In a society that prizes appearance over personality, makeup is integral to survival. Some may escape the propaganda of the beauty industry but for those who don’t there needs to be a way to feel confident without being detrimental to the planet.
When I was 9, I first experienced the self-consciousness that results from being bullied for spots. So once I discovered makeup, at age 12, I thought I had solved my problems. A layer of slightly orange foundation protected my pale, pimpled face from childish ridicule but the older I got the more I questioned this. Why should I wake up earlier every morning to make it look like I was unaffected by puberty? Why should I suffocate my sensitive skin to deflect attention from my imperfections? Since then I have gone through periods of wearing makeup daily, periods of never wearing makeup, and periods of only wearing makeup for special occasions. When am I happiest? Probably when I only wear it for special occasions. Whilst I’d love to claim that I feel best without makeup, the energy and the self love it takes to consistently present your imperfections to an unforgiving world is beyond me. So I must find a way to make my cosmetic comfort blanket better for the world I love so much. I must find a way to wear makeup without having to pay for products that test on animals or pollute the environment.
To do this, I have been researching zero/ low waste, vegan, cruelty free makeup and have now tested a full face of Lush makeup.
PRIMER – Aloe vera gel or Lush Amazon Primer
As someone with skin that is both oily and dry, I rely on primer. But my current primer is in a plastic tube so I need to find another way. I spent a long time researching and I came up with aloe vera. If you get aloe vera gel from the leaves of the aloe vera plant then there is no plastic involved and you just get a nice feeling from cultivating a plant. Unfortunately, I found that plants actually take time to grow so the aloe vera plant I got for this post is still too small. However, I then found Lush had brought out a primer and this is what I have used to create and test a full face of Lush makeup, all of which is zero waste and vegan except for the mascara (low waste recyclable packaging).
FOUNDATION – Lush Slap Stick
As much as I’d love to DIY all of my makeup, many products are simply too difficult to make yourself. So the only option is to find the companies that provide zero waste, vegan, cruelty free products. For me, that company is Lush. Lush is known for being a cruelty free company but has also made a variety of its products zero waste and vegan. Lush offers solid foundation in a wide variety of shades and undertones, dipped in peelable wax and delivered in recycled and recyclable packaging. The foundation went on smoothly and I couldn’t even feel it on my skin.
CONCEALER – Lush Trix Stick
I chose a lighter shade for the concealer as the shades made my skin tone when mixed together. Both the foundation and the concealer felt very nice on the skin and only failed a visible mark appeared on my nose just under the bridge of my glasses. However, this is a pretty common issue with any concealer and foundation when you have glasses so it just meant I had to dab under my glasses with a tissue occasionally.
CONTOUR – Darker concealer
Contour may be a fairly modern trend but its appeal is undeniable. Being able to change the shape of your face is attractive to any of us who dislike our natural face shape. I use it to give my highlighter a bit of structure and mark my jawline because that’s my insecurity. I have only ever used powder contour but its so much easier to make cream contour zero waste and I found this in the form of Lush concealer darker than my skin tone. It wasn’t quite as strong as my usual contour but that may just be because it wasn’t as dark a colour and that’s easily fixed.
BLUSH – See lipstick.
HIGHLIGHT – Lush Glow Stick
Highlight is another modern trend which it would be hard to say goodbye to. Personally, I love looking in the mirror and seeing my face glowing! The lush glow stick Linnet surpassed my expectations. It was reflective and glittery and I can’t wait to try some other colours.
EYE SHADOW – See lipstick
EYE LINER – Lush
Eye liner and mascara go hand in hand. You can use cake mascara for both with the help of a small angled brush for eye liner and a recycled mascara brush for mascara. You can buy cake mascara on Etsy but you can also get mascara in recyclable packaging from Lush. I chose not to get a liquid eye liner from Lush because the applicator was the sort that I know I wouldn’t be able to do from years of trying and failing.
MASCARA – Lush
The mascara was very wet so I had to be careful for a while before it dried. Otherwise, it didn’t clump at all and was actually very good at separating my eyelashes.
LIPSTICK – Lush
Lipstick can have a variety of uses. Lush makes lipstick in a multitude of colours but no eye shadow or blush so why not use the lipstick to fulfil all of your colour needs? I got lipstick in the shade Haarlem and it worked perfectly for the blush and the lips. For the eye shadow, it was very light and I’d probably only use it in the day. Maybe Banjul, the darkest shade (purplish black) will create a better night look?
BEAUTY BLENDERS AND BRUSHES
When thinking of how to replace beauty blenders I hit a complete blank. I looked into natural sea sponges only to find that they are categorised as animals and therefore not considered vegan. I came across luffa, a plant (like a cucumber or a marrow) that can be dried and then the husk can be used as a sponge, but it didn’t look quite right. Eventually I discovered the Korean konjac sponge, a plant sponge which looked much more like the face sponge. However, none of the options were especially promising (importing from Korea is hardly environmentally friendly) so I used my beauty blender and will continue to research alternatives or return to brushes, which Lush also makes.
MAKEUP REMOVER – Coconut oil
Coconut oil is truly versatile. How can one thing be used to both moisturise and remove your makeup? To remove the makeup, you can even make or buy reusable cotton pads. These are simply cotton circles sewn together to make cotton pads that can be washed and reused until they decline in quality. I simply massage the oil into my face with my fingers and then rinse. It removes mascara better than any makeup wipes or miscellar water I’ve found, possibly because you can get right into the water line without pain!
Overall, I’m happy with the Lush makeup collection and will be using their naked products from now on. I did have to add eye makeup for my night look but with more shades of lipstick I’m sure I could create a darker look.