Eco-Friendly Beauty Brands Actually Worth Trying

Many cosmetics companies claim to be eco-friendly, animal friendly, and/or organic. But that doesn't mean that the product they're putting out is worth the money.

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I’ll confess: I’m a makeup addict. I wear a full face of makeup on almost a daily basis. It’s part of my morning ritual that I truly enjoy. While I embraced the idea that makeup isn’t necessary several years ago, I do think makeup is fun. It’s pretty. I like it and have no qualms about that.

What does concern me is what exactly I’m putting all over my face every day. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely become more health-conscious. Between cooking healthy meals for my three-year-old daughter and me, trying to fit in more exercise than normal (when normal used to be “none,” it’s a low bar), and being concerned about my carbon footprint, I had forgotten all about my beauty routine. Between my mix of creams, serums, and powders, I never thought to check the ingredients and see how these products might affect me or the world around me.

There are so many cosmetics companies that claim to be eco-friendly, animal-friendly, and/or organic. All of those may be true of a certain brand, but that doesn’t mean that the product they’re putting out is worth the money. Like I said, I like my makeup. Just because I want a product that is safe doesn’t mean I want to sacrifice color payoff, pigmentation, or wear time.

Keeping my standards high and my wallet open, I started to do some research and experimentation. Now the results are in. Here are my picks for the best all-around eco-friendly beauty brands.

1. Lush

Lush is a pampered girl’s heaven. If you haven’t been inside one of their stores, I suggest taking a break from this article and getting yourself to your nearest one immediately. The colors and scents are some of the only proof you need that these products are legit. Lush wholeheartedly believes in ethical sourcing of their ingredients. Their ingredients are often fresh and organic, and when a synthetic ingredient is needed, it’s sure to be the safest possible option. On top of that, they lead some major campaigns against animal testing in cosmetics and other charitable campaigns funded by proceeds from sales of various products.

My recommendations: Everything. But seriously… Their bath bombs, body creams, handmade soaps, skincare, and fragrances are incredible. I highly suggest popping into your nearest shop for personalized recommendations from some of the best and most knowledgeable customer service in the industry.

2. Tarte

(A slight disclaimer is needed here before we dive in: In 2014, Tarte was acquired by KOSE, a Japanese cosmetics brand that is, unfortunately, not cruelty-free. However, Tarte has promised to remain cruelty-free by refusing animal testing, as well as environmentally friendly and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.)

All of that being said, it’s nice to know that you can feel good about a beauty brand that puts out consistently great products. While their eyeshadows have never been a fave of mine, their skin products never fail to impress.

My recommendations: Cheek stains, Power Pigment lip tints, and their Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara.

3. L’Occitane

While L’Occitane doesn’t focus on color cosmetics, you still can’t discount them as a major player in the beauty world. After all, good makeup starts with healthy skin. They are on a mission to use ethically sourced ingredients in well-researched formulas, all sold in eco-friendly packaging designed to reduce their environmental impact. Their wide range of skin, body, and hair care products for women and men are reliably high quality.

My recommendations: Shea Butter Hand Cream, of course. It’s their ultimate best seller. I’m also a big fan of their Almond Milk Concentrate and Almond Supple Skin Oil.

4. Korres

I first discovered Korres in a tiny pharmacy in Santorini, Greece. I was looking for some lip balm and picked up their lip butter in Jasmine. Since then, I’ve been hooked. Every lip butter I’ve tried has been moisturizing and perfectly pigmented. It’s buildable so you can have a light tint or a darker color depending on which one you choose. On top of that, their skincare products are also incredible. Korres is inspired by their Greek heritage to use natural and organic ingredients to target specific skin problems.

My recommendations: Lip butters, Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial, Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum.

5. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Since OCC launched, they have pretty much revolutionized the way that people see lip products. Traditionally, lipstick or lipglosses need to be reapplied semi-regularly and the pigmentation can be hit or miss. OCC fixed that with their Lip Tars. They are like nothing you’ve ever seen and come in every single color in the rainbow and everything in between so you can create your perfect shade. They haven’t stopped there though. Their face and eye products are incredible and definitely a great value considering their middle-of-the-road prices. OCC is committed to being 100% vegan and animal cruelty-free.

My recommendations: Lip Tars. (All of them.) Also worth a shot are the Cosmetic Colour pencils and their large variety of brushes.

It was pretty great to find that the best eco-conscious beauty brands are things I’ve owned for years or have heard about from many friends. Any beauty fanatic knows the importance of high quality products that are worth the money. If we can keep the environment a little greener while we’re at it, it’s well worth the investment. I’m glad I’ve made the switch.

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