I Swapped Out My Makeup Products For Their All-Natural Alternatives

Take a look inside this Editor's non-toxic kit.

vegan makeup brush set
Image: M.O.T.D Brush Set via www.freepeople.com

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

Foundation, concealer, RMS, natural make-up

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.

2. Powder

face powder, natural make-up

Great at keeping shine at bay, this compact powder contains nourishing botanicals that give it a soft finish.

Shop Dr. Haushka Translucent Face Powder.

3. Blush

cream blush, Josie Maran, natural make-up

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.

Shop Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise.

4. Bronzer

Bronzer, natural make-up, 100% Pure

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.

5. Eyeliner

Eyeliner, natural make-up

ILIA is one of my favourite natural makeup discoveries. This liner comes in a handy retractable pencil that delivers strong pigment and lasts well.

Shop ILIA Pure Eyeliner in Shadowplay.

6. Mascara

Mascara, natural make-up

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.

7. Brows

Brows, eyebrow gel, Ere Perez, natural make-up

This fresh, light clear gel is a pleasure to use and leaves brows groomed, yet soft and touchable.

Shop Ere Perez Aloe Vera Lash & Brow Gel.

8. Eye colour

eye colour, cream eyeshadow, RMS, natural make-up

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.

Shop RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Solar.

9. Highlighter

Highlighter, cream illuminizer, RMS, natural make-up

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.

Shop RMS Beauty Living Luminizer.

10. Lip colour

Lip Colour, natural make-up

Somewhere between a lipstick and a balm, this conditioning formula comes in a lovely array of shades.

Shop W3LL People Nudist 8 Colour Balm in Poppy.


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Natalie Shukur
Natalie Shukur is a freelance writer, editor, content strategist and creative consultant who has spent the past decade working between Sydney, New York and Byron Bay in the fashion and lifestyle industries. She is the former editor of RUSSH magazine and was a senior editor at NYLON. Natalie is a dedicated yogini, Pilates devotee, Vedic meditator and nature lover who can be found rambling across beaches and into the bush when she’s not pounding the pavement (walking and cycling are her favourite modes of transport). She’s also a nutrition enthusiast who’s happiest creating in the kitchen, eating organic plant-based food, and dabbling in all manner of esoteric arts and ancient modalities, from Ayurveda to Reiki.