The Best Natural & Non-Toxic Make-Up Brands

The Best Natural & Non-Toxic Make-Up Brands

Recent studies show the UK is now the leading European market for ‘clean’ cosmetics. Yet many of us are still unsure about what exactly makes a brand ‘natural’ and which ones work best. To help you know which ones to focus on, we asked two clean beauty experts for eight of the best brands when it comes to sustainability…


“Zao make-up comes in the cutest packaging made from bamboo, which degrades much faster than plastic,” says vegan and cruelty-free make-up artist Em-J. “The brand is organic certified, cruelty-free and vegan. Most of Zao’s products are refillable too, so you just have to buy the new insert each time. As for the make-up itself, it’s incredibly high performing with great pigments. Its array of nail varnishes and powder highlighters is not to be missed.” 



“This brand ticks many ethical boxes for me: cruelty-free, vegan and organic,” explains Justine Jenkins, MUA and cruelty-free make-up expert. “I particularly love the Certified Organic Liquid Foundation with hyaluronic acid. It gives skin a beautiful lustre and the deep black mascara is key for long, voluminous lashes.”



“Founded by Susie Ma, Tropic has blown the beauty industry away with what can be created using natural ingredients,” says Em-J. “With an enormous range of skincare, make-up and bodycare, everything is natural, clean, vegan and cruelty-free. Not only has every ingredient been sustainably sourced, but each product is also made in England. There really is no compromise on product performance in this range, and I can’t recommend its glosses enough for their high-shine and longevity.”


RMS Beauty

“Rose Marie Swift is a genius,” claims Justine. “As a make-up artist herself, she created this brand to give the industry a clean, organic alternative wardrobe of products that work in synergy with the skin. I’ve used Living Luminizer on practically every client of mine. It gives that lit-from-within glow – the antithesis to the fake-looking filter highlight you see on Instagram. The brand is cruelty-free and clean, but worth noting it’s not vegan.”


Juice Beauty

“Where to even start with Juice Beauty! Founded by wellness entrepreneur Karen Behnke, the brand is head-to-toe natural and organic with silky, radiant formulas,” says Em-J. “Its skincare range is enormous with countless products bound to suit every need. It also has a small, but mighty, make-up range that caters to those seeking a healthy glow. Its cream blushers are brilliant too, giving a healthy, believable flush that’s never drying.”



“I discovered this brand in New York and fell in love,” says Justine. “At the moment, it’s just eyeshadow palettes available, but I expect this brand to grow and grow. The ingredients are Fair Trade, the colours exquisite and the packaging is biodegradable. Cruelty-free, clean and vegan.”


Beauty Kitchen

“Beauty Kitchen is a true pioneer in today’s industry,” explains Em-J. “It has won countless awards for its high-performing natural skincare and was the first beauty brand in the UK to be B Corporation certified. It brings sustainability into everything it does – even down to a refill and re-use scheme. I always have the sea plankton range in my bathroom cabinet.”



“These are evil-free lipsticks at their best,” says Justine. “As we ingest a lot of our lip products, Axiology provides clean ingredients alongside fantastic colours. When looking for ethical lipsticks, if the bullet is weighted with magnets (many brands do this to insinuate luxury), they cannot be recycled. But Axiology packaging is completely biodegradable and the lipstick aluminium tubes are recyclable. It’s thought of everything.”


Clean Make-Up Phrases Decoded


Cruelty Free: This means neither the products nor the ingredients have been tested on animals. Look out for the Leaping Bunny logo that confirms a certification process.


Vegan: This describes products that have zero animal-based ingredients inside. It should also mean that the product or the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals.


Fair Trade: A new development in the beauty sector, this means the brands and products are centred on good working conditions, transparency and sustainability, as well as using ethically sourced ingredients.


Organic Certified: Put simply, this stamp stands for natural ingredients being used – the kind that are grown without any genetically modified organisms or synthetic fertilisers.


Clean: It’s open to interpretation, but the most popular definition of ‘clean’ is: no nasties and a chemical-free, non-toxic formula, resulting in less skin irritation and inflammation. 

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