Shoppers today are savvy. We check labels and care about ingredients. More and more of us are choosing to go natural with our personal care, avoiding anything that could be a health concern. While many of us have no problem making the switch to organic skincare, aluminum-free deodorant, or paraben-free hair care, some folks are hesitant to try natural makeup.
Let’s be honest, natural makeup sometimes gets a bad rap. And we can see why—in the past, options were limited to ho-hum hues and formulas that didn’t wear well. Today’s offerings are totally different! Natural makeup now boasts impressive performance and can be found in a range of trendy colors and flattering skin tone shades. While natural lipstick or eye-shadow is never going to last for 12 hours (isn’t that kind of scary anyway?), it will offer rich color and skin care benefits that traditional formulas don’t.
Whether you have a bursting makeup bag or own one tinted lip balm, we have great suggestions for natural cosmetics you’ll truly love to wear.
Mascara is an instant eye-opener that requires minimal effort—a few swipes and you’re done! Unfortunately, traditional formulas contain ingredients like mineral oil and aluminum powder that can leave lashes dry and irritate the eye area. Choosing a natural mascara has multiple benefits: nourishing oils will condition your lashes, leaving them healthy and lush, and if you accidentally rub your eyes, you won’t get any weird chemicals in your peepers!
We love Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara, made with a blend of quince seed, silk, and candelilla wax to plump and protect each lash. Plum is a gorgeous deep purple that makes eyes pop without looking over-the-top, but if it sounds a little out there, you can always go with classic black.
If someone told you to drink some body lotion, you’d think they were crazy. But think about what kinds of products you put on your lips and how often they accidentally make their way into your mouth (every time you take a sip of coffee or lick your lips, etc.) Yikes! Using lip products loaded with synthetic ingredients is about as crazy as kissing a drugstore day cream. Stick to all-natural options that pamper your lips and won’t cause concern if a little bit gets ingested.
ILIA’s lipsticks contain hydrating sunflower seed oil and soothing aloe vera to nurture lips while imparting rich color. Perfect Day is a warm, muted coral-red that honestly looks great on everyone! For a more subtle look, try one of ILIA’s Lip Conditioners—they hydrate while imparting a sheer kiss of color.
Leave contouring to the YouTube stars (it’s time-consuming and usually looks bizarre in person!) Try strobing instead. All you do is apply highlighter where light would naturally hit your face and voilà—you have that elusive lit-from-within look. So many highlighters leave skin sticky or far too sparkly. If you don’t want to look like a glitter fairy, opt for a natural product to get that subtle glow!
RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer uses premium organic ingredients to nurture your complexion and impart a gorgeous, youthful glow with a satin-pearl finish. Polka Dots & Moonbeans Illuminator by ILIA is another great option for achieving a fresh, dewy glow. Simply apply to your cheekbones, brow bones, and cupid’s bow, then blend.
When it comes to beauty products, nail polish contains some of the worst chemical ingredients. Most formulas contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene to name just a few. The problem is, you’re not going to find an all-natural nail polish that’s as high-performance as traditional polishes. But you can compromise!
We love Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer because it offers a long-wear formula and high-shine finish while also being free of the eight worst chemical ingredients found in other polishes. Ghost Edit is a flattering sheer pink that has won Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Award for the past several years in a row. For a more dramatic statement, try Kundalini Hustle, a brilliant poppy red.
Foundation & Concealer
So many cosmetics companies are guilty of only offering foundations and concealers that look good on lighter complexions. In the past, natural companies have been just as bad about having options for everyone. While there’s definitely still progress to be made, there are a few brands we’re excited about that make great products for a range of skin tones.
Available in seven flattering shades, Dr. Hauschka’s foundations contain botanical extracts to soothe and hydrate skin while providing medium coverage. Also available in seven shades, RMS Beauty’s “Un” Cover-Up melts right into the skin to conceal blemishes for a naturally flawless look.
Blush & Bronzer
A simple touch of blush or bronzer can do wonders for warming up your complexion. It’s an easy way to add depth to your face and instantly gives you a fresh, youthful look. Blush can get a bad rap, conjuring images of fake-looking porcelain dolls and your heavy-handed Great Aunt Sally. The trick is to apply it correctly: apply blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend up, towards your temples. (Remember, you can always add more!)
Rituel de Fille’s Inner Glow Crème Pigment blends perfectly for a natural flush. If you want a sun-kissed glow, apply bronzer in the same way. For the most natural look, also add a touch around the perimeter of your face and down your nose. RMS Beauty’s Buriti Bronzer imparts a flattering sun-kissed look that flatters all skin tones.
There’s no reason to stick with synthetic eye shadows. Their natural counterparts perform similarly, but they actually nourish the eye area as you wear them. Minerals provide buildable, long-lasting pigment that can either look intense or subtle depending on how you apply it. For a more natural look, apply a single dusting of powder. For a more dramatic look, apply several layers of powder, or mist your shadow brush with facial spray and apply it wet (just make sure to blend well to avoid streaks).
Rituel de Fille’s Eye Soots contain dense pigment for a look that will really wow. Fun to play around with, the Eyeshadow Trios by Dr. Hauschka offer three flattering hues to wear alone or blend together.
Eye liner can be intimidating to apply, but it just takes a bit of practice. The results are worth it: even just a touch of eyeliner at the outer corners of your eyes will seriously make them pop. But when you’re applying a product this close to your water line (where the rim of your eyelid meets your eye), you want to be sure it’s safe for your eyes. If your liner smudges even a little bit, chemical ingredients can make their way into your eyes, causing redness and itching.
Stick with a natural formula that nourishes skin and won’t cause irritation. Try using it to define the lash line or draw a thicker line for a bolder look. ILIA’s Havana Affair twist-up eyeliner is the perfect blend of black and gold with a hint of shimmer—great for smudging to make a smoky eye. For a classic cat eye, try Dr. Hauschka’s Liquid Eyeliner which delivers a precise line.