Since switching to zero waste, beauty is one of the areas I've really saved money on. Previously, Claudia Kishi was a very poetic figure in my life, informing many of my maximalist tendencies. Not only did I do deeply sus things like wear a single giant heart shaped statement earring, leaving my other lobe earringless, I adopted a palette Lisa Frank would find excessive. Yes, I had gold eyeliner. I used white Wet and Wild pencil to brighten my eyes, blue Dior mascara (the natural sequel to the Maybelline Great Lash favored in high school) to accentuate their color, and for awhile loved pairing yellow and pink MAC shadows on my lids, a look a fellow classmate dubbed "Too Asian to function." Despite Nars being the compact of choice for burgeoning THOTs everywhere at that time, I never left class without whipping my Laguna / Orgasm duo out, brushing blush along the apples of my cheeks because I read it would diffuse undereye bags. Never mind the fact that I was NINETEEN and would not have bags for another seven years.
That's what I find so insidious about the makeup industry and women's / teen magazines. They create imaginary problems, making you think everyone's staring at flaws you either don't have or no one notices because NOBODY CARES. Everyone's too wrapped up in their own stuff. Pore size does not impact anybody's life enough to warrant daily use of a refiner, especially at the cost of the environment. This is something my mom tried to impress upon me before I spent half my nontaxable income at Sephora, but of course I didn't listen because, you know, Cosmo. Anyway, I've written posts on this before. However, my routine changed, and like Rory Gilmore before me, I decided, no doubt erroneously, I am my own best subject and people somehow care about what I do or do not use for my hair and skin. So here's everything (if you prefer videos with poor production value, check it out here):
AM: Nothing. I don't wash it, I don't moisturize, I don't even put on sunscreen, sorry, doctors and dermatologists everywhere (if you prefer not to play Russian roulette with carcinogens and cellular DNA damage, I recommend Raw Elements or one of the plastic free sunscreens listed here). I apply Burt's Bees Red Dahlia lip balm every morning. It's not vegan, but Leaping Bunny certified, and they have a takeback program for the containers, which are reused for new lip balms, or turned into yogurt containers and park benches. I'm considering Fat and the Moon Ruby Red tinted balm after finishing this (which I just realized was also not vegan, only plastic free).
Sometimes I use Votre Vu eyebrow powder my mom was going to get rid of with an Ecotools brush as eyeliner. It's in glass with an aluminum (plastic lined) lid; I'm sure it's toxic. If I feel like it, I curl my lashes and apply W3LL People mascara, which is the best mascara I've ever tried, period. I love the recycled packaging and silicon brush. It's gentle (I think it also smells good but I'm probably crazy), doesn't flake or smudge, is easily removable, and doesn't make my eyelashes fall out like conventional mascaras did. I liked RMS Beauty, but it stung my eyes and they changed the packaging so the product dries out prematurely. Maybe I got a bad batch of Kjaer Weis mascara, which did nothing for my lashes, flaked like crazy, and felt like acid if any accidentally touched my pupils. W3LL People offsets carbon emissions via Carbonfund.org, and you can drop off used tubes at Origins, which has a brand agnostic recycling program. I considered Ilia Beauty mascara, but W3LL People was at Target and I'm basic, so...
I like bronzer and blush because my face is so big, but I don't have time to dehydrate beets anymore and cocoa powder makes me hungry. As much as I love Kjaer Weis compacts, I don't mess with cream makeup formulas. Also, despite being as unencumbered by reality as I am, I'm not about to spend $56 on something that's just going to disappear on my face. I'll probably try one of the refillable pressed cheek colors from Elate Cosmetics, which offers bamboo compacts and seed packaging.
PM: Wet a washcloth (one of my knitted hemp ones or a cotton one from around the house) and scrub. Sometimes I moisturize eyes or lashes only with olive oil / coconut oil / castor oil, which I apply with fingers to remove eye makeup, before wiping off with a washcloth (I fail to see the purpose of reusable facial rounds). Water only eliminated my cystic acne, and when I do get a zit, just letting it heal naturally is quicker than any pimple cream I tried, even dermatologist prescribed products. Sometimes the washcloth pops a blemish- that's fine. Since switching to water only, they always disappear within 48 hours without scarring.
PM: Shower and shave with bar soap (I love evening showers, they help me unwind, and I also need to be clean before I get into bed). I don't care about the kind of soap, as long as it's moisturizing and locally available. Dr. Bronner's All in One is cheap here (I use hemp lavender), and if I find unpackaged vegan soaps at stores I buy them. I shave with a Merkur razor. Haven't needed to replace the blade yet, and it's been years, but I have a pack of Kai blades and moisturize with coconut oil. I don't think it's a good idea to shave or brush teeth with coconut oil, because it clogs drains. Straight baking soda is the best deodorant. Swipe underarms with coconut oil first, then apply with fingers. Zero waste deodorant doesn't have to be difficult- baking soda is not that messy or hard to use, it's not complicated! If you really need a creamier formula, mix one part cornstarch, one part baking soda, and one part coconut or sweet almond oil. You can also dissolve 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per every 120 mL water in a spray bottle.
Water only, and I don't brush it anymore. Yes, I have one hair tie I found on the ground. Sometimes I put coconut oil on the ends, or use lavender essential oil (here, lots of people make their own essential oils. My brother in law even built a still in his basement) if I plan on tossing my hair or something.
Brush with a bamboo toothbrush and bar soap once a day, baking soda once a day. Coconut oil for oil pulling, and swiss chard, siwak, or neem stick in place of floss. I still need to try Vomel, which I think is the most sustainable option available right now. Flossing with swiss chard is kind of crazy.
Some beauty / personal care brands offering refillable options or popular among the zero waste, plastic free community include Meow Meow Tweet, Ellis Faas, Beatnik Naturals, Holistic Science Co., Truthpaste, Le Labo, and Call of the Vialed. I work a lot, and travel a lot for work, so I don't have the time to make stuff anymore. When I'm home, I'd rather spend time cooking food or sleeping and I'm not much of a DIY person anyway. Buying is just easier for me right now.