Delving into the world of organic makeup can be confusing. Many makeup brands call themselves “sustainable” or “organic”… but are they, really? What do these terms actually mean in the beauty industry?
First, let’s go over what makes organic makeup organic. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t define or regulate the term “organic” when it comes to cosmetics. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows products to be certified under NOP regulations if the makeup is “made up of agricultural ingredients and can meet the USDA/NOP organic production, handling, processing, and labeling standards.”
Organic isn’t everything, though. While many sustainable brands strive to be 100 percent organic, that’s not always possible when trying to do good overall. Take Elate, for instance. While it uses organic ingredients whenever possible, it chooses fair trade over organic (if both aren’t an option) because it’s important to them that “every person involved in the making of the cosmetics is treated ethically and fairly.”
However, other factors we look for aside from organic ingredients are sustainable packaging (think recycled or biodegradable), sustainably-sourced ingredients, and qualities like cruelty-free, fair trade, and vegan. Keep an eye out for labels like Certified B-Corporation and Eco-Cert. Overall, these qualities will ensure your makeup is good for people, animals, and the planet.
If you’re running low on your current makeup stash, here are some sustainable alternatives to try. Aside from being eco-friendly, they also use organic ingredients whenever possible.
8 Eco-Friendly Products That Contain Organic Ingredients
1. Mango People Multi Stick, $24
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Mango People lives by the philosophy, “if you cannot eat it, it doesn’t belong on your skin.” The pigments used in these makeup products are extracted entirely from natural elements—including fruits, vegetables, and flowers—to add beautiful, high-performance color.
The multi-stick is a triple-threat, and guess what? It will be available in the Brightly Shop on August 2! Apply it to your cheeks, lips, and eyelids for a casual day at the office or night out on the town. Made with natural and certified organic ingredients, it will help your skin stay nourished and protected.
2. Elate Sunbeam Bronzer, $29
Elate Beauty is a Certified B-Corp that’s known for its gorgeous sustainable makeup packaging. It also uses 75 percent organic ingredients: “We strive to make our ingredients as organic as possible, but will always choose fair trade over organic if we’re unable to have both,” reads the website.
The brand uses recyclable materials—such as bamboo and aluminum—and its products are 100 percent vegan and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. The Sunbeam bronzer is made with organic jojoba oil, giving you an all-around healthy glow.
3. ĀTHR Diamond-Infused Highlighter, $38
🚨 Find it on sale in our Clean Beauty Gift Set! 🚨
ĀTHR Beauty offers all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and recyclable makeup that doesn’t sacrifice pigment. “All our ingredients are ethically and sustainably-sourced, certified organic, and certified fair trade wherever possible,” the company says.
The Ametrine quad is perfect for both day and night. Just swipe it on for a wash of color during the day, then build on the look with the other shades for a more elevated nighttime look.
4. Axiology Vegan Lipstick, $30
Axiology’s founder began her own makeup brand when she learned all the lipsticks she owned were tested on animals. Now the brand carries vegan and cruelty-free balms, lipsticks, and crayons in tons of different shades.
The brand’s products are packaged in recyclable and compostable materials. This shimmery lipstick is made with organic coconut oil, avocado oil, orange oil, and other natural ingredients.
5. ILIA Multi-Stick, $34
ILIA’s Multi-Stick is a triple threat. Made with organic shea butter, its creamy, pigmented formula can be used as a cream, blush, and a lipstick. Not only is ILIA’s makeup Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, but the brand also partners with TerraCycle to make recycling its products easier.
100% Pure’s ultra lengthening mascara uses natural ingredients—like black tea and berries—to lengthen and separate lashes without clumping, smudging, or flaking. The brand is committed to producing the purest, healthiest products, all while being environmentally sustainable. This mascara in particular contains organic black tea.
Want a discount? Use the code BRIGHTLYISPURE30 for 30% off your first order!
Cocokind’s bronze highlighter brings dewy-looking radiance to your skin with organic mango seed butter. The brand is very transparent about its processes; the sustainability and formulation facts are printed right on the box. The products are also cruelty-free and all ingredients labeled “organic” are USDA certified.
This eyeshadow stick by Juice Beauty is sustainably packaged, made with USDA organic ingredients, and packs a real punch with its shimmering pigment. The brand’s age-defying serum technology delivers serious blendability, too—no streaky mess, included!
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