5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

Refillable lipstick is seriously having a moment right now. And I don’t hate it. I’m glad it’s trending, because in my opinion, refills are the future of makeup. Since makeup containers are so small to begin with, recycling them is hard (they can’t be recycled via curbside). A lot of times places like Sephora, Credo and Ulta will take and recycle your empties. But still – the goal should be reduce, right? Recycle should come as a last resort.

Here’s the thing: Not all refillable lipstick is created equal. While I’m all for big brands thinking about the end of life for their products, I also think we should be thinking about the ingredients in the refills. After all, it is going right on our lips (and we swallow a lot of lipstick). So, for our own health, choosing refillable lipstick that has clean ingredients is important.

Not to mention, natural ingredients are good for the environment too. Questionable ingredients added to cosmetics can actually lead to waterway pollution. When we wash them off at night, they go down the drain and eventually enter waterways – if there’s any harsh chemicals in them, they can do damage to aquatic ecosystems. The mere creation alone of certain harsh chemicals can cause pollution too. So that’s just another big reason to think of both ingredients and packaging when choosing our cosmetics. Without further ado, here are the best sustainable, clean and refillable lipstick brands on the market.

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5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

What does refillable lipstick mean?

Refillable lipstick means that when your lipstick tube empties, you can order a refill. This means you don’t have to toss out the whole lipstick, which reduces waste.

Lipstick refills also cost less money than buying a whole new lipstick altogether. That’s because you technically already have the container – you’re just paying for the insert.

However, you shouldn’t just stop at refillable lipstick! Why not dive into all forms of refillable makeup, like eyeshadow or lip gloss? Many brands now offer refills for all sorts of cosmetics. Use the refillable lipstick trend as a springboard into sustainable makeup.

How do you refill a lipstick tube?

First, you have to make sure it’s a refillable lipstick, like the ones listed below. When your lipstick empties, remove the empty insert and set that aside. Then, open up your refill and carefully place it into its tube/case. It’s that easy!

Most of the refillable lipstick on this list have step-by-step instructions for how to refill their lipsticks on their websites. Some have magnetic inserts that will automatically click your refill into place, whereas others do not. Check the brand website when in doubt for instructions!

How does refillable makeup work?

Refillable makeup works by you purchasing the case/container first, which usually comes with the product you want already inside (sometimes though, the case and makeup have to be purchased separately – The Body Shop does this).

When it’s near empty, you can order a refill of the product (or a different shade of it, if you prefer). Then, when the refill arrives, you can take out the empty and place the refill into its case.

There are many sustainable brands that offer refills on not just lipstick, but all kinds of makeup products. Here are my favorite zero waste makeup brands (many of which offer refillable makeup). Kjaer Weis is one of the best known makeup brands to offer refills on everything from lipstick to foundation! 😀

Ariana Storniolo: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable
Me wearing Kjaer Weis refillable lipsticks. Shades – Left: Blossoming, center: Sincere, right: Euphoria

My experience with refillable lipstick

I’ve only purchased refillable lipstick from one brand – Kjaer Weis – but I love it so much. In fact, I own their lipstick in several different shades.

I adore how it creates a rich, satiny finish that stays put for hours. Not to mention, their packaging is goregous and evokes feelings of luxury.

And, out of all the brands I’ve listed, I prefer their ingredients the most – they’re the cleanest in my opinion.

Also, I like using different colors for different occasions. For example, I love using their shade Blossoming in the spring and summer months, or for any event that makes me want to look girly and feminine.

Sincere is a color I go to in the fall and winter often – it’s a pink nude with a darker hue that compliments the earthy tones I tend to wear in the darker months of the year. I also love wearing Euphoria (which is a pretty red-orange) around Thanksgiving, or with my favorite orange turtleneck sweater.

Please note that my skin tone is fairly light, with warm peachy undertones. What works for me, may not work for you – but I firmly believe Kjaer Weis creates colors that look good on every skin tone. So there’s something for everyone!

These lipsticks are also super long lasting and I still haven’t had to order any refills yet – mind you, I’ve had some of them for a few years! And some I wear on an almost daily basis. So it is a really well made product I can vouch for. Ahem, clearly my favorite too 😉 (hench it being first on the list…).

Ariana Storniolo: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable
Me, wearing the shade Sincere from Kjaer Weis.

The best refillable lipstick brands

The brands I’ve listed below are what I consider the better ones to purchase refillable lipstick from. The reason for this goes beyond their packaging alone: Their ingredients are much cleaner than their competitors.

While not all the brands listed are 100% natural, they come very close in comparison to some other brands I found. Here’s what I advise you to do: Do your own research and always look at the ingredients label. If you get confused by an ingredient, you can look it up in EWG’s Skin Deep Database, which will help you determine if it’s safe or not.

FYI, there are several other brands that offer refillable lipstick – like Fenty and Hickey. Feel free to dive in and do your own research, but I personally was not super satisfied with those brands, nor their ingredient lists.

Ultimately, you have to come to your own conclusions on what you’re comfortable applying, and what you’re not. However, these are (in my opinion) the cleanest refillable lipsticks on the market I could find.

Kjaer Weis: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

1. Kjaer Weis

  • Certified-organic ingredients 
  • Cruelty free (not vegan – uses beeswax)
  • Iconic Edition packaging made from zamac, an alloy of metals that will last forever and can be refilled infinitely
  • Refills come in paper packaging which is recyclable

Image credit: @kjaerweis

Zao: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

2. Zao

  • 45% of ingredients are from organic farming, 100% are of natural origin
  • Vegan + cruelty free
  • Bamboo packaging for case

Image credit: @zaomakeup_official

La Bouche Rouge Paris: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

3. la bouche rouge paris

  • 97% natural origin ingredients
  • Vegan + cruelty free
  • No petroleum derivatives or silicone
  • Upcycled leather cases you can choose a color for: Gold, camel, red, pink, blue or beige
  • Paper-encased refill 

Image credit: @laboucherougeparis

The Body Shop: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

4. the body shop

  • Natural ingredients
  • Vegan
  • 100% recycled aluminum case
  • Refills appear to be made from plastic, but are encouraged to be recycled where local facilities allow

Imade credit: @thebodyshopnorthamerica

Rose Inc: 5 Refillable Lipstick Brands That Are Clean, Natural + Sustainable

5. rose inc

  • Clean active ingredients that deliver visible skincare benefits with bioengineered botanicals
  • 50% post-consumer recycled plastic base + cap
  • Recyclable carton made from FSC-certified paper and hemp
  • Carton printed with soy-based ink
  • Leaping Bunny certified

Image credit: @roseinc

So, what do you think of these sustainable and refillable lipsticks? Which would you try? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

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By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.

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