I have a confession: I am a complete N00B when it comes to makeup. My goal with makeup is usually to spend as little as possible, and to wear as little as possible. In my struggles with acne I was able to get away with this, as my breakouts were always the worst on my chest and back, and for the spots that crept onto my face, it was nothing some heavy duty concealer couldn’t handle.

Knowing what I know now about skin health and toxicity in the body, I can’t help but think a little bit harder about the products I put on my skin. After all, what you put on your skin is readily absorbed into the body, leaving your liver to filter out any toxins from synthetic ingredients or fillers from low quality products.

Holiday Makeup Workshop

Through some divine timing, the few compacts of shitty drugstore-brand powders and blushes that I had in my bathroom drawer happened to run out right at the time I saw an Instagram post for a Holiday Green Beauty workshop hosted by the Green Beauty Collective.

I signed up immediately at the promise of getting to play with a variety of green, cruelty-free, and clean cosmetics in a safe learning environment. Plus, I’d get to learn some techniques for actually applying the product!

The workshop was so much fun. Amanda Gangoso and Jacqueline Parker of Beauty Reawakened, the brains and beauty behind The Green Beauty Collective, are both makeup artists committed to using natural, organic, and clean cosmetics, and were the hosts for the afternoon.

While myself and the rest of the ladies in attendance sipped tea and nibbled on raw chocolate, they demoed two makeup looks that are perfect for the holidays, or any event that you want to doll yourself up for. They also offered a ton of really helpful tricks for application that can be used for everyday looks as well. (Um, anyone else struggle with liquid liner?)

After the demos, came the intimidating, but also fun part – playing with all of the product.

It was like Amanda and Jacqueline could smell my fear around makeup, and both were extra sweet and accommodating to help me color match a foundation, find the right bronzer, and even teach me how to fill in my brows properly. Of course I didn’t get all of the attention, they’re just rad girls and made sure everyone there was well taken care of.

In the end, I walked away with 5 products, and more on order, to restock my cosmetics bag.

So what did I get?

Natural Makeup

*Note, none of the links above are affiliate links. Instead, I linked to Jacqueline’s shop where I could. I’d love it if you could support her!*

Making the Switch

As I played with more and more of the products, and my list got longer, I was preparing to take a hard hit on my credit card. But in the end, I got 5 products, for just over $100!

I can honestly say I was surprised, because in the past, I’ve spent more money on fewer, more toxic, products at Sephora!

So, no, swapping out your cosmetics for more natural and organic options does not have to break the bank.

However, if you only use CoverGirl or other drugstore brands, you will likely pay more to make the switch. My recommendation is to take it slow. As one product runs out, simply replace it with a greener, safer one.

If you’re really struggling with acne, I’d recommend starting with a safe, non-comedogenic foundation that will give you good coverage without clogging your pores. The one I purchased from Elate Cosmetics, has argan oil in it, making it extremely hydrating, without clogging my pores.

If you’re used to dropping serious coin at the cosmetics counter at Nordstrom, or even at MAC, then going green with your cosmetics will be a delightful surprise to your wallet.

Finding Green Beauty Products

So where do you begin your search for better beauty products? Feel free to check out the brands that I purchased (all linked above).

I personally started my search with Instagram. It’s amazing what you can find on there with the right hashtag search. Here are some you can try:


Instagram is a haven for beauty bloggers. I personally look for the flatlay images with lots of products. Often the blogger will have tagged all the different beauty products in the image, and then you can dive deeper in your search from there.

If you’re local to Vancouver, BC, or are in Canada, then I also highly recommend that you check out Jacqueline’s online shop. It’s like the digital version of the makeup playground I got to experience on the weekend.

Lastly, if you want to check the safety of the ingredients you already have in your makeup bag, then I’d highly recommend using the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database, Skin Deep or their Skin Deep App. On the site you can search your product by name, or scan the barcode using the app, and then see the safety rating of each of the ingredients. This can be an awesome tool to help you decide what products you want to swap out first based on their safety alone.

I know you’re ready to make some changes to your makeup bag! Your skin will definitely thank you.

If you want more information and tips on how to nourish your skin from the inside out, and heal your acne naturally, then be sure to check out the FREE 5-day skin program and sign up below!