Beauty Breakthroughs for the Environment

Real beauty is more than skin-deep: It also safeguards the planet. Here are five fresh ways to be an eco-chic goddess.

1. Practice once-a-day makeup application. Going from the office to a dinner date? There’s no need to waste time, product, water or energy washing off your makeup and then reapplying it. Makeup artists say that nighttime makeup looks best when it’s applied over your daytime look, rather than on a freshly scrubbed face. “It’s the makeup equivalent of second-day hair,” says Raychel Wade, owner of New York City’s Cheek to Chic beauty studio. “The makeup has a chance to settle in, so it becomes one with your skin. It’s a sexy, sultry look.” Instead, Wayde pumps up the drama with a wash of metallic eye shadow, a swipe of eyeliner and a pop of bright blush on the apples of her cheeks.

2. Choose planet-friendly packaging. Many companies are not only making their products more natural, but also helping the environment with their product packaging. Pick up a bottle of Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo or conditioner and you’ll have your hands on an ecological powerhouse. The bottle is made from Brazilian sugarcane that’s converted into plastic, so producing the bottle actually reduces greenhouse gases and creates excess energy that’s returned to the energy grid. Aveda is also reducing the carbon footprint with recycled PET packaging for skin care and hair products. Burt’s Bees products similarly use the highest levels of postconsumer recycled materials, designed to be recyclable.

3. Tote a foldable water bottle. Here’s a way to reduce your use of plastic bottles -- without having to tote those bulky water canisters: The freezable dishwasher-friendly Vapur Anti-Bottle is made out of a flexible BPA-free plastic that stands up when full but can be rolled, flattened or folded when empty, then tucked away into a pocket or purse. Take it on your next run or shopping venture and you’ll stay well-hydrated -- without being tempted by sugary, high-calorie drinks. Your waistline and the planet will thank you: Every year, 200 billion bottles of water are consumed worldwide, and only about 1 in 8 is recycled.

4. Create dazzling hair accessories from unused jewelry. We all have solo earrings, old brooches and uncomfortable clip-on earrings that are gathering dust in our jewelry box. Give them new life as hair accessories. Run the pin of a brooch through an elastic for a dazzling ponytail holder, attach vintage clip-on earrings to a headband and slip orphaned earrings onto a bobby pin, wrap the wire around the end and slide into a bun or braid. Hollywood hairstylist Janine Jarman, who’s styled the tresses of the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Christina Applegate and Carmen Electra, says that you can save energy with embellished hair accessories by putting aside the hot styling tools and simply letting your hair air-dry. “You want your hair to have a soft, natural texture,” says Jarman, “so the hair accessories are the stars.”

5. Cook up lipstick-case crayons.
If you’re a lipstick fiend (and really, what woman isn’t?), you might find yourself with a collection of cases that are too pretty to toss. In his new book, Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things With the Stuff You Already Have, green lifestyle expert Danny Seo offers a great way to give these chic capsules a second life. He calls them “lipstick-case crayons,” which will thrill that kindergarten-age girl who can’t wait to start playing with makeup. Melt old crayons in a double boiler, and then pour the colorful wax into a clean, empty lipstick case. Allow the crayons to cool, twist up and draw with your favorite budding beauty.