I Tried 5 Natural Foundations And Here's What I think

Why natural foundations?


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A few months ago, I decided to go on a hunt for clean, “green” makeup products; specifically, foundations, since it covers the whole of my face. There wasn't really a trigger but I sometimes felt like my efforts of caring for my skin at night were going to waste when I'd just put on makeup products that are potentially being harmful during the day.

In the process of learning more about natural makeup brands and products, I realized how much of a challenge it actually is when it comes to figuring out what brands are truly non-toxic and clean.

I wasn’t too sure where to start, so I asked my followers via Instagram Stories what brands they’d recommend or would like me to try when it comes to “natural foundations.” I had about 30 replies, and the brand names that popped up more frequently included RMS Beauty, Lilah B., Burt’s Bee, Kjaer Weis, bareMinerals, First Aid Beauty, and ILIA. From that list, I picked out 5 different types of foundations at random and decided to try one every week. [Please note that after speaking to people with more experience in the field, and some research on my own, I learned that First Aid Beauty and bareMinerals are actually not considered “natural.”]

I also spoke to my beautiful gal pal Libby Vilner of @lifewithlibby, who’s also a lot more experienced in #CleanBeauty, about the brands and products I’m trying out to see what her thoughts are. Scroll to the bottom to read the little “interview” I did with her and find out which are actually “natural” in her opinion.

I received all of the products mentioned in this blog post as a gift; all opinions are 100% my own. This is NOT a sponsored post.


The Cream Foundation by Kjaer Weis

This build-able cream foundation by Kjaer Weis is designed for all skin types. The formula includes coconut, sweet almond, and jojoba seed oils that together add moisture to the skin. The professionals at Kjaer Weis matched my shade to a color called Subtlety, which is great for medium-hued skin with yellow undertones. This product is also gluten free.

What I love: When paired with the Beautiful Oil by Kjaer Weis, the foundation goes on the skin so, so smoothly. Depending on how much makeup you want to put on, you can layer the foundation to go from a sheer to full-coverage look. Another great feature I about this product is that the pretty case is reusable! Simply get the Foundation Refills and you can help cut down unnecessary waste!

What I’d like to change: It’s be great if the foundation had SPF for sun protection! (Read RMS Beauty to find out what I learned about the absence of “SPF” ingredients.)

Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30 by First Aid Beauty

(Note: Not considered “natural”)

This tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 is designed to hydrate and protect the skin. The mousse-like product is formulated with vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and other nourishing ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal which helps to reduce redness. This product is also vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.

What I love: The product has a good amount of SPF and does a nice job keeping my dry cheeks hydrated. The light-to-medium coverage is just right for me and I feel like the product doesn’t clog my pores!

What I’d like to change: Sometimes the product doesn’t go on my skin evenly. And once in while, it adds shine to my oily t-zone.

(Note: Not considered “natural”)

The foundation I got from bareMinerals is in a powder form and it is made of crushed minerals.

What I love: The loose powder is very light, yet it gives decent coverage. I love that it doesn’t dry my skin! I have combination skin and the powder reduces shine on my oily t-zone. The packaging is thoughtfully designed, so it is fairly easy to avoid making a mess.

What I’d like to change: Because a brush is required, it can be a hassle sometimes since I need to regularly clean the brush as well.

Photo by Ashley Gallerani.

Un Cover Up by RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty’s Un Cover Up works as a foundation as well as a concealer. The product is crafted from raw, organic ingredients and has a moisturizing formula. The color I have is No. 22.

What I love: This foundation is one of my favorites out of the 5. It gives me that bouncy, dewy look! It doesn’t dry my skin and helps reduce redness on my sensitive cheeks. The container is small and light, so it is very easy to travel with. And I mean even on a daily basis; it’s great to have in my bag in case I need touchups before a photo shoot or an event.

What I’d like to change: Initially I thought it’d be great if the foundation had SPF for sun protection! But I later learned from Laura Saur, Director of Social Media at RMS Beauty, that “… you will not find any of our (RMS Beauty) products to include unnatural SPF ingredients/additives as that is what diminishes it from being a natural and clean beauty product. Most makeup products that have SPF included contain synthetic ingredients, which are not clean.”

This foundation is in a powder formulation that offers light coverage. It is designed to work with any skin type and formulated with natural ingredients such as aloe and agar for hydrating benefits. It also has coconut oil! The shade I have is called b. natural.

What I love: The powder has a build-able formula and instead of caking your skin, it makes you feel like you’re not wearing makeup at all. I find this product perfect for controlling the shine on my oily t-zone. I also love the packaging!

What I’d like to change: The brush feels a little harsh against my skin sometimes, so I actually swapped it out for a brush that feels softer after a few use.

Libby from @lifewithlibby has beautiful, clear skin. Photo by  Ashley Gallerani .

Libby from @lifewithlibby has beautiful, clear skin. Photo by Ashley Gallerani.

Read on to see what Libby (who has flawless skin, by the way) says about some of the questions I have about clean beauty!

Q: How do you know when a makeup brand is "clean" or "natural"?

A: I start by scanning/searching for a product on my free apps Think Dirty and Healthy Living to see how they categorize a product. Then from there, I continue to do more research on google about the brand. I also look at whether they’re owned by a bigger corporation and what their morals and ethics etc. are like before I decide if it is a true clean makeup brand.

Q: Out of the brands I tried, which have you used before and agree it is "natural"? 

A: I have used RMS and Kjaer Weis and they would be the recommended brands that I consider to be truly clean. I love the Un-cover Up Concealer by RMS and Kjaer Weis’ foundation when I’m looking to get a full coverage look.

I used to use BareMinerals but when I did a little more digging, the information I gathered led me to believe that they don’t meet the toxic-free requirement when it comes to being really “natural.”


Q: What other natural foundations that isn't in the batch I tried that you would recommend me to try?

A: Vapour Beauty’s foundation is my current favorite, and then Au Naturale’s foundation stick for a less coverage, natural look. I also really love W3ll People’s tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 for very minimalistic days.

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with those looking into starting their green beauty journey?

Do your research! Get the two apps I mentioned earlier. They are free and SO helpful when transitioning into the world of natural makeup. If you ever need ANY help, feel free to reach out! If you want to check out more of my recommendations, here is a master list of all my favorite clean beauty products (including makeup, hair, skincare, home care etc.) that I have compiled over the years.

Thank you Libby, for your helpful input! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, and thank you for stopping by!




Tricia Chen is co-founder of Key To Radiance. She loves having fresh flowers in her apartment, putting on face masks, savoring cupcakes and a daily cup of grande almond latte. She works in PR and Marketing, and is currently based in New York.

Skin Type: Combination skin with an oily T-zone area (forehead and nose). Changes in climate, diet and/or lack of sleep irritates skin and causes inflammation, which then leads to large pores. High moisture level required on dry cheeks.