Your Guide to Cleaner, Non-Toxic Makeup

There are some weird things lurking in cosmetics. Formaldehyde in your eye shadow? Yes, and gross. But the founder of New York City's Cap Beauty is here to introduce the world of clean cosmetics, for glowing, healthier skin.

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Tip No. 1: Take It Easy, Go Slow

Co-founder of Cap Beauty, Kerrilynn Pamer, with man's best friend. Photograph courtesy of Cap Beauty
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"I don't want to scare anyone about what they're currently using," Kerrilynn Pamer, the co-founder of natural beauty store and spa Cap Beauty, says. "I approach [clean makeup] from the angle of, the better the things you put on your skin, the better you're going to feel in your skin." Transitioning to cleaner products is a slow and steady process. "There are some people who want to go head first and make a lot of changes at once, but I think that can be a little bit overwhelming," Pamer says. "I would say start with switching one or two products, and then see how that feels."

Just some of RMS Beauty's dazzling collection of natural lip colors. Photograph courtesy of @veerandwander
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Tip No. 2: Change Your Skin-Care Basics

If you're looking to change your skincare regimen, Pamer recommends trying oil-based items first. "Natural skin care lends itself to a lot of oil because there aren't preservatives in oils," she explains. Although people tend to avoid oils because of their skin type, they are actually great for a range of complexions (yes, even those of you with blemish-prone skin). "You want to apply the right oil to your skin in order to bring your skin into homeostasis, which is a place of balance."

Tip No. 3: Reconfigure Your Mascara Hopes

The purple—yes, purple—mascara from W3ll People's line. Photograph courtesy of @w3llpeople

Warning: one downside to cleaner makeup is the industry's dearth of waterproof mascara. Natural mascaras contain fewer preservatives and chemicals that are found in traditional formulas. "They aren't going to function like a classic mascara," Pamer says. "People looking for a waterproof option, like Maybelline, aren't going to get it. It will be a new experience, but it does work really well." (So you'll still get the length and volume you want, but may just need to reapply during the day.)

Now that you have the crucial details on clean makeup, here are three brands made without synthetic ingredients that Pamer loves and sells in her shop!

W3ll People

Why Pamer Loves It: "The really cool and interesting thing about W3ll People is that the base of all their products is aloe vera, which creates a beautiful, finished look because of the hydrating properties it carries."

RMS Beauty

Why Pamer Loves It: "RMS has high quality coconut oil as its base, which is very nourishing for the skin. It's also a beloved brand with beautiful, on-trend colors."

Kjaer Weis

Why Pamer Loves It: "This is an exquisite brand. The packaging is interchangeable; you buy the products in silver compacts, and when you're done with them, you can actually purchase new inserts for the compacts. It's a really sustainable solution."

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