Refillable makeup products promise to reduce waste and help create a more sustainable beauty routine. If you’ve ever thrown away old makeup, you know how much waste plastic packaging creates. You can fill up a bin pretty quickly with old eye shadow and compacts, not to mention foundation bottles and the like. But which refillable makeup containers are the most durable? Are some better than others? We set out to find out if refillable makeup products are as long-lasting as they say, and which offer the best value.
Why is refillable makeup long lasting?
Refillable to put on makeup usually works like this: you buy a normal container of a product, then whenever it runs out, you just buy the filler to replace it and continue using the container.
For eyeshadow or compacts, this means you buy a small tray of product to insert into the case and keep the original plastic case and mirror. For foundation or deodorant, this often means buying a plastic or glass case filled with a product pouch, and a cardboard or plastic product pouch or bag is replaced in the outer container each time you need to replace the product. This prevents plastic from entering dumps. Likewise, we try to avoid single-use plastic dishes.
So which products are the most sustainable and why? Well, first of all, it’s about materials. Buy yourself sustainable packaging, and was it sustainably produced?
Second, some makeup brands have started offering generous samples of their products so you can try before you buy. It’s another way for brands to keep trash out of landfills. If you like the foundation shade you purchased, you are purchasing the full package. Brands like 100% Pure do it for its organic herbal foundation, and we love it. They also offer extra swatches in additional shades when you buy foundation, so you know you’re buying the right shade for you.
Disadvantages of refillable makeup products
Sometimes you can buy an eyeshadow refill from a brand and the refill tray keeps falling out of the container wrapper. If you buy a deodorant that offers refills, you may not want to use the same packaging forever, especially if that deodorant bumps around your gym bag. Overall, though, we have to say we love the refillable makeup. It’s durable and, in the long run, it’s also cheaper.
For now, though, that’s the downside of refillable makeup products. They are expensive. We all want sustainable development beauty routine, but can people afford to pay more for refillable products that require us to buy the same brand products and pay extra for packaging?
Refinery29 recently published an article on the refillable makeup problem, citing the cost and hassle of mailing packages to some companies for refills. We think this will work out over time as brands adapt to a sustainable packaging model, but admittedly it’s not a whole lot of fun to deal with right now and creates more emissions of shipment.
Here is a way around this problem. When you choose rechargeable make-up products, look at the price of the original packaging and look at the price of the refill. You might just decide that you don’t need the original packaging at all for some products. We recommend that you purchase wraps for any product that requires special applicators to function properly. But if you’re using your own packaging or brushes anyway, why buy the standard size when you can buy the refill cartridge and use it on its own?
The best refillable makeup products
Harper’s Bazaar has listed some of her favorite refillable makeup products, including Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream and Rose Inc. Blush Divine color for lips and cheeks. We love two things about these products. The cream is a great innovation, as we hardly saw any branded use pods to refill the front cream jars, and having a refillable cheek and lip cream palette is the perfect makeup product. It has multiple uses, slips into your purse and can be recharged. What’s not to like?
Hermes also just started offering refillable lipsticks, which we love. It’s a small “ball” of lipstick that sticks out of the case and can be replaced. If you ever loved your lipstick case as much as the Color (hello, Dior), you will love this idea. Kjaer Weis Im-possible Mascara bonus to find out how to create refillable mascara.
Hangar-12 praised brands Kjaer Weis and the Memo International perfume conglomerate for doing a great job creating premium cosmetics with refills that make sense. We agree. Once you start thinking about sustainable packaging, it makes sense to create refills for glass high-end perfume and cosmetic bottles.
In fact, this could give rise to a trend for designer brands to create personalized products or top of the line packaging for customers and offering interchangeable product pods that change. So you can try new fragrances and moisturizers and keep your favorite product bottle out of the landfill and enjoy its beauty for life.
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