Basic Beginner's Make Up Bag (Natural, Non Toxic, Cruelty Free)

January 31, 2015

I'm trying to put together a bit of a beginner's guide to buying 'natural' and cruelty free make up.

Today's post is more of a list or directory... advanced warning it's pretty text heavy but hopefully it will be useful to someone.

Here are some of my simplest tips, you can use these as a starting point along with your own common sense, applying your own standards and comfort levels.

Buy samples

Don't invest in expensive make up without trying it out first. A lot of natural companies appreciate that their products are only sold online and therefore customers can't play with in store testers... hence small and affordable samples.

Check and Double Check Ingredients

Use sites like EWG skin deep to search for individual ingredients. I also use my No More Dirty Looks book and other online sources (i.e. blogs and Google).

What are your standards?

Have a think about what standards you want to apply to your future purchases. Are you happy to compromise in certain areas as you value a particular finish or effect over purity of ingredients? Or are you going to be really 'strict'?

For example if you really don't want your eye shadow to crease and you cannot find an effective natural primer would you be happy/allow yourself to use a non natural one? Or have one to use for special occasions? Do you mind talc in your eye shadows? Is one not-very-natural ingredient enough to stop you buying a product? How do you feel about synthetic dyes? Etc.

You don't want to take the fun out of make up, I think moderation is the key. I personally am pretty strict on what I buy as I tend to regret it if I buy something with a 'non natural' ingredient... I normally avoid using it! So why buy it?? 

Is it cruelty free?

Anything made in the UK or EU will be 'cruelty free' to a degree as we do not allow testing of cosmetic products or ingredients on animals (yay for us!) HOWEVER I personally avoid buying anything that is sold by a parent company that tests on animals. I have a whole video on this subject here.

Is it Vegan?

Do you want your products to be vegan? How do you feel about animal products in your make up? Are some okay and others not? For example, I will use products that contain beeswax but not carmine (also shown as CI75470) as bees don't die or suffer (in my opinion) but the cochineal bugs do.

Where to shop?

I've put together a list of my favourite shops/stores. I've split it up into American and European shops just to make it easier for beginners.

Having said that, I regularly buy products from America and I have a guide to customs fees here.


Silk Naturals

The biggest range of natural make up I think I've ever seen, so many colours! So many ranges! They do some awesome 'dupes' so if you have a non natural favourite you are struggling to part with then head on over to Silk Naturals for a natural swap. It is all super affordable as well!

Brija Cosmetics

Made by YouTube natural superstar Brianna (I Luv Jesse 444) and mostly made in collections based on TV, movies and pop culture. Very reasonably priced and great quality - guaranteed a high standard of ingredients.

Pumpkin and Poppy

Another small indie brand, not quite so inexpensive but excellent quality and the most gorgeous packaging.

The All Natural Face

My favourite! The least expensive place to buy natural make up and amazing colour range. She has a great sample selection available to help you try before you buy.

Red Apple Lipstick

Probably the most expensive brand that I recommend... not the most expensive brand out there though. The lipstick formula is second to none and their glosses are amazing. They also do the best pressed eye shadows I've tried. 

Shiro Cosmetics

I've not purchased from here myself but their collections and artwork are amazing.

Concrete Minerals

Slightly more on the expensive side but nothing extravagant. You get a lot of product and a high level of quality for your money.


Store ran by a beauty blogger, ideal right?! She knows her stuff and offers extremely high quality options with reasonable international shipping.

iHerb & VitaCost

Both offer 'drugstore' type natural make up like Physicians Formula and Honey Bee gardens. Be wary of ingredients though as I don't think these sites have a very high 'standard' (in terms of green credentials) for the make up products they sell.


Honey Pie Minerals

It's British, it's affordable, it's high quality... it's a great first stop when looking to stock up a natural make up bag.

Being Content

High quality and high end make up and skincare can be found here.

Lily Lolo

A middle priced British brand that I used to be in love with. Unfortunately I had some bad experiences with the shelf life of their products and I'm not happy that they use Carmine in their products so I haven't bought anything new from them in a while. Suggesting them in case you still want to look.

Green People

Not the cheapest make up brand but not stupidly expensive either, high quality make up with nourishing, natural ingredients.

Cocktail Cosmetics

More of a cruelty free/vegan site than a natural one but lots of great brands on there to check out. 


A really great site for affordable, natural make up. Not exclusively natural so be aware and check ingredients.

Lucy Rose

Another affordable site that brings a number of brands together in one place.

Love Lula 

More middle to high end make up.

Aya Nature

A European site, I've purchased my Avril mascara from here.


Lots of affordable, European brands

Beautifully Organic

More high end than affordable but with plenty of choices including Zao Organics.

Ecco Verde & Amazingy 

I haven't personally shopped at either of these but they come recommended by a trusted 'twitter friend' and fellow Greenie (Ineke) so it must be good, I was impressed by the selection after a quick browse. My first impressions are that Ecco Verde is more affordable options and Amazingy is at the higher end of the market.

Both/In Store

If you are lucky enough to live near a wholefoods you will be able to find a brilliant selection of natural make up there.


Ships world wide for free, a mix of high end and less expensive options, lots of samples available... a really great site.

Other - Australia

La Mav 

This is where I got my current favourite foundation from.

What's in MY Beginners Make Up Bag?

If I had to re-purchase my make up all over again from scratch my new, streamline make up bag would look something like this:

Foundation - Honey Pie Minerals or The All Natural Face

Concealer - Christopher Drummond (available only from the US)

EyeBrows - Silk Naturals Powder

Blush - Honey Pie Minerals and The All Natural Face 

Bronzer - Brija Cosmetics

Loose Eye Shadows - Brija Cosmetics, Silk Naturals, Honeypie Minerals

Pressed Eye Shadows - Green People, Red Apple Lipstick

Eye Liners (Pencil) - Lily Lolo or Green People

Eye Liners (Liquid) - The All Natural Face

Mascara - Avril or Physicians Formula

Lips - Red Apple Lipstick (lipsticks & Lip glosses) Brija Cosmetics (Lip glosses & Lip Jellies) Hurraw (tinted lip balm) Green People (Lip Crayon)

Goodness! That was hard! I really hope I don't have to do that for real!! (Touch wood)

I hope this post helps in some way. Sorry it is very wordy and not very aesthetic but I wanted to get the information out there and this seemed the easiest way.

Can you think of anything I've missed? If you have any suggestions or questions please pop them in the comments section to help others out.

This post does not include any products sent for consideration.
Some links are affiliated.
All opinions are honest and my own, any suggestions made are based on my own experiences and are meant as a guide. Please always take care when making any DIY products and patch test to rule out an adverse reaction.


  1. This is a lovely compilation! I hope I can try more from Silk Naturals, Lily Lolo, Green People, and Red Apple Lipstick. Also, thanks for the brand introductions to Pumpkin and Poppy.

  2. loved this article! thanks for sharing your opinion of the several European web stores and the basic makeup bag.

  3. Thanks that along with the video was very helpful. I will defiantly be looking into 'No More Dirty Looks' I like how you said that it is important to understand why to use or not use a product rather then just not using it because perhaps everyone else is or there has been a lot of media attention surrounding something. I also liked how you explained how EWG rates things according to allergies so something might have a high rating but you might be OK with it I guess the opposite it true as well as you say in a lot of your description boxes it is possible to be allergic to anything. Sorry this was such a long comment I just found what you said really helpful and I like the non judgmental tone.

  4. Emily Van Antwerp1 February 2015 at 00:43

    Rachel! I never knew that about EWG and rating things according to allergies, but that makes so much sense! Thanks for the info and for this great post!!

  5. The PHB Ethical Beauty mascara is good, too. I like the Avril one as well, but it gets a bit smudgy under my eyes.

  6. So helpful, thanks.

  7. Benecos also make good pencil liners and their eye shadow base is supposed to be really good.

  8. Great guide! There are so many online retailers that I hadn't heard of before. Thanks!x

  9. Awww yay, I'm glad you found it helpful :-)

  10. Aha! Now you know :-)
    Glad you enjoyed it, thanks so much :-)

  11. No problem about the 'long' comment, I always love to hear from peeps :-)
    I'm so glad you found this helpful... That really makes me happy :-)
    Rach xx

  12. Oh really? I've never had a problem with smudging... even on a pretty heavy night out!! Ha ha! That's a bit annoying... I've not heard of that one before, will look into it :-) thanks!

  13. yay, thanks! I hope you do and I will look forward to reading about your experiences ;-)

  14. I'm about to try some Benecos products and I will be sure to share them on here :-)

  15. Yay, glad it contains some you haven't seen/heard of before :-)

  16. I really want to appreciate you for this sharing it will be very helpful to me and other peoples and I also love to use beauty products and when ever I need any beauty products I choose Ecco Verde store because products there are in very affordable price and they also provide their coupons called Ecco Verde coupon code and many people got benefit from those coupons and save their money and believe me I am the one of them and You also want to save your money visit

  17. I never realised they had coupons! Thanks for sharing :-)


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