LAST UPDATED: 06/22/2019
Eye shadows are a fun and versatile way to change up your daily look. They’re perfect at accentuating natural beauty by adding depth, dimension, and an instant “pop” of color to your eyes.
Eye shadows are simply heavily pigmented powders and creams that can be applied to the eye area. Conventional eye shadows use various artificial dyes and synthetic ingredients to create wide variety of textures and an endless array of shimmering, sparkling, and vibrant colors. So, where do natural and organic eye shadows derive their beautiful palettes from?
Some of the best natural eyeshadows get their beautiful colors straight from yummy plants and spices such as paprika, turmeric, pomegranate, cherries, peaches, and berries. Others use naturally occurring mineral pigments from iron oxides (red, brown, black, and yellow), ultramarines (deep blue), and titanium dioxide (white).
For shimmer and shine, natural eyeshadows use mica as the base. Kaolin clay, rice powder, and bamboo powder are typically used as alternatives to synthetic fillers and binders. Liquid or creme natural shadows are made with moisturizing and reparative oils, butters, and plant waxes (such as jojoba oil, shea butter, and beeswax). Beeswax softens and soothes while providing antimicrobial effects, which is enhanced synergistically by other natural ingredients like olive oil, castor oil, honey, and jojoba oil (1).
Every shade requires a different combination of ingredients. For example, carmine is only used in red/pink shades, mica is only used in shimmering eyeshadows, and ultramarines are used for deep blue shades. Cream eyeshadows are made with oils and butters, whereas powdered eyeshadows will contain mostly minerals for color.
It is important to understand that just because a cosmetic product claims to natural or organic, doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the case. Regulations on terms such as “organic”, “natural”, and “clean” in the beauty industry are notoriously loose. Meaning, cosmetic companies can use these terms in their marketing without having to adhere to a quality standard. Also, just because a product is organic doesn’t mean that it isn’t capable of causing irritation like their conventional counterparts. As with all things, formulation and dose matter.
With all of that said, it’s clear that you don’t have to make many trade-offs when switching to a natural eye shadow. You can still achieve the same stunning looks with organic eyeshadow formulas that are made from all-natural ingredients.
Finding a natural eyeshadow that made from only the natural ingredients discussed can sometimes be easier said than done. There is a lot of noise in the organic beauty industry—and that’s where our team of beauty experts comes in!
To help you find the best natural eye shadows and palettes, we went out and scoured the internet to bring you the very best of the best. After researching over 110 supposedly “natural” eyeshadow products, we narrowed the field down to this list of the top 15. These eyeshadows do not contain any of our banned ingredients (like talc, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, mineral oils, parabens, coal tars, silicone, and artificial dyes) and each and every ingredient has been combed through and reviewed. We also took into account online customer reviews and third-party reviewer experiences.
We included a variety of amazing natural eye shadow palettes, natural cream eye shadows, and natural pressed eye shadows. All in all, in our humble opinion, you won’t find a better list of pure natural eye shadows than this. Enjoy!
1. (2016) Beeswax: A minireview of its antimicrobial activity and its application in medicine https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764516301407