My Journey to More Natural Makeup

OK, so natural makeup has been a step on my real-foodie, crunchy-mamma journey that I’ve been longing to take for years. Especially after I realized that the expensive ‘natural’ makeup I’d chosen to invest was not actually a very natural product at all.

Marketing is such a tricky thing to discern truth through.

Then there was the money. Not only did natural makeup seem to get more expensive the less toxic it was, but I had spent good money on what I had, and wasn’t about to throw it out.

(I’m not gonna tell you what I used to wear because I don’t intend for this post to become libelous. Let’s just say that of the 515 chemicals the average woman applies to her body on a regular basis, I was carrying around my own share.)

So, I used it up, and thanked God He gave me a liver. (You know, that cleansing organ somewhere in your torso? Got to give that thing something to do, right?)

(I’m full of parenthetical statements today. Here’s another one for you–if your struggling with your health, you should lessen your toxic load wherever you can, and I wouldn’t recommend you using up a product that contains chemicals. Ditch it. But I’m also not a doctor, so, ya know, this isn’t medical advice or anything. I’m just telling my story.)

I used up what I had, then I ran out. Of makeup. For months.

I do apologize to those of you who to whom the thought of not wearing makeup makes you twitch. I meant no harm, and I think ya’ll look gorgeous! But I am a minimalist with my makeup anyway, so in some ways, there wasn’t much to miss once I ran out.

Except, you know, that makeup makes me feel pretty, and feeling pretty makes me feel happy!

Beauty is a gift from God and I believe He designed the act of embracing beauty as a source of joy. It’s an area busy mommas neglect far too often. That’s why I wrote a book about embracing beauty last year–to remind us not to forfeit the joy He intended for us to have in this area.

This spring it was high time I reminded myself of my own good advice and put some time into my appearance again. But where to start?

I started by asking friends.ย  I posed the question “what do you use for natural makeup?” on a crunchy/mommy/blogger group I’m a part of, and the ladies responded back with some great recommendations, and two of them even offered to send me samples! So, in today’s post I’m gonna share a few of my discoveries for you, in case you–like me–just need a review from a real live person to help you make progress in the area of natural beauty choices.

NYR Organics

NYR Organics is the US branch of a company out of England. Neal’s Yard Remedies has produced organic skin care and cosmetics since 1981. They recently brought their product line to the states with a social marketing approach (consultants and home parties). My friend, Annejanette sent me samples of their bronzer and eye liner. Here’s my review:

NYR Mineral Bronzer–Golden Bronze

Natural Makeup--NYR Organics Mineral Bronzer


This was officially my first experience with mineral makeup. It took a little bit of trial and error, but mineral makeup is a great choice for going natural because, well, it’s usually just ground up, um, rocks. (Who first thought of doing that?) NYR’s bronzer also has a few other ingredients besides minerals–but I googled them and they’re all basically various types of oils or oil by products that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). In other words, I feel totally fine with putting this on my skin. Woot!

So I did.

delighted to be sporting natural makeup finally!

I have the greatest respect for those who regularly review beauty products. I was seriously challenged to find time taking pictures of me finding time to put on makeup. Plus there’s the added challenge of trying to get a photo that shows the makeup off when you’re going for a subtle, natural application, and the only camera you have is a smart phone. Yeah.

So, I just took pictures to show you how happy I am that I’m wearing makeup again. I’m sporting the bronzer in the above photo–can you tell how delighted I am to have something to use for contouring my cheekbones again? You can see that? OK, good.

I’m also wearing the eye liner in the above photo…

NYR Organics Eye Liner in Slate

Natural Makeup--NYR Organics Slate Eyeliner

I chose the slate which was a nice shade of grey with a lovely shimmer to it. Although it was fun to try a new color, I found it a bit too light to provide the pop I want for my eyes. And, despite the ingredient listย  appearing completely above board, this eye liner made my eyes water for an hour or two after applying. Maybe I have sensitive eye lash follicles. Who knows.

Anyway, NYR is a great option for more natural makeup, with the added benefit that you might be able to find a consultant in your area who could help you get to know the product in person and maybe even have a party with your friends. You can visit Annjanette’s NYR store here.

Lemongrass Spa

The next samples I tried were from Lea Harris, a Lemongrass Spa consultant. Lemongrass Spa is a national Home Party Plan company offering natural bath, body and skin care products as well as chemical-free mineral makeup.ย  I was impressed with their ingredients list–everything was organic, recognizable, and completely natural.

When Lea asked me what I was interested in trying, I told her eye liner was my Main Thing. (You have a Main Thing, right? What you put on when you only have 30 seconds? Lipstick, mascara, or concealer maybe?) I really wanted a natural product for my Main Thing because it’s the product I will use the most often, and it’s right by my eyes.

So she sent me an eye liner pencil and mascara.

Lemongrass Spa Natural Makeup

Lemongrass Spa Eye Liner in Brown

This eyeliner was the right color for me, it wears well and didn’t irritate my eyes at all–it was like I wasn’t even wearing makeup–but I was! The application was not as smooth as other (chemical laden) eye liners I have used, but thing is, non-toxic is a higher priority than application for me. The eye liner goes on nice and solid, and I can smear or blend it with my finger if I want.

Lemongrass Spa Brown Eyeliner

Lemongrass Spa Mascara in Black

Again, this product worked for me and didn’t bother my eyes at all. It also seems to last well and hang on good, if you know what I mean ;).

This is me wearing the eyeliner and mascara. These two products have become my go-to this month for a quick beauty fix!

Sporting my natural makeup look

Lea also sent me a sample pack of sugar scrubs and tinted lip balm. I was delighted that all their scented products are made with essential oils and smell SOOO good. I get easily irritated by artificial perfumes–it was refreshing to find a company that uses essential oils for perfumes.

If you’d like to check out their products for yourself, visit Lea’s Lemongrass Spa website here.

I’m really excited at the progress I’ve made toward natural choices for makeup this month! I’ve also gotten samples from a few other companies–I’m hoping to share with you what I’ve found for foundation, concealer and eye shadow sometime in the next few weeks!

What about you? Have you gone all green and crunchy in this area yet? What’s keeping you back?

8 responses to “My Journey to More Natural Makeup”

  1. Nicole Gutierrez Avatar
    Nicole Gutierrez

    Thanks so much for this. I am considering buying some lemon grass products because since i becae orego i was scared of the chemicals and threw all my stuff out! And now baby is 7 mons old!

  2. Jess White Avatar

    First off, I don’t wear enough makeup to even say so…never had anyone in my life to teach me how to.

    I suppose, like everything else, I would like to go with more natural makeup, but feel the initial expense of buying new makeup doesn’t warrant the fact that I rarely wear it.

    If I do anything it’s usually eyeliner, because my lashes are quite dark, eyeliner doesn’t smudge the way mascara does, and it lasts a day or two {I’m guilty of not being diligent in makeup removal…washing my face yes, but not removal of makeup}.

    I can’t stand any commercial perfumes, they all smell like chemicals to me {which has been hard living in the house of someone who is all in to very strong perfume}.

    Heading over to check out her site…I do have a birthday coming up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jess, we have very similar ideas about makeup. I get several uses out of an eye liner application, lol, and can’t stand perfumes, either. That’s why I love essential oils. One of these days I’m going to choose a favorite and let it be my signature scent. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Nellers Avatar

    I’m brand new to the idea of natural makeup. I wear makeup a few times a week and really don’t want to give it up. I’ll have to look into this further and highly consider it.


  4. Omily Avatar

    I was raised without makeup and just bought my first a year and a half ago.

    I wear it only on very special occasions, on dates, weddings…so maybe once a month at the most.

    I think it might be a cultural thing…to me it seems that americans use a lot of makeup and sometimes don’t even dare come out of the house without it! Here in Belgium people use makeup a lot too, but it isn’t so much a ‘must’ as it seems to be over there.
    But then it might be just me that thinks that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I bought non-natural, and like you, I want to finish it before I buy natural stuff. My mascara was hardened after more then a year, so I bought some from Cowgirl Dirt, because it is the coolest name ever invented for makeup.
    I can wear makeup without feeling prissy ;p I heard about it through Kindred Grace / Gretchen Louise, and it was the first time I heard there was such a thing as natural makeup. The mascara works great, and I plan to slowly replace my regular makeup with more Cowgirl Dirt things as I use my things up, or as they get to old to use. I would probably use it a little more often if it was all natural.

  5. Mikaela Avatar

    Hi Trina!
    I can’t remember if I’ve commented before or not, but I’ve been reading for quite a few months now. : ) I’m now an official yogurt maker thanks to you and have been especially blessed by your testimonies in serial form.
    I have been challenging myself to go more natural in the area of makeup lately–specifically foundation! I ordered free samples from Everyday Minerals (they priced out as cheaper than Bare Minerals or Alima), and have really loved them. I’m getting ready to take the plunge and buy a whole container of the mineral foundation. Next up, I’m especially interested in finding a good, natural mascara, but I’m not really interested in the home party model, sooo…let us know if you try anything else!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hey, Mikaela! Great to meet you and thanks for your encouraging comment!

      Personally, I’m not a fan of the home party model, either, but I have to say that the Lemongrass spa mascara was reasonably priced and has been recommended to me by several crunchy mamma’s who have sampled more brands than I have. I’ve been really pleased with it and it is the one item from the above post I will be the most likely to repurchase when it runs out. In other words, my mascara quest is finished. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Mikaela Avatar

        Well, maybe I’ll have to give it a try then!

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