This Refillable 'Palette' Makes It Easy to Travel With Toiletries and Cosmetics

Best of all, it eliminates tiny single-use plastic containers.



Packing for any trip becomes a whole lot easier when you have the proper suitcase, bag, packing cube, or container in which to put your belongings. This rule extends to skincare products and cosmetics as well, and yet this category of items has long been neglected when it comes to clever packing solutions

For years people have made do with buying pre-filled travel-size containers and tossing them at the end of a trip, but this is hardly a sustainable option. Meanwhile, refillable containers are often too flimsy. I've used old contact lens cases and tea sample tins, but the cases cannot be cleaned easily and the tins are not leakproof. So you can imagine my happiness to learn about Palette's The Original High Fiver, an innovative reusable carrier "for all your goops, glops, and glam."

woman sitting with Palette


It measures 7.5 inches by 1 inch (about the length of a pencil) and has five little wells with screw-top lids, each of which holds .17 ounces of product. You can fill these wells with liquids, creams, and powders, and as you use them, you push up the soft flexible bottoms for easier access. The Palette is hand-washable and made in the United States.

At this point, the Palette is made from a minimum of 30% recycled plastic. The next version is expected to have 50% recycled content, with a long-term goal of 100%. The company is open to suggestions for getting there. "If you have a consistent source of non-toxic recycled plastic or have advice, assistance or new technology we should consider, please contact us," the website says.

Palette was invented by lawyer and mother Kate Westad the night before a solo trip to Paris, as she was struggling to figure out how to transport her favorite beauty, cosmetic, and toiletry products across the ocean. Palette launched in August 2019 and received an "overwhelmingly positive" response from travelers.

Westad told Treehugger that the company is on a mission to eliminate disposable minis and travel-sized products, an industry worth more than $1 billion. "People use a refillable water bottle, they use a refillable coffee cup, they buy Stasher bags instead of single-use ziptop plastic bags – so why not think of using innovative refillables in your beauty and personal care routine?"

She went on to explain that most people don't realize that tiny plastics don't get recycled because of their small size:

"That means every beauty sample, every 'oh-so-cute' mini set of skincare products, those tiny toothpaste tubes and mini shampoo bottles and and, yes, all those travel-size bottles at the hotels you visit go straight to the landfill. It is already a concern that full-size products are not getting recycled; these tiny plastics don’t even stand a chance. When I figured this out in the development of our product, let’s just say I freaked out thinking of my own personal-sized mini mountain I had 'wish-cycled' and inadvertently sent to the landfill over the years."

Using Palette saves money because you don't pay the premium for special-sized packaging; instead, you get to take exactly what you love wherever you go. There's no frantic rummaging through overfilled bags to find what you need because it's all in one place, and it's as well-suited to short day trips as it is to overseas journeys. 

"By using a beauty reusable like the High Fiver, you are not only eliminating waste but supporting purpose-driven brands who innovate conscious products and embody the reduce, reuse, recycle ethos," Westad continued. "For example, we use recycled plastic and recycled paper trash in our packaging and shipping envelopes, along with a tight footprint and efforts toward sustainable shipping."

Find out more at Palette. The Original High Fiver retails for $39.