Introducing SEY Cosmetics
Make up is so hard to get plastic free or sustainably, even harder to find both. This is the category I have found the most challenging. I do like my eye liner and even though I switched to pencils for both eyes and eyebrows, they still have a plastic lid and who knows what ingredients I’m putting all over my face.
I was introduced to SEY Cosmetics by Ally from @sustainable91 and was amazed by the effort this independent local brand was putting into their product. If the big companies cared half as much we would be in a much better place.
As with all of our products, we test them first. I’ve been using SEY makeup since January 2021. I have the gel liner, the mascara, the lip conditioner and the matte lipstick. And I still have them 7 months later….. I’ve just refilled the lip conditioner but everything else still has at least half of it left. I use them most days. They are still going. Great value. There is a lot of makeup in each piece, far more than what you would get in an off the counter brand.
Some Facts About SEY Make Up
- All of the products are vegan and cruelty free
- The studio is based in Cardiff and only 20-30 mins drive from where we are based
- All of the packaging is made from recycled plastic
- The products are refillable so they are not single use
- The facial products do not contain any fragrance
About The Founder
Megan, the founder of SEY Cosmetics was born in the Seychelles and studied in China. She has a wealth of experience and qualifications and started this journey, like most of us to do, to set out to solve a problem for ourselves.
She has strong environmental principles and is holding firm on her sustainability model for her business. This is part of the reason I wanted to stock these products, not only are they excellent, the core foundation of all her work is to make products better, for peoples skin, for the environment and for peoples health. These products are especially good for people with sensitive skin or eczema.
Megans personal story is here below (copied from her website and is her own words)
Hi, I’m Meghan and I love to research and design beauty products.
SEY cosmetics. My story
I’ve come a long way from experimenting with oils and waxes in my dorm room to help heal my dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin. Today, I share my discoveries, expertise and Seychellois herbalist heritage with you, via my cosmetics brand, SEY.
SEY Cosmetics is a brand of eco-beauty with sustainability at its heart. My range of make-up, skin care and beauty products are designed and produced with simplicity and naturalness for the skin and reinforced with my desire to create a better understanding of the products we purchase and their impact on the environment.
How did SEY Cosmetics become what it is today?
Ten years ago, I moved to China to study at University. I was born and grew up in the Seychelles, the archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean to the east of Africa. Protecting the environment in the Seychelles is crucial as our economy and livelihoods depend on it. This inspired me to pursue a career in marine protection and in 2009 I had the opportunity to go to China to study Biological Oceanography or Ocean Ecology, basically the study of plants and animals in the marine environment.
I loved the culture and history in China however, the weather, food and environment didn’t love my skin! My already dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin progressively got worse. I started searching for a suitable facial moisturiser, but everywhere I went I was offered the same thing, 每白,mei bai, which translates as ‘beautifully white’. Mei bai is a bleaching cream to whiten the skin. Every store assistant I spoke to, believed my issue wasn’t my bumps and spots but the colour of my skin, so I decided to try it. Cray cray right?
My skin got worse but having dark skin in China unfortunately hinders your chances of getting a part-time job, or performing or even finding love. So yes, I bleached my skin, because I didn’t want to be dark anymore. Heart breaking, yeah?
It came to a point when I said enough is enough, but what could I do to help my skin? I put my knowledge of Seychellois herbalism and of course my scientific studies to good use and started designing my own beauty products.
SEY cosmetics lab
Excitingly, the products I made worked perfectly. My skin slowly started to heal, had less break outs and the scars started to fade. Now I keep my hormonal acne under control, keep my skin moisturised and feel stunning, all at the same time, and I’ve made it my mission to keep developing products for sensitive skin that suit every complexion and skin type.
Why is Sustainable Beauty important?
As I’ve worked on developing my products over the last ten years, I’ve carefully chosen ingredients and packaging which limit the disruption of the earth’s natural ecosystem.
Think about it, many of the ingredients used in our skincare and cosmetics end up in our drainage systems. These systems lead to our streams, rivers, lake and oceans, harming marine life and the environment. In 2018, the beauty industry also produced 142million units of packaging, the majority of which will end up in landfill, or worse, the ocean.
I constantly strive to design better beauty products which contain ingredients that are biodegradable, and I offer a refill system which encourages people to reuse the packaging when re-purchasing rather than simply recycle.
We want to support Megan and SEY on getting these products out to a wider audience. Yes, the packaging is plastic for some of the products but we feel Megans reason for using this is more than valid and a much bigger leap than most main brands are taking.
More About The Packaging
We asked Megan about the packaging. She knows her stuff and there is the option to refill so you use the same container, prolonging the life of it and keep it from landfill. But what is it made from and why?
The packaging is made from ABS plastic, PS plastic, glass and bamboo. The type of containers that use plastic must be high quality and resist heat so that it doesn’t change shape in the steriliser when exposed to high heat. All the containers must all be of good quality so that heat doesn’t distort their shape.
She doesn’t use glass a lot. Despite popular beliefs not all glass is created equal and cannot be recycled. I didn’t know that, something else new learnt.
Glass is also heavier. Buying glass for the company can be an issue due to the weight. At the same time the glass containers can break from the inside which customers cannot see with the naked eye.
The bamboo is for aesthetic effect. A lot of brand advertise sustainable products that are biodegradable because it’s bamboo. Meghan says this is a misconception. Either the brand themselves doesn’t know this or they’re simply practicing green washing. Green washing is where a company markets it’s eco credentials as a selling point but they are not quite as they seem. For example a lot of containers with bamboo lids or overlay with bamboo have plastic inside.
If the container is single use, it’s unfortunately highly unlikely that it can be recycled. This is because to be recycled it has to be torn apart or separate the parts for the bamboo and plastic to be recycled.
There’s no literature or research about this, but for the wood/bamboo to last it has to be treated so that it doesn’t biodegrade. Hence the material needs to be placed in a specific biodegradable hemp.
To shop SEY make up you can see what we have in stock here.
You can follow Megan on Instagram on: instagram.com/sey_cosmetic