There was a time when finding natural, organic or vegan cosmetics, and other beauty products, were next to impossible. Now, there are so many product lines moving toward 100% natural (no synthetic chemicals) and vegan (meaning no animal byproducts) but you still need to do your research.

Rachael Peffer from Girls and Curls has done just that - and is here to share! A makeup artist from Denver Colorado, with over 13 years of creative hair design, professional wedding and photography makeup application, Rachael has learned to read past the "All Natural" reassurances on popular beauty brand labels to consciously choose authentic green cosmetics.

Airbrush Makeup
Photo: Rachael Peffer

Beauty Product Ingredients To Avoid

Don’t just assume because it says "Natural" on the product that it is 100% Natural! (Natural doesn’t mean organic or vegan either). Learn to read the ingredient labels, just as you would food. You want to look for products that DO NOT contain: Parabens, Petroleum (usually listed as Mineral Oil), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLS) and Phthalates. If the product is certified organic or vegan, it will not be full of these ingredients and the company will be sure you know!

Why do you want to stay clear of these ingredients? They are all synthetic chemicals. The one that might be the worst offender is Petroleum (specifically Mineral Oil).  Mineral Oil is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Mineral oil is leftover liquid and it is very inexpensive which is why it is used so often in cosmetics and skin care. It is actually cheaper to buy it than dispose of it. Companies use Mineral oil in creams, lotions, sunscreens, and most baby skincare products.

Products containing mineral oil only sit on the top of your skin like plastic, creating a barrier from good stuff getting into your skin and keeping the pores clogged and interfering with skin's ability to eliminate toxins resulting in acne and other skin issues. When the “good stuff” in your skin care products can’t get deep into your skin, the product can’t work to heal, hydrate and aid in cell renewal. Check your favorite products…you’ll probably find Mineral Oil. If you have a baby and you are using baby oil, it is most likely 100% mineral oil.

Rachael's Top Picks For Safe And Eco-Friendly Makeup Brands

You can spend time digging in the Skin Deep Database for non-toxic makeup options for everything from blush to lip liner - but Rachael has experience and is willing to share her top picks: Here is a list of her favorite green makeup products and why she loves them (she even uses them in her professional makeup kit)!

Mirabella Simple, professional quality makeup line with vegan options.

Tarte Cosmetics This line has great packaging that is recyclable or made with post-consumer recycled material and some packaging can be re-used and refilled.  They have easy to wear colors that are formulated without parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances, just to name a few. They also offer cruelty free and vegan products!

Urban Decay Out of the box colors, innovative products…and  they are a cruelty free company and offer vegan products!  UD is working toward being 100% Vegan in the future.  Right now, they offer a variety of vegan cosmetic products including 100% vegan, professional quality makeup brushes.  They were even awarded PETA’s Best Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Line award. 

Yes To This line is so affordable and good for your skin.  Although they are not 100% natural products, except the baby line is 100% natural and gluten free, Yes To products are on still on my good list because they make better skin care simple, easy and affordable.  They offer a wide range of skin care including hair care (in recyclable packaging) that is cruelty free and does not contain Parabens, Petroleum byproducts, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLS) and Phthalates.

LUSH Handmade products…sexy…vegan…fun!  From bath bombs to hair care, these products are fresh and luxurious.  Lush prides themselves on being a green company from its products to packaging to where supplies are purchased.  They offer a line of vegan bath bombs, lotions and more!

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics This company is for anyone but if you’re a professional makeup artist offering airbrush foundation applications, this is the line to use. The foundations are amazing, 100% vegan, oil free and cruelty free!  The rest of the product line is fun and a great addition to any professional kit.