In these pages, we often offer recipes to make
your own simple, toxin-free skin- and body-care products out of the
herbs you grow at home. But making more complicated cosmetics —
like mascara and foundation — might be too difficult or
time-consuming for many of us. Luckily, the number of companies
offering natural, herb- or botanical-based and chemical-free
cosmetics seems to increase every day. And while these increasing
options give you easier, more widespread access to natural
cosmetics, they also can increase the confusion and muddle as you
search online or in your health-food store. Here are a few
companies that offer high-quality, natural cosmetics that our staff
Who they are: Arbonne manufactures and
distributes a complete line of pure Swiss skin care, color
cosmetics, nutrition and aromatherapy products. Every product is
botanically based, pH correct, hypoallergenic,
dermatologist-tested, never tested on animals, and formulated with
no animal products or byproducts, mineral oils, dyes or chemical
What they offer: Arbonne has an incredibly wide
array of cosmetics, including foundation, concealer, powder, eye
powders and pencils, mascara and lipsticks. Their colors range
widely in every category, and their packaging is attractive. Plus,
you know you’re doing something good for your skin when the
products, such as the concealers, include natural ingredients like
green tea, chamomile, ginseng, cucumber and arnica.
Any drawbacks? Like many natural cosmetics,
Arbonne products can be a bit higher on the price scale than many
drugstore makeup products. But their high-quality, skin-friendly
products make it reasonable to spend the extra cash.
Prices: About Face Line Defiance: $26; About
Face Concealer: $16; About Face Blusher: $12.50; About Face Lash
Who they are: Ecco Bella was created in 1992 to
protest against animal testing in the cosmetics industry. Ecco
Bella uses no animal testing, and instead ensures safety by using
products proven safe over time and by testing the products
themselves, the company says. They use organic or ecologically
grown herbs, aloe vera and cold-pressed vegetable oils.
What they offer: Ecco Bella has recently
discovered a wax present on flower petals that helps lock in
moisture and keep petals intact longer. They now add this delicate
wax to cosmetics for products that go on smoother and create a
softer finish. Ecco Bella offers a large array of cosmetic
products, from lipsticks and glosses to mascaras and eye pencils.
They feature a very attractive, recyclable duo compact that can be
refilled with custom-shaped powders and shimmers. And lip glosses
and mascaras are cleverly packaged with a small mirror on the
outside, so you’re always able to touch up.
Any drawbacks? While most products have a wide
range, a few, like the eyeshadows and eye pencils, are somewhat
limited in color choice. Still, their varied product line is sure
to include nearly everything you would need.
Prices: FlowerColor Mascara: $12.95;
FlowerColor Natural Eyeshadow: $7.95; Good For You Gloss: $12.95;
Natural Foundation: $18.95.
THE ORGANIC MAKE-UP COMPANY,
Who they are: This Canadian company was created
to offer the next step for those interested in holistic well-being.
They promise to use only pure, natural ingredients and preparation
methods, to respect the environment in the manufacture of their
products, to use no products that have caused the suffering of an
animal, and to use certified organic ingredients as much as
possible. All products have a non-beeswax alternative for vegan
What they offer: The Organic Make-Up Company
offers blushing powders, concealers and foundations, eyeshadows,
lipsticks and lip glosses. The products cover very well, and stay
put, although they can be somewhat heavy at times. Their lip
glosses, in particular, are rich and creamy and offer a great
finish. And while some products, such as the blushing powders, seem
to have limited color choice, they are designed to blend well with
various skin tones.
Any drawbacks? Because they are a Canadian
company, prices run fairly high for American consumers.
Prices: Foundation base: $20.70; Lip Gloss:
$16.10; Eyeshadow Regular: $17.25; Blushing Powder: $17.25.
There’s no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.
— Maria Mitchell, first
U.S. female astronomer
Who they are: Earth’s Beauty offers pure loose
powder makeup based on organic arrowroot with added natural
coloring. All the company’s products are in loose powder form to
eliminate the need for extra ingredients, and are specially
designed for those who are sensitive or allergic to traditional
cosmetics. Because the particles of arrowroot are so fine, the
makeup looks light and natural, the company says.
What they offer: This company offers a wide
range of colors in their eyeshadows and face powders. The products
really do blend for a light, natural finish, and blend well with
many skin types. The concealers are a bit heavier, more solid
formula than all the others.
Any drawbacks? If you are looking for a
heavier, fuller coverage, this product line may not offer what you
are looking for, and they don’t offer mascaras. They do offer
all-natural lip glosses and lip nectars, and for those looking for
nicely blended, light makeup, these feathery formulas will be
Prices: Undereye Concealer: $12.95; Mineral Eye
Liner: $10.50; Mineral Colours Original Foundation Powder: $20.95;
Lip Glaze Compact: $10.95.
Who they are: A leader in natural cosmetics,
Dr. Hauschka has been manufactured since 1967 by WALA-Heilmittel, a
holistic pharmaceutical company in southern Germany. Founders
Rudolf Hauschka and Elisabeth Sigmund hoped to elevate skin care
from superficial cover-up to preventive health care by creating
cosmetics using a mixture of medicinal botany, herbal cosmetics and
ancient principles, according to the company.
What they offer: Designed to “work in harmony
with your skin,” Dr. Hauschka offers a full line of decorative
cosmetics, including lipsticks and liners; eye shadows, liners and
mascaras; translucent makeups and face powders; as well as cover
sticks, rouge and bronzing powders. Ingredients like rose, jojoba
and beeswax, and extracts of witch hazel, carrot, hawthorn, neem
and calendula give your skin a natural glow.
Any drawbacks? The somewhat pricey products are
not available for purchase on Dr. Hauschka’s website, but the site
offers a store locator to find a distributor near you, or you can
mail-order by calling their toll-free phone number. Available on
the Internet by authorized dealers.
Prices: Lipsticks: $19.95; Mascara: $22.50;
Eyeshadow Duos: $27.95; Translucent Make-up: $29.95.
Who they are: This German company was founded
nearly 20 years ago, along with one of Germany’s first natural
products stores, because of the founder’s sensitive skin and
trouble with most skin-care products. Based on all-natural, herbal
ingredients, this company is dedicated to using organic
ingredients, free of additives, dyes and synthetics. Their
innovative formulations, such as their 100-percent mineral Sun
Spray and all-natural berry-scented lip glosses have won Innovation
Prizes in the Natural Cosmetics Industry.
What they offer: Lip sticks and lip glosses,
loose powders, liquid foundation, mascara, eyeliners, eye shadows,
tinted transparent moisturizers and more. These products all
include essential oils and herbs, such as the Volume Mascara with
organic jojoba oil and wild rose oil for nourishing lashes, or the
Make Up Fluid Naturel with organic aloe vera and organic almond
oil. Their foundations truly are light and sheer, and blend
Any drawbacks? This company’s color sets,
especially for face powders and foundations, is very limited. Their
website does offer a nice guide to cool versus warm skin tones, and
makeup tips, but the limitations of only two skin-color variations
can be restrictive to U.S. consumers.
Prices: Make Up Fluid Naturel: $23.95;
Lipstick: $20; Tinted Transparent Moisturizer: $22.95; Volume
Jessica Kellner is coordinating editor of The Herb