Recently, the number of makeup brands claiming to be clean and natural has dramatically increased in response to shifting customer demand as more of us are realizing how our consumption choices affect the environment.
However, the problem with terms such as ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ is that they have no set definition and there are no regulations over who can use these terms.
Therefore, even the most unclean makeup brands could slap the label on their products, and without reading the tiny text on the packaging, you wouldn’t know that it’s all just greenwashing.
To help you find the best clean makeup that is truly good for your skin and the environment – not just the brand CEO’s wallet – we’ve put together the ultimate guide to natural makeup.
The brands are in no particular order, as we know that what works best for one person may not be good for another – and a fixed ranking would only be confusing.
Ilia nails the concept of creating multi-use makeup products. Their colour sticks can be used universally for your lips, cheeks or eyelids and look amazing in all cases. This not only reduces the number of products you need, which is not only environmentally friendly but also great for travel. (You may also enjoy our guide to the best natural organic lipsticks).
The brand makes its own formulas from scratch so that they’re as clean as they can be.
They also ensure that their products protect your skin from the environment, to maintain a youthful look for years to come.
This brand also makes an appearance on our list of the natural and organic foundations.
As the brand name suggests, this company wants to create the most natural clean makeup possible.
Aside from makeup, the fully vegan brand also offers a wide range of skincare, haircare and body products, making it a one-stop-shop for natural beauty lovers.
Their makeup is formulated with essential oils naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as well as powerful antioxidants. All of the dyes they use are naturally derived from fruits – there are no nasty chemicals that would harm your skin.
This is the sort of brand we love to find in our favorite clean beauty subscription boxes.
This brand uses USDA certified organic formulas for their makeup, which comes in FSC certified packaging. It’s certainly one of the top brands of today for organic makeup.
They’re true leaders in sustainability – even through the background processes. For example, their makeup lab is powered largely by renewable energy. They’re also Leaping Bunny certified.
Their formulas only contain minimally processed natural ingredients and many of them are multi-use. Most of their products are waterless and they come packaged in recyclable materials, shipped in compostable packaging.
This fully vegan, natural makeup brand is often talked about in the sustainability community – for a good reason.
From perfume to lipstick, they only use natural makeup that leaves the skin feeling moisturised rather than dried out. Their lipsticks and eyeshadows especially are certainly worth a try!
They’re also quite a lot more affordable than other brands on this list, so you’ll surely love them if you’re on a budget.
The brand is also committed to reducing the amount of waste it produces and besides using recyclable packaging, aims to make their factories free of post-manufacturing waste and only work with suppliers who have the same environmental commitments.
This brand makes gorgeous minimalist makeup, perfect if you’re going for the ‘no makeup’ makeup look. Their range is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and handmade in the US from natural ingredients.
They’re also among the more affordable natural makeup brands, which we love. The brand is also combatting waste by only creating small batches of their products.
Most of their products contain organic aloe vera, which calms and moisturises any type of skin. Especially their lipsticks are super-moisturising!
Lush may not have the largest selection of makeup in their stores, but the online store selection is where their makeup shines.
Besides an impressive variety of lipsticks, which you can refill by reusing the same container once you run out, they also have a very skin tone-inclusive offer of naked foundations, glow sticks, and concealer sticks. All with minimal or no packaging!
It’s also another of those brands that have some multi-purpose products, ideal if you want to reduce the number of items in your makeup bag.
Rituel de Fille
Rituel de Fille is an ideal brand for you if you’re looking for statement makeup that’s made sustainably and ethically. Their range contains no palm oil and is made from raw materials sourced with ethical labour practices in place.
They have a witchy, celestial aesthetic, which makes them truly one of a kind in the clean makeup brand collection, which is usually mainly made up of minimalist brands.
Cocokind makes some amazing, affordable organic makeup which comes in recyclable packaging.
They also offer a large collection of skincare, alongside their makeup line. They make the best use of natural ingredients, instead of relying on chemicals which would harm your skin.
Aside from doing good for the planet, the brand also provides financial support for female entrepreneurs!
RMS Beauty is one of the top players in sustainable makeup. Their natural products made from organic food-grade ingredients are packaged in recycled glass pots and boxes made from 80% postconsumer recycled fibre.
They select their ingredients carefully to ensure they have a long shelf-life which will ensure you get to use every last bit of the product without any preservatives and other chemicals needed.
Their products are made to enhance your natural beauty without drying out or otherwise irritating your skin, healing and nourishing rather than damaging.
If you’re a lower of luxurious makeup, while you want to reduce your impact on the planet and are looking for natural makeup that would be kinder to your skin, Kjaer Weis is a good bet.
Their products are free of nasty chemicals such as parabens, silicones or synthetic fragrance and come in refillable packaging you can reuse time and time again.
It’s amazing to see a natural makeup offering something others don’t and expanding the market to those who may not otherwise find what they’re looking for in other clean makeup brands!
This is a perfect brand is you’re just beginning to explore the world of natural makeup – they use botanical materials, as well as some safe synthetics which make the products look and feel closer to conventional makeup.
Their products are made to be comfortable to wear and enhance the natural proportions and features of your face.
Most of their collection has a radiant, dewy finish that is so popular these days. Their blush duo compacts are especially popular, as you can layer them together to play with the shades on your face and enhance particular features.
Juice beauty crafts minimal makeup essentials from certified organic ingredients sourced locally. The brand also uses recycled packaging and uses renewable energy sources to power its operations.
The label was created from the desire to make the beauty industry cleaner and set a new standard for other brands to follow – and it seems to be quite successful at that so far!
All the products are plant-pigmented, to ensure they’re gentle to your skin, the animals, and the planet alike. Juice Beauty also makes our list of the top cruelty-free makeup brands.
Celebrity makeup brands don’t usually go the natural route, which is why Selena Gomez’s label Rare Beauty was such a pleasant surprise when it launched.
Aside from the amazing mission of enhancing your already beautiful features rather than focusing on hiding imperfection, the label is also PETA certified vegan and cruelty free.
The collection is skin tone inclusive and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals found in conventional makeup. Much of the packaging is glass rather than plastic and while similarly to Bite Beauty, it’s by no means the cleanest makeup brand on this list, it’s easy to find online and in physical stores, which earns it a spot.
Alima Pure is a non-toxic, natural makeup brand from a carbon neutral, renewable energy powered company.
All of the products come in reusable packaging which can later be refilled. There are no synthetic dyes in the products – the vibrant pigments are achieved naturally – and they never test on animals.
The brand is also planting a tree for every $10 spent on their website to give back and do good further.
This brand has been a natural makeup leader since 2011, when it was founded. It uses USDA certified organic ingredients, ethically sourced and purely processed. On the ethics front, a big plus of the brand is that its products are ethically handcrafted in the US.
Au Naturale makeup is created to nourish, not damage, while enhancing your natural features.
They offer an impressive variety of bold lip colours, which is often hard to find from organic makeup brands.
As the brand’s name suggest, the Australian label Inika Organic is a natural, organic makeup brand. The company has grown immensely since its founding in 2006, while remaining fully Australian-owned.
They use no harsh chemicals, dyes or fragrances in their products, opting for organic botanical and mineral ingredients, along with antioxidants which protect your skin from environmental damage.
The certified organic, vegan and cruelty free brand wows to only use tried and tested, pure and healthy ingredients that don’t damage your skin.
Antonym Cosmetics is an organic makeup brand on such a high-quality level that it will satisfy makeup artists and hard to please makeup lovers, who would otherwise not use organic makeup products.
Their products are EcoCert and Leaping Bunny certified, while their brushes are also 100% vegan.
They also opt for more sustainable packaging options, with their compacts in bamboo cases and liquid products in glass bottles.
Emani is a vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic and gluten-free makeup range ideal for sensitive skin easily upset by conventional makeup. Their mission is to use ingredients which work for, rather than against your skin’s natural appearance.
Their products include a variety of different botanical ingredients such as jojoba oil, green tea extract, chamomile flower extract or aloe vera.
Established in 1998, the brand has a history of catering to customers with sensitive and acne-prone skin, also considering the impacts of each product on the environment.
Real Purity is a natural makeup brand offering a wide variety of non-toxic, organic makeup products crafted from botanical ingredients without harsh chemicals, dyes and perfume.
Their products are exclusively made in the US, to ensure all ethical standards are being followed and the carbon footprint of the products is as low as it can be.
It is also one of the more affordable sustainable and natural makeup brands, with products priced between $15 and $30. If you’re not quite sure if this is the brand for you, they also offer some samples you can try and see how they work.