The Best Natural and Organic Makeup Brands That Makeup Artists Actually Use

As many of us become more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies and what we’re putting our bodies through, we’re also becoming more aware of what we’re putting on our bodies. While the performance of natural makeup used to pale in comparison to products from our favorite makeup counters, there are many natural makeup brands creating products that are richly pigmented, apply beautifully, and wear as well as their more synthetic competitors. You may already be using some of them and don’t even know they’re all-natural.

But before I get into industry favourites, let’s get one thing straight: “Natural” doesn’t automatically mean a product is better or safer for you, as the FDA has nebulous criteria on just what constitutes a natural product (“natural” isn’t regulated for cosmetics, so it can be used purely as a marketing term). “There is no real definition of ‘natural’ in the U.S. beauty industry,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “As long as the bulk of your material is natural, you can say ‘natural-based.’ There is no regulation. The true naturals have seals like COSMOS Natural or Ecocert — European organizations that allow up to 5 percent synthetics.”

The FDA does not have a definition for the term “organic,” either, as it is not defined by either the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which they use as guidelines. “‘Organic’ usually means USDA-certified food grades. There are limited numbers of products you can make to be classified as organic green,” King says.

“‘Clean beauty’ is a much better term for the consumer as the products are non-toxic and still effective,” says King. “‘Non-toxic’ means free from undesirable ingredients listed by the Environmental Working Group. This is better than claiming ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ as they are products that perform without compromising safety. People want natural because they assume natural ingredients are safe, which is not necessarily the case. They also may not be as effective as synthetic materials.”

This brings me to another point: An ingredient might be natural or organic, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no chance you’ll have an adverse or allergic reaction to it, so it’s important to be aware of what you’re using and how your body responds.

Thanks to growing consumer concern and education, we’re definitely seeing an uptick in the use of the phrase “clean beauty.” Last year, for example, Sephora announced the launch of Clean at Sephora, the company’s new category that clearly establishes which of their products are formulated without controversial ingredients. Those that meet Sephora’s ingredients guidelines are deemed “clean” and receive the retailer’s Clean at Sephora seal.

Ingredients aside, one of the benefits of using natural products is that many, if not all, ingredients are ethically sourced and cruelty-free. As consumers, it’s never been more important to prioritize what we want in our makeup, and our money talks. These days there’s a clean option to switch out every product in your makeup routine, so it’s never been easier to avoid controversial ingredients.

But I also wanted to help you sort out your options. The following products have received high marks from professional makeup artists — who have seen and used it all — so you can start cleaning up your cosmetics bag.

ILIA Beauty

Ilia Beauty is focused on creating clean, pure products with organic bio-active botanicals that nourish skin as they wear. From lipstick to eye shadow and multiple base products, Ilia’s products give you a luxurious feel, look, and wear, while being some of the cleanest makeup you can use.

Puckey is a huge fan of the brand, spotlighting many of its products. “I love how smooth the Fade Into You Powder feels and how it really disappears on the skin. The Illuminators come in three shades that work for a variety of skin tones. I like that it comes in a stick form for easy application.”

“I love the Beauty Essential Shadow Palette in Prima, which has four great, neutral, everyday shades, including my favourite beige shade, and the Satin Cream Lip Crayons have a semi-matte finish and are all super easy to apply,” he adds, calling out the deep, burgundy shade 99 Balloons as a favorite.

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100% Pure Beauty

100% Pure Beauty has a full collection of skin care, makeup, hair, and body products, all made with natural ingredients. The brand is serious about the way it sources its ingredients, too, using a strict methodology to determine and confirm that its products contain no synthetic ingredients. In the past, I’ve been a big fan of its Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, and I love that its foundations are available in a wide range of shades.

Makeup artist Benjamin Puckey is a big fan of the brand’s lipsticks, telling Allure “100% Pure Cocoa Butter Matte Lipsticks come in such beautiful, bold, matte shades that you forget you’re working with a natural brand.”

He calls out the shade Sonora Red as one that “really packs a punch.”

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Kosas

Each Kosas product is made with active botanicals and balanced with safe synthetics, giving you luxury formulas, beautiful pigments that flatter a multitude of skin tones, and they all look as good as they feel. The beautiful face duos are available in both cream and powder formulas, each including a blush and an illuminator that complement each other and boost your face’s luminosity and glow.

The lipsticks are also not to be missed. Puckey tells Allure, “Kosas has a line of all-natural lipsticks in super chic black packaging. Rosewater (a dusky rose) and Thrillest (bright poppy red) are my favorites.”

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Bite Beauty

Did you know that Bite Beauty is natural and organic? I always forget. These luxe lipsticks are made with 12 different oils, as well as while pearl, silk, red wine, and organic butters; the result is a lipstick that’s incredibly creamy and hydrating, long-wearing and even has benefits from antioxidants for a product that’s actually good for your lips.

“No one does the range of bold color options in the right creamy/waxy base the way Bite does,” makeup artist Katey Denno explains. “They also make a lot of corresponding lip liners, which, until they filled it, had been a big hole in the marketplace.”

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Tower 28 Beauty

Newer to the natural scene, Tower 28 Beauty is becoming a fast favorite among makeup artists, beauty editors, and influencers alike. The whimsical packaging, quality ingredients, and vegan and cruelty-free promise are just a few of many reasons to love this L.A.-based brand, which prides itself on making products suitable for ultra-sensitive skin types. In fact, it’s tagline is #ItsOkayToBeSensitive, which is pretty clever if you ask me.

“Their products are so good for sensitive skin!” says makeup artist Robin Black, who battles rosacea. “I love their SOS Face Spray, cream blushes, and highlighters, and their cheek and lip products are getting lots of buzz for good reason. They’re so pretty on and so easy to use.”

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Lilah B. 

One of the innovators of the now popular and chic swivel compact, Lilah B. is all about creating simple, multipurpose beauty products with clean formulas. Without gluten, sulfates, or parabens, and packed with aloe and botanicals, these products take to skin beautifully, feel luxurious and nourishing, and look amazing on your face and on your vanity.

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Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty takes special care to ensure that its ingredients are certified organic so that no toxins, pesticides, synthetics, or fertilizers make it into its products. Starting with a base of organic botanical juice (hence the name), without any petroleum fillers or added water, each product is packed with antioxidants and concentrated skin-care benefits.

Denno is especially a fan of the Juice Boost Illuminator + Bronzer Duo. “Finely micronized shimmer particles add the perfect amount of highlight, no matter what your skin tone. [It] can be used directly on all areas you highlight: cheeks, Cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose, inner-eye corner, lid, clavicle, shoulders, or can be mixed into foundation to give an overall more glowy look,” she suggests.

“This stuff is unlike any other green beauty highlight product in that it dries completely (and quickly).”

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Lawless

The Lawless tagline is “Clean AF,” and the brand means it. Its liquid lipsticks are formulated without carcinogenic, toxic, hormone- or endocrine-disrupting ingredients. If people ingest up to five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year, Lawless is trying to make sure that its products — that you put directly on your mouth and skin — are as safe as possible.

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RMS Beauty

Stemming from the founder’s own need for clean-beauty products free of toxic chemicals and metals, RMS Beauty is a line of ultra-luxurious, pared-down multitaskers that have become favorites in the industry. It’s a bit like a grown-up Glossier, with rich formulas, bright colors, and twinkling shimmers that make a welcome addition to any beauty routine, no matter how simple or complex it may be.

The line’s hero product is the Living Luminizer, a highlighter in a pot, that you tap onto the high points of your face, as you do, for a glow that is equal parts natural and ethereal. It pairs well with any product you put it on top of (or under) and wears like it’s a part of you.

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Milk Makeup

Since it’s inception in 2014, Milk Makeup has become a major power player in the vegan and cruelty-free beauty category. With innovative products that are as pretty and fun to use as they are effective, it’s easy to see why so many people adore the brand. Speaking of which, makeup artist Quinn Murphy, who works with stars like Kristen Bell, Julianne Moore, and Karlie Kloss — among myriad others — tells Allure it’s one of his top-favorite natural beauty brands. If you’ve yet to try anything from Milk, the Hydro Grip PrimerKush Mascara, and Glow Oils (pictured above) are all great products to start with.

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Beautycounter

With a tagline like #BetterBeauty, Beautycounter strives to use only the safest ingredients possible and none of the nasties. It even has what it calls “The Never List,” which includes harsh chemicals, dangerous preservatives like formaldehyde, and synthetic flavors and fragrances. The brand offers makeup, skin-care, and bath and body products, as well as an array of kits for men, babies, and traveling. Schlip is especially partial to its eye makeup products — specifically, the Velvet Eyeshadow Palette, which is a best-seller and excellent for creating a wide range of natural, everyday looks.

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Rituel De Fille

Founded by three sisters in Los Angeles, Rituel De Fille is known for its witchy aesthetic and magic-inspired formulas. “They have amazing products with minimal ingredients and really interesting colors,” says Black, who’s a huge fan of the brand. “Standouts are the Eye Soots, but the lip and skin products are also great… they hold up well on camera, too, so perfect for Zooming!”

If you love cream-based products, you can’t go wrong with any of its Inner Glow Créme Pigments or Enchanted Lip Sheers, both of which come in a variety of mesmerizing shades that suit most skin tones.

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ALLURE article

How Tiara Willis Became One of the Most Trusted Aestheticians on the Internet at Just 19

“I started my platform when I was about 14, when I was a freshman in high school. That was the year that my mom started letting me wear makeup to school — I had always wanted to wear it before, but she hadn’t let me. When I was finally allowed to wear makeup, I was so excited that I started watching a lot of YouTube videos and doing so much research. I would literally write things down on my phone and go to the store and buy all of the things I wrote down. I kind of became a source for makeup advice for all of my friends during that time, especially a lot of my friends on Twitter.”

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #35 series on my blog.

“That’s kind of why I wanted to create this platform. It was just a source for them to use. I would post my favorite foundations, different videos that I liked, and photos of other peoples’ makeup that I was really inspired by — because, at the time, there wasn’t really a platform like that on social media in general but especially on Twitter highlighting women of color in the makeup industry. I really wanted to be a voice in that and really highlight that niche. My career started to grow but I was also just a regular teenager in high school, so I graduated high school early at 16 and then, after high school, I decided to go to aesthetics school.”

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Bridal Glam

Model: Shantel Saitz

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DANESSA MYRICKS BEAUTY

Self-Taught. Makeup Artist. Photographer. Entrepreneur. Founder. Mother. Black woman.

In a world focused on labels, Danessa Myricks has continuously broken boundaries and built a world of beauty for people from all races, ages and genders.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #34 series on my blog.


Starting out as a self-taught makeup artist, Danessa learned how to use products in unconventional ways to create stunning looks. Ignoring industry norms, she began to teach other artists about her techniques and product selections, and created a name for herself in the beauty world. After turning heads at some of the largest brands, Danessa led product development for some of the most successful launches in history at brands like KISS and Benefit Cosmetics. But she knew the world of makeup still felt exclusive to many, so she decided to launch her own brand, Danessa Myricks Beauty. Every product developed by Danessa and her team isn’t designed for just one application. All products by Danessa Myricks Beauty are multi-functional and created to work in multiple places and on all faces. Creatively combining artistry with product manipulation, she designs and launches some of the most high-performance products on the market.

Danessa has created looks for celebrities, worked with entertainers in music and film and collaborates with other brands and artists to push the beauty industry forward. She trains makeup artists and enthusiasts worldwide and continues to create some of the most innovative and inclusive beauty products on the market. But the most rewarding part of her work is hearing from people who felt underrepresented, unseen or ignored by beauty brands who finally land at a brand made for all, Danessa Myricks Beauty.

Beauty can feel like an exclusive world. Danessa Myricks Beauty was founded on the principle that race, gender, age and personal style should not limit anyone from experimenting with makeup and discovering their signature look. When we launched we reimagined what makeup can be and developed innovative multifunctional products that work everyplace on every face. Our high-performing products give makeup artists and consumers alike the freedom to play outside the box.

“As a self-taught artist with limited resources, I had to get creative with the products I had access to. Over the years I learned how to create stunning looks while using products in unconventional ways. When I launched my own brand I knew I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. I wanted every person to feel like they had found a brand that represented them and gave them freedom to enjoy makeup. I love that no one else makes products like we do and we will continually strive to innovate in the beauty space.”

Danessa Myricks Beauty has taken makeup out of the box.
All are invited to discover an inclusive world of beauty with no boundaries.

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4 Foolproof Steps To Create Audrey Hepburn’s Classic Cat-Eye Flick

When it comes to creating the ultimate feline flick, look no further than Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn. “Her almond eyes were synonymous with the winged eyeliner that adorned them, and the perfectly defined lashes that fluttered as she gazed through the window of Tiffany & Co, eating a croissant,” says Vogue make-up artist, Celia Burton. “When Alberto de Rossi died, Hepburn’s make-up artist of 25 years, she was said to have declared she’d rather not work again. A perfect tribute to the enormous role that make-up — and the man applying it — had played in her career. Legend has it that de Rossi would apply mascara and then separate each individual eyelash with a safety pin to emphasise her doe eyes.”

Indeed, famed for her feminine brows and signature cat-eye, Hepburn’s was a beauty that surpassed all others. And one that will be under the spotlight once more thanks to a new documentary on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star. Masterminded by the same BAFTA-nominated team behind 2018’s McQueen, a film about Alexander McQueen, Audrey takes an intimate look at one of cinema’s iconic actresses, featuring never-seen-before footage as well as interviews with her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Givenchy’s former artistic director Clare Waight Keller, and Tiffany & Co design director emeritus John Loring. Though the film promises to uncover the woman behind the red-carpet glitz and glamour, focusing on the psychological effects of her difficult upbringing, it will no doubt bring some of her iconic beauty looks back into focus, too.

To mark the occasion, Vogue make-up artist Celia Burton breaks down the steps to recreating Audrey Hepburn’s signature cat-eye flick.

Step 1: use liquid eyeliner to mark the position

Look straight into a mirror, with your chin lowered. Consider your eye shape, and use a liquid liner — my favourites are Glossier Pro Tip or Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner by Hourglass — to mark out with a dot or dash where you want the ‘flick’ to finish. For the Hepburn effect, I recommend a sharp, squat flick, angled upwards and outwards from the end of the lash line at 45 degrees.

Step 2: drag the eyeliner across the eye

Tip your head back, so now you’re looking down at the mirror, and drag the liner across the eye from the inner corner, staying as close to the lash line as possible. Always have a cotton bud and oil-free make-up remover to hand, to neaten as you go.

Step 3: connect the dots and thicken up

Stop when you reach the end of the lash line, return to looking straight into the mirror, and join the dots from the marked spot to the main event. You can leave this skinny, as a subtle flick, or thicken it out at the wing — just make sure to keep the 45-degree angle.

If you prefer your liner soft or blurred, use a gel-liner pencil in the same way — my favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl pencils or Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons — and smudge it along the lash line with a brush or finger before it sets, then tidy up the bottom of the flick with a cotton bud and oil-free make-up remover.

Step 4: finish with lashings of mascara

Finish with an intensely black, lengthening mascara such as Glossier Lash Slick or Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara by Hourglass, making sure not to clump the lashes in tribute to Alberto de Rossi and his safety pin.

VOGUE article

It’s Graphic

Model: Kaleigh Elizabeth Park
Photographer: Carmelo @reelmelo

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This Make-Up Artist’s Avant-Garde Looks Will Inspire You To Use Your Face As A Canvas

Beauty model and make-up artist Ali Hicks, 19 (who prefers to go by the mononym Ali), has begun showing her work IRL, adorning Rina Sawayama’s face with delicate peace signs during fashion week in 2019, and appearing in a Maybelline campaign earlier this year. But the bulk of her creations should be consumed on Instagram, where the Columbus, Georgia-based artist shows off her original, avant-garde make-up looks.

They include electric eyeshadows, larger-than-life lashes, butterfly- or flower-festooned faces, and glitter galore. Ali, who goes by the handle @sweetmutuals, uses make-up as a catalyst to catch her followers’ attention and draw them into important conversations, among them protecting Black women, supporting Black-owned businesses, voting, and saving the USPS. 

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #33 series on my blog.

With nearly 200,000 followers, Ali views her Instagram handle as an homage to the love she has for her followers. “When I first started posting my editorial looks, I had a wonderful response, I had a lot of support. The reason why I have such a big following is because of my mutual followers,” Ali tells Vogue over Zoom from her home. “They’re my mutuals because we follow each other. They’re sweet because basically, they gave me the platform that I have today. So, Sweet Mutuals.” 

Ali was first inspired by her mother’s approach to beauty. “I grew up reading Essence magazine because of my mom’s subscription. I saw all of these beautiful Black women with bold make-up looks,” she remembers. Ali would regularly watch her mother do her make-up, and accompany her on shopping trips. “She had MAC back when MAC first came out, and we would always go to the MAC store to pick out one little item for her. I remember her picking out lipsticks and being like, ‘Well, I want to wear lipstick now, too.’ ” The employees said Ali was too young to have lipstick, so they gave her a MAC chapstick. “I thought I was the ish,” Ali says, laughing. She finally got her chance to put on lipstick at age four, when she went to go see Barney. “I had this desire to put it on myself. No one else could do it for me,” she recalls. “I looked a mess, but that wasn’t the point. I was always obsessed with make-up.”

The obsession carried over into middle school, when she consumed YouTube tutorials from Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley. “I didn’t have a lot of my own makeup at the time, but I did know how to paint. I’ve loved to draw ever since I learned how to hold a pencil. I’ve always been an artist first,” she says. These days, her greatest canvas is her own face, and she loves to freestyle. “I get a general picture in my head and I try to recreate it to the best of my abilities,” she explains. “Most of my make-up looks are really just me winging it.”

When building her looks, Ali’s go-tos include Fenty Beauty, HipDot palettes, Milk Makeup Star Tattoo stamps, ColourPop’s brushes, MAC’s Lipglass lip gloss, and Wet Liners from Glisten Cosmetics. When she’s not creating new looks, Ali keeps her skin make-up-free so it stays clear. “Maybe I’ll pop on star stickers and lipgloss but that’s about it,” she says, though she adds that she’s diligent about her water intake, eating fruits, and maintaining her skin-care regimen. “I use Patrick Starrr’s mist, and it takes your make-up off.” 

She also uses make-up wipes and micellar water, twice, to ensure the make-up comes completely off. “I go in the shower, wash my body. Afterwards, I take a clean cloth and rub off any excess make-up. Then I wash my face.” Such a thorough job is needed, especially when removing glitter or FX glue.

Ali plans to continue reinventing herself. “I have a Walmart bag full of different items and different goodies. I’ve posted a few and have a few up my sleeve that I’m saving,” she says. “I’m going to make my make-up looks more like a photo shoot rather than just me posting in my bathroom. I have backdrops,” she says. It’s clear she’s excited about what’s next: “I have a whole little set-up, I have different coloured filters for my studio light… I’m going to be imitating different magazines, and instead of the original person in the magazine, it’s going to be me,” she says. After all, she’s her No. 1 muse.

@sweetmutuals on Instagram

VOGUE article

Such a Gem

Model: Charlotte Turvey

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6 Holiday Makeup Looks From Peter Philips

This year’s holiday season will look unlike any other, but according to makeup extraordinaire Peter Philips, that’s no reason to skip indulging in a touch of glamour above the neck. “I don’t think people should let go of makeup,” the creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup declares on an afternoon in Paris, as models Amrit, Assa Baradji, and Jade Rabarivelo—their complexions adorned with a light-catching glimmer or a sweep of jewel-toned pigment—shine brightly on the set nearby. Rather, he continues, “It’s more about subtle beauty.”

With light-as-air foundations, shimmering glosses, and quietly chic palettes spread before him, Philips has just dreamed up a handful of holiday makeup looks for our new socially distanced era. Gone are the perfectly drawn pouts, the out-to-there eyeliner etchings, and the faces seemingly dipped in glitter. Here, instead, is beauty for beauty’s sake: There’s rich, glowing skin; luscious lips; and lids layered with mesmerizing shades of shadows—all topped off with a bit of whimsy, of course. (It is still the merrymaking season, after all.) “Makeup is one of the little pleasures in life,” Philips muses with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye—and who are we to refuse some joy? 

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #32 series on my blog.

Below, six holiday makeup looks for an instant winter pick-me-up.

“I wanted to bring in some shine,” says Philips, who treated runway regular Amrit to a touch of shimmer at eye level and an ultra-shiny pout, courtesy of Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in Shimmer Nude. Take note: “Festive makeup doesn’t always have to be a red, dramatic lip,” he says.

Nevertheless, a crimson-color mouth is a holiday classic for a reason. Pair Rouge Dior Lipstick in color 743, Rouge Zinnia, with metallic shadow and a sweep of complexion-perfecting powder, as shown by newcomer Jade Rabarivelo.

While the season’s Champagne-fueled celebrations are on an indefinite hiatus, you can still channel your inner party girl with a dramatic swipe of sapphire-hued shadow (found in the 5 Couleurs Couture palette in color 279, Denim, and seen here on Assa Baradji) befitting of a spot on the Studio 54 dance floor.

Nudes need not mean boring, especially in the hands of Philips, who complemented a fresh-faced complexion with shades of russet and gold, and Dior’s limited edition shimmer-inflected bullet in color 070, Dazzling Beige. Consider it no-makeup makeup—with a requisite festive twist.

“I call it effortless glam,” Philips says of this two-toned eye shadow look, which can be achieved with a flick of the wrist and Dior’s palette in color 089, Black Night, of bold burgundies and coruscating charcoals. A layer of light-catching lip gloss will seal the deal.

Door knocker earrings meet their match with this baby pink pigment, which was drawn over and around the eye to head-turning effect. Word to the wise: Skip the mascara. “It’s the unexpectedness that makes it new and cool,” Philips says.

Featuring: Amrit, Assa Baradji, and Jade Rabarivelo
DP: Alexandre Hertoghe
Bookings director: Felicity Webb
Bookings manager: Morgan Senesi
Hair: Joseph Pujalte
Makeup: Peter Philips
Set design: Sylvain Cabouat
Movement director: Jordan Robson
Dancer: Daniil Philippenkov
Production: Kitten
Graphics: Alice Gavin
Music: “Be Honest” by Kiddy Smile

VOGUE article

Goldilocks

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