Non-Toxic Beauty

The Best Natural & Organic Eyeliner Options for 2023

Have you ever poked yourself in the eye when you are applying your eyeliner? We would say that this has happened to almost every woman who wears makeup. Not only does it hurt, but it starts to water, and during that time it becomes impossible to finish putting on eyeliner. 

At that moment, were you wondering what ingredients just landed in a place so delicate? Probably not. But here’s the thing, our skin is our largest organ and absorbs up to 64% of what we put on, including the eyeliner around our eyes! 

Compared to other cosmetic and beauty products, eyeliner is one that is applied in small amounts, but again on an area of skin that is much thinner than other places. 

All the more reason to make the swap to an organic eyeliner! 

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woman applying liquid eyeliner

Why You Should Switch to Natural or Organic Eyeliner

Most women are pretty set in their ways when it comes to cosmetics, but eyeliner is a great place to start when it comes to switching to natural and organic cosmetics. We can guarantee that you won’t miss your old faithful, and instead, you’ll be making a healthy decision to reduce the harsh chemicals that really serve no purpose. 

Besides the toxic cocktail of chemicals that conventional cosmetic companies use, using organic eyeliner can help decrease the risks of eye irritations and infections. We know that preservatives and additives are used in traditional eyeliners that fight fungi and bacteria, but how often do you actually throw away your makeup after it is expired? 

Honestly before making the switch to natural and organic cosmetics, I never even considered the thought of an expiration date because nothing seemed wrong with the makeup. It didn’t look any different, the smell was still that of a brand new purchase, and the color never changed. This is all because of the preservatives. Don’t you think that even though chemicals were added to extend the life of the makeup that there was still bacteria being harbored? 

Not to mention that the actual eyeliner is inside of a dark area, which is the perfect place for bacteria and fungus to grow. 

I mention all of that because as a rule of thumb after three months, you should toss the eye makeup. Especially when using organic or natural cosmetics because they lack all of those nasty chemicals. 

Irritations and infections can be worse depending on your sensitivity and if you apply your eyeliner to your waterline. 

There are tons of ingredients that are added to conventional eyeliners that have been linked to health issues and even lead poisoning. Some of these are hidden under umbrella terms such as fragrance, anti-caking agents, stabilizers, and preservatives. 

Next, we are going to review exactly what those ingredients are that you should avoid

Ingredients You Should Avoid If You’re Looking for Natural Organic Eyeliner

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These are waxy substances that are used as preservatives in cosmetics, food, hair products, deodorant, and sunscreen. You can also find them in animal feed and food packaging (yuck.) The biggest population at risk is children and pregnant women, but this chemical has been linked to endocrine disruption and organ-system toxicity in non-pregnant adults as well. Be careful when reading labels, because BHA can also stand for beta hydroxy acid (typically found in exfoliants). Just so you know, butylated hydroxyanisole is not even allowed to be used in European countries.

Coal Tar Dyes. Coal tar is a chemical mixture that includes a number of carcinogens and is only deemed safe by the FDA at .5% to 5%. These may also be listed as FD&C or D&C followed by a color name and number. Companies use these dyes to give cosmetics their color, but we know that by choosing an organic line of cosmetics, we can avoid these. 

Parabens. Those yucky artificial preservatives we mentioned earlier are often in the paraben family which is added to try to prevent bacteria growth and mold along with extending the shelf life.

Carnauba wax. While this wax is relatively harmless, it’s worth mentioning because many have had allergic reactions to it. It’s usually not the wax that is the problem, but the chemicals that are added during the manufacturing process that makes it worse. Carnauba wax is added to eyeliners and mascaras to make them longer lasting by clogging the oil glands. 

organic eyeliner with brush tip and several markings

How to Buy the Best Natural or Organic Eyeliner

Look for Natural Ingredients

Beeswax is a good alternative to carnauba wax because we know exactly where it comes from and it’s typically not combined with other chemicals. 

You will also notice some type of natural oil like sunflower seed oil or jojoba, which is added to make application easier and often referred to as a film former. 

Depending on the organic eyeliner shade, you will want to be on the lookout for mica or iron oxides for darker colors and titanium dioxide for lighter colors. If you are shopping for eyeliners with a blue or green hue, there will be chromium oxide and ultramarine added. 

Choose What Type of Organic Eyeliner You Prefer 

There are many different types of eyeliners on the market. Most people have a personal preference as to which type they use, and you can find any of them in an organic version. 

Kohl eyeliners look like a pencil and need to be sharpened regularly. These are formulated to be creamier when applying and can give off a natural look or can be easily smudged for the smokey eye. Some say these don’t offer all-day coverage because of the softness, but it’s also easy to apply to your waterline if that’s your style. 

In the same family, is the regular eyeliner. It comes in pencil form and needs to be sharpened as well. However, in comparison to the Kohl, it is a drier formula. You can use it on both your waterline or as a top eyeliner. Generally, this look will last about 3 hours, but it’s easy to touch up and as long as you keep the tip sharp, you can even do a cat-eye. 

Liquid eyeliners come in two forms; a brush tip and a felt tip. Both require a steady hand because it’s harder to remove once it’s dried. Most women prefer this eyeliner for a dramatic look or one that lasts for a long time. The thickness is based on the amount of pressure you use. The felt tip eyeliner often comes in a pen-style or referred to as an art liner. You have much more control over this kind versus the brush tip. 

Mechanical eyeliners, similar to mechanical pencils, do not need to be sharpened and are the same as Kohl in terms of creaminess. All you do is twist the barrel to make more eyeliner come out. The major downside to this type of eyeliner is that once the tip is going, it’s hard to get a precise line again. You also can’t tell how much you have left until you run out, and at that point, it is a little late. 

Our Favorite Natural & Organic Eyeliners 

Maia’s Mineral Galaxy Mineral Eyeliner, Kohl

This Kohl organic eyeliner is EWG certified and made with only minerals! Perfect for any look and can be applied to the top eyelid and waterline. As always, Maia’s Minerals is gluten and cruelty-free along with vegan-friendly! Their organic Kohl eyeliner selection comes in 20 different shades! 

Clove + Hallow Line + Define Liquid Eyeliner

This long lasting, smudge free liquid eyeliner comes with a felt tip and is made with only clean ingredients! A vivid black color that is carbon free and vegan friendly! Another great option for the cat eye look or just a precise daily look. 

NakedPoppy Clean Liquid Eyeliner, Black

This brush-tip organic liquid eyeliner from NakenPoppy actually won the Best Eyeliner” in the 2020 Shape Beauty Awards and Byrdie’s 2020 Eco Beauty Awards. Not only is it EWG certified, but it’s also Certified Cruelty-Free by Leaping Bunny. It may wash off easy, but once it’s applied it’s there to stay! Currently, it’s only offered in black but we are hoping they offer more colors in the future!

C’est Moi Fearless Eyeliner Pencil

C’est Moi is using only clean ingredients with this sleep EWG verified eyeliner. It goes on smoothly and comes in a variety of colors! If you like mixing things up, don’t forget to check out their dual-tipped eyeliner pencils

Bare Minerals Lasting Line™ Long-wearing Eyeliner

Bare Minerals has formulated a twist-up eyeliner that comes in 5 different shades and is long-lasting! It’s free from parabens, SLS, talc, gluten, and synthetic fragrances. The added vitamin c helps to soothe your eyelids and ensures smooth application! 

Now that you know exactly what to look for in your organic eyeliner you can also start shopping for the best organic lipstick and create a look you love without all of the toxic chemicals! 

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