Sustainability is beautiful. Choose a ‘green-beauty’ pro for your event!

The beauty industry is not known for it’s eco-friendlyness and yet the demand for eco-beauty is increasing, as more and more people look for ‘green’ makeup artists with eco-friendly products and sustainable practices.

Hi, I’m Maya Goldenberg! As one of a handful of pioneering makeup artists in the Canadian, eco-beauty space since 2005, I take pride in the green ethos that make my beauty business sustainable. Reducing waste goes hand in hand with offering my clients a holistic, professional, beauty experience.

‘Zero-waste’ is a misnomer. Since some wastefulness is involved in all human pursuits, intentionally reducing waste as much as possible, while offering sustainable options for others to do the same, is a worthwhile goal.

As a makeup artist, my approach to sustainability and waste-reduction is three-fold and follows the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle‘ paradigm closely.


REDUCE SINGLE USE & REUSE: Reducing the amount of single use plastics I use by not using disposable, single use applicators is a cornerstone of my sustainability practices.

Things I DO NOT USE include:

  • Disposable, single use makeup removing wipes
  • Disposable, single use face masks
  • Disposable, single use sheet masks
  • Disposable, single use makeup sponges
  • Disposable, single use plastic cotton swabs (q-tips)
  • Disposable, single use, under-eye patches
  • Disposable, single use samples. Things I DO USE instead, include:
  • Refillable, non-toxic skincare applied with reusable gua-sha stone/ jade rollers
  • Reusable brushes and paper / bamboo cotton swabs (q-tips)
  • Reusable, cloth masks.
  • ECO-BEAUTY PRO TIP: REUSE YOUR MASCARA WANDS, FOR LASH / BROW GROWING SERUM! To reduce more waste when finishing a mascara, I wash the wand with soap and water till it runs completely clean. Very glamorous! Then I dry the wand and disinfect it with a blend of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and re-use it to apply mascara, tame brows or flyaway hairs. Another option is to fill the mascara tube with castor oil and brush it on your lashes to help them grow.
  • If you wear mascara but aren’t a makeup artist, there are animal welfare programs like Project Wild Wands that accept and clean and reuse mascara wands to clean delicate animal fur and feathers marred by oil spills. During the pandemic, they have stopped accepting these, but may again soon.

LIPSTICK: When it comes to lipstick samples, most brides and bridal party members want to re-apply what their makeup artist uses. To avoid tiny, single use plastic samples of lipstick on the day of the wedding, I offer complimentary 15 minute Facetime/ skype/ zoom consultations with each bride and her party members before the wedding. In that consultation, I listen to and get a visual sense of their makeup comfort level and style and recommend personalised, eco-friendly lipstick options based on that. I recommend women owned, sustainably minded, local companies, who offer a wide colour selection and forego plastic packaging, and package their lipsticks in aluminum tubes or glass jars, instead.

ECO BEAUTY PRO LIP TIP: USE A LIP BRUSH. Choose a lip-brush with a cap, load your lipstick colour on the brush and take that with you to touch-up with. and leave the lipstick at home. This takes up less room in your purse and you use only what you need and don’t risk losing your lipstick in the hotel powder room. Winning!

BRUSHES: When it comes to makeup brushes, I reduce my consumption, and avoid buying new ones unless absolutely necessary, being especially mindful to avoid those with plastic handles and/ bristles. The majority of the brushes I use, all have weighted wooden or aluminum handles and natural fur bristles. I avoid cleaning these with toxic brush cleaners and opt for natural, unscented Castille soap and water and dry them in the sun. For vegan clients who prefer not to use natural bristle brushes, I am always happy to use my vegan Sappho brush set, or the client’s own brushes to apply their makeup.

ECO-BEAUTY PRO BRUSH TIP: Always dry your brushes flat, never in a cup to ensure longevity and avoid waste and having to buy more. If drying them in a cup, the water seeps into the bristles and can dissolve the glue holding the bristles in place. Over time, this can also cause the brush to fan out and lose their shape. Take good care of your brushes, like you do your hair! Wash them with an unscented soap and water and lay them flat on a dark towel to dry in the sun, if possible.


OPT FOR FULL SIZE, REUSABLE & REFILLABLE NON-TOXIC PRODUCTS: The products I use, re-use, recommend and sell are an integral part of my sustainability practices as an eco-beauty professional.  Like most people these days, I got tired of toxic skincare and makeup options and the endless sea of wasteful plastic packaging that the beauty industry is known for. Instead of using skincare samples on the go, I bring my refillable sized, Kavana skincare products wherever I go.

After years of study in ingredients and formulation processes, I created my own non-toxic, hormone safe skincare line called Kavana. It is handmade in Toronto, Canada, using plant-based, premium botanical ingredients. Everything is consciously, minimally packaged in refillable, elegant frosted glass bottles and jars, bamboo paperboard spheres, undyed cotton drawstring bags and no extra boxes.  

CLEAN MAKEUP REFILLS: The local Canadian and woman owned business whose makeup I use is called Sappho and it is also made in Canada, is completely vegan, non-toxic and mostly packaged in glass and recylable paper packaging. Sappho offers refills of their powder products, like eyeshadows, blush and bronzer, which saves on excessive, individual packaging. These refills come in small, cardboard envelopes and each refill can be placed in a magnetized, paperboard palette, saving more individual packaging from the landfill.

RECYCLE: For years, I have also ‘depotted’ my powders and lipsticks and placed them in refillable palettes, so that I could recycle the individual hard plastic cases these come in, while still clean. This also makes my kit lighter, so when travelling to destination weddings, my makeup takes up less weight and space and helps reduce my carbon footprint.

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING: Unboxing a box of boxes is silly and redundant, not to mention wasteful. I ship Kavana products in re-usable, recyclable, white cardboard boxes, and for added protection of fragile glass bottles, i use recylable paper shred and corrugated cardboard. I am looking to green as I grow and establish a refill program and eliminate plastic packaging and extraneous components altogether. While paper waste is not ideal, it is at least compostable, recyclable and biodegradable, whereas plastic is not.

ECO-BEAUTY PRO TIP: REAPPLY! Make re-applying sexy again! Reducing the overall amount of products I use, goes hand in hand with making healthier, sexier choices. I forego ‘setting sprays’ and waterproof and long wearing products like mascara, lipstick and foundation, unless a client asks for/needs these, because these are all largely, made from toxic, synthetic ingredients re: by products of the petro-chemical industry, that are not healthy for the skin. Instead, I encourage people to simply re-apply their lipstick after eating, touch-up with a blotting sheet or loose powder. Keep it simple and sexy, oui?!


BMW (Bus/ Bike, Metro, Walk): Reducing my carbon footprint by using the ol’ BMW method, is easy. As an eco-beauty pro who is asked to work in many and various locations, I choose to bike to work whenever I can. This is just another reason I lighten the load or weight of my kit. After about 20 years, I know what I will need for a given portrait session, lookbook, film or wedding, and pack less ‘junk’ in my proverbial ‘trunk’ or bike basket! Whenever I can take the Bus, Metro/ Subway or walk to work, I happily do that too.

CARPOOL: When travelling to farther locations or to jobs I need more products for, I consciously choose hybrid carsharing options, and the train over the plane whenever possible. I carpool with my team of hairstylists and/ makeup artists, depending on the job, so we can reduce our gas use and talk green-beauty tips, of course!

ECo- BEAUTY PRO TIP: GO LOCAL! When asked to recommend vendors, I also do my part to recommend local vendors, so that my brides travel time is reduced, and their shipping costs don’t put an added burden on them or the environment. Keeping business local helps us all thrive, while helping the planet and helping each other. I love recommending local, women owned businesses aka ‘wiznesses’, like: