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Affordable Organic Makeup

Affordable make up that is GOOD for your skin. ART BY ALICIA ADAMEROVICH

I’ve developed two new obsessions over the past year. The first, for makeup. Gorgeous, flashy, promise-to-beautify-your-face-forever types of products. Expensive items that warranted me a “very important buyer” card at Sephora. The second, a more organic lifestyle. Gone are the days where I put together questionable meat sandwiches for lunch, now it’s organic avocados with Trader Joe’s whole wheat bread.

Original artwork by Alicia Adamerovich

It wasn’t until about 6 months into my year of new obsessions that I realized I was quickly going broke. Avoiding toxins, chemicals, and preservatives in the food I’m eating has been wonderful, and will hopefully reap long term benefits for my body, however, it’s also very costly. As is the never ending desire to have longer, and lusher lashes. Not only does expensive makeup + expensive food = most of my money, they are also very contradictory practices. The more I read, the more I learn that the chemicals I’m witholding from my gastrointestinal tract are just being replaced by the one’s I’m slathering all over my integumentary system.

I won’t rant long about the chemicals in your products. Read that here: Suffice it to say that however much it was going to sadden me, I realized I would have to watch my glamorous makeup expire and rot away in an effort to slow down the damage I’d already caused myself and the environment by using it.

I decided I needed to kill two birds with one stone, find makeup that is less pricey and also less toxic to my body. Since this has proven to be an incredibly difficult task, especially given my middle spectrum South Asian skin color, I think it’s appropriate to share what I’ve found in an effort to help our readers out. I tried replacing the token items that are popular with similarly useful, but light on your pocket and skin. My list is still not complete, and will likely never be perfect, so the comment section here is a great place for you ladies to throw in tips and products you’ve found helpful!


My favorite discovery is easily Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Natural Origin Foundation! Not only does this magically smooth foundation cost between $12-$13, it also contains no preservatives, no harsh chemicals, no parabens, and is even cruelty free. You can find Physician’s Formula at Sears (not a drug store, but ubiquitous enough) or online. Not only does their Certified Organic line make foundation, they also have a variety of tinted moisturizers and powders to ensure that everything you slather on your skin is as natural as can be.


There are plenty of organic lipsticks, but in this category my favorite is the basic Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. Smooth, glossy, moisturizing, and tasty, this $7 lip color is perfect for daily use. And you don’t have to worry about swallowing harsh chemicals or the crushed beetles often used in regular lipsticks! The only downside is the limited range of colors. While this line may be great for school or offices, you may need to dip into your pocket when looking for a trendier shade for a night out. Sephora sells a great splurge brand of organic lipsticks by the brand NVEY Eco for when you need something a bit more pigmented.


Again, Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Blush wins in this category. Not merely for its clean and natural ingredients, but also for it’s vast range of blush shades. With their many options, every skin tone and occasion can find the perfect shade of blush that goes on smoothly and lasts long. They also have great bronzers in a variety of shades that can be used as a blush or cheekbone enhancer.


Ever wonder why your eyes get itchy and irritated at the end of the day? It may not be your contact lenses or allergies, and might actually be the mascara you rub into your eyes on a daily basis that contains harsh preservatives. All of the make up at Aveda stores are not certified organic, however, Aveda is one of the largest purchasers of organic ingredients and their make up lines contain far more natural ingredients than most. Though Aveda is a slightly pricier brand, their Mascara Plus Rose (mascara with a rosy scent) is priced at only $12 and works much better than the expensive Dior mascara’s that I used to indulge in. It’s lengthening, plumping, and contains natural oils and beeswax to coat your lovely lashes and have them appear longer without the risk of killing them off with chemicals.


Only available online, Honeybee Gardens Powder Colors eyeshadow pigments go for $6 a pop. They’re made of natural mineral pigments and free of preservatives and harsh fragrances. From experience, these might even be a great alternative to the many people allergic to MAC or other more popular eyeshadow brands (which contain talc, often a skin irritant.) It even comes in plenty of shades. Since they are just pigments, you may need a primer underneath to help them last long. I haven’t found a fabulous organic eyeshadow primer just yet, so if any of you investigative readers have found on, let us know!

Based on the current trend of booming organics and awareness of the danger of chemicals, I have a strong suspicion that within the next few years it will be easier to find affordable organic make up brands as the larger companies start to phase out chemicals like parabens. I look forward to that time, but for now, I’ll look forward to a more wholesome well being and the knowledge that by supporting organic farms, I’m helping the process of removing the hidden dangers in our food and skincare products. —S. ALI

To view more of Alicia’s artwork, please visit

One thought on “Affordable Organic Makeup

  1. I’m such a fan of the NVEY ECO line, it’s great! I think the products are priced just right, as you get what you pay for. The lip sticks stay on all night and the colors are fabulous!!

    I’m also a huge fan of that Aveda mascara you mentioned – love it!!

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