After detoxing our deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, and mascara, Terri and I decided it was time to get right up in each other's faces and test a batch of non-toxic foundations and powders. We'll review both pressed and loose mineral powders in a future post, but for now, we're talking liquid bases in two camps: tinted moisturizers and straight up liquid foundations.
Obviously the former is more useful if you want lighter everyday coverage, while the latter comes in handy when you need more coverage or a base for a full face of makeup. These seven picks represent the best of both types of liquid base in terms of appearance, staying power, and non-toxicity (as quantified by the Environmental Working Group's amazing Skin Deep Cosmetics Database).
- LIQUID BASE FOUNDATIONS
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Balancing Foundation, SPF 15 - Terri and I both loved this foundation because it offers complete coverage without a heavy, mask-like appearance, which is no small feat. Smooth and velvety, it blends into skin nicely, stays on all day, and boasts a little sun protection to boot. Perfect for weddings and other all-dolled-up, day into night events. ($36 for 1.7 fl oz, No EWG score but comparable Tarte foundation scored 3 out of 10 - moderate hazard)
- ZuZu Luxe Oil-Free Liquid Foundation, SPF 18 - This foundation came in a close second, and we loved it because it offered smooth, sheer coverage that felt light and lasted all day. This is one you could wear any day of the week. ($29.75 for 1 fl oz, EWG score 3 out of 10 - moderate hazard)
- Cleure Liquid Matte Foundation - This is basically the non-toxic version of your classic liquid base, giving you beautiful even coverage and a creamy consistency. We wish it had a more user-friendly delivery system instead of the old school bottle, but you can't argue with results. No sun protection built in, note. ($17 for 1 fl oz, No EWG score but other Cleure products came in at 3 out of 10 or less - low to moderate hazard)
- Dr. Hauschka Translucent Make-up - Just like it says: This is all but translucent, useful for evening out your skin tone and getting a natural, matte finish. It's super light in feel and coverage, so you have to have good skin to start out. ($36.95 for 1 fl oz, EWG score 5 out of 10 - moderate hazard)
- TINTED MOISTURIZERS
- Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer - We'd call this a must-have: a tinted moisturizer that provides just a hint of coverage, enough that you’d feel fine heading out without any other makeup on your mug. ($36 for 1 fl oz, EWG score 2 out of 10 - low hazard)
- 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20 - This one gives a bit more coverage than you might expect from a moisturizer, and blends really well. A great option when you want something between light and full coverage. ($32 for 1.8 fl oz, No EWG score but all ingredients are plant-based and natural, listed on their website)
- Suki Tinted Active Moisturizer - Terri warns that you need to go a shade lighter than you think, and with only three colors available, you might struggle with a match. I found that with a little blending, this gave me nice even coverage and felt really good on my skin. ($45.95 for 1.2 fl oz, No EWG score but non-tinted Suki moisturizer got a 0 out of 10 - low hazard)
As a lifelong powder compact gal, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that both liquid styles have earned places in my permanent makeup rotation, but I was less pleasantly surprised to find that many non-toxic makeup companies don't offer a very wide range of colors in liquids. Perhaps this is because they are often small businesses and have to limit lines to what they know they can sell, but it's still a disappointment for all the ladies of not-easily-matched skin tone. Good luck finding one that works for you - and tell us about what you like!