Over the past year or so, I’ve been wearing less makeup and choosing more natural beauty products. Many of my highstreet products I still use like blushers and eye shadows, though I’m being a bit firmer with myself about throwing out long-expired products. Last winter, I had a bad reaction under my eyes to an expired cheap concealer and had raw, sore eczema patches for months. I vowed never to buy products laden with strange chemicals again, and to put my well being over excessive frugality. In this post, I share some of my favourite organic and natural beauty products!
Is organic and natural beauty accessible?
The difficulty I have with organic beauty is the cost. Many organic beauty companies charge about £15-£20 for a tube of mascara that lasts 6 months. To me, that isn’t sustainable as I would need to throw it away before using it up. I wouldn’t say I have a budget for makeup, but I try to buy products that last well and are under the £15 mark.
For many, leading organic beauty companies aren’t within budget, so I encourage you to explore making your own makeup, wearing less, or try these semi-budget natural beauty options which contain some organic ingredients and less nasties. I look for ingredients that I can at least pronounce, as well as transparency in the company’s ethics and environmental policies, and minimal packaging.
The most environmental friendly approach is to not wear makeup, but for many of us makeup is a way of expression, part of our routines, makes us feel happy and confident, and is a hobby. This post is meant to provide suggestions on ways you can transition your beauty routine to more natural options without breaking the bank.
Links to previous posts on beauty: Does Sustainable Makeup Exist? Organic and ‘Green’ Beauty
Where do I buy my makeup?
The Elate Beauty and RMS products were purchased in Canada, but the rest of my products come from Ecco Verde online shop.
RMS – This was a gift and I wouldn’t purchase it myself because it’s expensive. Unfortunately, although it performs well, this mascara dried out quickly and smells strongly which stings my eyes.
Avril – A good budget option. I’m fairly impressed with the performance, but still a bit stingy.
Green People – I wasn’t wowed by this mascara, but I suppose it is a good natural look option. Again, I found that it stung my eyes.
Lily Lolo – This mascara had a strong smell and applied a bit clumpy, but I would repurchase it.
For a comparison with the drugstore mascaras I used to buy see: Drugstore Mascara Review
I’m still on the hunt for the champion budget-friendly natural mascara that performs like a drugstore mascara, doesn’t sting my eyes, and removes easily!
The two natural blushes I have are from Elate Cosmetics. I have a cream blush and a powder blush and I like them both, though I prefer the powder. I like that Elate’s packaging is cardboard with flower seeds, and you can also splurge on their bamboo containers (see cover photo).
Foundation/ BB Cream:
This has been the hardest transition for me because I’m used to wearing medium-high coverage drugstore foundation that gives me an air brushed look. I’ve since switched to applying BB Cream with a brush rather than a beauty sponge, and honestly I don’t think my makeup applies well and it sits on my skin, rather than blending.
Avril BB Cream – I’m on my second tube of this foundation and it’s the best I’ve found so far for light coverage without applying too patchy. I also like that it is organic and has SPF 10.
Benecos – This foundation smelled nice, but it oxidised and made me look orange and applied patchy. I do not recommend it. I wrote about it in my Beauty and Home Decor Product Regrets.
Pure Bio Sublime BB Cream – This product applied too streaky and it just didn’t perform well. I don’t recommend.
Pure Bio Sublime Drop Foundation – I tried this product because it came in a glass bottle. Unfortunately, it applies cakey and patchy – I don’t recommend. They also had a very limited shade range.
Recommendations for light coverage BB Creams most welcome!
Bronzer and Highlighters:
I’m still using up my drugstore bronzers and highlighters.
Couleur Caramel – I love the silky consistency, the application is nice, and it comes in a cardboard container. It will be a staple in my routine. This is more of a brightening than covering concealer, and is best for under the eyes rather than over blemishes.
I actually have so many eyeshadows already that I haven’t switched to any organic types. I’ve heard good things about Elate Cosmetics, Faraday Face, Zao Beauty, and Dirty Hippy Cosmetics.
The reason I purchased this PureBio Compact Powder is because it came in a cardboard sleeve (but with plastic), and I popped it into an old powder container. It was also reasonably inexpensive. I would neither recommend nor not recommend it.
I’m using one from Avril as I like to have a pencil to fill in my brows. Another option would be use a shadow you already have, or even a bit of cocoa powder if you have lighter brows. Or, you can at least opt for a pencil that sharpens rather than the twist-up kind in plastic packaging.
This is another category where I am still using up my drugstore products, but I have tested a few more natural options.
Antos – I got suckered in by the claim that it had PLA packaging made from maize, but it’s actually very difficult to recycle PLA. It is not compostable either so I would say this is greenwashing (see Tips to Avoid Greenwashing). The lipstick isn’t anything to write home about. Wouldn’t repurchase.
Burt’s Bees – I really liked the lipsticks that come in the brown honeycomb packaging, but I found that they went off fairly quickly (got a bumpy texture). In general, I have mixed feelings about Burt’s Bees since they are owned by Unilever (see Companies Respond to my Feedback on Sustainability).
Do you have any organic and natural beauty favourites? If so, please share in the comments!