The 6 Best Refillable Makeup of 2022

Eliminate waste with our pick of clean, refillable makeup.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

If you’ve been sculpting the apples of your cheeks with that lovely peachy blush for the past few years, but cringe each time you replace the plastic puck, now is the right time to switch. Several clean beauty brands are giving up the cosmetic industry’s wasteful ways by creating makeup with refillable options (and well-priced subscriptions) which are good for the environment, great for your skin, and light on your pocket.

To know more, we turned to California-based Kathryn Kellogg, the founder of Going Zero Waste and author of "101 Ways to Go Zero Waste." The need for financial frugality and a hormonal imbalance nudged her to be mindful of her beauty choices and embrace a zero-waste lifestyle.

“Refillable products are a fantastic way to reduce waste," says Kellogg. "One of the biggest benefits is that I’m actually saving money and my routine is much more streamlined because I’m not trying to decide between a whole bunch of products! 

Ahead, our picks of the best refillable makeup for all seasons.

The Rundown
Kjaer Weis’ superlative refill system is bijou, bold, and a breeze to use.
Vegan, gluten, and cruelty-free, Dab's products are packed in metal tins and glass bottles with metal caps.
Best for Foundation:
Alima Pressed Foundation at Amazon
Alima's pressed foundation is an airy mineral powder that helps you build coverage smoothly without clogging your pores.
Lash out like a doe-eyed beauty with Izzy’s zero-waste, certified carbon neutral, clean mascara.
For the perfectly kissable pout, Zao natural lipsticks are ridiculously hydrating and easily refillable.
Oozing with nourishing oils, it’s an overachieving flush with skin care and sustainability credentials.

A childhood spent on a farm in the Danish countryside left a deep imprint on Kirsten Kjaer Weis. Years later, her eponymous organic beauty brand reflects nature and its perfection with remarkable design and impeccable standards. Refillable packaging wasn’t an afterthought. Poring over possibilities with ace designer Marc Atlan, Kjaer Weis’ superlative refill system is bijou, bold, and a breeze to use. We’re obsessed with the gorgeous sculpted compacts and cases in glossy metal (100% refillable) and a sensual red (These plastic-free textured paper cases can be reused, recycled, and composted).

Whether it’s lusciously pigmented lipsticks, creamy melt-on-your-cheeks dewy blushes, or voluminous, conditioning mascaras, each can be popped out easily to be refilled with spanking new ones. The products are shipped in recyclable and compostable FSC-certified packaging material. Circling back to nature, the high-performance, gluten, and cruelty-free potions and paints are certified organic by COSMOS or CCPB. These showstoppers don’t compromise, and neither should you.

Best Range: Dab Herb Makeup and Skincare

Dab Lip Paint

Small is indeed beautiful. Dab Herb’s philosophy revolves around the nurturing power of nature, distilling its goodness into botanical makeup and skincare range. Vegan, gluten, and cruelty-free, its products are packed in metal tins and glass bottles with metal caps. You can pick from a wide selection of eye, lip, and face products, including its silky and versatile serum foundation (using ingredients like coffee, gotu kola, and turmeric), the glossy lip paints (containing unrefined avocado, hempseed, and grapeseed oil), and its budge-proof aloe mascara bar (aloe vera with charcoal and extra virgin coconut oil, among other ingredients). Mostly everything from in glass and metal can be refilled. Just ship back a clean container (they will sterilize it) and get a neat 10% off on your refill. We’re restocking.

Best for Foundation: Alima Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant Complex

Alima Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant Complex

Since its humble beginnings from Kate O’Brien’s attic in Oregon, Alima Pure has chronicled an incredible journey of clean, luxe, and effective cosmetics with a conscience. Swaps are a big part of Alima Pure’s slick, sustainable, and stowable story. Its pressed foundation is an airy mineral powder that helps you build coverage smoothly without clogging your pores. Its stellar ingredients include skin brightening finely milled rice, moisturizing evening primrose oil, anti-inflammatory aloe leaf extract, and nourishing argan oil.

The shelf life is not too shabby either, lasting a year after you open it (30 months if sealed). Once you run out of the foundation, tap out the old pan and simply fit in a new magnetic pan in place. If that’s not enough, Alima Pure is a certified B Corp, carbon neutral, and a green energy run company, which also donates to environmental non-profit 1% for the Planet.

Best Mascara: Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

Lash out like a doe-eyed beauty with Izzy’s zero-waste, certified carbon neutral, clean mascara. It comes in medical-grade aluminum tubes that can be reused a staggering 10,000 times! Just ship them back for cleaning, sterilization, and refilling. They’re delivered in reusable mailers (which are designed to last for years too), so you can lengthen and volumize your lashes without any guilt. Izzy recommends you replace your mascara every three months to stave off clumps and germs, offering quarterly and yearly subscription plans. Izzy’s biffed plastic to the curb with 0% in the mascara tubes, though it uses recycled plastic for its brushes and wipers. What’s more, its formulation is free from undesirables, including sulfates, parabens, and formaldehyde, giving you a clean swipe.

Best for Lip Color: Zao Moisturizing Satin Lipstick

Zao Moisturizing Satin Lipstick

For the perfectly kissable pout, Zao Organic’s natural lipsticks are ridiculously hydrating and easily refillable. Peta-approved vegan and COSMOS organic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife, they’re eminently wearable. The super smooth formulation’s ingredients include emollients castor oil, and shea butter, along with soothing pomegranate extract. The lipstick cylinder is made from bamboo, a hero ingredient that’s snuck into its formulations too. Just yank the inner refill and click in place another fresh, indestructible, and traffic stopping shade.

Best Blush: Elate Universal Crème

Elate Universal Crème

Add a flattering glow with our favorite pick-me-up from our beauty arsenal, the blush. Certified B Corp Elate Cosmetics’ vegan and cruelty-free Universal Crème comes in an easily replaceable aluminum pan, fitted in a lovely compostable water-treated bamboo compact case (9 grams). Oozing with nourishing oils such as jojoba, castor, evening primrose, carrot, and sea buckthorn, it’s an overachieving flush with skin care credentials. With four versatile shades to suit all skin tones, slather it on your lips and cheeks for a subtle shimmer. The refills are packed in a piece of art unto themselves, seed paper envelopes. Crafted using seeds from native US and Canadian wildflowers, the envelopes are made from post-consumer and industrial fiber waste. You can compost them in your bin, or plant them to see a lush garden bloom before your eyes.

Final Verdict

We’re obsessed with Kjaer Weis' gorgeous sculpted compacts and cases in glossy metal and seductive red paper, our pick of refillable makeup (view at Credo). Dab Herb Makeup and Skincare (view at Dab) offers a wide range of refillable makeup based distilling the goodness of nature into its botanical makeup and skincare range.

What to Look for in Refillable Makeup

While scouring shelves for makeup with clean ingredients, it’s good to be mindful about whether they can be easily refilled. This will keep the container in use, conserving energy and materials, while keeping waste from sneaking into landfills and the oceans. The good news is that a bill was reintroduced in the Congress in March 2021, The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which proposes to hold companies responsible for plastic pollution and encourages a shift to refillable and returnable containers. Till any concrete developments, you can make smart choices as a consumer.

We consulted with author and zero-waste advocate Kathryn Kellogg, who shared a few tips about switching smoothly to refillable makeup.

Buy only what you will use

It’s easy to discard your existing makeup and buy oodles of new refillable make up. But first finish what you have, and then make the plunge into only what you love.

“Do make sure that you’re actually going to use what you’re buying, because if you keep buying different refill packs or the expensive case from brands you don’t love, you’d end up creating a lot more waste than reducing it,” says Kellogg.  

Pick the refill before the case

When in doubt, do the smart thing. Refill pods are cheaper than the containers. “If you’re not entirely sure you’re sold on a brand, you can always order the refill first,” says Kellogg. Once you’re happy with it, you can invest in the product with the case.

Buy a generic magnetic palette

In this case, one-size-fits-all. These versatile cases can be used to store refills from any brand. “It might be more eco-friendly and budget conscious to start there, especially if you’re trying new brands and colors,” says Kellogg.

Don’t compromise on hygiene

Keep the refill containers spotlessly clean. A tip she shares on her blog is that in tropical climes bamboo containers can get moldy, so watch out for that.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger not only wants you to enhance your natural beauty, but also keep toxins away from your skin and the earth. By choosing refillable makeup, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, conserving resources and staving off the production of waste.

Neeti Mehra writes about responsible luxury and is committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living. Practicing sustainable and mindful living since years, she’s exploring the landscape of zero-waste and refillable skincare, haircare, and cosmetics.