I Had a Makeup Artist Redo My Makeup Using Only Natural Products

Lindsey Metrus

The other day, I was discussing a funny conundrum with a skincare expert: These days, more people want to switch to natural skincare and haircare to avoid toxins and unnecessary chemicals in their routines, but when it comes to makeup, those same people toss those sentiments out the window. This isn't true for all budding naturalists, of course, but I can certainly place myself among the hypocrites. I love using natural skincare and dry shampoo, and I feel like I'm doing my body a big favour—but makeup? Fuhgeddaboutit. Pass the Champagne Pop ($68) and Naked Palette ($83), please.

My reasoning for not transitioning into natural makeup is that I have so many favourite products that do amazing things. While natural skincare has helped soothe my sensitive skin and keep breakouts in check, the idea of using an organic mascara in place of my beloved Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes ($52) seemed like a steep downgrade. Same goes for my foundation—there may be toxins and hard-to-pronounce add-ins I probably could go without absorbing into my system, but it performs so well. I just can't imagine something plant-based living up to my makeup-bag staples. (Full disclosure: I know I sound like a total naïve makeup snob, but this is my thought process.)

As a result, I decided to cast my natural-makeup stereotypes to the side and had the lovely ladies of Credo Beauty (think the Sephora of natural beauty) school me on the efficacy of clean products. On the company's website is a "clean beauty swap," and it's here that you can find most makeup, skincare, hair products, and their corresponding "clean" alternatives. You like Nars Orgasm Blush ($44)? Try Vapour Aura Multi-Use Radiant Blush in Starlet ($52). Is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($65) your go-to? Give Lily Lolo BB Cream ($27) a whirl.

I gave them a list of all of the usual makeup products I use on a daily basis, and they brought with them their natural alternatives to test whether they can hold a candle to my tried-and-true favourites. Could they stand up against my usual brands? Keep scrolling to find out.

Foundation

Revlon ColorStay Foundation
Vapour Soft Focus Foundation

Regular: Revlon ColorStay Foundation ($35)

Natural: Vapour Soft Focus Foundation ($72)

The Vapour foundation felt extremely light on my skin. It was like I wasn't wearing any at all. Usually, I can feel the Revlon foundation, but not in a super-cakey way and more so in a matte, stay-put-all-day kind of way. So although it was very light, it definitely covered up imperfections and looked really nice afterward. The only problem was that it slid on my face a bit as the day wore on.

Powder

Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder
Antonym Baked Foundation

Regular: Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder ($55)

Natural: Antonym Baked Foundation ($52)

Perhaps it's a combo of my usual Revlon foundation with the Clinique pressed powder, but I don't get much shine at all throughout the day. However, this powder didn't combat the shine too much, and I was very "dewy" all day. 

Brows

Anastasia Brow Wiz
Eco Brow Defining Wax

Regular: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($38)

Natural: Eco Brow Defining Wax ($34)

My Anastasia brow pencil is my favourite brow product, hands down (though Nyx's Micro Brow Pencil, $17, is a close second). Its waxy consistency helps it stay put all day, and the fine-point tip allows me to draw on natural-looking brow hairs without looking overdone. I love it.

The makeup artist used this pomade as the alternative to the brow pencil, but truthfully, it didn't fill in my brows as well or last as long as the pencil. I'm a firm pencil-over-pomade kind of girl, and this offering was proof that I shall remain faithful to my Brow Wiz.

Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Lily Lolo Eye Palette

Regular: Urban Decay Naked Palette ($83)

Natural: Lily Lolo Eye Palette ($50)

I was really impressed with this eye palette. I imagined natural eye shadow wouldn't be very pigmented and that it wouldn't last throughout the day, but this stayed put until I washed it off at night. It was also super pigmented and had just as much shimmer as my UD favourite. When I asked the MUA what the shimmer component in natural products is, she explained that it's crushed mica. The more you know. 

Concealer

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector
RMS UnCover Up

Regular: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector ($44)

Natural: RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up ($52)

These products work very similarly. I'm obsessed with the offering from It Cosmetics—it hides every single imperfection and brightens my under-eye area like a champ. And truly, RMS' concealer performed nearly the same way. I was very impressed.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner
Antonym Eye Pencil

Regular: Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner ($35)

Natural: Antonym Eye Pencil ($26)

I'm not too picky about eyeliner. I used to be a big fan of pencils, then switched to liquid, then switched back to pencils, and now, I'm a big fan of kohl pencils that glide on easily. My usual pencil from MUFE always applies seamlessly and stays put, and I'm happy to report that Antonym's offering did just that.

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes
Kjaer Weis Mascara

Regular: Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes ($52)

Natural: Kjær Weis Mascara ($55)

Here's the thing: I'm super picky about mascaras. They have to extend my paltry, stick-straight lashes to heavenly lengths while also giving them incredible volume. To me, this can only be achieved with mascaras that have unnatural ingredients like factory-formulated waxes and petroleum. (But I'm open to any natural suggestions that have blown you away!) Unfortunately, this mascara didn't give me the va-va-voom lashes I'm used to, but it still gave flake-free length, which tells me it's possible to wear a natural mascara that performs well.

Rimmel Natural Bronzer
Lily Lolo Contour Duo

Regular: Rimmel Natural Bronzer ($16)

Natural: Lily Lolo Contour Duo ($38)

I've pretty much always used drugstore bronzer, especially Rimmel's aptly named Natural Bronzer, which gives me the most believable sun-kissed glow. Lily Lolo's offering had intense pigment that made me look very tan when I was done. This may have been because the makeup artist was slightly heavy-handed with it, but the bronzy look was a true testament to its pigment power. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush
W3ll People Purist Blush Powder

Regular: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush ($53)

Natural: W3ll People Purist Blush Powder ($46)

I love really light blushes that give me that pinched-cheek kind of glow, so the W3ll People blush was a bit dark for my liking. However, on the plus side, the darker hue gave a bit of contour to my cheeks, which gave my face a little more definition, especially when used in conjunction with the bronzer.

Final Thoughts

There were pros and cons to this clean beauty swap. First, the pros: I was happy to have found some new shining-star natural products (RMS Beauty's "Un" Cover-Up, Lily Lolo's Eye Palette, Antonym's Eye Pencil). The cons were that some of the products (namely the foundation, mascara, and blush) didn't perform or look as good on me as my usual suspects. However, this was just one test, and I can't speak for natural beauty products as a whole by only judging a few. This swap definitely made me want to dive deeper into the world of natural beauty because knowing that my products are free of toxins (not to mention cruelty-free) makes me feel a lot better about the application and wearing process. Perhaps I'll become a full-fledged naturalist after all.

What are your favourite natural products? Tell us below!

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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