Al Naturale: Your Own How-To Guide on Natural Makeup

Natural makeup is the dark horse in the cosmetics community. Women are typically very attached to their makeup line, whether it’s the untouchable MAC, sure to make an appearance in every makeup artist’s case, or Dany Sanz’s creative Make Up Forever. But some women are slowly starting to detach from that crowd.

With all the information available online, the fact that some of the best makeup products on the market are good for your health, or for the environment, is becoming a more and more compelling argument for discovering new, more responsible sources of beauty lines.


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Every woman has a different reason for researching natural cosmetics. You might be searching for a healthier alternative to the foundation you already love, but you feel is slowly damaging your skin. Perhaps you’re interested in a cruelty-free or vegan brand that goes well with your values, as well as your features. Either way, there are many alternatives out there, and companies are trying more and more to find a balance between ethical and functional, which means makeup can be natural and professional at the same time.

For your Skin

If you’re one who struggles with sensitive skin, you’ve probably had your share of rashes, puffy eyes, and dehydrated skin from makeup, foundation, or face cream. Allergic reactions to cosmetics are more common than you can imagine. Fragrances or preservatives are the main culprits, so your first order of business would be crossing those of your list when you go makeup shopping. But if you’re a serious shopper, make sure you skip BHA or BHT, coal tar dyes, Petrolatum, PEG compounds, Siloxanes, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Triclosan, all of which have a negative effect on your general wellbeing.

There are some products which are naturally based and are all around better for your skin. One such product, 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration, has fast absorbing properties, and also acts as an anti-aging moisturizer to protect your skin from environmental damage, such as pollution, smoke, and chemicals.

It retails at $42 and works for all skin types.

Another great alternative if you’re prone to allergic reactions is Ecco Bella Natural Age Antidote Day Skin Cream (click here). Voted Best Day Cream by the editors of Natural Solutions Magazine, this is a preservatives, water, and gluten free moisturizer, packed with lutein, lycopene, vitamins E and C and astaxanthin.

It’s guaranteed not to cause breakouts, which is a pretty reassuring idea, and sells for exactly the same price – $42.

For your Lips

When you’re looking for a good natural lipstick, check out the label and keep away from mile-long ingredient lists. Artificial colors and paraben are a no-no and you should avoid them in your food (for the former) and in your cosmetics (for the latter).

One of the best brands in the world of natural makeup, Primitive Lipstick, is made entirely of natural ingredients, and that means no additives, preservatives, or artificial colors. Instead, the eight available shades inspired by Moroccan deserts, Balinese beaches, and Caribbean sunsets focus on beautiful, elegant (vegan) colors, ranging from pink to gold.

For women who love a big range, Jane Iredale Puremoist Lipstick is the perfect option. It’s minerally based and is available in true reds, neutral tones, matte pinks, and plums. The fact that they’re all natural and gluten free sets them head and shoulders above other brands.

Check out this post for more lip recommendations, and how to get the softest kissable lips! 

For your Soul

Many women use natural products because regular cosmetics have an unethical aspect to their brand. The beauty and health advantages are simply a bonus for them. If you’re against the horrors of animal testing, there are many companies who have a similar approach to what they do.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is 100% vegan and cruelty free, and they feature statement products, such as lip tar and multi-use products. They have a contemporary aesthetic and an extensive line of professional brushes which are arguably quite affordable.

Maureen Kelly started her natural cosmetics line in her apartment, but she’s since come a long way from those early days. Eco-chic is at home with Tarte. They have a complex approach to their whole business, from sustainability and a no-cruelty animal policy, to all-natural ingredients and formulas that perform brilliantly.


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Natural makeup is becoming more and more competitive, taking its deserved place under the spotlight. In the beginning, the niche for all-natural was small and underground, something professionals would have never investigated on their own. But now that more and more companies are set on finding a balance between natural and professional, the competition is becoming increasingly fiercer, and ethical might soon become the norm.

Gwen Lewis is a freelance writer in Southern California. With a background in makeup and beauty, she finds that using natural makeup products works wonders for your skin, and enjoys using them for herself. She contributes beauty and health content to the Skintrium blog, where you can read more of her work.

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