The Best Organic Makeup (and Why You Need it)

Kelly Dougher
organic makeup

Photo: IMaxTree

We beauty lovers wear makeup daily, but we seldom think about the ingredients we’re putting on (and around) our skin, lips, and eyes—until our faces freak out, break out or dry out. No matter your skin type, there’s a growing body of evidence that says it’s not good to saturate yourself with harsh fragrances, dyes and chemicals every day…but short of skipping cosmetics altogether, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to avoid it, right? Wrong.

Enter organic makeup. The latest eco-conscious trend in beauty, it benefits both you and the environment—if you choose the right kind. Look for cruelty-free companies (meaning they don’t do animal testing) that use recyclable packaging and ethically-sourced ingredients, and that do not use ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances and dyes, and silicones. Generally, the shorter the ingredient list, the better.

Of course, it can be intimidating to try to find reliable organic products on one’s own, so we rounded up eight of our favorite organic cosmetic brands to keep you beautiful—inside and out.

1. Physician’s Formula

Most or many of Physician’s Formula products are free of fragrance, parabens, and gluten, as well as being hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and safe for those with sensitive skin and eyes. They also do not test on animals. Best of all, their prices are extremely affordable and you can find their products for under $20 at most drugstores. Try their Healthy Wear SPF 50 Tinted Moisturizer ($15); it will give you a natural beauty look and the sun protection you need this summer.

2. 100 Percent Pure

The 100 Percent Pure website promises vegan cosmetics “formulated with high performing antioxidants [and] naturally occurring vitamins and essential oils.” They use fruit pigments to dye their makeup products naturally. They offer lipsticks, foundation, cruelty-free makeup brushes, eye makeup, blush, and more. Try their Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain ($25) for a long-lasting, natural flush of color.

3. Ecco Bella

Ecco Bella calls themselves “an activist company,” which means that they are against animal testing, support organic farming and ethical ingredient sourcing, and don’t use any ingredients in their products that are harmful for consumers or the environment. Most of their products are vegan and they are all made out of organic ingredients. Since they use a limited roster of ingredients and exclude harmful chemicals like fragrance, parabens, and alcohol, their products are ideal for those with sensitive skin. They offer eye makeup, blush, foundation, and our favorite, Flowercolor Lipstick ($20) which comes in 17 pretty colors.

4. RMS beauty

RMS beauty products are truly amazing: luxurious, high-performing and good for you. They’re made with organic ingredients like coconut oil (the base of all of their products), cocoa butter, shea butter, castor oil, and jojoba oil. They do not test on animals and they use recyclable packaging. They offer brushes, powders, bronzers, eye makeup, lip colors, and more. Their Living Luminizer ($38) has a cult following, and it’s no wonder: it’s totally gorgeous and works on every skin tone.

5. Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty makes all-natural, organic lip products in Toronto. Their tag line is that their lip products are healthy enough to eat, since they are made out of organic ingredients such as shea butter and natural oils. You can purchase their lipsticks, glosses, scrubs and masks from Sephora, and we really love their new Butter Cream Lipstick ($28). Bonus: you can visit their Bite Beauty Lip Lab in New York and create your own custom lipstick shade.

6. Ilia Beauty

Ilia products are made of up to 85% organic ingredients and kept in recycled packaging. Try one of their gorgeous lipsticks like the summer-ready Neon Angel ($26) or one of their beautifully radiant Multi-Sticks ($34) for a healthy flush of color on your cheeks. They also make mascara, setting powders, illuminators, and tinted moisturizer, the latter of which comes in 6 shades of every complexion.

7. Tarte

Tarte Cosmetics are cruelty-free and gluten-free and made without harmful ingredients such as parabens, mineral oil and sulfates. They have a huge selection of cosmetics in gorgeous packaging and in tons of shades. And honestly, we do mean tons—they’re one of the most versatile organic makeup companies out there. Start with one of their bestsellers, like Light, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($21), Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation ($39), or Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush ($26) in Glisten.

8. Josie Maran

All of Josie Maran’s products are infused with organic, ethically sourced argan oil, which is known for its hydrating and beautifying properties. The argan oil used in their products is sustainably harvested from women’s co-ops in Morocco, which benefits both the environment and the workers. Try the Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation ($42) for a glowing, natural beauty look and the Argan Infinity Lip And Cheek Creamy Oil ($18) for a dewy flush of color.

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