For many women, a beauty routine is not just about looking good…
We also like to feel good about what products we use and the companies we support.
In recent years, we’ve become increasingly aware of the harmful ingredients and practices that go into everything from food to clothing to cosmetics.
And in turn, we’ve become more proactive about seeking out brands that hold themselves to higher standards.
Many companies use certain language and images to market themselves to a conscientious consumer, so it’s essential to do your research to find out which brands actually put their money where their mouths are.
Here are just a handful of my favorites that do just that…
Feel fresh faced, beautiful AND guilt free
“Ren” is the Swedish word for “clean” and was inspired by the founder’s pregnant wife, who started having bad reactions to the skincare products she used. She found, however, that she had no issues with natural products that didn’t contain any synthetic ingredients.
The problem was, however, they weren’t very pleasant or effective. Thus, a line of high-end skincare made up of 100% natural ingredients was born.
REN offers a diverse line that includes products for face, body, men, women and anti-aging.
Try: Moroccan Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil
2. Tracie Martyn:
With famously gorgeous (and mature) fans like Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon, you know Tracie Martyn’s all-natural skincare line must be the real deal.
The line is all about defying age without the chemicals and artificial fillers that make up most anti-aging products.
Try: Firming Serum
3. The Organic Pharmacy:
Founded by a homeopathic pharmacist, this brand is all organic, fair trade and free of anything artificial or damaging to health. Each product is carefully crafted with natural, medicinal herbs for a specific purpose.
Their line includes organic products for the face, body and hair in addition to vitamin pill supplements that help you boost beauty from the inside.
Try: Carrot Butter Cleanser
This Australian export is a bit unusual in that they don’t claim to be organic or all-natural. They’re proud to tap into both nature-made and man-made ingredients to create high quality products that aim to improve the health of body, skin and hair.
But all of their products are painstakingly formulated to be both safe and effective, and are all free of colorants, mineral oils, silicones, and parabens.
Try: B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel
Based on a centuries-old beauty ritual of tribal Ecuadorian woman who credit their lustrous locks to a restorative oil derived from the Amazon rainforest, Rahua (pronounced ra-wa) offers a 100% natural solution to hair challenges.
And you can also feel good about the fact that the oil is acquired through a fair trade agreement and that part of the profits are donated back to the Amazonian tribes that source the oil.
Try: Ruhua Shampoo
6. By Terry:
Terry de Gunzburg’s chic makeup line is a favorite among Hollywood & the fashion industry’s who’s who. Her appropriately French beauty philosophy is a “less is more” one that emphasizes a fresh, flushed, dewy look you can accomplish with the cruelty-free product line.
Try: Baume De Rose lip treatment
7. Kevyn Aucoin:
As a leading celebrity and fashion makeup artist in the 80s and 90s, Kevyn Aucoin, set himself apart by viewing makeup as a tool for subtly enhancing a woman’s natural beauty.
His cruelty free makeup line was designed to make pro techniques more accessible to all women.
Try: The Sculpting Powder
Many brands claim to be cruelty-free, but lux makeup brand Hourglass (and the others on this list) truly deserves this label because they do not test on animals themselves, do not work with any third parties that test on animals on their behalf, or sell their products in countries that require animal testing.
So you can feel free to enjoy the beautifully presented and magically effective products without guilt.
Try: Lip Glass in Icon
Starting in 1994 with just 12 lipsticks sold at Barneys, this covetable makeup line has grown leaps and bounds and has established itself as a perennial favorite among women, makeup artists and beauty editors alike.
You may want to note that the company is owned by Shiseido, which is not cruelty-free, but all NARS products continue to be produced without any animal testing at any stage of development.
Try: Orgasm Blush
10. Lipstick Queen:
As you might guess from the brand’s name, Lipstick Queen is all about your kisser.
The specialized line’s trademark quality is the rich, Vitamin-E formula that makes these luscious lipsticks feel like a moisturizing gloss. They also feature several shades that are meant to adjust to a unique shade that suits you, like the shocking green tube pictured here.
Their website asserts their strict compliance with cruelty-free standards and even mentions that no bees are harmed in procuring of the beeswax that goes into the products.
Try: Frog Prince
This French brand is not only very serious about creating premium cosmetics that promote skin health and anti-aging, they are serious about protecting the environment and raising awareness for causes like endangered animals and sustainable fishing.
They even tie their products in with the causes they champion, as you can see with the “Save the Bees” palette pictured here.
Try: Cheek Gelée
More and more brands now recognize that a great number of women want cosmetic products that are just as ethical as they are beautiful.
So, the good news is that looking and feeling gorgeous with top-notch, high-quality products does not have to mean sacrificing your principles.
Liz Kores is passionate about finding simple ways to live healthier, including finding products that use more natural ingredients we can all feel good about using.
Liz is on the board of the Chicago Fashion Incubator and serves as the managing director of the Oak Street Council. The group represents business owners in the fashionable Gold Coast neighborhood that’s home to some of the best shopping in chicago. For more, visit www.OakstreetChicago.com.
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- 11 natural beauty brands you can feel good about using - April 8, 2016