My Vegan, Natural, and Low-Waste Beauty Routine

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I've ditched most of my old beauty routines. The ones I have now are mostly natural, mostly zero-waste, and one hundred percent fuck the patriarchy. Obviously, everything is vegan and nothing has been tested on animals. Unless otherwise specified, the skincare recipes come from Madeleine Olivia's amazing e-book Minimal Beauty. Without further ado, here is exactly how I care for my skin, face, hair, and body!

Morning Skincare

  • Almond-oatmeal scrub
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar toner (one part ACV to two parts water)
  • Facial oil
  • Bare Republic mineral sunscreen

Evening Skincare

  • Oil cleanser with a damp washcloth
  • Facial oil (same as morning)
  • Vitamin E oil on lips and under eyes


I only wear makeup about 20-30% of the time now, whereas prior to the experiment I wore it almost every day. For me, the important distinction is between wearing makeup for fun and wearing it because I feel like I have to do so. Obviously, that's complicated - would I like makeup if I wasn't socialized to like it? - but I tend to only put it on when the mood strikes. For daytime, I do a basic look of concealer, powder to set, mascara, and bronzer. For events or nights out, I'll add eyeliner, eyeshadow, and highlight. I don't have any blush or lip products at the moment, but since it's so hot in DC during the summer I don't miss them. I'm working on making my makeup as natural, non-toxic, and zero waste as possible. 


I use the No-Poo Method, meaning I don't use conventional shampoos with SLS and various other toxic agents. I used Dr. Bronner's castile soap for the first few weeks of my transition to no-poo, but I've since switched to a tea rinse. It doesn't lather, but it cleanses my hair just as well as shampoo and leaves it silky and shiny.

  • Tea rinse: 1 tbsp shikakai powder, 1/2 tbsp aritha powder, 1/2 tbsp neem powder (using Madeleine Olivia's recipe model and method)
  • Bamboo comb (when wet)
  • Styling products: Since my hair is still pretty short, I don't need any styling products for it. I just use bobby pins and bandannas when I want to pin it back, and it's almost long enough for a baby ponytail! As I grow it out, though, I imagine I'll need to use something to style it.
  • Hairbrush: I don't have a non-vegan one yet, but since my hair is short I've just been using the comb. I plan to get a wooden bristle brush when I feel like I need it.


  • Safety razor: This works so much better than any razor I've ever had, and it's zero waste since I can recycle the blades. I quickly learned that you can't fly with one in your carry-on bag, however, so I'll need to find an alternative for when I start traveling later this year.
  • Cleansing tools: I use the Ecotools Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush instead of a plastic loofah, and a natural pumice stone for my feet.
  • Soap: the aforementioned Dr. Bronner's castile soap, which I also use to wash my tools, makeup brushes, and laundry
  • Moisturizer: Grapeseed oil (also the base for my facial oil)
  • Deodorant: After a long search for a vegan, natural, and zero-waste deodorant that works, I found Meow Meow Tweet's Baking Soda Free Cream Deodorant and I absolutely love it. I use the Grapefruit scent and keep it in the fridge since the summer heat melts the oils in the product. Lavanila's Healthy Deodorant is great, too, but their products come in plastic, which is why I switched to Meow Meow Tweet.
  • Perfume: Essential oils (I like lavender, vanilla, ylang ylang, and sweet orange)
  • Mosquito repellent: Citronella java essential oil

There you have it - my beauty and personal care routines. Tell me your favorite natural and zero-waste beauty tips in the comments!