Green Gifts: Eco-Friendly Makeup

If you’re look for stocking stuffers for your daughter, mom, or girlfriend, consider purchasing makeup whose ingredients come from nature, rather than a chemistry lab, and check out natural cosmetics lines. Editors at Audubon tested various products from four eco-friendly companies. Many of the products are mineral based and paraben free. Read about some of our favorite picks below. For more on the ingredients in your favorite brands, check out Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s safety guide to cosmetics.


We love Tarte’s green siren natural cheek stain. Free of preservatives and full of antioxidents, this shimmery product adds just the right touch of color to cheeks, and it works for lips, too. The stain comes in a container that resembles a frozen yogurt push-up popsicle, and you can use your fingers or a sponge to apply, or simply smudge it on.

Tarte calls its face primer “clean slate” and it’s an apt name. All you need is a dab of this light, paraban-, preservate-, pthalate-free gel to create an ideal canvas for makeup application. To ensure a smooth look, wait a few seconds before applying powder.

Alima Pure

Alima’s Modern Jewel Box eye shadow set includes four shades; we tested flawless emerald, pink sapphire, topaz, and tanzanite. These loose powder shadows shimmer like crushed gemstones. The lighter hues of “pink sapphire” and “topaz” (a golden shade) are well-suited for highlighting under the brown or the inner corner of each eye, while “flawless emerald’s” and “tanzanite’s” darker hues are striking as eyeliner, too.

Alima’s mineral bronzer in “maunaloa” is neutral enough for a range of complexions, and its matt finish leaves skin looking naturally sun-kissed. This primarily mica-based loose powder can get messy however; to avoid a blotchy appearance, be sure to use a good brush and tap off extra clumps before applying.


Korre’s guava lipstick in "orange brown" glides on like balm, making lips feel moisturized. Its subtle color is natural and would complement a spectrum of skin tones. And for those testers who don’t wear a lot of lipstick, Korres cherry oil lip gloss is a favorite. This shiny gloss offers vibrant color that is nearly irresistible. Pucker up!

Korres soft, smooth eye liners are so easy to apply, and come in such a wide array of vivid colors, that you’ll likely want more than one. As with most soft liners, these can smudge a bit. But the color lasts all day—even lighter shades, like shimmery gold.

Josie Maran Cosmetics

Josie Maran mascara has everything we want: it’s paraben-free, contains organic ingredients like Jojoba and Argan oils, doesn’t clump, and results in long, lush lashes. And, it comes in both black and brown shades. Perfect.

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