Makeup and skincare on the go can be challenging and cause a mess. Until recently, most everyday makeup like blush, foundation, and highlighter came in a compact bottle or tube. With the rise of sticks, applying makeup has never been so quick, hygienic, and sustainable. Sticks can come in many shapes, sizes, and materials and have the potential to be easily refillable, recyclable, or compostable, depending on the brand’s design. This shows that the same product can have a better user experience just by changing the packaging.  

After the pandemic that has hit, hygienic products and gestures are always top of mind for consumers. Convenience is always top of mind as well. Instead of applying blush with a brush and messy powder, just a swipe of a stick will do. No hands are needed, which keep this process clean. You can now take a stick product on the go and not worry about the product breaking.  

Top suppliers in the cosmetic industry have been supporting the rise of sticks. New package designs for sticks include aluminum sticks, paper sticks, refillable sticks, and different plastic sticks, including PCR. HCT Group offers refillable sticks, recyclable plastic sticks, and bio-material sticks, depending on the aesthetic. Viva Healthcare Packaging manufactures polypropylene (PP) sticks that can be recycled and sticks made from post-consumer resin (PCR). These are just a few examples of how this trend has affected the package development made by suppliers. Suppliers are seeing this new demand for sticks and are designing and supplying for these brands we know and love.

Beauty brands have picked up on this trend of utilizing stick packaging and we are seeing a changing landscape when it comes to the supply of wholesale cosmetic packaging. Clinique has packaged their eye makeup remover in a stick. Dior released a refillable lipstick line using a luxurious, durable outer case. Givenchy has also gone the refillable stick route in lipstick with a customizable case. Milk Makeup created a refillable stick for skin tint with SPF. Covergirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Highlighter Stick has also hit markets as clean beauty rises in demand. Fenty also has a line of cosmetic sticks. Makeup by Mario has multiple cosmetic sticks that have a detachable brush on the other end. Skincare and cosmetic sticks are even entering the market for men. For example, The Blur Stick by Hims is an aluminum stick for convenient use for an on-the-go men’s concealer. Brands are getting creative with ways to utilize sticks when packaging their products. Like all packaging, once metallization and in-depth decoration get involved in creating a luxe look, sustainability dives, so brands must be mindful of balancing sustainability initiatives and aesthetic needs.  

Like mentioned earlier, sticks can create an easy, on-the-go experience when needing to apply makeup. Sticks do come in different shapes and sizes and can be made using recyclable materials. The only issue that can arise is that if the stick is “too small,” it will not get recycled no matter what the material. These small items can fall through the screens while sortation occurs at a material recovery facility. Once these small items get sorted out of the recycling stream, they go to landfills. Knowing this information, designing small-sized sticks (like lipsticks) could be best refillable. Brands need to push towards a sustainable end life of their packaging, so if these products are recycled, taking the compostable and refillable approach could be best in this arena.