Discover Eco Refillable Makeup: Five Steps to Creating Your Custom Palette

We're seeing more and more of you adopting beauty routines that are kinder to our planet. Choosing refillable makeup options could be the next actionable item on your list, to further reduce your individual impact on the environment!

Looking for more information on how to create your own makeup palette? Keep on reading for tips from a natural makeup brand, or scroll right down to our favorite tips to make your own palette!

Mix-and-match eyeshadow palette with mineral blush in a refillable magnetic paper compact for makeup

Refillable pressed paper compacts are not new to SAPPHO – as far back as 2008 we offered them in our line, inspired by some of the refill programs traditional brands made for pro makeup artists for their eyeshadows: think high-quality natural dupe for MAC Pro Palette and such.

Our compacts are designed to house SAPPHO’s low heavy metal, ethically-mined, deeply pigmented Unabashed Blushes, Eyes Open Eyeshadows and Perfect Finish Pressed Powders which are sold as refills. These really are among the best refillable organic makeup options out there, providing excellent colour payoff and long wear time from products that were created for performance. All of them come in non-laminated paper envelopes that are truly recyclable.

Spotlight on an eco-friendly eyeshadow refill with a plastic-free envelope

In 2008, as green/clean beauty pioneers, we were one of the first companies to dedicate themselves to “getting greener as we grow” – a promise which we still adhere to today. Each year, as we grow, we make conscious choices to reduce our eco footprint as a beauty brand.

Today, as we seek more eco-friendly solutions, we are cognizant of different aspects of refillable makeup systems with the end goal of zero waste. Practical solutions that are perfect are not yet available to us, although we are working on it and the future is filled with hope!  

Over the years, as we created new compacts, we have slowly rid them of plastic windows and in our final rendition, reduced our use of mirrors.

Make your own makeup palette with picture of a mix-and-match eyeshadow palette with blush

Note that these compacts are not recyclable as they are laminated to increase durability and have magnets to hold your pans safely in place, but they are meant for, and succeed in, keeping millions of small plastic eyeshadow compacts that are not recyclable out of landfills every year. (Saying that, they do break down eventually.)

There are other solutions that cosmetic packaging suppliers offer, for example bamboo compacts, which appear more eco-friendly on the surface, but craftsmanship is an issue as well as metal fasteners, and the financial and ecological cost of returns are all aspects to consider. This is true of plastic ones as well and so as we grow, we are developing actionable solutions.

We are so grateful to walk this road with you, towards a better world for us and for nature and wildlife…

Plastic-free makeup refill envelopes placed on a mossy log in BC forest

Key individual actions to take to lower your environmental impact are to replace your single-use beauty products and to choose refillable wherever you can: skipping the unnecessary plastic components in your makeup’s packaging is a commendable step and we salute your efforts in making our world healthier, one makeup compact at a time!

So if you’re wondering how to build your own portable, custom palette filled with your favourite eyeshadows, tinted powders and blushes, here are some tips to get you started on a low waste beauty routine.

5 tips for creating your first personalized palette

Black model with deep skin tone wearing all natural makeup by conscious beauty brand SAPPHO with three powder refills on a warm orange background

1. Consider what you really need

A little planning can go a long way in putting together your custom palette with organic and vegan products. We recommend going through your makeup drawer and evaluating what’s most important to you. Single out the products and colours you wear the most and those you never reach for: that will make it easier to identify what you need vs. don’t. You might find that there are colours that are nice to have and you wear sometimes, but not all the time, and it will be up to you to decide whether you want to include those or not. You can also think back of the products and shades you’ve bought again and again – a clear sign that those are a go-to for you in your makeup routine.

Feel free to make a list by category:

  • Blush
  • Bronzer
  • Eyeshadows
  • Face Powder

As an example, under Eyeshadows, you might end up with:

- Must-have: sparkly pink, matte black, taupe, brown

- Maybe: plum, matte royal blue, sparkly gold

2. Choose the right colours for you

Shopping online makes this part pretty easy: one product at a time, select shades that look most like those on your ‘must-have’ list or that you’ve identified as products and colours you want to have in your palette. Add all of them to your cart (or try the Wishlist feature!) and count how many products that is in total and by pan size; note that blushes and powders come in pans that are the same size and are larger than eyeshadow pans. You'll want to keep that in mind for the next step.

If you need any assistance in choosing, please do reach out to us as we love to help!

3. Choose a compact (or compacts)

Knowing how many eyeshadows vs. blush/bronzer/powder pans you need room for will help with this step a lot. For example, our largest refillable compact holds 9 eyeshadows in total, or 4 blushes or powders. If you choose to mix those in the same compact, there are a few combinations that will fit, for example: 1 blush and 7 eyeshadows, or 2 blushes and 3 eyeshadows, etc.

It’s also important to consider personal preferences, like having all your eyeshadows together in one compact; maybe you prefer creating duos for example, using our Double Eyeshadow Compact or Double Blush/Powder Compact. Some people like to keep their blushes, bronzers or powders separate, which our Single Compact is great for, plus it has a small mirror inside. Larger Square Compacts are nice for safely keeping a number of products in your drawer but are also great for mixing-and-matching the products you need for the day, and carrying them around for touch ups on-the-go. If you’re planning on starting small and adding more colours along the way, they’re also a great option to leave room for that.

Four variations of refillable makeup paper compacts filled with mineral pressed powder products

 4. Commit to refilling

It might seem obvious, but this is meant for thinking ahead, as a reminder that our actions matter and contribute to making a difference individually. How and what we consume affect the bigger picture: committing to refilling your favourites as they run out and making conscious decisions in purchasing (or not) certain colours again is key!

 5. Add products as you need them

If you’ve decided to keep your ‘nice-to-haves’ or ‘maybes’ for later, keep an eye on them and consider adding them as you order other products, reducing your eco footprint by having them shipped together. As you do your makeup and notice you wish you had a certain colour, make a note of it somewhere as memory might fail you (if you’re anything like us!) or utilize our Wishlist feature.

You might need additional compacts along the way, as you grow your custom makeup palette – something to keep in mind!



As always, if you need personalized advice and shade recommendations, our team is here to help. Contact us via live chat, Instagram DM or email