For this post i’m going to approach the subject of ‘Zero Waste‘. Rather than looking at packaging that can be recycled, this is the concept of no packaging at all or where the packaging has a function for the product. I do like this Eco concept as long as it doesn’t compromise on the quality and usability of the product. There are some really good local zero waste shops that are committed to this concept such as Bamboo Turtle in Letchworth if this is a lifestyle that you want to pursue.
I came across these ‘zero waste’ solid foundation sticks from Lush. The brand prides themselves on making hand-made cosmetics that are cruelty-free, vegetarian, ethically sourced and with what they call ‘naked’ packaging. This is making sure that their products are packaged minimally without unnecessary wrapping. The idea also being that less money is spent on rubbish wrapping which goes straight in the bin and the focus is on the product using good quality, natural ingredients. The no waste concept really works well for items such as a shampoo soap bar or solid deodorant that they are a brand well known for. I am more skeptical when it comes to make-up such as foundation!
Getting it right when it comes to foundation is really important. If the shade is wrong then we either look too pasty or like an orangutan. I will admit to making both mistakes at various times in the past (shhh! don’t tell anyone). Lush have a helpful shade guide on their website which shows them all lined up on the underside of the forearm for over 40 shades of the slap-stick. I went for 6W and its actually quite a good colour match for my fair skin. You can go into selected stores and they can further assist if you don’t want to take the risk of on-line guessing.
The product itself I actually think is quite clever. It is a solid bar, packed with artisan ingredients, it is quite creamy when it is applied to the skin due to the levels of coconut oil. A very small amount goes a long way which is really good for making an eco choice. It is packed in a minimal card box in a paper wrap that it can be kept in the make-up bag. There is a wax disc at the bottom which you can hold and when the product gets down to that level it can be peeled back to get to the rest of the product. It is a great example of a zero waste product concept.
So the verdict…. great concept but it is a bit of a messy product. To use it everyday you would have to have time to blend it well for the coverage and be careful not get the product anywhere it shouldn’t be like on clothes. I got it on a black t-shirt and it was tricky to get off. It is also problematic on a warm day or hotter climates as it melts. It’s an innovate solution to unnecessary wastage in cosmetics but in my opinion it is only going to appeal to the committed, keen, environmental advocates out there.
Call me old fashioned, but I would love to see more foundation liquids back in glass bottles again, or in packaging that has a reusable element like a pump bottle and the rest of the pack recyclable. Or even a solid foundation similar to the slap stick that is in a screw lid tin and applied like a foundation cream or a balm, none of these things I have found at the moment. Maybe there is an idea for someone to develop?
This blog post is part of a mini-series of posts about Eco make-up that could all make good stocking filler gifts. Check out the post #1 about refillable Mascara and look out for more sustainable make-up bag gift ideas coming soon!