My Favorite Natural Beauty Products

makeupWhen I got pregnant, I became much more aware of what I was putting both in and on my body. I took the food rules very seriously and was super conscious of everything that could potentially harm my unborn child. Aside from learning more about the foods that could be harmful, I read up on sulfates, parabens, and phthalates and other unnecessary chemicals that show up in absolutely everything we use in our daily routines. I examined every single bottle in our bathroom and pitched shampoos, conditioners, and body lotions that contained questionable ingredients and started buying more “natural” beauty and healthcare products.

After a bit of trial and error, I’ve landed on a few go-to products that have become my new standards. Since I have done the research and tested these out, I’m sharing my favs with you so you don’t have to. All of these products are paraben-free, sulfate-free (particularly sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate – the biggest offenders) and phthalate free.


makeup and mascara

I’ve always leaned more towards a “fresh face” with a fairly minimal make-up routine, but since becoming a mom, it’s a rare moment when I am able to get more than a swipe of mascara on my eyelashes and some lip balm on my lips. But when I DO get a chance, Tarte Cosmetics is my go-to make-up line.

I’ve spent my full adult life on a quest for the perfect mascara and finally found a natural mascara that works: TARTE GIFTED™ AMAZONIAN CLAY SMART MASCARA, $23

Its vegan, dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers, like me. I love that it’s highly pigmented and both volumizes and lengthens my lashes. I’ve also found it doesn’t flake or smudge, leaving me with raccoon-eyes at the end of the day. After trying at least a billion mascaras in my lifetime, to me, this one is worth the price. 

Another favorite from Tarte is the: TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY AIRBRUSH FOUNDATION, $36

I have never really worn foundation because I don’t like how it feels on my face, so I either stick to tinted moisturizer or a lightweight powder foundation when I want or need extra coverage to even out my complexion. 

This product is also vegan, hypoallergenic and waterproof. Bonus: It comes in 16 different shades, taking into account not just the color of your complexion, but also your skin tone. (That is if you’ve ever actually been able to figure out the difference between peach, yellow or pink undertones…)

In general, the Amazonian clay line is the BOMB. So, if you need a new blush, I highly recommend the AMAZONIAN CLAY 12-HOUR BLUSH, $29 as well. With 15 different shades, you are bound to find one you like. Pro Tip: A little goes a long way.

I’m still searching for the perfect lip balm though, so I’d love to hear your recommendations! With at least 35 tubes kicking around between my house, car and office, the best I’ve found thus far is from the guy who sells honey at the Monona Farmers Market on Sundays… 


Skincare products

I have normal to dry skin and just get oily in my T-zones, particularly in the humid Wisconsin summers. Never in a million years did I think I’d spend more than $10 on face wash, but then I discovered EVER. EVER is part of the Stella & Dot Family Brands and as a Stella & Dot stylist, I was offered a 20% discount to try EVER last Christmas.

They recommend a daily 4-Step Regimen, and as a new mom, ain’t nobody got time for that. So I decided to skip the recommended serum and night moisturizer and just got the basics. After taking their online Skin Quiz, I landed on the REBALANCE GENTLE PURIFYING CLEANSER, $40; the REVEAL BIOMIMETIC PEEL PADS, $70; and the HYDRALIFT MOISTURE INJECTION CREAM, $70. 

Now listen, I know this stuff is EXPENSIVE. And as I said previously, I’m used to spending maybe $10 on face wash, but this stuff is amazing. My skin has never looked better. Since I am quickly approaching 40, I figured I could invest a little more in maintaining my youthful appearance. Because I imagine it ain’t gonna get better with age… I really only wash my face once a day, so I was able to make these products last about 6 months.

If you choose the “Subscribe to Save” option, you’ll get 10% off each of these items, plus free shipping on orders over $80. Plus you can self-cancel any time. The bonus with this option is you get 10% of your order total back in product credit to spend on a future purchase. So be strategic about how you order and you can save a decent amount of money. They also offer a 45-day money back guarantee so you can try it and return anything that doesn’t quite work for you. Click here for $10 off your first order.

The cool thing about EVER is their rigorous ingredients standards. There are 23 ingredients on their “Never Ever” list, so not only do they avoid the big three, but also synthetic fragrances and colors, chemical sunscreens, and much more. 


curly hair

I have naturally curly, bi-racial hair, so my focus is always on moisture and curl definition. I do not use shampoo on a daily (or sometimes even weekly) basis and have embraced the co-wash method, which basically means I “wash” my hair with conditioner instead. My daily routine is usually conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and a styling product and just like mascara, I’ve tried a gazillion different hair products over the years, looking for just the right concoction.

I have found a few favorites for my hair type and primarily buy products from the RENPURE COCONUT OIL PROFESSIONALS line. I do some combination of a cleansing conditioner, conditioner, and leave-in and finish with the COCONUT CREME CURLING JELLY STYLING GEL

Now I know what you are thinking – that based off of my make-up and skin care recommendations – “this girl’s got expensive taste”. But here is where I tend to save. I find most of my favorite hair care products at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Availability can fluctuate, but they are very affordable, with each product ranging in price from $4.99-6.99. You can also find this line at Target.

So, there you have it. My top beauty secrets for makeup, hair and skin. I’d love to hear yours too!

What are some of your favorite natural beauty products?

This post includes referral links to EVER Skincare. The author may receive free product credit if readers purchase products through the embedded EVER Skincare links, however, the author is not an employee or affiliate of EVER Skincare and her opinions are her own.

Alicia was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and moved to Madison in 1996 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in radio, television and film. She’s been working on campus in some capacity ever since and currently manages career and leadership development initiatives in the School of Human Ecology. Alicia married her husband Eric in 2012 and became a mom to her sweet and funny son Ellis in 2015. When she’s not playing with or reading to Ellis, she likes to read, watch TV, and might be caught playing bingo at the VFW. She also runs her own lifestyle blog ( and catches for her softball team through Madison Schools & Community Recreation every summer.


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