PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When it comes to plastic waste, there's one everyday beauty product that's a repeat offender: mascara.
A Drexel University senior has created an earth-friendly, sustainable solution.
Paige Leigh DeAngelo says her idea for the invention came when she was studying meteorology at Drexel University.
"I was researching and reporting on sustainability for our TV show," DeAngelo says. "I was doing research on individual waste, and I realized that most of my waste came from cosmetics. Personally, I was just looking for a better solution. I felt like a hypocrite preaching sustainability when, I myself, knew how much I was producing. That was my entrepreneur 'aha' moment."
DeAngelo has been a lifelong competitive dancer and says she's gone through many tubes of mascara.
She couldn't find any truly sustainable mascara -- from the formula down to the packaging -- so DeAngelo worked with Drexel's entrepreneur program. She toiled in their labs and made her own.
"I began mixing and trying to make it work until I found a formula that did actually work," she says. "I made sure it was vegan, cruelty-free and organic."
DeAngelo created dissolvable mascara tablets, the very first product in her soon-to-launch Aer Cosmetics line.
You simply drop a tablet into the tube, add the solution, mix and apply.
"I just had a gut feeling that it would change a lot of people, and change the way cosmetics are created," DeAngelo says. "That's kind of why I went for it."
Next month, DeAngelo will be one of 18 young people worldwide to compete in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
The 22-year-old says fellow Drexel students in the incubator helped her with everything from public relations to finance to marketing.
Aer Cosmetics launches this summer.