The natural beauty industry has proven to be nothing short of unstoppable, outpacing the conventional category in year-over-year growth as consumers continue to demand safer, more transparent products. It’s a movement that we’re thrilled to be a part of—especially since numerous studies have shown just how harmful the ingredients in many beauty products can be. But with the tremendous number of choices available, which ones rise to the top by being both safe and effective?
To find out, we scoured the market and recruited natural beauty experts and moms across the country to help us test and review hundreds of products. The result? KIWI’s first-ever Natural Beauty Awards, presented to 75 amazing products in 25 categories that will help you look and feel your very best.
Best Facial Moisturizer
Winner: The Cream Nourishing Face Cream This moisturizer uses colostrum from grass-fed cows to restore skin tis- sue, leaving your face smoother and firmer ($71, thecream.com).
Winner: Cover FX Illuminating Primer This primer helps foundation stay in place. “It goes on smoothly and gives my skin a dewy look,” says Bernadette Nunez, a mom of four from Waldorf, MD ($38, coverfx.com).
Best Facial Cleanser
Winner: Blissoma Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser & Makeup Remover “Most cleansers strip the skin of its natural oils,” says natural makeup artist Kristen Arnett. “This one re- moves dirt but also has rejuvenating properties” ($39, blissoma.com).
Best Facial Scrub
Winner: MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub Bamboo stem powder and jojoba beads work to gently exfoliate and polish the skin. “I use this twice a week to loosen and remove dead skin cells,” says natural beauty expert Sophie Uliano ($19, mychelle.com).
Winner: Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation This finely milled foundation contains only four pure mineral ingredients and comes in more than 60 shades. “It offers buildable coverage that beautifully evens out skin tone,” says Arnett ($25, alimapure.com).
Runner-up: NU Evolution Complete Coverage Foundation ($47, nuevolutioncosmetics.com)
Best BB Cream
Winner: Rawskinceuticals Cosme.Ceuticals Crème Foundation with SPF 20 “This cream gives all-in-one matte coverage,” says natural beauty expert Sarita Coren of this cruelty-free pick that’s also free of fragrance, fillers, gluten, GMOs, alcohol, and toxins ($25, rawskinceuticals.com).
Winner: Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer “Chock-full of natural ingredients with powerful pigments, this brightening concealer helps erase unwanted blemishes and discolorations and works on a vast range of skin tones,” says Arnett ($24, hyntbeauty.com).
Winner: Laura Geller Baked Split Highlighter Duo with Brush This compact, which comes with a double-ended brush, reignited Kasey Roren’s love of makeup. “It made me feel beautiful,” says the mom of three from Huntington, NY ($43, laurageller.com).
Best Face Powder
Winner: Jillian Wright Complexion Perfection Finishing Powder With a built-in mirror and kabuki brush, this mattifying dust is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. “It’s enhanced with vitamin C and acai berry, so you get a skincare treatment while setting your makeup!” says Coren ($60, jillianwrightskincare.com).
Winner: Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette This versatile palette includes a bronzer, highlighter, and blush that you can use individually or blend together for a fresh, beautiful glow ($32, urbandecay.com).
Winner: W3ll People Universalist Multi-Stick Packaged in a go-anywhere vegan stick that’s easy to transport and a pleasure to use, this multipurpose product adds a pop of healthy color to the face with a smooth, creamy formula that’s non-GMO, made with organic ingredients, and produced using sustainable energy ($35, birchbox.com).
Winner: Jane Iredale Eye Pencil “You would never be able to tell the difference between a standard eyeliner and this greener alternative,” says Arnett. “It goes on easily but isn’t overly soft, so you can get a defined point for precision without having it tug at the delicate eye area” ($13, janeiredale.com).
Best Eye Shadow
Winner: Josie Maran Argan Beautiful Eyes Infused with smoothing argan oil, this palette features four cohesive shades, a shadow liner, and easy-to- follow directions. Michelle Snyder, a mom of one from Merrimack, NH, says she loved the color combination and pretty packaging ($36, josiemarancosmetics.com).
Winner: Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara The paraben-, sulfate-, phthalate-, and mineral-oil-free formula uses olive esters to protect and condition lashes. More to love: This lengthening and volumizing mascara is truly waterproof ($21, tartecosmetics.com)!
Best Lip Balm
Winner: Ellovi Lip Butter This balm is made with six simple, plant-based ingredients like sunflower, coconut, and shea that you can actually eat! “It’s lusciously hydrating and smooth on application,” Coren says ($5, ellovi.com).
Best Lip Stick
Winner: Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Formulated with lip-nurturing food-grade ingredients and without synthetics, parabens, and sulfates, this lipstick protects and provides a pop of rich pigment ($24, sephora.com).
Best Lip Gloss
Winner: Au Naturale Lip Gloss “This gloss will nourish, shimmer, and shine brightly on your lips,” says Coren. And we love that it’s free of parabens, fragrances, additives, and nano-particles ($15, aunaturaleglow.com).
Best Nail Polish
Winner: Londontown Lakur: Enhanced Colour Free from formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor—toxic ingredients found in most conventional nail polishes—this product is safe and long-lasting ($16, londontownusa.com).
Best Body Lotion
Winner: Andalou Naturals Kukui Cocoa Body Butter “This lotion is deeply moisturizing without being sticky or greasy,” says Uliano. “And it smells divine!” ($14, andalou.com).
Best Body Wash
Winner: Juice Beauty Ylang Ylang Spa Wash “The light scent of this body cleanser is very calming and not overwhelming,” says Arnett, who’s also a fan of the convenient pump ($16, juicebeauty.com).
Winner: Pour le Monde Together All Natural Eau de Parfum With hints of Italian bergamot and Madagascar vanilla, this fragrance won over Melinda Carter, a mom of two from Seattle. “It’s a fresh, wonderful scent!” she says. Bonus: Ten percent of the net sales of Together benefit the Cancer Support Community ($82, pourlemondeparfums.com).
Winner: Everyone Hair Nourish Sulfate-Free Natural Shampoo This shampoo is cruelty-free and made without synthetic fragrances. “It’s good for the whole family!” says Roren ($13, eoproducts.com).
Winner: Acure Volume Conditioner “It moisturizes well and smells and feels great,” Grace Cho, mom of three from New Hyde Park, NY, says of this conditioner, which contains mint for a clean scent and echinacea stem cells for cellular regeneration at the roots ($10, acureorganics.com).
Best Hair-Styling Product
Winner: A Beautiful Life Unicorn’s Mane Smoothing Serum Just a few drops of this elixir applied to damp or dry hair will smooth, de-frizz, and add shine to your locks. “It made my hair look extra nice after a blow-dry,” says Nunez ($16, abeautifullife.com).
Best Hair Treatment
Winner: GM Reverie Milk Thanks to 16 essential oils like bourbon vanilla, vetiver, and sandalwood, this nourishing leave-in treatment will banish frizz without weighing hair down. “I tend to shy away from creams, but I may be a convert after trying this,” says Cari Sturgis, a mom of two from Excelsior, MN ($42, gmreverie.com).
Our Beauty Standard
Before we even began testing products for our Natural Beauty Awards, we made sure every product we considered passed a rigorous toxicity test. We researched hundreds of products using the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and nominated only those that scored a 3 or lower on a 10-point scale (meaning it’s a low hazard). This is our standard for our beauty awards and for every beauty story that ever appears in KIWI—so you can feel confident that we’re recommending the safest, most natural products available.
Meet our experts
KRISTEN ARNETT An international makeup artist and green beauty expert, Arnett is also a beauty contributor for Whole Foods Market. The founding editor of greenbeautyteam.com, a website dedicated to holistic beauty and wellness, Arnett travels around the globe educating people about sustainable beauty.
SARITA COREN With more than 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field, Coren has been called the “godmother of green beauty” by industry insiders. The holistic mother of five blogs at ediblefacial.com, where she reviews natural products and shares her beauty advice and ideas.
SOPHIE ULIANO After becoming pregnant with her daughter and being inspired to embrace a less toxic life, Uliano wrote her first book, the bestselling Gorgeously Green. Since then, the certified holistic nutritionist and yoga teacher has written three more: The Gorgeously Green Diet, Do It Gorgeously, and Gorgeous for Good.