Nontoxic Makeup On A Budget: You Can Have It All

May 29, 2017 (updated February 10, 2023) — Written by

“I hate high-end makeup.” Said no one ever. I mean, maybe someone said it once but it was probably my dad. Point is, there is a TON going on in the nontoxic world of makeup these days and if you have the budget to support exploring and trying – girl, you go! BUT let’s be honest, when it’s either 2 lbs of grassfed ground beef or the latest Axiology lipstick – I mean, I may pause for a moment, but feeding my family wins out every time.

a bunch of green beauty products styled randomly on a white background

By: Lisa Fennessy

My girl Molly over at Maison Pur knows whats up. A girl after my own heart, she is a green beauty fanatic and also prioritizes feeding her family super clean + keeping a toxin free home all while not breaking the bank. (She has a ton of recs for kids and baby gear too by the way – check her out!). She’s a beauty inside and out. 

Okay so for all the beauties out there who have to put the crackdown on the makeup buying budget – girrrrrl, we hear you. Molly and I put together our top nontoxic makeup budget brands and finds. All of these items here we have used and can vouch for both in performance and price. Everything is $20 or under with two exceptions.

RELATED: My Favorite Makeup Brushes

So, first things first, put down that drugstore shadow trio sister, you deserve more than $4.99 worth of talc and setting chemicals. We are here to tell you that you can have it all. That 8lb pastured chicken and some killer nontoxic red lipstick too with maybe a penny to spare.

And here they are in no particular order. We are highlighting 3 affordable brands with standout picks and then some additional faves that we have discovered over the past several years of trying and testing. Also here is a video of some of these picks that I had on hand (My first video!) 

 Zuzu Luxe/Gabriel

We love this brand because they are accessible, affordable and preform. Zuzu Luxe and Gabriel are two separate brands but are owned by the same parent company; Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc. You can find them in most Whole Foods makeup sections. These lines are both vegan and gluten free made with 100% natural ingredients and no synthetic chemicals or animal by-products.

They also have an awesome recycle program. If you send any five Zuzu Luxe or Gabriel empties back they will send you a free lipstick of your choice.

Gabriel/Zuzu Luxe Faves

Gabriel Multi Pot in Thistle $19.30 LOVE THIS! Highlighter or eyeshadow, this multi use pot has a cream to powder finish and is subtle yet striking. Love this on the upper cheek bone. UPDATE: Thistle is discontinued. Try Shimmering Soft Pink!  

Gabriel Liquid Radiance $12.50 A rollerball oil based highlighter that will stun the socks off anyone with a glowing and dewy finish.

Gabriel Blush in Apricot $19.30 This color is playful and pretty. Perfect as a pop of color to the apples of cheeks.

Zuzu Luxe Oil Free Foundation $31.50 A medium coverage foundation that looks so natural on. Covers redness but lets natural marks show through.

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner $15.60 Available in SO MANY COLORS. We love it in black. This felt tip applicator provides so much control that even a newbie can apply. Opaque, dense + fills out lash line like the best of them.

Lily Lolo

Lily Lolo clean makeup opened and styled on a white background

This brand has been a long standing favorite amongst natural beauty divas and for good reason. Lily Lolo is 100% natural and has a wide range of products, many with cult followings. The line was originally developed in London, but is now available in the US and Canada and they keep adding more and more gorgeous products to their lineup.

We love this line because it’s a dependable brand that you know will have good ingredients and makeup that wears well. They make virtually every makeup product you could need.

Lily Lolo Faves

Lily Lolo Pressed Blush in In The Pink $18 This light, easy to wear pink is sweet without looking too made up. It gives just the right amount of pink. They have a huge selection of other colors and all of them have staying power!

Lily Lolo Eyebrow Duo $15 This comes in 3 shades and includes a powder and a setting wax. It’s a steal for such a great product!

Lily Lolo Black Natural Vegan Mascara $19.50 This mascara is almost waterproof and stays on all day without smudging or flaking. Maybe that’s why it’s a top pick for so many natural beauties! This vegan formula gives your lashes quite a boost.

Lily Lolo Pressed Eyeshadow in Miami Taupe $12.00 A great neutral with a bit of drama (depending on how much you apply), this shade is universally flattering.


root makeup vibrantly colored clean beauty opened and styled on a white background

Talk about professional quality makeup at a budget friendly price! Made in the USA, this brand is full of swoon-worthy makeup in more colors than you may have thought was possible with natural makeup. Root uses the best organic and natural ingredients they can find and skip the harsh fillers, making them a perfect choice for sensitive skin as well. We love this brand for it’s wide selection of colors and for the performance.

Root also offers Pretty Points where you can earn rewards on purchases and showing love to them on social media. The rewards can be put towards future purchases.

Root Faves

Root 100% Lash Mascara $14.00 One of the best natural mascaras out there and it stays on all day!

Root Pretty All Day Gel Eyeliner $16.00 Goes on smooth and stays smudge free, even in humidity.

Root Pressed Shadows $12.00 So many colors to choose from and these don’t crease! Some favorites are Blue Lagoon and Belize, both of which are perfect for summer.

Root Pretty Balm $8.00 These add just a touch of color and are easy to stash in your bag for a quick touchup throughout the day.

More Picks

The All Natural Face Magic Vegan Eyeshadow Primer $7 Primes eyes for shadow by creating a surface for shadow to stick to and also eliminates any redness.

Honeybee Gardens Lipstick $13.99 Goes on smooth, creamy, pigmented and lasts. So many colors to choose from!

Silk Naturals Eye Shadow $4.50 This loose powder eye shadow comes in a million colors and is made of straight minerals – no synthetics!

W3ll People Narcissist Foundation Stick $28.99 The cream formula applies easily and this foundation wears well throughout the day. Psst… You can even find it at some Target stores!

You Can Have It All

Be sure to check out Luxe Skincare On a Budget!

With SO many great affordable options to choose from, there’s no need to break the bank just to score some clean makeup! You absolutely can have it all. Whether you want to overhaul your whole makeup bag or just want a fun new lipstick for summer, all of the products listed above will give you the performance and ingredients you want without emptying your wallet. How’s that for green beauty?

Lisa + Molly

xo, lisa in cursive

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Phyllis williams

    I have celiac disease. I was diagnosed recently and being allergic to wheat I had no idea what makeup is safe and natural. I am thankful for your article . Makeup is expensive.

    1. Reply


      So glad this was helpful for you Phyllis! I also have celiac – you are not alone ; ) xo, Lisa

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *