By ALEXANDRA MATZKO

The green beauty scene has been around for a while now, but you might be a newbie who is totally at a loss at where to start in this pretty prodigious green beauty space. Gone are the days when there were three or four makeup brands to choose from. Now, there are hundreds that range from luxury, to indie, to being at your local Sephora. I’m a makeup junkie, and I’ve loved trying all of the goodies that the natural beauty world has to offer, and I think I’ve come up with a good, updated green, healthier makeup starter kit for 2018.

My taste is fancier, so these selections reflect the pricier end of the spectrum, but they are all beautiful products.

Foundation

I’m not a big foundation/full coverage face person because I just hate the feeling of something covering my skin that isn’t skincare, and I have a fear of foundation breaking me out. The awesome thing about the Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation is that it’s a powder (reducing breakout possibilities), and it has beneficial skincare properties. Mineral makeup does seem to have a clarifying effect on my skin, which is awesome, and it also has an SPF of 25—win! I’ve got the shade Suntan.

The finish is also very natural. It isn’t a suffocating matte, and it doesn’t look cake-y, though I suppose it could if you went in with an extremely heavy hand. But, it looks very natural on me. This foundation also comes in a wide variety of shade options to help you find your perfect match. In fact, when I ordered a shade too light for my skin tone, the company sent me a replacement and let me keep the too-light shade! Talk about great customer service.

Concealer

I’ve tried natural wand concealers, powder concealers, and other cream concealers (of even the non-natural variety), but I always come back to RMS Beauty “un” cover-up (post comparing shades 11 and 22). I’ve been using it for over four years, and I still love it and haven’t even made my through the first jar of it I ever bought…. So, it’s probably technically expired, but it still works just like it did day one for me.

It’s creamy and opaque, and yeah it can crease, but it’s not that big of an issue for me and topping with some powder can eliminate the issue. I love that it feels like skincare for the delicate under-eye area, and that it leaves my skin feeling nice and moisturized with its coconut oil base. Plus, it covers up my dark circles and other imperfections.

Blush

There are a lot of quality, natural cream blushes in the market, but the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush, specifically in Desired Glow, is my favorite because it’s so long lasting, and I love the finish. This stuff stays put all day long, and I enjoy that it’s not coconut-oil based like the more emollient RMS beauty lip2cheek products.

Desired glow is the most beautiful orange, bronze-y, warm shade that just makes me look alive. It’s so wearable, and I love it. The runner-up is the RMS Beauty lip2cheek in the classic pink shade Demure.

Bronzer

So, I’m going through a moment of love for bronze-y, warm blush colors, and often forego blush altogether and replace it with a bronzer. And as far as the perfect blush/bronzer product, nothing beats the RMS Buriti Bronzer. It adds the perfect warmth and glow to the cheeks that looks so natural and is perfect for everyday. I also love how cream products are low maintenance and somewhat foolproof. I apply with my fingers and add more or blend out if I’ve under or over-applied. It’s so simple, yet it looks so polished.

Highlighter

There’s nothing that gives me more of a pop of confidence than highlighter. A little glow is so flattering, and there’s something fun about adding that dab of illumination to the cheekbones and inner corners of the eyes (and eyelids, and nose, and cupid’s bow, and browbone). I’ve got a lot of highlighters, but one that’s universally flattering is the RMS Beauty magic luminizer. It’s the perfect champagne hue that isn’t too white or too gold, and the coconut-oil base combined with the pigmentation creates the perfect, glossy, sheen to the skin.

Eyeliner

In recent years, I don’t wear eyeliner every day because it’s too fussy to have to remove, but I love a little top lid cat eye liner when I’m feeing glamorous. I really like the color selection and texture of the Honest Beauty eyeliners. They’re easy to apply and don’t “dry out” if that makes sense. They glide on. They don’t irritate my eyes at all, even if I apply them to my waterline. And, they’ve got a wide range of color selections, and the wear-time is very good. I’m much more utilitarian about eyeliner than highlighter, so I just want something that will reliably work and not end up all over my face, and this one fits the bill.

Eye Shadow

Eye shadow, like liner, is one of those makeup items I don’t wear every day. And, when I do, I tend to favor neutral shades that work for everyday looks. I haven’t had much luck with cream shadows because they crease badly or just fade away. My favorite shadow is a powder from Red Apple Lipstick called down to earth.

Mascara

Back in high school, mascara was hands down my favorite makeup product. The way a quick swipe of a wand could open up your eyes and add instant definition and polish really appealed to the lazy side of me. My love for it has dwindled in my late twenties, mostly because I hate to wash it off at the end of the day, but I incorporate it on more full-on nights out (or for everyday if I’m looking like death that day). I haven’t been blown away by any natural mascaras. Most of them add length but not volume, and I am a volume girl. The one that does the best job at this is the Honest Beauty mascara.

Lipstick

When I first started blogging, I was obsessed with lipstick and lip color, and I still am somewhat, so I’ve tried almost all the green beauty lip products out there and now consider myself somewhat of an expert. My essential lip color? I picked two because I can’t help myself: Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody’s Baby and the Red Apple Lipstick in Audrey.

So, if you’re looking to green-ify your makeup bag, give these products a try! You won’t regret getting rid of toxic chemicals in your makeup without having to sacrifice the performance or quality.