20 Best Clean Makeup Brands – Natural, Organic Makeup

If you had told me three years ago that my entire makeup bag would be filled with clean products, I would have given you some major side eye. I know what you’re thinking: Do natural beauty products actually work as well as their not-as-eco-friendly counterparts?

Like many of you, I was skeptical that the formulas wouldn’t perform, the colors would be dull, and the experience would feel less luxe than I was used to. But, after months of testing (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!), I was proven way, way wrong. I’m now on year two of a totally clean makeup bag and cannot recommend the transition more—I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my skin before.

Curious about trying clean, natural makeup? You’re not alone. “When I transitioned to a clean makeup kit over 10 years ago, it was relatively unheard of,” says Christy Coleman, chief artistic officer at Beautycounter. “However, in recent years, I’ve seen more and more makeup artists as well as clients taking an interest in clean beauty. I also see more indie brands and retailers popping up, and many traditional retailers are even creating special clean beauty sections in stores, proving that clean beauty is resonating with consumers and is here to stay.”

One of the main reasons the world of natural makeup is confusing: “There is no government or third party-certified definition stating what qualifies as clean beauty,” says Tara Foley, founder and CEO of Follain, one of my favorite clean beauty shopping destinations. Learning that there was no FDA regulation on these terms was a real a-ha moment for me personally. “Unfortunately, some brands try to capitalize on the clean beauty movement by labeling their products with words like clean, non-toxic, and natural or by putting a leaf on the package, but when you take a closer look at the label, you’ll find some nasty ingredients,” adds Foley.

Speaking of nasty surprises in your products, here are a few scary ingredients you should be avoiding: “Since makeup sits on the skin for the day, it is important to select products that are free of chemicals that are questionable or contain irritants,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, M.D., founder of Marmur Medical and Marmur Metamorphosis Skincare. “Chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, PEGs, and synthetic fragrances are all linked to harmful health effects such as hormone disruption, cancer, and skin irritation.”

I love hitting up clean beauty stores like Follain, Credo, and The Detox Market, which have all done the vetting for me, making it easy to shop safe. I know that these stores have excluded all brands and products that contain controversial and harmful ingredients. Another great resource: the Environmental Working Group. “The EWG started the EWG Verified program as a way to help consumers recognize products that do not contain harmful ingredients, fully disclose ingredients, and are made with sustainable manufacturing practices,” says Carla Burns, EWG research analyst. “The best way to tell if a product contains chemicals of concern is by checking the label or by using resources like EWG’s Skin Deep database or Healthy Living app.”

And now for the fun part: shopping! Ahead, we break down each category of makeup and give you a list of the brands that really stand out in the clean makeup world. Everything in their lines is safe, so you can feel confident shopping and wearing these brands. Prepare to feel beautiful—naturally. —Marta Topran

Nadya Wasylko

Current clean formulas are infused with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil instead of the skin-suffocating silicones of the past. Makeup artist Sam Addington says the slippery feel of new options might be unfamiliar at first. But it’s a chance to try something fresh, like Kosas Tinted Oil, a water-thin foundation she calls “a total game changer” because of the way it subtly covers imperfections.

SHOWN: Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation sephora.com


“Kosas has really been a standout for its skincare-first approach to clean makeup. It has innovative formulas and impressive shade ranges both for skin tones and colors to play with. The first time I tried this now cult-favorite oil, I was shocked and how water-thin the liquid was while still having impressive coverage. It made my skin look like skin, but totally undid any redness on my face. Plus, it’s so lightweight I don’t feel it at all, even during sticky humid summer weather.”Kristina Rodulfo

SHOWN: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation sephora.com

“I’m personally obsessed with Ilia’s foundations and tinted moisturizers. (Especially their new Super Serum Skin Tint) They’re formulated with a mix of organic and natural botanics, plus safe synthetics. That combo equals textures that glide on gorgeously, while leaving skin feeling healthier than before. And that chic aluminum packaging? It’s recycled.” —MT

SHOWN: Lawless Woke Up Like This Flawless Finish Foundation sephora.com

“When you think of clean makeup, you think of a more minimalist look. But, Lawless is the opposite. For the maximalists out there who still want to be conscious about ingredients, you’ll find everything you need for a glam, colorful face of makeup—including this matte full-coverage foundation.”—KR

Plain Jane Beauty
SHOWN: Plain Jane Beauty Creme Minerals® Natural and Organic Foundation plainjanebeauty.net


“The clean beauty movement is still largely lacking in diversity, and Plain Jane Beauty is a black-owned brand that fights that by keeping all skin tones in mind. The sustainable brand defines “clean” as being plant-based and free of mineral pigments, animal testing, and synthetic dyes. Bonus: the ingreedients also include botanical wonder workers like rosehip seed, green tea extract, and Vitamins C, E, and A.”—KR

Juice Beauty

SHOWN: Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Perfecting Concealer ulta.com
“Into the farm-to-table movement? Then this is your new farm-to-beauty obsession. Juice Beauty sources many of the ingredients for their products from USDA-certified organic farms. Oh, and they manufacture many of their products using solar power. I’m hard-pressed (sorry, bad juice pun!) to pick my fave product of theirs, but their Phyto-Pigments Perfecting Concealer is up there for sure.”—MT

Nadya Wasylko
Blush is an underrated but totally face-transforming category—just see how it warms up skin in this photo. “It gives you that healthy glow, like you just exercised or you’re super happy,” says Coleman. Clean brands particularly excel, with cream blushes such as the cult favorite RMS Lip2Cheek and Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Stick.

Kjaer Weis

SHOWN: Kjaer Weis Cream Blush revolve.com
“Want a little sustainable luxury with your clean makeup? Then this is the line for you. The products are formulated with either natural or certified organic ingredients, and the weighty, super-chic compacts are refillable. Give their cream blushes a try—they go on like butter and give the most beautiful flush.” —MT

SHOWN: Vapour Blush Powder thedetoxmarket.com

“Vapour is an OG organic makeup brand that has just about every makeup product you can think of. It has dreamy colors inspired by the founders’ hometown of Taos, New Mexico. Most clean makeup brands make cream blushes, but this powder one mimics the pigment you get from conventional brands. It also has skincare benefits thanks to squalane made with olives to soften wherever it touches.”—KR

Westman Atelier
SHOWN: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick violetgrey.com


“Westman Atelier is the brainchild of legendary makeup artist Gucci Westman, whose work has graced the faces of A-listers like  Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. She has an extensive list of ingredients not included in the products (parabens, suflates, PEGs), but doesn’t sacrifice anything in the luxurious formulas. This blush, for example, gives the most rosy natural-looking flush but can be built up to be more poppy. I get compliments every time I wear it.”—KR

RMS Beauty

SHOWN: RMS Beauty Champagne Rose Luminizer rmsbeauty.com
“When a line is created by a makeup artist (in this case, Rosemarie Swift), you can rest assured it’s going to work. I can’t live without their Champagne Rose Luminizer—it gives the most perfect dewy glow to cheekbones. As for what’s inside their products: raw, food-grade organic ingredients. And what’s not? Synthetic preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, and harmful chemicals.” —MT

Alima Pure

SHOWN: Alima Pure Bronzer thedetoxmarket.com
“Alima’s Bronzer is a staple in my own makeup bag. Many natural bronzers can contain shimmer, but this is hands-down the best matte version I’ve tried. The rest of their line of cosmetics is just as great. Not only are the products themselves free of any controversial ingredients, but the company is also carbon neutral (they offset 100 percent of their carbon emissions through donations to CarbonFund.org) and they’re a a certified B Corporation (a hard-to-achieve status based on a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment).” —MT

Nadya Wasylko
The clean eye shadows of yesteryear were mostly chalky powders in neutral shades. Lasting hues? Forget about it. Companies avoided using certain ingredients as binders, says makeup artist Christy Coleman, product development director at Beauty Counter, so products just didn’t have blendability (i.e., the melt-into-your-skin factor). Now, ingredients formulated from the acacia tree, like Senegal gum, fix that issue. “[The gum] has sugar-based emulsifiers that allow for a moisturizing application,” says cosmetic chemist Yashi Shrestha.


SHOWN: Beautycounter Velvet Eyeshadow Palette in Classic beautycounter.com
“When you use a Beautycounter product, you know it’s been vetted for safety. That’s because they have something called “The Never List”—a database of over 1,500 questionable and harmful ingredients they will never formulate with. Also impressive: they’re constantly advocating for stricter guidelines and regulatory laws within the personal care industry. I’m currently loving their new Velvet Eyeshadow Palette in Classic—it’s got all the neutrals you need, plus a few fun sparkly pops.” —MT

Victoria Beckham Beauty
SHOWN: Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick violetgrey.com


“From pop music to fashion, and now beauty, everything Victoria Beckham touches turns to gold. I really admire how transparent the brand has been about its clean makeup standards—including a big effort to be sustainable by not using plastic. The products also look and feel high-end. Case in point: This tiny tortoise shell palette (just half the length of an iPhone X) is compact but has a beautiful blend of shades to wear everyday.”—KR

Burt’s Bees

SHOWN: Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner Pencil burtsbees.com

“One of the O.G.s of the clean beauty scene, Burt’s Bees has recently expanded into the makeup world. Just like their beloved skincare and lip balms, the cosmetics are formulated without parabens, phthalates, and petrolatum. I love their pencil liner, which is super gentle on eyes while still giving the definition you expect from a traditional liner.”—MT

W3ll People

SHOWN: W3ll People Expressionist Mascara birchbox.com
“That little ‘3’ in the name? It represents the trio of founders: a makeup artist, dermatologist, and eco-entrepreneur. This line is for the person who’s all about the no-makeup look. My personal must-have is the cult-fave Expressionist Mascara—it builds such incredible volume, you’d have no idea it wasn’t a conventional mascara. It’s free of petroleum derivatives, coal tar, aluminum, and parabens—making it safe for the sensitive eye area.” —MT

Rituel de Fille

SHOWN: Rituel de Fille Ash & Ember Eye Soot in Obsidian revolve.com
“I’m obsessed with this brand’s cool, witchy vibes. Their products are handcrafted without parabens, phthalates, or synthetic dyes; and are cruelty-free. Their Ash and Ember Eye Soot is seriously magical and makes a smoky eye super quick and easy.”—MT

Jillian Dempsey

SHOWN: Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach bluemercury.com
“Makeup artist to some of Hollywood’s coolest women (Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, the list goes on), Jillian created a curated collection of good-for-you makeup. Her first and star product is the Lid Tint. It’s formulated with organic jojoba oil and shea butter and free of synthetic fragrances or dyes. I personally love this peach color, which gives lids a subtle healthy glow (I wear it on my cheeks sometimes, too).” —MT

Nadya Wasylko
Clean lipsticks are the easiest way to incorporate a jolt of color into your makeup routine. With a wide range of options available from RMS, Ilia, Kjaer Weis, Honest Beauty, Lawless, and more, it would actually be hard not to find a shade you want. (Intense color payoff used to be difficult with clean lipsticks; now, you don’t have to compromise, says Addington.) As for the all-star ingredients that make for a clean ’stick, Shrestha suggests checking the label for lip-loving vegetable waxes such as carnauba and candelilla. Pucker up!

Honest Beauty
SHOWN: Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Love target.com


“Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty line has quickly become one of my go-to brands because I really trust their extensive standards—the “no” list of ingredients they don’t use is 3,000 items long (meanwhile E.U. product regulation bans 1,300 and the U.S. bans 11). I also love that Honest is affordable and available at a wide retailer like Target so clean makeup can be accessible. The liquid lipstick is, by far, one of the best I’ve tried. It’s long-lasting and doesn’t dry down sticky or suck moisture from your pout. I have every color.”—KR

100% Pure
SHOWN: 100% Pure Pomegranate Lipstick in Calendula revolve.com


“Calling all organic makeup purists—100% Pure has stringent parameters. Everything is organic, cold-pressed, and with zero synthetics or unrefined ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, tea, and other plant pigments color the products—including this lipstick. It’s just as nourishing as a lip balm, with a punch of color.”—KR

SHOWN: Axiology Rich Cream Lipstick credobeauty.com


Axiology specializes in vegan lipsticks, and each one is only made with 10 ingredients. Expect hydrating goodness from a scrumptious blend of avocado butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil. Unlike some lipsticks that leave your pout feeling parched, you’ll wipe off this stick with your lips even more pillowy.”—KR

Lily Lolo
SHOWN: Lily Lolo Lipstick credobeauty.com


“This mineral cosmetics brand avoids dyes, fillers, parabens, and synthetic dyes. While clean brands tend to favor pinks and peaches, Lily Lolo embraces bold colors like reds and berries.”—KR

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