The Affordable and Non-Toxic Makeup Guide, Part One by Stephanie Deline

"A demand for more natural alternatives"
Photo Attribution: 
Stephanie Deline

As awareness of the ingredients in makeup increases, so does the demand for more natural alternatives. As often as possible, I'm out there spreading the word and talking to as many women as I can on a quest to educate about the dangers of the chemicals in cosmetics. Something most of the women I talk to have in common is their budget concerns. If only I had a quarter for every time I heard "I can't afford anything beyond drugstore makeup.”

Luckily, as a makeup artist, photographer and beauty blogger who only uses non-toxic cosmetics and skincare, I've tried, tested, loved and been disappointed with many brands. This means I've encountered every kind of makeup you can name, at every price point. And guess what? There is a such thing as inexpensive, non-toxic makeup. After poring over my vast collection, I've selected my favorite affordable, non-toxic cosmetics, extracting the best of the best, (and abandoning the rest) to compile this guide. Within it, you'll find several options for all your beauty essentials, and nothing priced over 15 smackeroos. All cosmetics mentioned are free from parabens, Bismuth OxyChloride, talc, synthetic dyes, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, perfume and petrochemicals, (and free from a lot more in most cases, but all you need to do is go exploring the websites of the brands to learn all about that) and have not been tested on animals.


Let's start with Eyeshadow. Because I love both of these brands so much, and due to the fact that I haven't been able to try many non-toxic affordable cream or pressed shadows yet, I am showcasing two brands that feature loose eyeshadows. From Canada, Pure Fusion Cosmetics, and from the U.S., Borne Cosmetics. Borne Cosmetics, a startup Etsy cosmetics company in Arizona founded and run by a friendly and knowledgeable woman named Jennifer Bishop, features shadows with some of the most amazing ingredients I've ever seen. Silk, Shea butter and crushed pearl  are main ingredients! These shadows are similar in texture to the L'Oreal Infallible shadows, in that they are sort of half pressed and half loose. They're technically loose, but they are packed down so firmly that they look like a pressed shadow at first glance.  Jen, a cancer survivor, prioritizes cosmetics which are beautiful and inexpensive. She hand­makes all her cosmetics with love.

“Being someone who hated to look in the mirror (because of my issues with skin cancer and acne), I wanted to offer cosmetics that not only covered up problem areas but actually helped improve skin's health. I found to do this, the ingredients had to be natural (without synthetic fillers or chemicals), and affordable. I wanted them to be the REAL thing!” says Jennifer.


Pure Fusion Cosmetics, another Etsy shop, is based in British Columbia. Chantelle Burgomaster, the shop founder, crafts highly pigmented, pure loose mineral shadows in over two hundred stunning matte and shimmer shades! As for why she offers affordable and natural makeup, Chantelle has this to say;  “Why do you pay high prices for cosmetics? Are you paying extra because it's a brand name or has a celebrity's name on it? Maybe it's because it has a long list of ingredients? (and some yucky ones at that!) We shouldn't have to break the bank to enhance our beauty, to add colour in our life or create art. There is no reason for me to charge higher prices and there's no reason for you to pay higher prices!”


*I haven't tried many affordable non-toxic cream shadows yet, so I didn't want to include a category without being fully equipped. I have my eye on quite a few right now, so expect this to be updated!

Moving on to Mascara:

LUVU Beauty's Truly Natural Black Magic mascara is a true gem. The formula is drier than your typical mainstream mascara, and you need to spend a little more time with it to get a mega­lash effect, but the ingredients and the outcome make the extra time well worth it. With a curl of the lashes and two coats of this mascara, you'll get colour, volume and length, without the chemicals! A female-run start up, LUVU  Beauty, based in Ontario, is fronted by Tira Wooton, yet another cancer survivor with a passion for non-toxic beauty. “When I first started my business, I was a single mother, and had no idea what to charge”, explains Tira. “I went around looking at other brands, and I knew exactly how much it cost for me to make it.  At that time, there was only one other mineral makeup brand in Canada, so I had to research brands in the states and beyond. I couldn’t believe what they were charging for their products, so I decided to keep all my prices as affordable as possible. Everyone deserves, and should have, a healthy and natural option available to them!”


LUVU Beauty takes both the liquid and pencil categories, with their beautiful Liquid Line IT, an all-natural liquid liner with a precision perfect flocked-tip brush. This is one of my essentials! For maximum impact, build this liner up, letting dry between coats, to get bold, seamless cat eyes!
Available Shades:  Jet Black (Black), Jet Brown (Black­Brown), Royal Blue (Bright Blue), Navy Blue $9.99

LUVU Beauty also makes a creamy, smooth, long-lasting pencil liner. Opaque, blend­able, perfect! A must-try.
Available Shades: Black, Espresso, Grey Pearl, Navy Pearl, Olive Pearl, Royal Purple.

As for gel liner, The All Natural Face takes the cake with their amazing gel pots. Available in fifteen shades, these highly pigmented pots are fabulous for using all over the lid and blending out as an eye­shadow base or enhancer, or alone in place of a shadow. Of course, these are also perfect for tracing those lash­lines with, for a slick looking cat eye! Gentle on the eyes and very vibrant, these go for $4.75 a pop, and since you only need the tiniest bit of product to create dramatic pops of colour, that is a major bargain!


  • Midnight plum
  • Black pearl
  • Forest Nymph.

Let's move on to lips. Below, you'll find the most affordable, high performance non-toxic glosses, tints, and lipsticks I have had the pleasure of using.


Hands down the most affordable, most natural and most beautiful lipsticks in my collection are the ones made by Just Pure Minerals. Owned and operated by a lady known simply as Jo (can you spot the female entrepreneur trend in this feature? How wonderful is that?), Just Pure Minerals is a one-stop non-toxic cosmetics company based in Idaho. The lipstick is creamy, provides excellent coverage and saturation, and doesn't sink into fine lines. Not sticky, tacky, or heavy, these lipsticks have a slightly tingly hint of mint (via peppermint oil, of course!) and are available in more than 15 moisture rich shades, ranging from nudes to pinks to reds and mauves. They're not crazy long-lasting (you've got to surrender good ingredients if you want an all day wear), but you won't need to re-apply a million times a day, either. And with shades like these, at such an affordable price, an extra re-application or two is totally not an issue. Why does Jo prioritize natural and budget friendly?  In her words, "I was horrified by some of the ingredients in cosmetics. I looked around at natural products that were available, and discovered many products were either unimpressive, overpriced, or both.  I think women deserve makeup that's safe, beautiful, AND affordable."


  • Ruby (the perfect holiday red)
  • Natural (the ideal, neutral nude), $9.00 at (But hurry! Price will be slightly raised as of January.)

Lip gloss:

Run by Crystal Clark out of the flagship store based in Massachusetts, and online, The All Natural Face is known among natural YouTube beauty gurus for being one of the most affordable and outstanding non-toxic cosmetics purveyors out there.

I'm late to this party. I only just got my first TANF package a few days ago, so this is a bold statement.  But state it, I will: I can tell you confidently that The All Natural Face offers the best and most affordable glosses these lips have ever had the pleasure of being graced with. At just $4.60 each (I KNOW!), these glosses range from sheer to opaque.  Bugless red is a sheer, carmine-free juicy apple shade, but can be built up to medium coverage, while Frosted Berries is so opaque it can almost be classified as a liquid lipstick. The colour payoff is fabulous, and there is zero stickiness, though with main ingredients like Cold pressed castor oil and Candelilla wax, that's not surprising. I just love these glosses! They soften and add beautiful shine with excellent pigment. From nudes to pinks, browns to reds, you'll find practically any lip gloss shade you can think of.  And you can't beat that price!


  • Frosted Berries 
  • Bugless Red
  • Peppermint Stick.

If potted products are your thing, Key Botanicals, a Toronto shop whose cosmetics were the very first non-toxic makeup I tried, offers gorgeous, creamy potted gloss. The formula is quite thick in the pot, but on your lips acts and looks like a sheer-to-full coverage lipstick, with a nice, laid-back sheen (still shiny, but not super glossy) $5.00 a pot.


  • Rose Berry
  • Coco Berry

Lip Tints:

I've been watching Brianna's (otherwise known as iluvejesse444 on YouTube) videos for months, and have always been so inspired by her passion for and knowledge of all things natural. So when I discovered that she had released a cosmetics line featuring themed collections, I was totally intrigued. My favourite items from Brija Cosmetics so far are the Lip Tints. Peyton (named after the One Tree Hill Character) is a stunning rose with peach hints that works on any skin tone. Rachel (whose namesake is also the One Tree Hill character) is the perfect peach for the summer! Packaged in a classic lip balm container, these little sticks may look like lip balm, but deliver a surprisingly pigmented punch with a pleasant peppermint twist. Long-lasting and ultra moisturizing, these are always within my reach! Bonus: You can wear these on your cheeks!

*I haven't tried enough non-toxic, affordable lip liners to stake a confident claim. I'm on it! This concludes part one of The Affordable and Non-Toxic makeup Guide. Come on back to Bee Green Magazine on January 1/2014! Featuring blush, foundation, and concealer! (Send a convo mentioning Bee Green Magazine and get a free gift with purchase!) (like Pure Fusion Cosmetics on Facebook, and use the code BEEGREEN for 20 percent off your order in the month of December!) (mention Bee Green Magazine at checkout and receive a free sample of your choice with purchase!)

Jan 2014 Issue will feature:


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