Unfortunately, the luxury makeup of decades past wasn't made with the most beneficial ingredients. From parabens to petroleum, there’s a long list of nasty stuff that made its way into liquid foundation, mascara, lipstick, and other essentials. In the last decade or so, times have certainly changed. Clean beauty brands have replaced potentially toxic ingredients with sustainably farmed botanicals, hard-working oils, and skin-loving minerals, making it easier than ever to make choices that put your best face forward.
Toxic Makeup Ingredients to Avoid
Just like you check the back of a package to see the full list of ingredients, you might want to start doing the same for makeup—if you aren’t already. Here’s a checklist of the most toxic ingredients to avoid.
- Parabens: These chemicals mimic estrogen in the body, which may impact your hormones. Parabens have been used in cosmetics since the 1920s, and are believed to be an endocrine disruptor.
- Fragrance: The FDA doesn’t require brands to disclose what ingredients make up the “fragrance” category, so any number of potentially harmful chemicals might be lurking inside.
- Triclosan: This antimicrobial chemical is most commonly used in antibacterial soaps, but is also found in some makeup products too.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Cream-based products like foundation and concealer are popular carriers for SLS, which may cause irritation.
- Phthalates: Here’s another chemical found often in color cosmetics. One item of note: Phthalates are banned in the European Union, but still commonly used in the United States.
Top Luxury Face Makeup Brands
For the most luxurious clean makeup, you can’t do any better than RMS Beauty and W3LL People.
RMS Beauty founder Rose-Marie Swift spent more than 30 years working as a makeup artist before launching her line, which is free from synthetic preservatives, GMOs, and potentially harmful chemicals.
When W3LL People was founded, makeup artist Shirley Pinkson, entrepreneur James Walker, and dermatologist Reneé Snyder set their sights on changing the status quo. The brand offers exceptional clean alternatives to conventional products.
Best Luxury Face Makeup
No matter what you’re looking for, clean, luxury face makeup is well within reach.
W3LL People Narcissist Foundation Stick
Just swipe and go. That’s the idea behind W3LL People’s easy-to-use foundation stick. It boats chemical-free ingredients like aloe vera and beeswax, and the creamy finish will have you glowing in no time.
RMS Beauty Cover Up Concealer
With a range of shades to accommodate all skin tones, RMS Beauty’s concealer is lightweight enough to hydrate skin effortlessly while making it look like you’ve had a full night’s sleep.
RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer
This cult-favorite bronzer gives your skin vacation vibes any time of year. Ths sheer cream adds the right amount of warmth to cheekbones, and you can use it as an eyeshadow, too.
Thrive Market’s Best Clean Beauty Secrets
The results are in: today’s clean beauty products equal or outperform conventional options, which means you can upgrade your makeup drawer without compromising the health of your skin (or the planet).
The Non-Toxic Hair Care to Try Now
Keep your locks shiny and healthy with non-toxic shampoo and conditioner that won’t weigh you down. This post has 11 brands to try!
Thrive Market’s Best in Clean Beauty
The trick to changing up your beauty routine is taking it one product at a time. When you’re ready to swap in a cruelty-free mascara or botanically infused lip gloss, we have you covered.
How to Achieve a Natural Makeup Look
Even the most natural looks require a touch of foundation, bronzer, or concealer. Make the most of your choices with our tips and tricks that’ll have you glowing from the inside out.