2019 Update: As I try new (non-toxic) products, my makeup bag changes. The products listed below are great options for non-toxic makeup. If you want to see what I’m currently using for makeup on a daily basis, check out this post.
This post is long overdue. In fact, it’s years overdue.
Since starting Live Simply, and talking about natural body-care, I’ve received countless requests from reader friends to share my favorite makeup products. But there’s been one issue with this request…
It wasn’t until this year that I actually felt comfortable sharing a peek inside my makeup bag.
See, real food and natural living in 2017, is a journey for most us–including myself. Just a few years ago, I was just beginning the journey of using more natural makeup products.
When I first began this journey, I experimented with do-it-yourself options. I quickly realized that wasn’t a road I wanted to travel down (except for foundation powder). It proved to be too time-consuming, complicated, and expensive. So I turned my attention to finding brands that are making more natural makeup options. Just a few years ago, that was no small feat. Thankfully, today, that task has become much easier.
I’m still on this natural makeup journey (I certainly haven’t “arrived”), but I’m finally at a place where I’m happy with the products and ingredients in my bag.
This is a peek inside my makeup bag. The products highlighted are the very products I love and use on a regular basis. If you’re looking for non-toxic makeup options, I hope today’s tried-and-true makeup recommendations are helpful for you.
I’ve used either the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database or Think Dirty App to check out all the products in my makeup bag, and all of them score between a 1-3. This means they are considered neutral (a good thing!) or low on the overall hazard scale (a scale ranging from 0-10).
My Makeup BagMy Favorite Natural Products
Last year, I started using Beautycounter’s Tint Skin (color: linen).
This year, I decided to try 100% Pure’s 2nd Skin Foundation (color: sand olive). I love the coverage and light feel of this foundation (probably due to the oils used, including squalane oil). The 2nd Skin Foundation is my current foundation.
I also just recently ordered 100% Pure’s Bamboo Blur Tinted Moisturizer (color: white peach). I really like the light and buildable coverage of this product. I’ll probably use this during the warm summer months for daily coverage. It evens out my skin tone and moisturizes my skin. The only downside is it doesn’t hold up well when my face is sweaty. Both Beautycounter and 100% Pure are only available online.
One more foundation (I’ve tried a few)…I also recently tried Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation (color: Natural 2.5). I’ve had a really positive experience with this one, too. It evens out my skin tone and offers amazing coverage. It’s become my go-to foundation now.
I’ve been using homemade foundation powder for a number of years now, and still love it.
This past year, I learned about Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation (color: beige 2). The ingredient list is very short and appropriate, so I ordered a container. I fell in love with the great coverage and how perfectly the color matched my skin. Alima isn’t available in stores (at least I don’t know of any stores), so you have to order online.
Another option I’ve tried and enjoyed is Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder (color: neutral 2), which can be found at most health food stores and Whole Foods, and even Amazon. And one more, Zuzu Luxe Powder Foundation (also found at Whole Foods and on Amazon).
I currently have a powder and cream blush sitting in my makeup bag.
For the powder, I’m using Pretty Naked II from 100% Pure. This is a set of five different colors that I use for blush, a facial highlighter, and eye shadow.
I ordered the cream blush (Universalist Multi-Stick; color: nude flush) from W3LL People a while back just to try something a bit different. I use this from time to time when I want something for travel. This multi-stick is currently out-of-stock on the W3LL People website, but you can still find it at Target.
I use 100% Pure Pretty Naked II (talked about in the blush section) for eyeshadow, too. I love that I only have to purchase one product for a facial highlighter, blush, and eyeshadow. I guess that’s what you’d call simplicity?
Brow Pencil and Eyeliner
I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s–a time when natural eyebrows weren’t exactly in style. I learned at a young age to tweeze, tweeze, tweeze my eyebrows. Needless to say, my eyebrows need some extra help with looking full and natural (lol, the irony). That’s where a brow pencil comes in handy. I’ve been using the brow pencil from Mineral Fusion (color: dark brown) for years.
Eyeliner isn’t something I use on a daily basis. On a special occasion, I use Pacifica Natural Eye Pencil (color: fringe). I haven’t really spent much time looking for other brand options since I don’t use eyeliner very often. Pacifica is available at most health food stores, Whole Foods, some Targets, and Amazon.
A few years ago, I played around with making a homemade mascara and quickly realized that was a horrible idea (hello, smudges!).
Today, there are a few natural makeup brands making fantastic mascara options. My personal favorite is W3LL People (Expressionist Mascara; color: Pro Black), followed by 100% Pure (Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara; Color: Black Tea). I’ve also heard great things about LILY LOLO Mascara.
Lipstick and Lip balm
There are two items left in my makeup bag: lipstick and lip balm. My favorite lipstick is from W3LL People (Nudist Colorbalm; Color: Nude 7). This lipstick goes on well and the color is very natural.
I make a batch of lip balm once a year (this recipe). I keep the tubes stocked in our medicine cabinet and pull one out whenever I need a lip balm replacement.
That’s everything in my makeup bag. I would love to hear what’s your makeup bag via a comment below.
I recently discovered Gressa’s Minimalist Serum Foundation, and it’s one of the best I’ve tried yet. It is mattifying on my t-zone, and I only need one drop to cover my entire face. It’s pretty expensive, but I’ll definitely repurchase. You can try four samples from The Detox Market for $7.99 to see if it works for you. I have a light-medium skintone, but ended up with a 4 as the best match.
Isn’t squalene what is killing sharks and causing them to be endangered?
Hey Sarah, Yes, it’s possible to obtain this from sharks, but also from olives. The product from 100% Pure is called “Olive Squalane + Fruit Pigments” because it’s sourced from olives (ingredient name: Olea Europaea Olive Squalane).
Thanks for responding to my question. I’m new to living a toxin free life. So far I’ve spent the last year switching out toxic products with healthier, more natural options. I’m glad I’ve found your blog there are a lot of great recipes and helpful information for me to continue to make better choices and I appreciate your perspective on things.
I was alarmed when I read “squalene” was an ingredient in the liquid foundation. I only saw an ad for a shark show segment that warned of the danger of choosing products with squalene. Check out this article:http://mobile.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Squalane-versus-squalene-are-you-aware-of-what-you-may-be-paying-for
It says that we need to use caution with all squalene or squalene products as it can’t be guaranteed that it is the plant based option. I found this article as the second link in a Google search, for whatever that means to you.
I am coming from a place of seriously not knowing what or who to believe. You seem like a very knowledgeable and tested individual when it comes to this topic. What do you think? Would it be better to just avoid this product?
Hey Sarah, Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. I recommend reaching out to 100% Pure and ask them about their sourcing. They should be able to share the details about how and where the squalane is sourced. I’ve personally bought squalane quite a few times from a local apothecary shop, who shares their source for the olive squalane. 100% Pure should be able to do the same. Most companies like this know their sources very well. It’s also an option to just avoid products with this ingredient altogether. The Crunchi brand I mentioned doesn’t contain it, and neither does the BeautyCounter option.
Hi, Kristin, I just found you and I am loving all the recipes I’ve tried so far. I have acne prone skin and I have to be outside for kids games sometimes a couple hours at a time. I’m currently using daily face protector SPF40 from clinique. Is there a sunblock that you recommend?
Hey Mary, I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! Currently, I use BeautyCounter’s sunscreen. The EWG puts out a guide to the best “green” sunscreens. It’s definitely worth checking out: http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/executive-summary/ (you have to put in your email to receive it from the EWG).
What do you think of Honest Beauty for the makeup? HowI should I research if its just as clean as the other natural products you all mentioned?
Hey Jami, I don’t have much experience with Honest Beauty makeup. I’d look them up on the Think Dirty App (available in the app store for free). The app will provide ratings on the products and share any concerning ingredients. I looked on the EWG’s website, but they didn’t have much info on Honest Beauty makeup.
Thank you!! I will get the app 🙂
Great post! I LOVE Beauty Counter products, but favor mineral fusion’s eye shadow options. Coverage is better, as are the color combos and the shimmer. If you haven’t yet tried BC’s eyeliner and eyebrow pencil, you should. Not much smudging throughout the day, goes on very smooth and best of all – styling utensils at the end! The brow pencil has a brush with a lid, and the eyeliner has a foam smudger with a lid at the end. Finally, 100% Pure DOES have stores. I’m sure locations are limited, but they are around. I also love 100% PURE and Beauty Counter’s return policies. They fully support and understand the process of trying new makeup and are very kind and reasonable about returning and refunding if you don’t like the product.
Hey Tamara, I’m going to order the BC eyeliner and brow pencil–thank you for recommending them! I’ve been looking to branch out with eyeliner, so this will be a great way to do that. I’ve heard about one 100% Pure Store, but didn’t know there are others, too. Thank you for sharing!
I just recently purchased 100% pure’s second skin liquid foundation. I love the lightweight silky feel, but it isn’t applying very smoothly – it makes me look like I have dry skin patches. Have you had this issue? Any suggestions?
Hey Brittany, I haven’t had issues (yet). I use this shea butter moisturizer underneath the foundation right now: https://livesimply.me/2017/03/24/shea-butter-cream-facial-moisturizer/ and we live in a very humid climate (no dry weather). They have a really good return policy, too. I believe it’s a money back guarantee on any product that’s not working well for you–that’s another reason I like them. I would definitely contact the company and let them know–they may have a good suggestion or another product idea.
I finally switched from mac to all natural products.
My skin is doing so much better,I’m currently using mostly RMS beauty for all my makeup.the only item I can’t find is a liquid liner,which I really love for a more elegant look.any ideas about liquid liner or eyeliner ?
Hey Hila, It’s amazing how much of an impact makeup products have on our skin health–I’m so glad your skin is doing better. I haven’t tried a liquid liner yet, but I’ll let you know if I find anything. Thank you for sharing what you’re using and loving.
Target is going to be carrying w3ll people makeup. I will be checking it out.
That’s awesome, Mar! I heard something was in the works between the two companies, but didn’t know when the makeup would be available in stores.
Crunchy Organics is making some make up products that should be for sale on her web site soon. She sells other organic body products and also Pronounce Skin Care is worth a look.
Awesome, Nancy! I’ve heard great things about Crunchy Organics–I’ll have to check them out. I tried Scratch Mommy liquid foundation years ago (now Pronounce Skincare) when she first came out with it, but haven’t tried any of her new offerings. Thank you for sharing!
Root Pretty and RMS Beauty are a couple other brands I have come to really like but love 100% pure and W3ll People!!
Hey Hannah, I haven’t heard of Root Pretty or RMS Beauty. I just added them to my growing list to check out and try. Thank you for sharing what you’re using! I love that we can learn from each other.
I have also made the switch to natural products over the last few years. I also tried making my own cosmetics but now that more are available to purchase I’m all in. I am currently using Everyday Minerals powder foundation but I think I want to try 100% Pure liquid foundation. I haven’t worn liquid in years! I recently purchased Shea Moisture Anti-Aging Moisturizer when I ran out of my Pacifica moisturizer. It’s rated 3 on Think Dirty app and Pacifica is a 5. I got it at Target. I am using 100% Pure eyebrow cream but I prefer a pencil so I may go back to Beauty Counter for that. The blush I am using is Gabriel Cosmetics that I picked up at our local health food store. I almost forgot I also use Everyday Minerals eye shadow and liquid eyeliner which is going to last one million years! I don’t use mascara much but I’m thinking of trying 100% Pure. That’s about it! Whew!
Hey Debbie, I haven’t heard of Everyday Minerals. I just put them on my growing list to check out and try. I’ve had so many failures with liquid foundation over the years, and really need something to help even out my skin tone (thanks to hormones and too much sun–hello dark patches). 100% Pure has by far been my favorite and I love that they use nourishing oils as the base.
Thank you for sharing what you’re using! I love that we can learn from each other.
I have switched almost entirely to Mineral Fusion. They had a sale online and a coupon for new customers or something, so I tried a lot lol I didn’t like their mascara though. I had two brushes and neither worked well for me so I get Honeybee Garden via Vitacost. I’m just missing eyebrow pencil so I’ll have to check the grocery store next time I go because they carry Mineral Fusion.
I love how eyeliner looks but mine NEVER stays around. It disappears. And I can’t use liquid because no matter how much I try or how many videos I watch, I can’t apply it. And I can’t apply to the lower line either. I’m a makeup failure!
Hey Helen, Diving into the natural beauty world requires so much experimentation–like finding the right mascara ;). I haven’t tried Honeybee Garden, or even heard of them. I just added them to my growing list of brands to check out and try. Yea, eyeliner is a tricky one. I’ve never had success with the liquid ones either. The pencil varieties definitely work better for me. Definitely check out the Mineral Fusion brow pencil–it goes on so well and doesn’t look fake–my greatest eyebrow fear.
Thank you for sharing what you’re using! I love that we can learn from each other.