Eco Friendly Women Don’t Wear Makeup

Women who declare themselves as “green”, must not wear makeup.

Do you think so too? It happened to me a year ago when I was working as the manager of an educational eco-farm. I came to a meeting in the sustainability department of one of the municipalities in the country to discuss a partnership around education for sustainability and compassion.

“Hello, I’m Lee, I have a meeting with Shara.”

“What?” The receptionist answered me with a surprised expression.  

“YOU *she scans me up and down* are from the ecological farm?! But you’re wearing makeup?!!”

“What does that mean?” I asked sincerely. “Because I’m an environmental activist, my wearing makeup is inappropriate?”

A year has passed. I’m in the same workplace, educating and promoting sustainability and still getting questions like, “Why did you come to work here…? It’s just… that you look like someone who would work in a big corporation.”

The frequent conversations with people about my makeup made me realize that there was a certain image or a certain idea many people have about a woman they see as eco-friendly, an environmentalist or “green”.

A green woman, according to this false ideology, looks like this: she does not dye her hair, does not wear makeup, does not apply deodorant, does not remove any excess body hair,  does not buy clothes, a militant vegan diet, smears only aloe vera on from head to toe and cleanses her hair solely with apple cider vinegar.

Often being eco-friendly, to other people, communicates “everything or nothing”. See, you can’t have both beauty and be truly conscientious, wear makeup and be sustainable. It has to be a zero-sum proposition. The falsehoods spread. In some circles you can’t even be both green AND be a mother or even want to be a mother.

This very absolutist approach does not allow people to be included or involved. Sadly, this false belief eliminates many women who could make positive strides in the movement! While my makeup or bleached hair is seemingly a shock to every loyal environmentalist, my look allows people that are not “green” to get closer to me and ask me questions. Hence, bridging a gap and establishing a conversation that needs to happen for this cause and that otherwise would not occur.

They see me as a living example of how personal steps can be made to live in a cleaner world, while simultaneously not having to live on a commune or in a convent, give up property, eat leaves / berries / twigs, and go through a completely sterile existence.

It is possible to change things gently, which is why this blog was created.

There is always a way to do things better for the environment.

So for all the women who like to put on makeup but want to do it greener, here are my tips:

  1. I only buy what I know I will use. I don’t need a yellow eyeshadow if I don’t ever wear it, right? So I won’t buy it.
  2. I use what I bought until it’s completely used up and only then indulge myself in a new product. If we store products they go bad and expire before we can use them. This is a waste of resources such as money, material, packaging, and so much more.
  3. 95% of the waste generated when we buy a makeup product occurs in the production itself – basically whatever happens until it comes home with us. The container where the product is filled into is only 5% of the waste. For the sake of reducing waste (especially the toxins emitted into the air during production) and also for my health, I make an effort to buy cleaner products and also products that are vegan and cruelty-free. You do not have to throw away something you already have, of course, but I encourage you to do it gradually as soon as a product is used up. 
  4. Second hand! There are dozens of second-hand makeup groups throughout Facebook, and apps online, most of the items have only been opened or tried a few times and offered for sale. The savings are economic and ecological, as with all second-hand goods. Too many women buy too much makeup, much more than they can use,ever. When buying second-hand makeup it is important to look at the date – when it was bought, how long it was open, whether the product is sterile, and still smells good.

So dear readers, are there any more green makeup tips? We would all love to hear them, so please if you have some eco-tricks in your makeup bag, write them in the comments and share with friends 🌏🤙

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lee Snir is one of the founding partners of Legendary Life and is the original author of these blog posts. Lee is an active environmental advocate and in-demand speaker, writer and influencer in her native Israel. These blog posts were originally published in her native Hebrew in her personal blog titled, “Elita Yeruka” (“Green Elite” in English.)

When we translated Lee’s blogs for Legendary Life our goal was to only edit for grammar and clarity but to retain “Lee’s voice”. Thus the editorial choices were to err on the side of not “Americanizing” the language and thus leaving the translated blog as close as possible to the original. Therefore, native English speakers may occasionally find the word choices and phrasing a little different than they are used to.

For those of you who are Hebrew speakers and wish to read the blogs in their original form and follow Lee’s Personal blog you can do so here:

DISCLAIMER: Any statements, opinions or conclusions contained herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the statements, opinions or conclusions of Legendary Life (a Legendary Products, LLC brand), its owners, employees, contractors, affiliates, partners or advertisers.