My go-to summer look is a bit of concealer under my eyes and around my nose, a quick swipe of brown eyeliner and mascara, and a bright, fun lipstick, which I typically will use a very small, very thin coat of as blush on my cheeks. I love how lipstick can instantly make an outfit feel put together, even if it takes only a few seconds to put on.
It can be hard to find great colors in natural makeup lines, but there are a few out there that do it beautifully. I’ve tested out more brands than I care to count, and the colors I feature below are from the three I keep coming back to: Red Apple Lipstick, ILIA, and Kjaer Weis. They all use organic bases that are wonderfully nourishing for your lips and free of the scary ingredients found in most conventional lipsticks: lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and at least five other metals, all of which we’re not only putting on our skin but consuming, bit by bit, on a daily basis. A recent UC Berkeley study revealed that women who use conventional lipsticks even at modest levels could be greatly increasing their risk of developing a host of potential health conditions, including gastrointestinal upset, nerve damage, and cancer.
And with colors like these, why not go natural?
I’ve scavenged the shelves and tested much of what’s available in the natural lipstick section to come back with my top five summer looks, with what I consider to be the best organic lipstick. Try a few, and you’ll see the power of lipstick to brighten not only your face but your mood.
Red Apple Lipsticks are famous for being gluten free (many lipsticks are not, which is incredibly important for celiacs to be aware of). Additionally, they’re paraben free, lead free, vegan, soy free, and packed with nourishing oils that hydrate and heal lips. Their products wear unbelievably well and last forever (seriously, I’ve had one go all day and through the next morning without touching up, and it looked perfect) – there’s a reason this is the first of three Red Apple products I’ve included in this post. This shade is called Unpinkable, and it’s a brilliant, bright fuschia. While I gravitate towards darker dramatic colors in the winter (deep reds and burgundies) in the summer, I think fuschia is perfect for a night out, or any time you want your lips to really make a statement.
ILIA is a beautiful, luxurious cosmetic brand that makes incredibly on-trend natural lip colors. Their products are 85% organic, although they do use a touch – 0.1-0.3% – of synthetic color. This color, Crimson & Clover, looks exactly like the one you see all the J. Crew models wearing – red with just a touch of orange. It’s slightly more transparent than typical red lipsticks, which, when combined with the faint orange undertone, makes it the absolute perfect summer red.
No summer lip look book can be complete without a good coral, and Red Apple Lipstick’s Sweet Coraline is my favorite I’ve tried. I love how it makes skin look instantly sun kissed, and adds a beachy, summery vibe to any outfit. This is one of my favorite colors for summer days, at the beach or in the city. It looks especially amazing when worn with turquoise or white.
This Kjaer Weis color, appropriately called Happy, is meant to be a cream blush, but I especially love it as a bright, bubblegum pink lipstick (although it’s beautifully summery if applied with a very light hand on the cheeks). It feels like a modern version of a Barbie lip, and it looks amazing with a black cat eye. Kjaer Weis products are all certified organic, which means they contain at least 95% organic materials. They’re packed with nourishing oils and vitamins to insure your lips stay soft and full, and the colors have awesome staying power. Their packaging is beautiful, and the silver cases are designed to be refillable, so the second purchase is cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Audrey is, I think, the most flattering every day lip color on the planet. I’ve tested this baby on women of most skin tones and ages, and for everyone, it had the magic effect of looking like your lips, but ineffably better. While it looks slightly mauve in the tube, on the lips it becomes a beautiful pinky color. This is my go-to day to day color – I rub it into my lips like a stain to look not like I’m wearing makeup, but simply like a more wow-worthy version of myself.
Do you go out of your way to find organic lip products? Share any brands you love, and your go-to summer makeup look in the comments! I hope you’re enjoying these long, beautiful days!