Whenever we hear the words "natural" or "eco" in relation to beauty products, we tend to get a little wary. While we've never questioned the quality or effectiveness of earth-friendly skincare, we have been a little skeptical about this kind of makeup. Were there really products that could give us major lashes, truly hide our skin imperfections, and wow us with their intense colors? In the hopes of finding the answers to these queries, we decided to call in makeup artist Erin Lee Smith, an ultra knowledgeable pro who could advise us on these matters. In addition to working on editorials, celebrities, and us (she did all of our makeup for What To Wear, Where!), Smith is also a green beauty maestro! Though she works with all kinds of brands, she really specializes in natural and organic products, so we decided to pick her brain about the earth-friendly items every girl should have in her makeup kit. Read on for all of the Smith-approved necessities and details about these essential products!
Tarte Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner ($22) in Jade Green, Bronze, and Indigo
Tarte makes some amazing beauty products, so we were delighted to learn that Smith also approves of the brand's newest addition: a waterproof shadow/liner made with Amazonian white clay. Smith likes the multi-tasking product because it can be used in multiple ways. "It's great as an eye shadow base or just a light wash of color on your lids," she says. "It's also really pretty on your lower lash line; it reflects light while giving a hint of defined lash." While you can always opt for basic black or brown, we suggest trying some of the other colors--like Jade Green, Bronze, and Indigo--this spring and summer!
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation ($62)
Everyone knows that there are lots of wonderful, natural face powders on the market (both pressed and loose), but tracking down a really fabulous foundation is a much more difficult task. Typically these eco-friendly formulas underwhelm in the performance department: they don't have staying power and their coverage is subpar. But happily Smith's discovered a product that is both virtuous (it's not tested on animals and contains no artificial fragrances or synthetic pigments) and hard working: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. "It has such a beautiful, creamy texture and really sinks into the skin, so your skin looks natural and flawless," she says. Smith also adores how sheer the formula is, and the fact that it can be easily layered for a full-coverage look.
Jane Iredale Active Light Under-Eye Concealer ($25)
We always thought you needed some high-end, scientifically manufactured trickery to cover your under-eye circles, but Smith says that's simply not true. She swears by Jane Iredale's Active Light Under-Eye Concealer and uses it for work and at home. "This is a green version of the YSL Touche Eclat," she says. "It has a similar light-reflecting mineral formula, a convenient click-brush wand, and it comes in a great range of colors." Additionally, this concealer has a very calming formula that's full of natural ingredients--cucumber, white tea extract, and buckwheat wax--making it an excellent pick if your tired, puffy eyes need soothing too!
Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eye Shadow ($11) in Gold Dust
The words "highly pigmented" and "natural eye shadow" rarely go together, but for those beauty gurus who crave earth-friendly eye makeup in beautiful, bold colors--you're in luck! Smith uses Alima Pure's Luminous Shimmer Eye Shadows all the time and simply adores them. "They have practically every color you can think of," she says. "I'm in love with Aphrodite, it's a shimmering hazy gold, like the sun kissed your lids, and Nightingale, which is a satin matte denim blue color." There are 49 shades to choose from--and over 100 including the brand's other eye shadow collections--so be sure to check out all of them!
Organic Glam Blush ($49.95) in Pink
The well known, highly respected British brand The Organic Pharmacy also has a line of beauty products called Organic Glam, which Smith raves about. She's particularly fond of their blush and uses it on shoots all the time. "It's the perfect petal pink," she says. "It's pretty sheer, so you can use for a natural look or layer it to create a stronger Brigitte Bardot cheek." Smith also noted that the blush is quite pigmented, which means it goes on your skin as the same color you see in the package. In other words, it's a true pink worth buying!
Couleur Caramel Eyebrow Pencil ($19) in Blonde/Light Brown
"It's hard to find eyebrow pencils in truly neutral shades, but I'm obsessed with this one," Smith says. Though the hue might sound fair, Smith says it's actually a universal color and will define your shape without giving you a deep block of color. "I use this pencil to fill in sparse brows and then add a powder eye shadow on top to add definition and dimension," she says, an excellent tip for those of us who love a bold brow!
Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara ($9.95)
As much as we love conventional mascaras, their ingredient labels are usually pretty scary and often contain controversial ingredients. But vanity is a powerful, which is why we haven't been able to sacrifice our fat-lash formulas for a non-toxic product--until now. Smith turned us on to Physicians Formula's Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. "I wear this mascara every day," Smith says. "I love the wand--it separates your lashes perfectly--and the formula never clumps."
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Sorbet Lip Gloss ($13) in Cherry
"This product is your every day, all-day lip gloss," Smith says. Even better: it's 100% natural and made with fruit pigments, shea butter, honey, and Vitamins C and E! Smith loves how sheer this product is and keeps these glosses--including the Sheer Strawberry Lip Gloss ($13)--on hand at all times.
Zuzu Luxe Lipstick ($18.15) in Dollhouse Pink
Maybe it sounds vapid--okay, it definitely does--but color is everything when it comes to lipstick. While we're all for "pretty" shades (meaning nude or natural pink), we are even more interested in vibrant colors, which is why we were so delighted to hear about Zuzu Luxe. Smith praises their beautiful range of colors, singling out Dollhouse Pink and Starlet as her two favorites. Having tried both we can swear that they perform just as well as our regular lipsticks, plus the formula and shades are simply spot-on!