If you’re looking for safer makeup with a lighter ethical footprint, then you’ve come to the right place. There are now tons of clean beauty options — and no need to worry about greenwashing either! In this case, we’ll be covering some of the best natural organic eyeshadow on the market, as well as useful information for choosing safer products of your own.
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It’s really quite simple if you know what to look for — but it might just take a little trial and error to start. Don’t you fret though, because there are lots of brands doing wonderfully exciting things you definitely want to know about — especially if you care about what’s in your makeup, where it comes from, and how it's made?
So cast those worries aside and let’s get into everything you need to know about the best natural and organic eyeshadow.
Shopping for natural and organic eyeshadow can be tricky — Here's what to look for:
Conventional beauty products are still laden with harmful things. When it comes to makeup in general steer clear of the following ingredients:
- Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3 idol)
- Phenacetin, Coal tar, Benzene, Untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, Ethylene oxide, Chromium
- Cadmium, and its compounds, Arsenic and Crystalline silica (or quartz).
The issue with eyeshadow specifically has a lot to do with the pigments used to give them their colour — many of which are not considered “eye-safe”— even though they are meant to be used near the eyes.
Conventional eyeshadow has also been found to contain trace amounts of asbestos and other harmful ingredients you want to avoid like:
- Parabens — Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben,
- Propylparaben. Carbon Black — C1 77266 or BLACK NO.2 D&C, Polyacrylamide Paraffin Wax, Isoparaffin, Liquid Paraffin (Mineral Oil), Talc, Polybutene and Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PTFE (Teflon)
- Ethoxylated Ingredients — PEGs like Polyethylene Glycol, Laureth-7, Polysorbate-20, and Steareth-20
To make things a little simpler I’ve gathered this list of brands you can trust not to use any of these harmful ingredients — or unethical practices.
To vet these brands, I consider where their products are made and the ingredients used to make them. I favor certified organic ingredients wherever possible — as well as vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free products made using sustainably sourced ingredients. Eco-friendly packaging is also a major plus, as well as inclusivity. Here’s a little bit more on that:
1. Is it local?
Using products that are produced locally helps on several fronts. By shopping locally we support our local economy but we also reduce the number of miles (and carbon emissions) associated with our purchases.
2. Is it made of natural ingredients?
This is arguably one of the most important aspects of shopping for clean beauty products. We want products made of the finest natural ingredients possible — that will not harm us or the environment when used.
3. Is it certified organic?
Certified organic ingredients and products are always best. It means no pesticides or other harmful chemicals throughout the production process. Keep in mind though there are some really fantastic green beauty brands that use organic ingredients the company is not certified organic and that's thanks to the high cost of the certifications.
4. Is it vegan?
Here we consider whether or not products contain any ingredients that are derived from animals — like honey or milk.
5. Is it cruelty-free?
I steer clear of any products that could be tested on any poor rabbits, guinea pigs or mice.
6. Palm oil-free?
Palm oil is quite taxing on the communities where it is produced. With ethics and sourcing issues that are still very tenuous and very present, I try to avoid them wherever possible.
7. Are the ingredients sustainably sourced?
This is also very important when it comes to clean beauty products. We want to choose products that are not only safer for us to use but safer for the planet and for the people involved across the supply chain. That’s why I love products where the ingredients are sourced sustainably and responsibly; particularly where mica is used.
8. Does the company use environmentally-conscious packaging?
Packaging is a big issue when it comes to sustainability. Products that come in compostable, zero waste, recyclable, and/or reusable containers are always preferred.
9. Is it inclusive?
Inclusivity is a big deal all around but when it comes to more sustainable products it is especially pertinent. Brands that offer a range of products for different people are a must — especially for those who have difficulty finding products that work for their skin type or complexion.
Natural and organic eyeshadow brands we recommend
Now that we’ve got that sorted, here are my top picks for natural and organic eyeshadow — featuring some of the best brands out there. Keep an eye out for some zero waste mascara, organic lipstick, and vegan concealer as you browse too.
Elate makes it to the top of this list for so many reasons, if you are looking for eco-friendly gifts or affordable natural organic makeup, Elate Cosmetics comes straight out of a dream with its selection of eco-conscious options — including plastic-free eyeshadow. Choose from richly pigmented colors to barely-there neutrals.
Looking for matte or shimmer, you have come to the right place. What I really love is that you can customize your own sustainable eye palette, simply choose the colors your want, and pop them into the reusable packaging. The individual eye shadows will arrive in little seed paper pouches that you can plant. You can also choose the size of the palette, as you see in the photo above. Be on the lookout for their amazing eye pencils too.
Their ready-to-buy palettes are simply stunning. I use and LOVE the Softhearted EyeColour Trio. Its describes as "a palette for the hopeless romantic on your list to create warm and modern updates to their rituals." Three eyeshadows included:
- Sweet: a medium pink with warm undertones
- Tender: a soft medium pink with brown hues
- Modish: a plummy raspberry with a subtle shimmer
Available in lots of lovely shades, their minimally packaged eyeshadows are vegan and cruelty-free. Paired with their reusable bamboo palettes, their selection is one of the best options for natural and sustainable eyeshadow. But that’s not all. Elate also offers an inclusive line of products and all of its packaging is 100% plastic-free.
2. 100% Pure
100% Pure offers organic and natural beauty products made without any harsh or toxic ingredients. Pigmented using only natural ingredients like fruit, vegetables, teas and cocoa — rather than heavy metal dyes and FD&C colourants — 100% Pure offers several natural eyeshadow palettes you will love. Their Better Naked Palette amplifies rosy, taupe, and beige-toned nudes alongside shimmery, gilded metallics. If that's not your vibe, then take a look at the Rose Gold Palette for more warm metallics and stunning shimmers.
Plus, all of the natural ingredients used to make their products are carefully sourced, and all of their products are certified cruelty-free so you can be sure none of them are tested on animals.
Also featured as one of our favorites for organic natural foundation, Dab Herb is a vegan makeup store offering lots of plant-based beauty essentials. All handcrafted in California, their products are made of organic, 100% vegan ingredients — for some of the best organic eyeshadow —as well as one of the best organic eyeshadow palettes. Dab Herb's colors are vivid and bold, it will be hard to choose one!
They also have some of the most innovative products, one of them being the anti-aging Jasmine Cream Eyeshadows. "They are delicately shimmered rich and creamy and easily blend into your skin while you enjoy the intoxicating scent of jasmine flowers 😮 like you have never experienced before."
Make sure you check out the Lavender-Infused Organic Plant Eyeliner Powder too.
Thanks to responsible packaging, refill options, ethically sourced ingredients, and a variety of great tones, Dab Herb is definitely an excellent option.
Made from scratch and by hand in the Pacific Northwest, Bee You Organics’ gluten-free, zero waste, and cruelty-free products may be just what you’re looking for. Their selection features 100% all-natural eyeshadow made of pure mineral pigments — with no side of harmful chemicals. Available in powder or cream, and with lots of fun colors to choose from, Bee You’s eyeshadows are also vegan, plastic-free, and refillable. And your order will ship entirely plastic-free.
3. Lily Lolo
Lily Lolo specializes in clean, naturally-derived, mineral makeup. As such, their selection of products offers beautiful shades without any harsh chemicals, dyes, or fillers. You will find several eyeshadow palettes — all vegan, fragrance-free, talc-free, and designed with people of all complexions in mind.
Featuring eight fine-textured shadows, elegantly tucked into one sleek compact, Lily Lolo’s natural mineral-based eye palettes might be just what you are looking for. The hunt for the perfect smoky eye is over with their Smoke & Mirrors Eye Palette, "the fine-textured shimmering and matte shadows make building and blending a show-stopping, dramatic eye easy. The softer shades are great for the day."
Created by Emmy-nominated makeup artist JoAnn Fowler, Sappho New Paradigm merges sustainability and industry standards effortlessly. Hand-mixed and crafted with natural minerals, flowers, and herbs, Sappho’s eyeshadow is available in up to 19 shades. Paired with their reusable and recyclable compact, you can design your own natural eyeshadow palette based on your specific needs and preferences. The compact holds up to 9 eyeshadows, or 1 blush and 5 eyeshadows. Find "gentle herb and flower extracts, imparting smooth, long-lasting wear with incredible color pay-off." From satiny, shimmery, bold, and matte you will love them all!
I love dual-purpose products, it saves me money and reduces waste and if you are like me then you need to check out Axilogy's lip-to-lid balm trios, all made with top-notch ingredients like organic hemp seed oil, organic avocado oil, and organic grapeseed oil.
About 70% of their ingredients are organic, but they are not certified organic. (That's okay because certifications can cost small brands a fortune.) The moringa oil and shea butter are purchased through fair trade partnerships.
The Balmies are completely plastic-free, wrapped in recycled paper, and stored in boxes that are made from 100% recycled paper waste. They are also 3-in-1, which reduces waste even further because you can use these on your lips, eyes, and cheeks. #winning
The boxes can also be composted and are made by a group of women in Bali that collect trash from the island and turn it into gorgeous packaging. They are 100% vegan, contain no palm oil, and are 100% cruelty-free too. Axiology also donates to animal welfare organizations like the Orangutan Foundation International.
Not sure what color will be right for you? You can buy a sample for $2 to make sure! And with names like "Out of Office", "Malibu Magic" and "Cotton Candy Skies", you are sure to find one you love!
A final word on natural and organic eyeshadow
I hope you’ve found this article to be helpful and the brands featured to be feasible — dare I say exciting — alternatives to the conventional products that are still all too ubiquitous. No need to sacrifice your well-being or that of the planets either.