The Votes Are In: These Are the Best Natural Makeup Products on the Market
As you probably know, April is Earth Month—and while that certainly seems like a pretty apt time to highlight the very best in green beauty, Byrdie's Eco Beauty Awards are pretty timely for more than that one reason. In the past year or two alone, we've been overwhelmed (in the best way) by the sheer volume of plant-based beauty products and brands to hit the market. And unlike the crunchy, DIY tendencies that used to be so synonymous with "natural beauty," these formulas are different: They're the perfect marriage of science and smartly sourced, quality ingredients. They're incredibly effective, and in most cases, they're beautifully packaged to boot. In other words, natural beauty has never been this cool or covetable.
So with that in mind, we made it our mission to weed through the ever-expanding market to highlight our favorite products in hair, makeup, and skincare. Selecting the very best shampoo, cleanser, and lipstick was no easy task—it involved a rigorous nomination process, calling in all of those picks, and then testing every last one before confirming our winners. This week, we'll be rounding up the best in every category—on Monday, we covered hair, and today, we're tackling makeup.
Keep scrolling to see our picks for the best all-natural makeup products on the market.
BEST EYE SHADOW
Rituel de Fille Eye Soot ($38)
The specs: Created by three witchy-chic sisters, Rituel de Fille's MO is "spellbinding natural color," and they seriously deliver with some of the most hypnotic makeup products available on the market today. Consider this "eye soot," a heavily pigmented cream-meets-powder with a sheer, ultra-flattering finish.
Why we love it: "In my opinion, the best eye shadows look effortless and lived-in," says news editor Victoria. "This is all I use—it looks better the more you smudge it, and you can either go for a sheer wash of color or layer it on for something more dramatic. It also has just the right amount of shimmer to it, so the light catches it just so. I have it in every color, and I always get so many compliments."
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($38)
The specs: This cult-fave highlighter boasts a coconut oil base for a creamy, second-skin finish.
Why we love it: You'd be hard-pressed to find a Byrdie editor who doesn't have a rave review for Living Luminizer. "I've practically sworn off powder highlighters after finding that cream formulas give the most natural, luminescent glow," says managing editor Lindsey. "This is that one standout product that achieves that dewy-but-not-glittery look. It's a buttery highlight that blends into my foundation seamlessly. I like to tap it on my lids too for an extra pop once my eye shadow is complete."
"I love how sheer it is—it doesn't add color, just glow and dew," says senior editor Hallie. "And since the base is coconut oil, I don't feel too bad if I forget to wash it off." Enough said.
BEST BROW PENCIL
Alima Pure Natural Definition Brow Pencil ($18)
The specs: Fortified with an entire arsenal of plant oils, this might be the only brow pencil on the market that actually conditions your brows as you wear it. Multitasking!
Why we love it: "I place a tall order for my brow pencils," says Victoria. "They have to have a good amount of pigment, and the texture is key: It should glide on smoothly, but it can't be too slippery, and it has to last all day. This one checks all those boxes, and I never worry that I'm sabotaging my brow growth while wearing it."
Ilia Bronzer ($34)
The specs: Pro tip: For a more believable lit-from-within glow, it might be time to opt for a cream bronzer instead. This handy stick is formulated with soothing rose hip oil and natural dyes, and doubles as a pretty stellar eye color too.
Why we love it: "I think (hope) we can all agree that the era of bronzing powders and Instagram contour is over—but glowy skin will always be in," says associate features editor Amanda. "When I want to warm up my complexion the 2017 way, I swirl my fingers in this subtle, shimmery bronzing stick and dab the pigment around my hairline and under each cheekbone. It brings me the modern, understated bronze I'm going for in 30 seconds."
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($22)
The specs: While Eyeko's ingredients aren't 100% natural, the brand's mission is to craft quality, planet-friendly formulas without any unnecessary synthetics. Case in point: Their fan-favorite skinny eyeliner is preservative-free and fortified with hyaluronic acid, so it's easy on your skin to boot.
Why we love it: "These days, I pass on a full-winged look in favor of a very subtle flick to open up my eyes, and this user-friendly pen always delivers the perfect amount of pigment," says Victoria. "Most importantly, it doesn't irritate my very sensitive eyes and stays put all day, even when those aforementioned sensitive eyes are watering constantly."
RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up ($36)
The specs: Thanks to an emollient base of coconut, castor seed, and jojoba oils, this perfectly pigmented concealer never cakes or creases.
Why we love it: "There's simply nothing like it," says Victoria. "It's the essential item in my makeup bag. My skin is perpetually dry, and 'Un' Cover-Up just melts right into it. It not only conceals, but it also keeps my complexion moisturized for hours on end. And you only need the tiniest dab for solid coverage that still looks like your skin."
Kjær Weis Cream Blush ($56)
The specs: Unless you're aiming for an '80s tribute, the best blush looks like it's naturally supposed to be there—and this blend-able, balmy formula makes it easy. (Not to mention the container itself is highly covetable—and refillable!)
Why we love it: "It's my favorite everyday blush," says editorial assistant Katie. "Unlike powder blushes that tend to sit atop makeup, this blush smooths right into your skin for a natural-looking flush that lasts all day." Adds Amanda, "IMHO, Kjær Weis makes the only cream blush that is highly pigmented, actually stays on my face, and comes in an array of genuinely flattering shades."
Rituel de Fille Enchanted Lip Sheer ($21)
The specs: As with the brand's Eye Soots, Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheers were designed to layer on according to your mood and preference. With a semimatte finish that's at once intensely hydrating, all nine shades are incredibly flattering.
Why we love it: "I've gotten so many people hooked on Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheers, and for good reason," says editorial director Faith. "They're on-the-go size, smell amazing, and give your lips the perfect hint of color, all while feeling super moisturizing. Plus, I like that they're made with only the highest-quality natural ingredients. I wear Datura all the time; it's the perfect watermelon-tinged pink that's flattering on every skin tone."
"I really can't stand 99% of lipstick formulas, save for Glossier's Gen G and Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheer," adds Victoria. "I love the lived-in look of it—in my opinion, it looks best when you apply just a little bit to the center of your lips and smear it outward with your finger. It's truly the perfect stain. Thistle, Datura, and Blackthorn are my faves."
Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint ($36)
The specs: An anti-aging treatment, blush, and lip color all rolled into one, Tata Harper's cult-fave tint offers a lot to love, including the fact that it's packed with quality-sourced botanical extracts.
Why we love it: "If I have half a second to apply a full face of makeup, I reach for some brow gel, mascara, and this all-natural lip and cheek tint," says Amanda. "I put a teeny-tiny dab of the stuff on my eyes, lips, and cheeks (a little goes a very long way), and suddenly, it looks like I have my shit together. The pigments are stunning, the formula is chemical-free, and because it's so pigmented, one little tub will last years, literally."
Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation ($44)
The specs: Designed to actually improve skin instead of just covering it up, this handy stick formula contains an array of botanicals that help soothe and correct redness and inflammation. A dose of minerals adds a naturally glowy finish.
Why we love it: Can all foundations come in stick form? "It's seriously so handy," says Victoria. "I prefer to spot treat rather than use full coverage on a daily basis anyway, so this makes it really easy. But if need be, it also blends extremely well. I also love that it visibly reduces any redness if I've just woken up from a late night—and not just in a Band-Aid kind of way."
BEST SPF HYBRID
Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint ($42)
The specs: There are few things more annoying than sacrificing quality for sun protection—because really, why can't we have both? This unique tinted oil formula is first and foremost a great moisturizer with the perfect amount of sheer coverage—the fact that it's also fortified with SPF 30 is just a sweet bonus.
Why we love it: "It's sheer but not too sheer, dewy but not too dewy," says Faith. "It makes my skin look glowing and airbrushed in less than 10 seconds. At first, I thought the applicator was strange—it's like a syringe, where you pump out the product then roll it on your face. But after a while, I liked that I could apply it directly from the tube to my forehead, cheeks, and nose, then blend it all with my fingers."
W3ll People Expressionist Mascara ($22)
The specs: From the clump-resistant wand down to the nutrient-fortified formula, this all-natural mascara is like falsies in a tube.
Why we love it: "We all know how picky I am about mascara," says Victoria. "And while I do wish it were waterproof, I really love this formula—it delivers serious volume without a clump in sight."
Check out the rest of Byrdie's Eco Beauty Awards.