I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
Like my natural skin care routine, this safer makeup review is long overdue. I’m really excited to finally share what I have found.
To be honest, I have never been much of a makeup person. It’s something I always kinda wanted to do, but I never wanted to put the money or effort into learning how to use the products and then apply them perfectly every morning. When I did use makeup, it was something I saw in a commercial and picked up at Target. Not exactly high quality OR safe for someone who is on the lookout for natural products and ingredients.
So last summer I decided I was finally going to find some good options. There is always the option of making your own makeup, and I tried that route at first. But it was too much. I didn’t want to purchase large amounts of some of the ingredients knowing that I wouldn’t be using them very often. And I just didn’t want to put the work in. I’m frugal and naturally minded, and I make a lot of my own products. But I’m not perfect. We all need to know our own line, and makeup was mine.
I started my quest for a safer makeup option by purchasing some basic products from a variety of skincare companies my fellow natural health bloggers have recommended. I tried foundation, lipstick, mascara, eye liner, and a concealer pen. For the first time in my life, I wore makeup every day in an effort to really thoroughly test the products. Some were great. Others were not. Two companies clearly came out on top. Unfortunately, one company has since rebranded and I don’t feel comfortable including them by name in this review since I am not familiar with their current offerings and practices.
So I’ll be up front from the beginning: after all these months, the clear winner of my safer makeup review is Beautycounter. It is the only brand of makeup I have tried that works well and I feel comfortable recommending. I have great respect for their mission and their commitment to screening every ingredient they use for safety. Are they perfectly natural? No. If you need something 100% natural or DIY, you will probably prefer a different route. But they are a great option, free of heavy metals, hormone disruptors, and many other scary ingredients.
Anyway, on to the safer makeup review! Because what good is makeup of any safety level if it doesn’t work?
Safer Makeup Review
I’d say natural foundation is the easiest to come by. You can make it yourself without ingredients that are too hard to find. Most natural foundations are essentially a tinted moisturizer, which is perfect if you can get the right shade. I have had pretty good experiences with truly natural foundations. But like I said, I didn’t want to make my own again and I wanted to see what more was out there.
My first requirement was that it was a liquid foundation. I just cannot get the hang of a powder. Plus a liquid foundation that can double as a moisturizer and a sunscreen just cleared a lot of space in my makeup bag while saving money! Now, as I said, I never really learned “makeup,” so it’s hard to know what I’m looking for with something like foundation. All the foundations I tried seemed to do the same thing: moisturize and slightly smooth out my very uneven skin tone. To even touch my blemishes I would need a good strong concealer.
So it came down to feel. Something that wouldn’t make my skin look oily after a few hours or make it feel like there was something on it. I of course didn’t want it wiping off on anything my face might touch. Again, I didn’t notice huge differences between the brands I tried because I’m not very good at this game. I tried Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer since it has SPF20. It’s tint is a bit yellow compared to my very pink undertones, but I find this helps a lot with evening out my skin tone and it does not look strange on me. It is a little pasty in texture, but it feels very light.
My skin looks great all day and I am happy with this foundation option.
Here’s the really cool thing about these better beauty products I was trying. Or I don’t know, maybe this is just a thing and no one tells you except the companies that focus on better ingredients. But the lipstick can also be used as a cream blush. So that’s another product I don’t need to buy and another powder I don’t have to figure out or get all over everything. The Beautycounter lip sheer I tried didn’t moisturize as well as the chapstick I’m used to and it is not long lasting. But this was the case with all the lipsticks I tried. No matter what, as soon as I ate anything it was mostly gone.
Usually onto my sandwich. So that was a pretty good reminder of why you need to find a lipstick that you are comfortable eating, whatever your criteria for that may be.
What I loved about the shade I tried (coral) was that it was perfect as a light blush if my skin was looking particularly pasty that day. It is also strong enough that I can just swipe my bottom lip and it will provide enough color for the top as well. And while the bulk of it was gone after eating, it still stuck around enough to provide a level of color I liked. Coral was a bit orange for my skin tone, but thankfully they have other options that will work for me.
Now this, this was a much easier verdict. I tried 3 different safer mascaras. One immediately was out. It caused my lashes to clump together and it had a weird consistency. I guess I can say it thoroughly coated my lashes, because if I touched my eyes it would come off in little tubes. The second I tried was great. The brush applied it very well so that my lashes appeared longer and fuller immediately. It wasn’t waterproof and it smudged easily. By the end of the day it looked like I had the worst dark circles under my eyes! But I have experienced that with store-bought mascaras. I thought that was just what you dealt with. Mascara, especially natural mascara, equals looking like a racoon.
Until I tried the Beautycounter mascara. Holy cow, guys. The first day I tried it, at the end of the day I emailed the woman who introduced me to Beautycounter just to rave about the mascara! This mascara is quite dry. I had never used a mascara like that before, but I instantly loved it. I didn’t have anything leaving imprints behind above or under my eyes as it dried. It applied a very light coat, which was perfect for just a casual day. But it can also be built upon for when I wanted something a bit more. By the end of the day I had only the faintest residue of black under my eyes – not noticeable at all. This mascara is water resistant, too. But some miracle it hasn’t been tested through crying yet, but it does survive washing my face if I don’t make an effort to get it off and it survived going swimming intact.
So yeah. No contest. Safe or not, natural or not, this is the best mascara I have ever tried! It is never coming out of my makeup bag.
Eyeliner is a struggle for me. I just can’t figure it out. I’ve watched the videos, read the tutorials, and it is still a struggle. I improved a lot when testing eyeliners, but I learned that I need to stick with a pencil. Liquid eyeliner leads to disasters. We’re not going there. But I was really surprised by how hard it was to find a safer eye liner pencil. Beautycounter’s worked wonderfully for the job. But now they have actually stopped selling their eye pencils because they could no longer ensure the quality of this product. While decisions like this make me appreciate the integrity of the company even more, I am very sorry to say I do not have a good eye liner to recommend until Beautycounter’s comes back in stock. I haven’t found another one that works for me.
Where has this been all my life?! I was worried that this pen wouldn’t do what I need. Previous concealer pens that I have tried were not strong enough or they didn’t blend well. I’ve never managed to find a natural concealer that even comes close to covering my blemishes. I really didn’t expect much.
But then I tried it! It was simple to apply and blend into my skin. While my skin has been looking very good and smooth lately, I did have a rouge hormonal pimple that the touchup pen greatly reduced the appearance of. And surprisingly (in a very good way!), it kept the blemish covered all day. I have heard great things about using this pen to conceal under eye circles and the like, but its effect on my pimples is what truly sold me on this high-quality product.
This is another product that will never leave my makeup bag!
Exclusive Beautycounter Discount
You can get 15% off your first Beautycounter order by signing up for my Skin Care Love newsletter. Receive emails twice a month about my favorite products and DIYs, natural skincare tips, and my story of finding what works for my skin and my lifestyle.
I hope my safer makeup review was helpful! Do you wear makeup? What do you use?
Like what you see? Please support this blog and help me keep it running by signing up for my newsletter, purchasing products, or donating through the links below:
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. The information contained in this post is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.