Many of us are becoming increasingly conscious of what we put on our skin, and we are starting to switch out our makeup routine to reflect our values of low waste and natural living. A few years back, you may have thought a natural makeup brand would pale by comparison to a conventional brand, but that’s certainly not true. After testing many non-toxic brands myself, I can assure you their performance is just as amazing - if not better!
What we put on our skin enters the body, and we should be mindful of all the ingredients in the cosmetics we purchase. Today, the makeup industry is highly unregulated and allows for ingredients many other countries have banned. These ingredients include things like formaldehyde, phthalates, and parabens, all of which are linked to hormone disruption and reproductive harm.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried several natural makeup brands. For some brands, I have loved the entire collection; for others, I took away a few favorite products. We all have different skin and preferences, so it’s about finding what works best for you. I’ve compiled this list of ethical makeup brands I think are worth a try, along with some of my favorite products they offer.
Plus, some of them are zero-waste, easy to refill, and all are, of course, cruelty-free. Make sure to check out a full list of vegan, zero-waste beauty brands here.
Check out Izzy for the world’s first zero-waste mascara ($39 for a one-time purchase, or you can sign up for more cost-effective membership). It comes with no outer packaging and is shipped in reusable mailers which have been made with upcycled materials. The tube doesn’t contain any plastic and is made from stainless steel. It’s designed to be cleaned and refilled over 10,000 times — so you basically never have to throw away another mascara for the rest of your life! Plus, they recently launched lip gloss, lip butter & brow balms!
A natural luxury line with a conscious, Vapour Beauty uses Fine Art Infused Color & organic ingredients to create high-performance products. Their range is always cruelty-free & comes with a risk-free guarantee. They also know water is a precious and limited resource. Therefore, it’s not used as a filler, and 95% of their products are formulated without water.
An ethical & sustainable line dedicated to creating the purest products, ILIA uses certified organic bio-active botanicals to rejuvenate your skin. Not only do their products perform exceptionally well, but they also have a sleek look with conscious packaging. The label runs a recycling program free from animal testing, so your empties never see a landfill. Even letting you send empties from other brands, Ilia doesn’t overcomplicate its formulas with many different ingredients, and they use packaging materials like recycled aluminum and glass when suitable.
Founded in 2018 by Tiila Abbitt, Ather Beauty is an ethically-sustainable brand that goes beyond the formulas and thinks about the entire product’s life. So you won’t find unnecessary mirrors or plastic in their packaging, and all the ingredients are good for your skin and the planet.
Their eyeshadow palettes are absolutely beautiful and vibrant. So if you love some sparkle, this brand will be your new favorite!
The Organic Skin Co. (TOSC) is at the forefront of the movement towards high-performing, regenerative skincare. Focused on natural beauty that delivers from every angle, TOSC creates synergistically blended products that care for your skin and our planet. It fuses high-tech science (it’s a world leader in the use of revolutionary supercritical CO2 extracts), with pure organic ingredients, and next-gen sustainable packaging.
A toxin-free, vegan & sustainable line with a mission to care for each other, our communities, and our planet, Elate uses healthy ingredients to make clean cosmetics to add to your beauty ritual. Refills are sent out in seed paper envelopes that grow flowers when planted – super cute. The brand also offers lipsticks and other makeup with less plastic packaging, made from Forest Stewardship Certified bamboo and glass. In addition, their packaging materials can be sent back to be effectively recycled.
A natural, gluten-free & vegan line advocating healthy living, Gabriel is bringing out the existing natural beauty in women. Being conscious of their carbon footprint, Gabriel has a recycling program when you’re done with your makeup!
They produce most of their makeup line in the US and use eco-friendly packaging. I’m also a big fan of their nail polish line. It has probably been my favorite non-toxic polish I’ve used to date!
I’m sure you are quite familiar with this green beauty brand. You probably even know someone who sells it - or have been approached to sell it yourself. They actually do make a really great product, and I love using their eyeshadows and lipsticks. They’ve also released a zero-waste deodorant, which is a great sign for their future eco initiatives. Beauty Counter believes in making the entire beauty industry clean, and I’m on board.
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