10 Ways to Green Your Beauty Routine
Sip Through a Straw
Here's a trick we've learned from makeup artists: Drink through a straw whenever possible so you don't mess up your lipstick. Your pout stays perfect, so there's no need for a zillion touch-ups. That, in turn, means the tube lasts longer. Green the effort with a reusable glass straw.
Glass Dharma straw, $8; glassdharma.com.
Demand Double Duty
Workhorse products that serve multiple purposes mean less cost (score for you!) and less waste (score for the environment!). "Look for all-in-one sticks that work on eyes, lips and cheeks, and moisturizers that are also sunscreens," says Donna Bishop, founder of greenbeauty.ca.
Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm, $34; bigelowchemists.com.
Trade traditional moisturizer for facial oil (look for essential, botanical or seed varieties). "Your skin will feel like a baby's butt," says Kirsten Binder, founder of Saffronrouge.com. "Oil penetrates all the layers of derma, leaving skin smooth, not greasy."
Primavera Revitalizing Intensive Seed Oil capsules, $82/30; saffronrouge.com.
Brush Up Your Act
Opt for makeup brushes crafted from sustainable materials, like bamboo, and ones that feature synthetic bristles. "I've found they blend as well, if not better, than those made with real animal hair," says N.Y.C. makeup artist Carmindy. Green-living advocate Alicia Silverstone even partnered with Eco Tools to design its newest line.
Eco Tools five-brush set, $13; ulta.com.
Blow Off Your Shampoo
Going a few days without washing your hair not only adds sexy texture that makes for easier styling, but also is good for the environment-saving water and electricity used for blow-drying. To keep strands from looking oily, Bishop suggests sprinkling dry shampoo near the scalp and tousling with your fingers.
Cake Beauty Satin Sugar Hair amp Body Refreshing powder, $16; sephora.com.
Turn Off the Water
Every minute the faucet runs, two gallons of water go down the drain; the average eight-minute shower dumps 17 gallons. To conserve, wash up with a biodegradable, rinse-free facial wipe, suggests Donna Bishop. "These remove buildup using less water, and they gently exfoliate." Or simply shave two minutes off your shower time (set a kitchen timer to keep track).
Kaia Bamboo Facial cleansing cloths, $18/30; drugstore.com.
Be a Label Hound
Check the ingredients, especially for products used on large areas of your body. Although conclusive evidence remains elusive, many consumer watch groups fear that chemicals such as parabens and phthalates may be toxic when absorbed in high doses. Another additive to watch out for: sodium lauryl sulfate, a common source of skin allergens. Though the FDA regards the doses in cosmetic products to be too low to cause harm, it can't hurt to limit your exposure to them, says Jenny Kim, associate professor of clinical medicine and dermatology at UCLA.
Life NK Uplifting body lotion, $25; spacenk.com.
Make It Good Till the Last Drop
Squeeeeeeze every ounce out of your products. A wringer, like those made for caulking guns or paint tubes, does the trick. Turn your last bits of eye shadow into eye-liner by applying with a thin brush dipped in Visine. And if your mascara dries up and gets clumpy, run hot water on the outside of the tube to re-liquefy.
Dr. Hauschka tube wringer, $16; drhauschka.com.
Get Rewarded for Recycling
You've scraped the last shred of blush from the container-now what? Bring back empties (from any brand) to Origins stores for recycling. Drop off plastic caps, like the hard, ridged ones on soda bottles or toothpaste tubes, at Aveda stores, where they'll be used to create new caps. (Many local recycling centers toss them out because they're so tricky to melt down.) Or accept a little (well-intentioned) bribe: For every six empty MAC containers you return, you get a free lipstick.
MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, $14 (or free if you bring in six empty MAC containers); maccosmetics.com.
Go Green With Color
No need to sacrifice performance for an eco-friendly polish. The formaldehyde-and toluene-free Zoya line comes in vibrant shades and stays put for a week (even after washing dishes, trust us). For commitment-phobes, nontoxic water-base polishes like Sula Beauty's are a great alternative—simply peel them off when you get bored; no remover needed.
Zoya nail polish in Reece and Adina, $7 each; zoya.com.