In addition to the obvious ones...parabens, fragrance, artificial colors, phenoxyethanol, ethoxylathed chemicals, propylene glycol, etc, here are my additional standards for choosing these products:
- No Grapefruit Seed Extract
- No Japanese Honeysuckle Extract
- No dusts that pose inhalation hazards
- No essential oils on my "avoid" list
- Adequately and safely preserved
- No carmine
Now, keep in mind that there are no perfect options. There will still be mineral pigments, micas, iron oxides, and other ingredients that aren't organic, but as far as makeups are concerned, these are the best. Formulators have to use something to create colors and the "coverage" that we expect.
Also, just because I recommend one product, does NOT mean that I recommend the entire line. I judge products based on INGREDIENTS and never by brand name.
Lauren Brooke Cosmetique Creme Foundation
Ingredients: Triglycerides, Zinc Oxide, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba, Silica, Radish Root, Organic Argan, Organic Rosehip, Neem, Clay, Organic Green Tea, Organic Passionflower, Organic Raspberry, Natural Vitamin E (+/-, Iron Oxides, Mica, Org Essential Oil Blend).
What I Like About It: In addition to a good ingredients list, it contains non-nano zinc oxide. While it doesn't officially boast an SPF, the zinc oxide naturally offers UVA and UVB sun protection. No separate SPF face cream needed! I've put it through the test for several summers while out hiking and can tell you the sun protection coverage is great.
If you've ever talked to me about makeup, you know that I love Lauren's line. She's local to me here in Utah, and I've spoken with her personally and know the extreme care she takes in creating her products and choosing her ingredients.
What I didn't quite care for:
There's not much that I can say bad about this foundation; it's my go-to formula on the rare occasions that I wear makeup. I'm not crazy about the presence of silica, however, because it's not in powder form, I'm not too concerned about it.
Miessence Translucent Foundation
I have not tried this product. It is a bit on the pricey side, but it also has a great ingredients list as far as makeup is concerned.
Raw Skin.Ceuticals Matte BB Creme Foundation
Ingredients:aloe barbadenis (aloe leaf juice), rosa rubginosa (rosehip seed oil), garcinia indica (mango butter), cannabis sativa (hemp seed oil), calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu oil), cucurbita pepo (pumpkin seed oil), oenothera biennis (evening primrose oil), persea gratissima (avocado oil), cetyl-stearyl alcohol, proprietary vitamin C herb complex blend: glebionis (chrysanthemum), helisso chrysos (helichrysum flowers), citrus sinensis (orange peel), rosa canina (rosehips), euphrasia officinalis (eyebright), malpighia glabra (acerola cherry), galium aparine (cleavers), l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) preservative blend: potassium sorbate usp, citric acid mineral oxides for color
What I Like About It:
I love that after you apply it, you don't feel like you're wearing makeup. I can't stand to have anything on my face and with most foundations even after a couple hours I'm ready to scrub it off. Not so with this formula--it's mostly water-based so it goes on very lightly.
What I Didn't Quite Care For:
I had some trouble getting the product to prime the pump on the nozzle, and when it first came out it kind of came shooting out. Also the formula dries out at the nozzle so when you first squirt it, the little dried piece comes out in to your fingers and it's impossible to blend in your skin and you have to somehow pick it out.
I also couldn't quite master the art of application with this one. It seems that the moisture is absorbed and evaporates quite quickly once you put in on your skin so you have a very limited time for blending before the pigments become almost painted on your skin. The W103 shade was too light for me, surprisingly (I usually have to get the lightest shades) and left me looking like a pasty ghost. But that's not the fault of the foundation; I just didn't get the right shade. Either way, though, the formula dried so quickly that I was left with splotches of pigments that were impossible to blend in. I'll have to keep trying with this one.
The bottle also states that it has an SPF, however there's no drug panel listing "active" ingredients as required by law when you're marketing a sunscreen product.
PRIIA Essential Cover Creme Mineral Foundation
Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Silica, Allantoin, D-Panthenol (ProVitamin B5), Bisabolol,
Iron Oxides. May Contain: Chromium Oxide Green, Ultramarine Blue.
What I Liked About it:
This is a jar of creamy smooth perfection. Not too heavy, easy to spread, easy to blend. The texture and coverage is almost identical to RMS UnCover Up, but you get way more for your money. With RMS, it's 5.76 grams for $36, whereas PRIIA gives you a generous 8.5 grams for only $22.50.
What I Didn't Quite Care For:
Once again I ordered too light for my skin tones. (I must have really picked up some sun this summer.) However, it's pretty easy to blend and almost works for me. I'm not crazy about the possibility of chromium oxide in the formula. It also contains silica and titanium dioxide.
REMOVED FROM RECOMMENDATION: Real Purity
I've removed Real Purity's foundation from my recommendations, as their formula had no apparent preservative. When questioned, the company assured us the product was safely preserved and that they've never had a problem, however, they wouldn't answer exactly how the product is preserved. They continued to offer a vague explanation and wouldn't provide any challenge testing or antimicrobial data, so we removed them from the list.
RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up
I had the opportunity to try some RMS products this year, including the Un-cover Up, which can act as both a concealer and a foundation. RMS Beauty is somewhat of a darling of natural cosmetics bloggers everywhere, and for a good reason. It has a good ingredients list and a little goes a long way.
Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract. May contain [+/-]: Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499What I Liked:
The texture is creamy and smooth, the coverage is nice, and the ingredients
What I didn't quite care for:
- Not crazy about Titanium Dioxide.
- Felt somewhat heavy on my skin (although I'm one of those people that can hardly stand to have anything on my skin.)
- I have pretty fair skin so I ordered the lightest shade--it actually ended up being too light for my complexion, so I was surprised about that. However, I can't fault them for that, just my ordering decisions.
- The box does state that it's "organic" when it is not certified nor does it meet the criteria for organic certification. You know I'm a stickler for organic claims. :)
This is what I would use on the rare occasion that I wear makeup.
Earth's Beauty Concealer
Really simple ingredients list!
Also a really simple ingredients list.
Lauren Brooke Creme Eye Color
This creamy eyeshadow comes in a convenient twist-up stick with a generous portion of creme. I usually rub the top of it with my finger and apply it with my fingertip. Blends well, lots of pretty colors available.
Matte Ingredients: Capryllc/Capric Triglycerides, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Olive Oil, Silica, Certified Organic Vegetable Starch, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic Raspberry Extract, Certified Organic Vanilla Extract, Non-GMO Natural Vitamin E (+/- Iron Oxides, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Ultramarines).
Shimmer Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil, Capryllc/Capric Triglycerides, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Silica, Certified Organic Shea Butter, Avocado Butter, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Certified Organic Vanilla Extract, Non-GMO Natural Vitamin E (+/- Iron Oxides, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Ultramarines).
(In a pinch I've even used it as a lipstick. )
RMS Beauty Creme Eyeshadow
Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,*Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol (non-GMO), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019]
* CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Earth's Beauty Eyeliner Pencils
Ingredients: organic jojoba, organic castor oil, organic beeswax, candellila wax,iron oxides, mica and vitamin E.
I don't think I could ask for a simpler ingredients list! I have not tried this product, but it's on my must-get list!
100% Pure Creamstick Eyeliner
I hesitate to recommend anything from 100% Pure because of their use of Japanese Honeysuckle Extract, among other issues (labeling inaccuracies, preservative issues). However, this product appears to be good. Lauren Brooke is my top pick, but if you couldn't do it for some reason, this would be okay too.
Lauren Brooke Lash-Strengthening Mascara
Ingredients: Organic Aloe, Sorbitol, Olive Emulsifiers, Organic Horsetail, Organic Burdock, Organic Herbal Extract Blend, Radish Root Ferment, Cetearyl Alcohol, Non-GMO Organic Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Orange Peel Wax, Sunflower Wax, Vitamin B Complex.
While I haven't tried it yet, I am in love with the ingredients list and have every faith that Lauren's nailed it with this one.
I haven't tried this one either, but the ingredients look pretty stellar. No titanium dioxide, which I like.
Ingredients: certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, certified organic rosa damascena (rose) essential oil, certified organic oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, black iron oxide, certified organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, non-gmo lecithin, sclerotium rolfsii gum, aqua, certified organic rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, certified organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, certified organic unrefined cera alba (beeswax), certified organic ethanol (sugar cane alcohol), citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) fruit extract
Meisha Cream Blush
This would be my top pick ingredients-wise because it doesn't contain titanium dioxide.
Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch. May Contain: Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Ultramarines, Zinc Oxide.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek
Except for the "smile" shade which contains synthetic colorants.
For all Lip2Cheek except Smile: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract. May contain [+/-]: Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019PRIIA Creme-to-Powder Blush
Ingredients: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Kosher Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Boron Nitride, Silica. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Tin Oxide, Ultramarines.
Miessence Lip Creme
Lip Colors by Lauren Brooke
Coastal Classic Creations
PRIIA Pucker Upz Lip Infusions
Botanical Lip Gloss by Lauren Brooke
Juice Beauty Lip Shimmer
Lauren Brooke Lip Liner Pencils
*Note: some colors contain carmine.
I don't recommend using loose powders due to the inhalation risk, but if you just have to have your favorite powder and need a primer, our Splash of Lime Toning Mist actually does a great job.
A really tough one because even the "good" brands contain questionable stuff. But, the bottom line is, you're putting paint on your nails. It's a very unnatural thing in and of itself, so some chemicals are needed. My standards for nail polish are completely different from those of my other makeup items because there are no nail polishes that would possibly meet the standards.
Acquarella has one of the best ingredients list.
Honeybee Gardens is another option along the same lines.
Keeki Pure and Simple is another good one. It's marketed more for kids and teens but can be used by anyone.
Finally, there's Scotch Naturals.
All of the above fall in to the water-based formulas that are somewhat high maintenance. Adequate cleaning of the nail beforehand, doing numerous light coats, giving it a really long cure time, etc. And even then, it seems to quickly peel.
If you're looking for a nail polish that acts more like a "regular" nail polish, I've been impressed with the Mineral Fusion brand that I found at Whole Foods. It dries quickly and is way easier to use than the watercolor brands. The only downside is that it does contain some bad ingredients like phenoxyethanol. But it is at least tolulene-free.
Any other categories in makeup? Comment below and I'll do my best! If you'd like me to take a look at a product for you, I'll be happy to do so. Please either post the ingredients list, or provide a direct link to the product.