Finally, a Non-Toxic, Paraben-Free Make-Up Brand!

Written by:

Suzanne Weaver-Goss


Updated: 01/23/2024

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I’m not big on makeup. I believe the cliché that true beauty comes from within. I also believe that beauty can be enhanced greatly by healthy eating, sleep, and movement. Also, I am rather lazy when it comes to beauty routines. I don’t use a lot of products and I don’t spend much time on my hair or makeup. My daughter, Maia, has followed my example, for better or for worse!

Even though we are beauty product minimalists, Maia and I do like to put on a little makeup when we’re getting dressed up. So we’ve been disappointed to learn about the Bad Stuff that that’s in most makeup (see below), and we’ve struggled to find products that we can enjoy ourselves and recommend to readers and clients. We receive many requests from our readers for non-toxic makeup, but after reviewing ingredients we have been unable to recommend almost anything!

What’s Wrong with Most Makeup?

There are so many loopholes in federal laws that cosmetics can be labeled “natural” without containing ingredients that meet those descriptions. Even products that are certified organic can contain as little as 10% organic ingredients.

“Safe” is not a standardized term, either. The FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors does not define safety. So cosmetic companies consider carcinogens, though they are known to cause harm, safe to use in products because they are legal. The U.S. law that governs the $60 billion cosmetic industry was last passed in 1938 and it doesn’t provide the FDA with the power to ask cosmetic companies for safety data or issue recalls of cosmetics that aren’t safe. The European Union bans 1,300 ingredients from cosmetics. Here in the United States, only 11 ingredients have been banned or restricted in cosmetics! Yuck.

Until recently, we hadn’t been able to find a makeup brand that was non-toxic and high performing. But after discovering Beautycounter products through a friend, we are hooked!

Why We Like—and Trust—Beautycounter

We like that Beautycounter makeup is non-toxic, with all products ranked low hazard by EWG. We love that it performs as well as more expensive brands. Also, their products are attractive and chic. (I may be a beauty minimalist, but I’m still a sucker for pretty products!) We trust Beautycounter makeup because the company is truly committed to making safe products, and their ingredient selection process is among the strictest in the industry. For instance, they actually test products after production for any contaminants (which seems especially relevant in light of the recent scandals involving both Ava Anderson and Honest Company.) And all Beautycounter products of free of some of the very worst stuff–parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, mineral oils, BHA/BHT, SLES, and a bunch of other ones.

Honestly, the hardest thing for us about Beautycounter was the whole “pyramid” structure of the company. Here at Gimme the Good Stuff, we pride ourselves on our independent voice. While we adore Beautycounter’s products, Beautycounter’s business plan looks very much like Multi-Level Marketing (otherwise known as a “pyramid company”). They call it “Direct Marketing,” but the differences are minimal. So while we won’t personally be engaging in multi-level marketing with Beautycounter (we aren’t going to be asking you guys to sign up as consultants!), we do feel that because of the lack of truly nontoxic makeup in the marketplace, we should offer these great products to our readers. So, if you’d like to try Beautycounter products, you can do so here.

Beautycounter Concealer

I love this concealer for hiding dark under-eye circles.

Beautycounter Blush

This blush gives me natural-looking flushed cheeks and comes in a cute little compact.

retractable complexion brush

I have this retractable complexion brush and love it, and Beautycounter also sells a very nice blush brush.

Beautycounter Lipstick

This is the best lipstick I’ve found in a long time. I can’t tell you how many natural lipsticks I’ve bought and thrown out! I have the Currant color, Maia wears the Twig.

Beautycounter Lipshine

I wear this lip shine over my lipstick.

These are my favorites. What about you? Let us know what you think of the Beautycounter products you’ve tried. What other non-toxic, organic or natural makeup brands do you like?

Be well,

Suzanne, Certified Holistic Health Coach

P.S. We are working on a Safe Makeup Guide, which will feature Beautycounter, as well as some other truly non-toxic brands of makeup.

P.P.S. For those of you wondering about Beautycounter products other than their makeup: it’s basically all Good Stuff, although in some cases Maia prefers other, smaller brands with fewer ingredients when choosing products for her kids. She will be adding Beautycounter products to all Safe Product Guides in the coming weeks.

Note: This article contains affiliate links or sponsored content, which means that if you make a purchase, we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that meet our strict standards for non-toxicity and that we use (or want to use!) ourselves. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Good Stuff! 

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Leave a Reply

  1. Fanny Avatar

    will you include Ilia and Kosas brands to your makeup guide? I have heard it is “good” stuff but I’m skeptical unless it comes directly from you!

  2. Stacy P Avatar
    Stacy P

    Hi, when will the makeup guide be up and will you include Limelife by Alcone?

  3. Katie Avatar

    Have you tried Crunchi? If not, I’d be happy to send you a sample pack!

  4. Natalie Avatar

    It seems that “Safe Makeup Guide” never did happen. I see really helpful articles reviewing Mascara and Lipsticks, but that’s where it stops. It looks a bit like you decided that just selling BeautyCounter was going to be better than doing the work of reviewing all the many brands out there. The curse of the MLM kickbacks. No one who reviews their merchandise can be completely trusted.

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Actually, we are in the process of reviewing other types of makeup and at the very least a blush/bronzer guide will be published soon! I appreciate your patience.

  5. Lex Avatar

    Hi. A few people have asked about 100% Pure products and I’m very interested to hear the response. Any thoughts?

    1. Jennifer Avatar

      Still wondering about this as well.

    2. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Mostly, 100% Pure is Okay Stuff. You can see our review of their lipstick in this guide:

  6. Stephanie Crowley Avatar
    Stephanie Crowley

    Hello! Have you published your safe makeup guide yet? I’m unable to find it on your site.

    Also, are you familiar with AnneMarie Gianni’s line.

    Thank you!

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      We’ve done a Safe Mascara and a Safe Lipstick Guide so far! And yes, I believe AnneMarie Gianni is Good Stuff.

  7. Chantelle Dupree Avatar
    Chantelle Dupree

    Hi Maia.

    I too would like to know about “Honest Beauty Makeup”. I’ve been using google for days trying to find out if it is non toxic or not and can’t seem to find a straight answer. I want to know before I buy.

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      We haven’t researched this one yet, but will add to the list!

  8. Lauren Avatar

    Please include W3LL People makeup for the Safe Makeup Guide. Thank you!

  9. Hannah Avatar

    I love this website and I love beautycounter. I just have a comment about the below statement. If you don’t like the “pyramid company” and “won’t personally be engaging in multi-level marketing with Beautycounter” then why does it link to your consultant page? Seriously, just wondering as it seems a bit misleading? Thank you for all the work you do making sure products are good stuff!

    “Honestly, the hardest thing for us about Beautycounter was the whole “pyramid” structure of the company. Here at Gimme the Good Stuff, we pride ourselves on our independent voice. While we adore Beautycounter’s products, Beautycounter’s business plan looks very much like Multi-Level Marketing (otherwise known as a “pyramid company”). They call it “Direct Marketing,” but the differences are minimal. So while we won’t personally be engaging in multi-level marketing with Beautycounter (we aren’t going to be asking you guys to sign up as consultants!), we do feel that because of the lack of truly nontoxic makeup in the marketplace, we should offer these great products to our readers. So, if you’d like to try Beautycounter products, you can do so here.”

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Hi! Sorry if this is confusing. What we meant by not engaging is that we aren’t trying to get people to sign up “under” us–as in, building the “pyramid” and making commissions on those sales. We are, however, a consultant (in order to get access to all their research and resources, plus discounts on the products since we use them anyway!). Also, we should note that we know lots of really wonderful Beautycounter consultants who ARE building businesses and having real success, plus getting safe products in the hands of more people! We didn’t intend to be disparaging about the structure of this company–it’s just that our business model is different and we aren’t interested in the more traditional consultant role. Hope that makes sense!

  10. Molly Avatar

    hows dr hauscha mascara is that good stuff?

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      We’ll be doing a review of this brand when we share our Safe Makeup Guide.

  11. Jenn Avatar

    I have used beauty counter’s mascara and I love it!

  12. Nell Avatar

    Like Im1212, I am also curious about The Honest Company’s Honest Beauty products.

  13. Molly Avatar

    i was wondering if anyone tried the mascara from beauty counter. i dont want to buy it before knowing the reviews on it. does it smudge?is it long lasting?

  14. Katie Avatar

    Yes please let us know about 100% pure’s line as I use many of their products & baby products. I have a 3 1/2 & 22 month old & I’m “green” to living a green life but extremely determined to do so for the sake of my boys & families health. With the plethora of contradicting information I often get discouraged being I don’t have the time to sit and thoroughly read every single thing. So if you would be so kind to point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. I look so homely because I have put my 100% down being I’ve read conflicting things about their ingredients. Thank you

    A mother that just wants to feel pretty without jeopardizing her health or kids health as I give lots of hugs, kisses & snuggles daily!

  15. ivy Avatar

    hi maia,
    just to follow up on suzanne’s question above, what do you think about ? i’ve asked you a question about hipp formula before but never got a response..hoping that you would respond to this one, thanks.
    very respectfully,

  16. Lady Ogden Avatar
    Lady Ogden

    I was quite disappointed with the brand BeautyCounter. Such a strong advertisement promoting themselves as a company worried in do not use toxic ingredients but they use so many of them, even in their lip balm and it could be easier without toxic ingredients!! Very Very disappointing and a knowledgeable website like should think twice before advertise their products. So many people would buy BeautyCounter products without check because they trust on your advices.
    Perhaps you could make an article about their product with toxic ingredients, this would perhaps make them think twice in continue producing products like this. Shame on them. You have the tools with this website and the power to make things change if you use it properly.
    They should not advertise something that they are not. Below the list of toxic ingredients I have from UK.

    Toxic List
    1, 4-Dioxane
    2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol—BNPD or Bronopol
    Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES)
    Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
    Benzil Alcohol
    Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
    Cocamide DEA
    Cocamidopropil Betaime
    Cateareth or other “eth”
    Denatured alcohol
    Diazolidinyl Urea
    DMDM hydantoin
    “-eth-“ ingredients
    Fluoride – Sodium monofluorophosphate,-
    -Sodium Fluoride
    Formaldehyde – Quaternium – 15, MDM
    Fragrance (benzene derivatives, aldehydes
    –toluene, methylene chloride, limonene, benzyl-
    -acetate, aniline-D5,safrole, dimethyle sulfate)
    Imidazolidinyl urea
    Kathon GC
    Lanolin/Lanolin compounds
    Lauramide DEA
    MEA Alcohol or isopropyl
    Mineral Oil
    Oxynol or-oxynol-ingredients
    Padimate-O (octyl dimethyl PABA)
    Petrochemicals, including Isopropyl A
    and Mineral Oil
    Pnetyl, propyl, butyl and Ethyl paraben
    Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
    Polysorbate 60
    Polysorbate 80
    Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)
    Propylene Glycol
    PVP/VA Copolymer
    Quaternium 15
    Sodium Benzoate (E211)
    Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
    Stearalkonium Chloride
    Stearamide DEA
    Sulphur Dioxide (E220)
    Titanium Dioxide – CI 77891
    Triclo Carbon
    Triethanolamine (TEA)
    Artificial Colours
    MSG = (E621)
    Aspartame (E951)
    Quinoline Yellow (E104)
    Carrageenan (E407)
    Tartrazine (E102)
    Ponceau 4R (E124)
    Blue 1 – CI 42090
    Green 3
    D&C Red 33 CI – 17200
    FD&C Yellow 5 – CI 19140
    FD&C Yellow 6 – CI 1598

    1. Maia Avatar

      Hi there-
      I’m confused; most of what you’ve listed here are part of Beautycounter’s “Never Use” list, meaning they aren’t in any BC products…

    2. Karen Pearl Avatar
      Karen Pearl

      Dear Lady Ogden, What you have listed is not Beautycounter’s ingredient list, but a portion of the list of chemicals they will NEVER use. I am sorry for the confusion you experienced and hope you will will note that GIMMETHEGOODSTUFF has done the research for us and Beautycounter is a top notch company with the industry’s highest testing for safety in the country and perhaps the world so please shop Beautycounter with peace of mind that they not ony ban the measly 11 toxic ingredients mandated by US Government, but they also chose to ban the 1400++ ingredients banned in the EU and they then take it further to ban a few hundred more ingredients that they deem unsafe as they have never been tested for human consumption. Have faith in GIMMETHESTUFF and in BEAUTYCOUNTER, both are looking to make the world a safer place!

  17. suzanne Avatar

    What do you think of 100% pure’s line of makeup and other items?

  18. lm1212 Avatar

    Not sure if you are still choosing what brands to include on the safe makeup guide, but if so I was curious about Honest Beauty.(honest company’s makeup and skin line)