentally-minded person. When I was in high school, I founded a
couple of sustainability clubs, but something changed when
I moved to New York. I got distracted, I got lazy. Basically, I stopped trying to be sustainable. This past year, though, something clicked. You guys may have seen the federal reports
that detailed the impact of climate change… With the Trump administration rolling back
a lot of environmental legislation, and corporations just continuing to pollute the Earth, I felt
really, really dejected, and I decided to start learning and educating myself
about low-impact living. Living a Zero Waste lifestyle basically means
you’re not sending anything to landfill. So, you’re recycling, you’re composting, you’re
reusing, you’re upcycling, you’re repairing what’s broken. I’ll be the first one to admit that my job,
and the beauty industry as a whole really, is just not set up for living
a sustainable lifestyle. But, I knew that I at least had to try to
make sustainable choices in a way that’s attainable for my lifestyle. But, going Low Waste,
let alone Zero Waste, is an extremely daunting and
overwhelming task. So I decided to reach out to
an expert to learn more. I sat down with Lauren Singer,
she’s a founder of Package Free and an expert in Zero Waste living. Let’s talk about you and how you kind of got
in to this journey of having this Zero Waste, very Low Waste, lifestyle. It started in… 2012. I was in college at NYU, and was
studying environmental science, obsessed with sustainability, was like, constantly talking at people, to people about
all the changes that they needed to make. I went home one day after class, and looked
in my fridge to make dinner, and realized that I was the biggest hypocrite on planet
Earth because every single thing in my fridge was packaged in plastic. And then I looked around my whole apartment,
and all of my cleaning products were packaged in plastic, all of my beauty products
were packaged in plastic. And it was actually beauty that helped
me realize that Zero Waste was the step that I needed to take. The Zero Waste conversation can
be very overwhelming for people. What would you say is the best way to start? I suggest to people that they start
looking in their garbage cans and seeing what they’re throwing away. The thing that I was throwing away
the most was actually food. So, I started shopping at the Farmer’s Market
and then I started making my own beauty products. And before I knew it, just through making
those little, simple changes, I had reduced almost all of my waste. Why is recycling not the best option? Every kind of plastic is technically recyclable,
but that doesn’t mean it will be recycled. The reason that certain plastics aren’t recycled
is just because it’s too expensive to do so and there’s no value for the recycled product
because it’s probably cheaper to make it virgin. There are things like metals
are a lot more recyclable. Still, it takes a lot of energy. So, my solution is always, invest
in reusable, refillable options. So, we are in my bathroom now. My skincare routine has become
two/three things as opposed to like, the 45 that I used to use. My journey in sustainable makeup
has been a very explorative one. People are doing things that actually aren’t
sustainable that they’re marketing as sustainable because nobody really knows. The best thing is like, “Okay, I don’t wear
any makeup,” but that’s also not realistic. I wanna do this experiment justice, but I
love makeup like, it’s my job. But you also want to participate
in what makes you happy! Yeah! And so, I want to do it the best way possible. And that’s fair. And so we shouldn’t like, shun makeup. We should learn how to make it better. Lauren and I had a really
enlightening conversation. We got to go to her store, Package Free and
kind of look at a different way to do retail, which is really exciting. It was really nice to hear from her that
going Low Waste, going Zero Waste, is not a one-day thing. It is a series of lifestyle choices that you
can make over days, weeks, months, even years. So, armed with that knowledge I decided to
design my own low-waste beauty routine from shampoo to lipstick, most of which I
picked up locally to avoid having anything packaged or shipped. Before I show you the routine,
though, let’s start with the basics. Which beauty products are recyclable
and which ones are not? Paper and cardboard boxes
are a pretty safe bet. Paper and cardboard’s actually one of the
most highly recyclable materials. When it comes to plastic, though, that is
a completely different story. You can check on the bottom of your beauty
products to see if your products have a triangle of arrows– it’s
called the mobius loop. If the arrows have a number inside it,
though, make sure you check with your local community rules. Every city has it’s own rules in
terms of what is recyclable. So definitely check your local government
website to make sure your know what the rules and restrictions are. So here is some surprising beauty product
packaging that is not recyclable. Pumps, pipettes, squeezable tubes, things
like, that contain toothpaste, all those things are normally not recycled. They’re usually destined for landfill. In terms of things that usually are recyclable… Caps, screw tops, aluminum, hairspray cans,
those sort of things, shampoo bottles that don’t have pumps usually can
be recycled in your blue bin. So for all the products that I can’t recycle,
I actually signed up for a Terracycle Brigade. Terracycle is a really awesome
recycling organization. They recycle all the hard-to-recycle items. So, brigades are free recycling programs that
are sponsored by different beauty brands to give consumers an option to recycle
hard-to-recycle items for free. I signed up for the Garnier one
and the TOMS of Maine one. So, the Garnier one deals with most
like, cosmetics, personal care, kind of hygiene products. You can recycle mascaras, you can recycle
pipettes– all those sort of things. I have been filling boxes with the
empties that I’ve been collecting over the past few months. I even opened it up to some of my coworkers
for them to bring in their empties to me too. So that was really great. It’s a really good option in terms of recycling
items that normally can’t be recycled. Alright, so now that we know the basics, let’s
get into the routine, starting with hair. This is the Unwrapped Hydrating
Shampoo and Hydrating Conditioner. They are both considered naked products, as
in they do not contain their own packaging. They are sent in recyclable
or compostable paper. I’m a really big fan of
this shampoo in particular. I thought that I would have to get
used to using a product like this, but it actually is really easy. Cleans hair really, really well, is
hydrating, doesn’t strip my hair. These are also great for
travel because they’re solid. You can just stick it in a tupperware,
and you’re kind of good to go! Next up is the brand’s conditioner,
which I’m not gonna lie, is definitely more difficult to use. Because it’s full of oils, shea butter, cocoa
butter, you have to warm it up in your hands to get enough product to distribute
through your mid-lengths and ends, and it just takes longer. It definitely hydrates the hair, but it will
not make your hair feel super slick like some like, traditional conditioners will. You do kind of have to get used to it. Another great way to reduce your waste
is to invest in refillable items. So, Follain is this cute little
store in the West Village. They have locations all over, but they just
opened up a refillable soap bar. So, the initial buy, so when you buy it with
the packaging, for this big size, which is the 24 ounce, costs $16. There is also an 8 ounce, and that costs $8. But then every time you go to refill it, this
one only costs $8 to refill, the little one costs $4 to refill, and they have a punch
card, so every fifth refill is free. This is a very nice, gentle soap. I like the peppermint one the most. So, to clean my face and remove makeup, I
use this solid cleansing bar from LUSH. It melts with the warmth of your fingers. It’s really easy to take off
waterproof mascara. And then you just wash it off
in the sink with water. Really nice, it’s very hydrating because
it has a lot of oils in it. I will say, though, this thing melts fast. It can get messy. If you’re holding it too long, it will
slip out of your hands. So, definitely have a soap dish or
some kind of container to keep it in. On to toner. Now, when I went to Package Free, I spotted
these reusable, washable face wipes. And I thought, “This is the perfect alternative
to using disposable cotton rounds.” So, I use this to apply my toner. So, I didn’t actually go out and get a low
waste toner option for this video because I already have so many, and it
felt a little bit counterintuitive to go out and buy even more. This is the Meow Meow Tweet
Juniper and Carrot Seed Facial Oil. I’ve used this before. I like this facial oil. It’s very lightweight, it absorbs quickly. It doesn’t make your skin look too greasy. You can actually refill this at Package Free
and save a couple dollars. Alright, so I have another Meow Meow Tweet
product here, and this is the Cedar and Spruce baking
soda-free deodorant stick. I like this deodorant. It’s great because the packaging is cardboard,
which I normally would just throw this in the compost bin and
compost it at the end of life. It’s a really good deodorant. So, I really wanted to find an SPF sunscreen
product that didn’t come in plastic packaging, so I found this one from this brand called
All Good, which is really dedicated to creating mineral, coral-safe sunscreen. It comes in an aluminum tin, so you
can recycle this at the end of life. What is upsetting, though, is that it came
with a ring of plastic around it to protect the product. In New York, there’s actually an act called
the Film Plastic Reduction Act where any store that gives out plastic bags that’s
above 10,000 square feet is required to also recycle them. So you can recycle plastic bags, bubble wrap,
this kind of like, film packaging. So that’s what I did with the packaging
that came around the All Good. The sunscreen butter is daunting to look at. It is stark white, thick. I think the base is something like a shea
butter, so I was thinking it would be a good sunscreen/moisturizer, and
it actually really is! At first, you’re like, “Oooh, it’s so white!”
and you definitely have to rub it in a lot. But once you rub it in, it creates
a nice canvas for makeup. So, I actually love the way it looked underneath
my foundation and concealer. Finding a foundation that was
zero waste is pretty hard. I eventually landed on the RMS Uncover Up
foundation, which has a glass bottom and an aluminum top, both of which are recyclable,
although, I did realize it has a foam insert at the top, and that you do have
to throw away unfortunately. If you guys have any other recommendations
in terms of great zero waste foundations, please let me know in the comments. But, this one is what I used. It is a beautiful foundation/concealer. If you like the Glossier concealer,
I think you’ll really like this. It’s very dewy, it’s very fresh. Definitely not a full-coverage
foundation, though. I would say it’s probably sheer to medium,
but it leaves a beautiful finish on the skin. So, let’s talk about blush. This is the cream blush that I use. It is a beautiful product. Not only is the packaging absolutely gorgeous… You can buy refills for the product inside. This is not a cheap product. If you’re looking for refillable blushes that
are much cheaper, Makeup Geek has some single pans that are beautiful powders. But, if you are interested in this blush,
it is super creamy, pigmented, blendable. So, this is another brand that
I’ve been wanting to try. It’s called Elate Cosmetics. They create refillable bamboo compacts. Bamboo is considered a very sustainable crop. And then you can get bronzers,
highlighters like I did here. The packaging that it comes in is actually
Seed Paper, so you can compost that or you can plant the paper in your
garden and grow something new. The bronzer is much more pigmented
than I thought it would be. When I first used it, I kind of went in
too heavy and it got a little patchy, but with some blending,
it was totally fine. The highlighter is gorgeous. It’s not too shimmery, it’s not glittery. It just gives this really nice glow. Most eye products – apart from like, panned
eyeshadows – are not normally recyclable. Mascaras in particular are usually destined
for landfill, unless you send them to recycling organizations like Terracycle. So, I decided to go mascara-free during this
challenge and just do eyeliner because I cannot live without liquid eyeliner. I did a lot of research to find a product
that was as low waste as possible in terms of eyeliner, and I think I found one. This is the Surrat Auto-Graphique eyeliner. I have the blue shade. It is a very, very, very nice eyeliner. It has a really cool like, brush tip that
helps you get super crisp lines. Once your eyeliner is spent, you can buy refill
cartridges for the ink, which is really awesome. So, you can keep the like, full apparatus
of your eyeliner and just refill with whatever color you want. You do have to shake it quite a lot
before the ink starts flowing, but once it is, it’s great. What’s awesome about it too, is usually you
can take these cartridges and recycle them wherever you recycle printer cartridges. Last but not least, lipstick, and
I got this one from Axiology. It is in the shade “Worth.” It is kind of a brick-y, orange-y shade. I was really surprised by
the quality of this lipstick. Usually, kind of eco-chic lipsticks tend to
be kind of waxy like, sheer color payoff. This stuff is pigmented,
comfortable, creamy, so nice. And it comes in a cool little like, spring
out package that’s made of aluminum and can be recycled at the end of its life. That is it, guys, that is everything
that I’ve used this week. And really I made this video to educate
myself about ways that I can make my life a little bit more sustainable. With my job and my lifestyle, I don’t think
I can go completely zero waste. It’s just not something that’s for me, and
I understand that, and I accept that. But, I know that I can make
more sustainable choices. Throughout this entire experience, I thought
a lot about whether having a zero waste lifestyle is something that you can
only do if you’re wealthy. And I discussed this with Lauren. I think we buy too much stuff. I think using less, investing
a little bit more is better. But, making your own products is exponentially
cheaper than buying products. Zero waste saves you money. Living low waste is something you don’t
necessarily need a lot of money to do. This is the way that our parents, our grandparents,
everyone like, pre-50s when the plastic boom happened, have always been living. They repaired the things that were broken,
they didn’t buy what they didn’t need, there wasn’t this culture
of single-use disposables. I know it sounds hypocritical given that my
job is all about consuming beauty, but there’s gotta be a middle ground. I’m not telling you to throw away
all of your makeup right now. I’m certainly not going to do that. But, I wanted to show you guys that there
are options available that can help you transition your routine. Collin and I have, I would say, a
pretty good recycling system. We take advantage of New York’s pretty decent
waste disposal processes, but I also know that not everyone has a farmer’s market near
them where they can bring their compost and dispose of that. So, I think that this entire thing
is about just figuring out how you can make more sustainable
choices in your everyday life. I’m not saying that there’s a
mold that you need to fit to… But, anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this
video, and let me know what you think in the comments! Bye! Thanks so much for watching, guys. Click here to subscribe to Refinery29, and
click here to watch another video. Bye!


  • Refinery29 says:

    What are your tips and tricks to reduce the amount of garbage you create? Share with us below!

  • Budleee Bazz says:

    Beauty and skin care is plastic hill I am willing to die on

  • Rachel Hammitt says:

    lets do a zero waste fashion one please

  • adelia chang says:

    In Indonesia we can only use body shop's products and they will recycle it. Idk any other brands yet. I wish there will be more brands in near future that care about recycle, zero waste, etc.

  • StarchaserArya says:

    Once a family friend was living in New York and it was the time they put recycled bins there and she used to recycle all her trash for all the 3 years she lived there..turned out that it was a hoax and they didnt recycle the garbage everything ended up in landfill it was just to teach people how to use the recycle bins..dunno how it is now… in my country they just use the same garbege truck for recycled bins

  • Jacquelyn Mancera says:

    Ma’am why did you shower with jewlery

  • peachy-sttars says:

    SaVe ThE tUrTlEs

  • gillian owens says:

    Zero waste very popular

  • gothqueen13 says:

    I think the Besame mascara is the most recyclable mascara option?

  • Annabelle Cooper says:

    Tropic skincare and cosmetics have bio-degradable packaging 😁

  • Ashley Makeup says:

    I have that same face bar from lush but it makes my face feel sticky

  • joey almanza says:

    Taking a bath with jewelry on.. hhahaahah

  • Jun L says:

    The problem is these types of stores are not always available.

  • Anneka Olson says:

    Besame cake mascara is waste free and it also works as eyeliner!

  • Saffanah Tanjung says:

    Tattooed brow

  • Naomi Waite says:

    Sadly over here in NI, markets and loose vegetables and fruit are rare. It's saddening.

  • labulabu says:

    Sadly everything is too expensive…And I'm afraid I will get allergies from them… 😁

  • Elise Ilkyaz says:

    the LUSH slapstick foundation! though I'm not sure if it's available in the US, but great shade range !

  • Calista Hollowell says:

    I live in a rural area and these videos just kill me. Helpful for sure but like, you just have refillable places down the road lmao that’s wild. Lauren Singer kills me the most “I just went to the farmers market and next thing you know I had no waste” GIRL

  • Calista Hollowell says:

    Also, 100% pure is a waste free mascara and Aether is now at Sephora, they have a zero waste eye shadow pallet.

  • Mona Moore says:

    Lush do a good job for zero waste veganism cruelty free organic products 👍


    Lush foudation/concealer and blush/highler in bars 💕 I LOVE THEM

  • Ah Ha says:

    I enjoyed this!

  • shreya Chanana says:

    Hey mi u kinda look like shraddha from popxo channel.

  • Tommie says:

    While Lauren has some awesome things to suggest, I think the simplest thing to take away from zero waste is simply: Consume less and plan more. 
    A lot of the single-use plastic culprits come from our want for a convenient society and being able to pick up a coffee when ever it occurs to you. A little bit of planning can go a long way! You know if you're about to go out for takeout, so take your container with you too. You know that you get a coffee everyday, so take a reusable cup – or a jar works just as well, and can store food too ^_^. (God, I love jars.)
    I really recommend following zerowastechef on Insta or looking at her blog for some amazing tips – and The Rogue Ginger is awesome too!

  • Fiora Bener says:

    There are some fondashon (I don't know how to write it😂) from lush which are zero waste

  • Monersc says:

    the solid besame mascara is a good option!!

  • Glossy Bubble says:

    Gorgeous color lipstick!

  • StephAnneFyfe says:

    pressed foundation from elate cosmetics!

  • Rachel X says:

    I want to live more sustainable but in my county there arent any bulk stores or refillable options

  • Nathalia Morato says:

    every 6 packages of mac products you can get a lipstick or eyeshadow, its part of a recycle project… Its always nice to know!!

  • Eleni Paradisi says:

    Great video…too bad in greece we do not have bulk stores….only a few stores we can buy some kinds of food in bulk…i make my one castille soap face cream face oil etc….as well as sunscreen….i am in the making some nake up….too much waste in greece…people and government are not at all in the low waste impact…many many things have to change….only very few people….i wish we had stores like this one in every city….too too bad..

  • futzicat says:

    Does anyone know if glass deo bottles, with a glass ball can be recycled?

  • Loreena B says:

    I recently got Elate bronzer and lipstick and I'm obsessed! I also just got an eco friendly deodorant that can be refilled. I'm a makeup hoarder and I'm trying to get better and make better choices when it comes to beauty products.

  • Myriam Gagnon says:

    Zero waste would have been to use what you already own. To not buy more than you can use before it expires. Zero waste is about wasting less ressources, it doesnt just mean to buy without plastic.

  • Sajjad Consultant says:

    you could have bought the gabriel foundation its a glass bottle with no pump

  • ericka Calloway says:

    Thanks so much for all the concise & useful information in his video !

  • Marlene Medina says:

    This was awesome! Thank you for conducting an experiment that not everyone can afford to do and for sharing your findings with the general public. You rule! 🌎

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *