Since following a more natural lifestyle, it’s become more important to me to use natural beauty products. Over time I’ve managed to replace my make-up with natural alternatives. It’s hard to find a product that’s cruelty-free and natural, a lot are either one or the other!
Here are my current favourites. I’d love to hear any suggestions about what you use, too!
I’ve de-cluttered a lot of my make up, to the extent that I just use 2 brushes now. They aren’t natural brushes but I’ve had them for years and didn’t feel a need to replace them when they do a good job and are still in good condition. I’ve one cheek brush from Boots Botanics which I use for foundation and blush (both of which I rarely wear), and one eyeshadow brush I got many, many years ago, I can’t remember where from!
I like the Lavera brand as they’re natural and don’t test on animals. They do quite a lot of vegan products too, although the whole range is not vegan. I find Lavera quite widely available and the range costs a slightly less than other brands, although still more than your normal high-street make up range, which is understandable.
I just have one eyeshadow (Trend Sensitiv Beautiful Mineral Eyeshadow in 07 Magic Grey), one cheek colour (Trend Sensitiv So Fresh Mineral Rouge Powder in 01 Shimmering Rose Light), their soft eyeliner pencil (Soft Eyeliner in Black), and my only lipstick (Trend Sensitiv Lipstick in Red Secret 24), which is non-vegan as I bought it a while ago. When I replace it I’ll get a vegan alternative.
I have problems with eyeshadow creasing a lot, even the non-crease versions only lasted an hour or two before inevitably finding their way into strange looking creased lines on my eyelids! To combat this, I use an eyeshadow primer. I used to use Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance which was great, and when that ran out I thought I’d try Lavera’s version (Bio Organic Eye Shadow Base) which was around £10 cheaper – around £5 from eBay compared to £18 for the Shadow Insurance. It’s not quite as effective as the Too Faced one, but seems to be holding up for light use!
PHB Ethical Beauty
I love PHB. They’re based in Birmingham, UK and their whole range is 100% natural and vegan. Their make-up packaging is glass, metal and recycled cardboard, so no plastics there either! Their price point is equivalent to premium beauty brands, but a whole lot better for you. I have a loose mineral eyeshadow (Mineral Eyeshadow in Storm) which is incredible – it lasts for absolutely ages as you only need a tiny little bit.
I also got a small pot of loose mineral foundation powder (Mineral Foundation in Cream) to try. You can order the small sizes as a sample so you can try them out! I mix it in with my moisturiser to make a tinted base as my skin’s really, really dry. This tiny little pot has lasted me a few months so far.
Finally, I’m addicted to PHB’s mascara (Natural Mascara in Black). Most mascaras irritate my eyes and this is one of the only ones that doesn’t. I thoroughly recommend it! PHB have also just launched a pressed mineral range, which is worth checking out.
Green People are a UK skincare and makeup brand, started in 1994. I love their natural sunscreen, although it only goes up to Factor 30, which is still too low for my pale ‘gets burned in the dark’ skin! Fingers crossed they’ll develop a Factor 50 in the future…
Anyway, I use their Eye duo compact (Illuminating Eye Duo in Pearl & Satin Pink) which is 100% natural. Their eye shadows are soft and glide on really easily, making blending a doddle! The packaging is cardboard, not plastic, which is another bonus, and has a cute mirror inside. I wear this almost every day and have hardly made a dent in it over the last few months!
Bath & Shower Time – Olive, Faith in Nature, Lush
Faith in Nature are one of my favourite brands. Their packaging is made from 100% recycled plastic, and the products themselves are 100% natural, SLS and paraben-free. Plus every product I’ve used so far smells absolutely divine!
I’m currently using a shampoo and conditioner (Seaweed & Citrus Shampoo; Pomegranate and Rooibos Conditioner) and my damaged hair feels great. They don’t lather up as much as a non-natural shampoo, which took a bit of getting used to, but now I wouldn’t use anything else.
I’m also addicted to their natural soap bars. I think I’ve worked my way through every type, and currently have the Hemp bar and Cocoa bar, along with an Orange one in my bathroom!
Oliva make a pure Olive Oil soap that looks amazing and is great value. This is as simple as they come and I’m absolutely addicted to the smell! I find this bar doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and comes in a simple cardboard box which is easy to recycle.
Lush need no introduction, I’m sure. They’re a worldwide company that stick to their principles, regularly protesting against animal testing and sticking up for animal rights. Happy Hippy is a treat of a shower gel that lifts my mood with an amazing, fresh grapefruit scent. Lush products aren’t always 100% natural so check the ingredients first if you’re worried about this.
Deodorant & Moisturiser – Neal’s Yard, Earth Conscious/Hippy Paste
I haven’t used many Neal’s Yard products, but their Baby Balm is a brilliant natural moisturiser. It’s just a blend of oils with no scent and it’s my go-to for any form of moisturising! I use it on my face, hands, lips, feet, body and hair!
I was looking into natural deodorants a while ago and was recommended to try Earth Conscious. They make a 100% natural deodorant in a metal tin (no plastic) with no nasties in there. As with most natural deodorants, it’s not an anti-perspirant, but actually allows you to sweat naturally, stopping the sweat from actually smelling. You just scoop a little out of the tin and apply to underarms.
I’ve had no problems with this at all and haven’t noticed any smell since I’ve been using it – well, nobody’s made any comments yet, anyway!
Earth Conscious used to make re-useable sanitary towels too, which is a brilliant idea. They’ve since rebranded to Hippy Paste, and reformulated the deodorant tins to become a little softer to scoop out. They’ve brought out some new scents too.
And that’s it! I don’t use any other products at all – I’m enjoying the effect of streamlining my make-up to only one product for each job – I can just layer it up to switch between day and night looks if I’m heading out. If I want an intensive conditioner I just leave my existing one in for longer, or use some coconut oil from the kitchen cupboard! When I cut down on the make-up I used, I just thought about what I used the most of, and if I could use any products for more than one job. I was prepared to spend more on products that stood with my values, instead of grabbing a myriad of colours from the shelves of a cheap make-up stand, filled with goodness-knows-what and with dubious ethical principles.
One final note – to remove all of my make-up, I use mainly water and a flannel. Sometimes grapeseed oil if it’s a little stubborn!
Do you have a favourite ethical beauty brand? Have you cut down on the amount of products you use, and what’s important to you when it comes to make-up and beauty?