Best Ethical Beauty Products of 2019 - Top Natural Makeup Picks *

I tried a LOT of ethical beauty products - makeup, skincare, bath and body treatments, haircare, aromatherapy, perfume... Covering all things cruelty free, vegan, all natural, organic, and zero waste, if you name it, I bet I tried an option for it last year.  And while there were a handful of duds and a sea of effective but not memorable green goodies I got to test, there were also a lot of amazing formulas I was able to use that really stood out to me -- so narrowing it down to the very best was incredibly difficult!

And keeping up with the series I started last year, it's time to round up the Best Of 2019!

I have tried my hardest to choose just one for every category -- yikes!  I've decided that every week in January I will share with you my choices for best in show, from skincare to home and hygiene!

Unfortunately, I have not included anything I am currently working through since I haven't been able to fully assess those, nor was I able to consider the many many MANY products I have been testing for 2020's Beauty Shortlist Awards.  My lips are sealed until awards day on March 2nd!  But don't worry - I'm sure a lot of those green goodies will make it into full reviews or posts later in 2020, so do not fret if you were hoping to get more of an insight on what I think of all of them!

But let me get to the good stuff you are here for -- my top picks for ethical beauty products last year!!  This week's highlight will be on ...

Best Clean Nontoxic Eco Makeup of 2019

MAKEUP

Like I mentioned last year, I do not write as much about makeup here on The ecoLogical.  That's not because I don't like makeup -- I actually do!  It's just that I don't wear too much of it on a regular basis, and while I own more lipsticks than I like to admit, I am not super fussed about applying or styling looks.  I opt for quick and simple most days, though definitely have fun playing with palettes and colours on the odd evening out.  Anyone relate?

Anyways, I did actually end up testing a fair bit of makeup over the last twelve months, and today I'll be sharing all of my star picks!  Ready??




Transparency Key:
* This post contains affiliate links
 Gifted product

No matter how I have received a product, whether it has been purchased with my own money, gifted by a brand, been subsidized by a brand, won, gifted by friends/family, or purchased with a gift voucher, my approach is always the same -- honesty, integrity, and highlighting both the good and the bad.  You can find more information on Disclosures and Privacy here.

Products marked with * are not vegan friendly as they contain beeswax



Eyes

Pencil Eyeliner: NatOrigin Pencil Eye Liner* / Benecos Natural Kajal
I love a smooth, gentle, silky eye liner that doesn't smudge, and that is exactly what both of these pencils offer.  They are buttery and soft, glide on so easily, and offer a decent staying power, especially for the price!  Both of these products fall in under £10, but perform well above the price point.  The NatOrigin liner I love for my outer corners in particular, as it gives great definition to my eyes and doesn't cause any irritation.  And when it comes to making the eyes look bigger (not that I need that with my peepers) nothing compares to the white Benecos pencil - it really opens up the space and gives a subtle highlight to the eye that really brings together the look.


Liquid Eyeliner: PHB 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner
I'll admit, I don't reach for liquid eyeliners often as I just don't have the patience for them - they take a lot more precision to get right, and a very steady hand.  However, when I do want a bold wing or definition on the lash line, I find the best one I've tried so far is from PHB.  This has great pigment to it, is smooth (no clumping!), has a supple and thinly tipped brush that makes detail all the easier, and lasts a fair time.  It's not 24-hour wear, but it doesn't flake or smudge while I'm out and that's all I want really.  Plus it's really fairly priced in my opinion!


NatOrigin eyeliner, Benecos Kajal, PHB liquid eyeliner - Best Makeup of 2019


Mascara: PHB Mesmerise Mascara / RMS Volumizing Mascara*
What I like in a mascara is a great all-in-one formula that can volumize AND lengthen, create definition, and make my lashes really stand out.  I also need it to be easy to handle, meaning no clumping, no flaking, and no smudging.  Is that too much to ask?  Not for these two mascaras it isn't!  The PHB Mesmerise Mascara is the newest in my rotation, but it's already proved itself a star, with Quinoa Ferment Extract Filtrate and Biotin working to strengthen the hairs and stimulate growth, and a falsies effect that I can't fault.  RMS provides an intense black colour and I find it really helps bolden my lashes.  While I did have some issues with the packaging (the logo peeled off quickly and there was a lot of buildup due to the super narrow tube), I found myself forgiving this as I liked the long lasting formula so much.


Lash Boost: PHB Lash & Brow Growth Serum
Simple to apply, effective over time, and a great way to give TLC to your lashes (and brows), this product won me over quickly.  The formula contains biotin, caffeine oil, baobab, quiona extract, and castor oil, all of which offer ultra-conditioning qualities and help boost hair growth, and it is not at all gloopy or slick.  I love the application method as you just sweep it through the lashes or brows as you would mascara (or a brow gel - I don't touch my brows so not sure how those products work TBH).  This is a great overnight treatment, as it can work its magic as you sleep, no extra effort required!


RMS Volumizing Mascara, PHB Mesmerise Mascara, PHB Lash & Brow Serum - Best Makeup of 2019


Single Eyeshadow: PHB Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow / Root Pretty Loose Eyeshadow
When I use an eyeshadow, I expect it to be pigmented, with little fallout and no creasing.  And that's just what I get with this fabulous trio.  The PHB shadows come in super cute cardboard flip cases, and there are twenty shades to choose from.  Each one I have tried is gorgeous, with a tiny bit of shimmer (not super noticeable, just a nice pop it adds) and they are so blendable.  Root Pretty is a newer brand to me, but I was wowed by their glowy creations.  The loose shadows have a stunning shimmer to them making them almost metallic in finish, have a huge shade range (Peach Pearl is a favourite), plus they can be used in a variety of ways.  I'm sort of obsessed.


Eyeshadow Palette:
To be honest, I just haven't found my perfect palette in 2019.  I tried a few, but they all fell short in one way or another.  Any suggestions on what natural brands I should check out in 2020??  I would love something with lighter colours as I don't go for a smokey eye hardly ever, and that is gentle, easily blended, and versatile.


Glitter: Fairypants Loose Glitter
A newcomer to my collection, but not a new brand to me in the least, Fairypants' biodegradable glitter is a stunning pick for those wanting to get a bit more glam.  I hardly ever use glitter, as it's a bit too festival for me, but for special occasions it can be fun to get my shine on.  The glitter is made from cellulose and glycerin, is vegan friendly, and it is so sparkly and fun.  I find it sticks on super easily, and can even be used in your hair!


PHB eyeshadow, Root Pretty loose eyeshadow, Fairypaints glitter - Best Makeup of 2019


Lips

Lip Liner: PHB Lip Crayon / Nude By Nature Defining Lip Pencil
A good lip liner can offer additional intensity to any look, and I find PHB and Nude By Nature the best pencils I have tried.  Both are pliable, pigmented, and easy to work with, plus come in a selection of shades so you can match to any style.  The PHB "crayons" help give more definition and are pretty precise, plus they are super saturated so you can line your lips or colour them in to provide further depth to the layered look.  Nude By Nature is a great option if you are looking to contour your lips, and I love how gentle it is on the skin - no tugging, no sharp point - it just works smoothly around the area and adds a lovely pop as well as longer-wear.


Lipstick: Noyah Lipstick* / Kjaer Weis Lipstick* / Benecos Matt Lipstick*
This was a hard one to narrow down, as I have a lot of favourites when it comes to lipstick.  My absolute stand outs though have to be Noyah, Kjaer Weiss, and Benecos.  When it comes to lipstick, I don't care if it is "high end" as long as it is moisturizing, long-wearing, pigmented, and nontoxic.  I usually prefer a creamy finish, and I am also moving towards more eco friendly packaging though that's a hard ask often when you're on a budget.  That's one of the reasons I'm loving Noyah so much - they are a great middle ground in terms of price, while also reducing plastic by 60% with their beautiful bamboo case.  Plus, their lipsticks feel buttery smooth and are so so so gorgeous.  I've also invested in a refillable lipstick from Kjaer Weiss, and I have to admit I'm impressed by the quality.  This is on the waxier side, but it is long-wearing and not at all patchy, plus the colour I chose (Believe) is picture perfect.  But I can't talk about my top picks without mentioning a brand I was super impressed by (especially considering it is less than a tenner!) - Benecos.  Their matte lipsticks are not drying like others I have tried, and the colour payoff is phenomenal.


PHB crayon and Nude by Nature Lip Liner - Best Makeup of 2019

Noyah lipstick, Kjaer Weis lipstick, Benecos lipstick - Best Makeup of 2019


Liquid Lipstick:
I am still searching for the perfect liquid lipstick, as this has alluded me in 2019.  I want one that does not dry out the lips, that is long lasting (perhaps even surviving multiple cups of coffee), and is not sticky.  Any ideas??


Lip Gloss: PHB 100% Pure Organic Lip Gloss / Clove + Hallow Lip Glaze / Fitglow Lip Colour Serum
Gloss used to be a huge dislike for me, as I found them annoying especially on a windy day.  However, 2019 was definitely the year of the gloss for me as I found a new appreciation for these nourishing formulas.  PHB was a top contender in 2019, as it is super moisturizing, gives a little pop, adds glow, and is perfect for all occasions.  My favourite shade (of 14) has to be Apricot, a subtle but pretty option for days you don't want a bold tint.  Another formula I found to be the best has to be Clove + Hallow.  I did have some issues with the packaging (while it brought me straight back to the 90's which I loved, I got a faulty "pen" which was a faff) but the gloss is divine.  It's healing, brings great shine, and the colours are fab, especially Angelic.  And I have to mention my final favourite from Fitglow Beauty, as this serum offers a lovely tint, the perfect plump, and fuses skincare and makeup as it helps rejuvenate your lips!


Clove + Hallow lip glaze, Fitglow lip serum, PHB lip gloss - Best Makeup of 2019


Lip Crayon:
I didn't actually find a crayon in 2019 I loved, though I have my eyes set on the Inika Lipstick Crayon Trio.  Anyone know how that performs?  Or any other suggestions for the best lip crayon??


Lip Balm: Lilfox Gelsomino Luxury Lip Balm / Earthwise Beauty Thelma Lip Treatment / Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Lip Treatment Balm
The key to luscious looking lips?  The best lip balms of course!  And these three take top spot when it comes to luxurious, healing, high performing formulations.  Lilfox has been a favourite for a long while now, and continues to deliver results.  It smells incredible, with creamy jasmine notes that ease the mind, and it soothes irritation overnight and makes my lips look and feel super healthy.  Earthwise Beauty has to win "best lip balm" for me as well, as Thelma is a warrior when it comes to restoring the skin.  It tackles cracked and dry lips with ease, calming them almost immediately, and it has such a comforting aroma (nutty, a little earthy) that I find so special.  Another formula that deserves recognition is Nakin's treatment which works to plump and hydrate the skin.  It has such a unique texture to it, and the glossy feel is totally sumptuous!


Lilfox Gelsomino, Earthwise Beauty Thelma, Nakin Lip Treatment - Best Makeup of 2019


Tinted Lip: Weleda Tinted Lip Balm
Looking for a glossy tinted lip that offers outstanding moisture and isn't super sticky?  Weleda delivers on all fronts!  I have been loving these tinted lip balms, and they most definitely take top spot for 2019.  They come in three shades, a nude, a subtle pink, and a deeper berry tone, but all are able to be blended or built up depending on the effect you want.  It leaves your lips feeling soft and restored, and gives a light colour pop that makes for a great everyday look.


Chapstick: Hurraw Moon Night Treatment Lip Balm / BAO Lip Saviour
The ultimate chapstick most definitely falls to Hurraw and BAO, both of which are super nourishing and travel friendly.  I love how handy these are, and how silky soft the balms feel - they leave your lips feeling like butter!  And despite how healing they are, neither is overly heavy on the skin.  Hurraw contains avocado oil, cocoa butter, and castor seed oil, all of which help bring a moisture boost overnight, plus blue chamomile and vanilla which bring a gorgeous aroma that helps ease the mind and bring a sense of calm before bed.  It's a delight to use, and a long standing staple.  BAO brings some major nourishment too with their Lip Saviour, an organic balm that repairs and soothes chapped lips.  This is a great protecting formula for day or night, and helps soften the lips with cocoa seed butter, apricot oil, and berry wax.  Plus it smells a bit like chocolate, so a definite win!


Weleda Tinted Lip Balm, Hurraw Moon Balm, BAO Lip Savior - Best Makeup of 2019
my Hurraw Moon Balm is gone, so pictured is the Vanilla Bean version!


Scrub: Noyah Food-grade Lip Scrub* / BYBI Buffer Lip Scrub
I've tried a lot of lip scrubs over the last twelve months, and while most were really good, two stand outs are from Noyah and BYBI.  The Noyah scrub comes housed in a beautiful frosted glass jar, and smells delectable - think peppermint and vanilla.  It's abrasive, but not too rough and is still oh so effective at buffing away dead skin, and leaves your lips looking totally renewed.  Plus it's moisturizing too!  And Buffer from BYBI is just as wonderful, with strawberry extract adding a lovely sweetness to it while it sloughs away and exfoliates your lips until they are silky soft and smooth.  This is a super gentle creation, so ideal for those with more sensitive skin, but it still gives the same great results!


Plumper: BYBI Plumper Lip Balm
This is a dual action formula that works to both plump and nourish the skin, making it a brilliant multi-tasker.  Peppermint and capsicum help shape the lips, giving more definition and fullness within minutes, and while you can feel a swelling sensation, it is not at all irritating or uncomfortable like some other plumping creations.  BYBI has perfected the product, and I love how this looks especially when paired with a sheer gloss or a lip tint!


BYBI Lip Plumper and Lip Scrub, Noyah Lip Scrub - Best Makeup of 2019



Face

Blush: Benecos Compact Blush
A little goes a long way with this beautiful blusher, and that's just why I find it so special.  I tap off any excess powder from my brush, then gently buff at the apples of my cheeks to give a healthy glow to the skin.  These powders are super buildable, so you can have a subtle sheen that hints at a bloom of colour, or you can continue to apply so there is a much more pronounced flush.  Either way, it's a soft and silky formula that doesn't congest the skin and leaves you looking beautiful.


Bronzer: Angelface Mineral Bronzer
I got a sample of this from The Natural Beauty Box, and I was blown away by how versatile this product from Angelface Cosmetics (now All Earth Cosmetics) was.  Super pigmented, and 'a one shade fits all' approach, I wasn't sure how this would fare on my super pale skin.  But I was so happy to find you could create a very natural sunkissed look pretty easily!  I love the warmth this adds to my complexion, and how it can be used in a variety of ways (such as an eyeshadow or colour match powder for foundation), plus the ingredients are super simple which I always appreciate!


All Earth Cosmetics Mineral Bronzer - Best Makeup of 2019

Benecos Compact Blush - Best Makeup of 2019

Highlight: Au Naturale Pure Powder Highlighter
I've come to the realization that cream highlighters just aren't for me, and while liquid drops are okay I find them tricky to use... I definitely prefer a powder!  And I was so thrilled to discover Au Naturale in 2019 - their loose pigment is stunning, comes in four shades (ranging from a deep golden colour to a snow white dazzle), and is really easy to work with.  While I hated their old packaging as it was so messy and difficult to apply, their new pots have solved all the issues and now I can just look forward to enjoying a radiant glow!


Setting Powder: Anita Grant Hello Beautiful HD Hyaluronic Universal Finishing Powder
I hardly ever wear concealer or foundation (though this works great with those too), but I do like highlight and face oils, and I love achieving a mattified look while still having a fab glow.  And that's what Anita Grant's product lets me do - it's an "invisible" powder that allows for a velvety finish, even over naked skin, and it's super lightweight so I don't feel like I have tons of product on!  This really helps smooth out my complexion and leaves it looking pretty flawless thanks to the reduction in shine.  This has become a fast favourite in 2019, and I'm really pleased with the effect it gives my skin!


Au Naturale Highlighter and Anita Grant Finishing Powder - Best Makeup of 2019


Nails

Creme Polish: Maggie Anne / Nailberry
Oh how I adore both of these brands!  Glossy, long-lasting, smooth, and with a huge selection of shades, both Maggie Anne and Nailberry take home the gold when it comes to creme polishes.  Maggie Anne provides a gel-like finish which I love, and I find the colours opaque in just a single sweep.  I find them so bold and eye catching, and I've got a fab collection to choose from.  Nailberry is my other favourite brand when it comes to creme polish - their brushes are designed to give you the perfect one coat manicure (though I often do two just to extend the overall effect) and they have the absolute best pastel shades!


Special Effects: Maggie AnnePretty Woman NYC / Little Ondine
I'm all about the special effects, and while I am getting more and more concerned about the environmental impact of such products (it's so tricky trying to figure out which "glitter" polishes use biodegradable glitter and which are plastic based!), these four brands offer a balance between beauty and eco-impact.  I adore the chrome effects from Maggie Anne, and find them so entrancing to look at as they colour shift while you move your hand.  And their holo shades are just as pretty!  As for Pretty Woman NYC, they have been another long standing favourite of mind thanks to their innovative 10-free line. Clean, full coats after just one swipe, and they last well over a week with a good base and top coat protecting them.  And Little Ondine is something really special with their water-based formulas.  These can add a sparkly shimmer to the top of any polish, and give such an elegant finish to your manicure!


Maggie Anne and Nailberry Nail Polish - Best Makeup of 2019

Maggie Anne, Pretty Woman NYC, and Little Ondine Nail Polish - Best Makeup of 2019


Top Coat: Zoya Armor Top CoatPacifica 7 Free Rainbow Top Coat
My pick for best top coat goes to Zoya for a clear finish, as I find this so long lasting and glossy.  It gives a great shine to any polish, extends the wear time by a significant amount (up to a week or more in my experience) and also offers UV protection which I find really unique in a nail product!  I also like the brush size, as I find I can fully coat my nail in just one sweep.  Another top coat I find exceptional is from Pacifica - this is by far the best holographic polish I have found in the clean beauty world.  It's suspended in clear, long lasting polish, making it ideal as a top layer, and the holo sparkle is out of this world.  This elevates any creme polish, making it a fun and fabulous design that even Cristine from Simplynailogical would be proud of!


Base Coat: Glossworks 3-in-1
I love a good multi-purpose product, and Glossworks is a great option for those not wanting a million bottles of nail polish lying around.  The 3-in-1 formula works well as a clear polish, a protective layer to lengthen wear time, or as a top coat to add shine, but I find it works best as a base coat.  It helps protect the nail, and I find this helps prevent staining.  Overall, a handy little formula!


Nail Oil: Kure Bazaar Organic Cuticle Oil
I've talked about this several times here on the blog, but I have to reiterate how stellar this actually is.  Kure Bazaar's nail oil is exceptional, offering an easy application method, beautiful presentation in the overall aesthetic, and a gentle yet effective formula that rivals anything you would get in a professional salon.  The ingredients are highly nourishing and I find this softens the skin quickly.  It also helps strengthen the nail, and I have far less splits and breakage when using this regularly.  Truly the star of the show when it comes to nail oils, making this an easy pick for best of 2019.


Pacifica Rainbow Nail Polish and Zoya Top Coat  - Best Makeup of 2019

Kure Bazaar Cuticle Oil - Best Makeup of 2019


Accessories

Brush: PHB / Flawless
Both PHB and Flawless offer super soft vegan friendly bristles, and I love how they handle.  Their eyeshadow brushes in particular are lovely to use, and make blending so much easier.  Plus, they're pretty affordable which is always a bonus.  Each brush from both brands falls in under £10, and Flawless even offers bundle discounts for their tailored sets!


Brush Cleaner: Natural Essentoils 100% Natural Deep Cleaning Brush Jar
This brush cleaner is just so good, I can't help but give it the top spot for 2019 - you just gently rub the damp brush against the top of the product, work up a nice lather, and then rinse!  You can repeat if you have a lot of build-up, but I find this method surprisingly effective.  Plus, this is a plastic free cleaner!  It's solid inside the glass jar, and it lasts absolute ages making this a truly budget friendly option.  If you haven't tried this, I highly suggest you give it a go!


Natural Essentoils Brush Cleaner, PHB and Flawless makeup brushes - Best Makeup of 2019



And that's that!  All of my top selections for makeup products in 2019 -- all the ethical beauty products I think deserve recognition as the best for the makeup category!  The products I rounded up are the ones I keep coming back to and repurchasing because they are just so reliable, impressive, and gentle...

Fab pigment, long lasting, high quality, wonderful ingredients, and from brands I trust and respect.  I'm really curious to see if my list is similar next year, as I found I had a lot of favourites from last year popping up (though I did try to pick some new ones too!).  I will definitely be looking back on this post in 2021 to see what stays ranked at the top and what slides out from my 'best of' list.

Do you have any products you think should have made my list?  I would love to know, as there is a chance I didn't even try them!  I would really enjoy hearing what your top makeup products of 2019 were -- who knows, maybe they will make my next Top Ethical Makeup Picks roundup!

And keep an eye out for the next installment of my Best Ethical Beauty Products of 2019 mini-series -- I still have aromatherapy, facial skincare, and body products to round up! xx

2 comments

  1. This is so helpful to see which products you found worked well for you last year. My teenage daughter is just finding her feet with make up so these are great recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The only issue I find with ethical products is that their price points are still not quite there with some brands, they are far more expensive than high street brands and until that is addressed, some people just won't switch. That said, I love brands like Bybi

    x

    ReplyDelete

Share your thoughts!