The Growing Trend Towards a “Less is More” Attitude to Make-Up

Have you ever had that feeling while putting make-up on, when you look down at your make-up space and noticed the amount of unused and unopened makeup, brushes and palettes? That inevitable thought “Umm, which eyeshadow palette should I use today?”.

If you have ever said that, it’s time to cull. Be honest with yourself, we all have a favourite. The one that has zero product left in. That special palette where you’re still trying to get product from it even though you know it’s finished. It’s your go to colour range, perfect every time, so good you can almost do your make-up in the dark and know it’s going to look good.

Picture yourself in this scenario; you’re walking through the shops and look into the window of a cosmetics store. Impulsively impossible to stop yourself, with all the pretty colours and packaging, glitz and glamour. The beauty girls behind the counter with their gorgeous made up faces on with the oh-so-pretty colours. That’s it, you’re hooked!

“I want to look like that”, so you buy another eyeshadow palette and take it home. You take it out of the packaging, all colourful and pretty, use it once and it just doesn’t do what your favourite palette does. The colours don’t sit the same, the eyeshadow doesn’t glide on the skin as well, you don’t look like the girl in the shop. So, it sits on the side with all the other palettes never to be used again.

Answer me this; did you keep the packaging as well? Did you have that thought, “but it’s a Kylie Jenner original! The packaging is so pretty! I’ll just keep it to look at!”. Sound familiar? Yep, that’s me! When I left the house this morning, I happened to be looking in my draw and realised I’m the hoarder of packaging. Kylie Jenner’s lip kit, Juvia’s packaging, so gorgeous. All those beautiful pictures…

It’s time to stop

Enough is enough! The beauty industry is finally cleaning up its act. Think of all the times you have bought a product, whether an eyebrow pencil or a foundation, all the pretty packaging it takes to get you hooked to make the purchase. The underlying boxes filled with bubble wrap, then pretty tissue paper and cellophane. The list goes on.

Beauty influencers around the world, as well as consumers, are making a stand.

Less is More

One of the world’s biggest beauty make-up influencers, Jeffery Star (Who made it onto our Top 5 YouTube Make-Up Artist’s list), with a makeup stash worth in excess of US$1m, which was given to him by companies wanting him to promote their brands. He is making a stand and getting rid of it all. An influencer can sway a beauty customer to buy anything if they have the following, but at what cost?

In 2020, the global beauty industry is worth more than $532bn, and the Australian industry is following with a current value of $6.5bn and growing. What kind of environmental impact will this have? Influencers and consumers are reaching out to the cosmetic heavyweight companies to reconsider their packaging choices, and join the force to make the change to “LESS IS MORE” eco-friendly packaging that have little to no environmental impact by 2021.

As a consumer, what can we do?

  1. De-clutter – go through your own make-up space and really look at what you use and what is just junk. If it’s more than a year, or even possibly two years, old, throw it.
  2. Check the use by dates.

(Pro tip – if you didn’t already know, Period After Openingthe symbol on the left is on every make-up product. It tells you the longevity of a product. So, make a note of the date you bought the product. I always put a date on the actual product, so I know)


The clean-up starts with us. As winter approaches and you are confined inside due to the current challenges faced worldwide, isn’t this the perfect time? This is the time for change. And if you would like to reduce your own impact, GoingZeroWaste.com has a post listing their top 10 Zero Waste Make-Up Brands.

Author: Priscilla Walton – Our Screen and Media Head of Faculty.

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