For years, I have been committed to reducing chemicals and environmental toxins in my daily life, ditching everything from Teflon pans and plastics to over-the-counter medications in favour of natural alternatives. I eat organic produce and make my own cleaning products from vinegar, eucalyptus and baking soda. I brush my teeth with charcoal powder and use a biodegradable shampoo and body wash. It feels great, and I wholeheartedly recommend a sustainable lifestyle to everyone.
That being said, there was a glaring pink elephant in my cosmetics bag in the form of my trusty conventional make-up products—from mascara to concealer—all containing parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, PEGs, and other chemical ingredients (the key additives to watch out for if you’re looking to go chemical-free). The reason? While switching over to natural skin and hair care was a breeze, natural make-up alternatives had never quite held up to their high-performance mass-brand counterparts. Oil-based mascara would leave me panda-eyed, foundations didn’t come in a wide enough range of shades, cream blush formulations were dry and funky, and powders not refined enough.
The natural cosmetics market has progressed enormously since my last make-up bag edit, and in the name of health and non-hypocrisy, I was determined to clean up my cosmetics for good. Through extensive research and road testing, I’ve come up with a curated collection of go-to natural everyday make-up products that pleasantly out-perform my old big-brand addictions. Going beyond the basic “mineral makeup” products, these cosmetic fundamentals are as sophisticated as any you’d find in a makeup artists’ kit.
1. Foundation / Concealer
This neat little pot goes a long way. I blend with moisturiser to create a light foundation, apply it neat to areas that need more coverage, and use with a concealer brush to camouflage pimples.
Shop RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up.
Great at keeping shine at bay, this compact powder contains nourishing botanicals that give it a soft finish.
A light gel-cream in a coconut water base, this clever blush adds a healthy pop of colour that can be built to your desired level of intensity.
A classic warm bronzer with a subtle shimmer for a sun-kissed look; the pigment is derived from cocoa, coffee and berries.
Shop 100% Pure Cocoa Bronzer.
ILIA is one of my favourite natural makeup discoveries. This liner comes in a handy retractable pencil that delivers strong pigment and lasts well.
The great big feathery brush builds length and volume, while the plant-based formulation conditions lashes. Doesn’t clump or flake.
Shop Origins Ginzing Mascara.
This fresh, light clear gel is a pleasure to use and leaves brows groomed, yet soft and touchable.
8. Eye colour
I’m a cream eye-shadow devotee, and RMS makes a great selection of coconut oil-based colours that produce a light sheen or a strong pigment depending on the heaviness of application.
This product is many a model’s best-kept makeup secret. Dab on the top of your cheekbones, in the corner of the eyes, down the bridge of your nose and on your cupid’s bow for a halo effect.
10. Lip colour
Somewhere between a lipstick and a balm, this conditioning formula comes in a lovely array of shades.