photo: Getty

It's no secret that makeup artist Pat McGrath is revered by the fashion elite and beauty lovers. But something else that her fans love just as much? The planet we all live on. When it comes to environmentally-friendly cosmetics and packaging, there's no competition between the makeup Mother and Mother Earth. The planet will always win out.

This is why makeup watchdog account Estée Laundry is sharing stories from customers who are appalled by the brand's wasteful packaging — and are urging the brand to do better.


OK, this is really not great.

"It’s 2020. Unnecessary and wasteful packaging is 100% unacceptable when we are facing a global eco crisis," wrote Estée Laundry on Instagram. They shared a submitted photo from a follower showing the excessive amount of confetti packaging that was used to pack a single tube of Pat McGrath Labs lipstick.


"Wasteful" packaging, indeed.

Another user "couldn't believe" the amount of confetti included with their order, as well as the delay in arrival. Yikes. "People have been asking companies like #PatMcGrathLabs to rethink their wasteful packaging for years, but they refuse to listen," Estée Laundry continued.


Confetti is very much a part of PML's signature packaging.

Pat McGrath Labs has made confetti a signature part of its luxe packaging. For several products, including lipsticks, the Mini LUST: Gloss Trios, and the Eye Ecstasy: Eye Shadow Palette Mini, they are packaged vacuum-sealed plastic bags filled with gold confetti.


In products ordered directly from PML's site, they arrive with black crinkled confetti.

When customers order from the Pat McGrath Labs site, the parcels are packaged in a box overflowing with black plastic crinkled confetti, which, it's safe to say, can't be recycled. This isn't just coming from users on Instagram: I have confirmed this IRL with my own orders from the site, as well as my roommate's orders.


Now users are taking PML to task for their wastefulness.

On social media, customers shared photos of the excessive packaging. This Twitter used claimed to purchase "one tiny lipstick box," which came packaged with so much confetti that it spilled over the top of their trash can.


One Instagram user addressed PML directly.

On this Instagram photo, Instagram user tandiskay asked the brand directly about the confetti packaging. "It’s very disappointing to see you’re still using plastic sequins in your packages/PR boxes," they wrote. "Last time I commented on the issue I was told that people can 'reuse' the sequins but I think you need to take responsibility for what you put out there and not leave the responsibility of reusing or repurposing or recycling your trash to the consumer."


A few things to note about this criticism:

This is not an attack on one of the precious few black-owned beauty companies, or Pat McGrath herself. Rather, it's a discussion about where beauty is headed as consumers cite sustainability as a driving factor in their purchase and how brands can do better to serve the planet and their customers.

Additionally, Pat McGrath Labs customers can purchase the products from Sephora's website, which does not include the black shredded plastic confetti.

Revelist has reached out to Pat McGrath Labs for comment.