It’s no secret that natural beauty has blown up in recent years. Consumers care about ingredients and are making a conscious effort to pay close attention to harmful chemicals commonly found in makeup products that could be wreaking havoc on their skin. But let’s be really really real: What does “natural beauty” even mean anymore? Increased demand for clean ingredients has, sadly, caused brands to use suspicious marketing tactics, slapping “natural” and “organic” labels on their products without legitimate certifications, which is problematic.
It also makes it difficult to decipher if “natural” makeup brands are being completely transparent when it comes to refraining from harsh chemicals and animal testing. This is why organizations like PETA and Leaping Bunny are so important; both websites offer tools to search which brands are truly using organic, cruelty-free, and ethically-sourced ingredients.
I have one more important thing to address before we move on: There’s a huge misconception that natural makeup products are incapable of delivering glamorous results. That might have been true, like, a decade ago, but today there are plenty of brands creating buildable, high-impact products that over-deliver in the shade department. Natural makeup brands are on the rise, and here are my all-time favorites.
On a scale of one to 10 of freaking amazing products in the natural makeup space, RMS Beauty is a big 1-0. The company was dreamed up by esteemed makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, who values health and wellness just as much as cosmetics. She’s taken this ethical approach a step further, creating concealers, highlighters, and lipsticks formulated with raw, food-grade, and organic ingredients in their purest state. You can expect these good-for-you ingredients to make your skin glow from the inside-out.
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Unsurprisingly, I was drawn to Alima Pure when I found out the brand was birthed in my beloved hometown of Portland, Oregon. There are many great things about Portland, but one of the city’s most admirable characteristics is its dedication to eco-friendliness. Alima Pure is an authentic extension of Portland’s DNA, which is grounded in sustainability. The brand boasts a “less is more” mentality, producing mineral-based makeup products with minimal ingredients free of toxins, irritants, or preservatives. Even better: They’ve managed to thoughtfully formulate a full and inclusive shade range of satin matte foundation, which happens to be their best-selling product.
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Let’s set this straight: If you turn down food-themed makeup, you and I can’t be friends. But if this combination sounds enticing, you’re welcome to keep reading. Indie brand Beauty Bakerie was founded in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole, and their dessert-themed makeup will make you feel happy inside. Most importantly, the pillars of the brand are rooted in good-for-you formulas. Nicole overcame a battle with breast cancer, which inspired her to go paraben-free, vegan, and cruelty-free with all of her products.
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In 2019, make it a point to be intentional about what you’re putting on your face. Ilia makes it easy to be more mindful with makeup choices. The luxurious packaging is made from recyclable aluminum and each product is carefully crafted with health-conscious ingredients. They’re on a mission to make clean beauty the norm, and are aware that not all natural products are created equal. With shades that range from neutral to vibrant, trust that these will do right by your skin.
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W3LL People believes in the idea of combining skincare and makeup to create something beautiful. If you’re a no-makeup makeup lover, you’ll appreciate how their products will enhance your natural beauty. Staying true to its natural roots, all products are handcrafted in small batches, which means when you receive each product you can trust that it’s been made to ensure the safest, freshest experience.
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One look at Kjaer Weis’ shiny, chic packaging will convince you that natural makeup products can indeed look sophisticated and deliver equally-gorgeous results. As a long-time makeup artist, founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis experienced the struggle of not having high-performing organic products for clients with sensitive skin. This brand is a crowd favorite because it uses only top-tier organic ingredients that won’t ever compromise the health of your skin. You get elegance and clean formulas without any parabens, silicones, petrochemical emulsifiers, or synthetic fragrances.
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The Lip Bar
Natural makeup products should be accessible and inclusive. Period. Creator of The Lip Bar, Melissa Butler, recognized that need after growing incredibly frustrated with the beauty industry’s lack of diversity. Her brand offers 100-percent vegan and cruelty-free ingredients in an array of shades suited for all skin tones. Oh, and did I mention everything is under $20?