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Reviewed: 11 of the Best Non-Toxic Makeup and Skincare Products from Beautycounter

What's worth buying from the safe skincare and cosmetics retailer.

Even before I tried anything from Beautycounter—the California-based personal care brand specializing in safe, non-toxic products—I was already impressed. 

Back in the spring, I interviewed founder Gregg Renfrew for the brand's launch in Canada (they've been in the US since 2013), and learned about her goal of getting cleaner cosmetics in more people's hands. 

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While the products aren't necessarily natural, they are free of harmful chemicals, and boast chic packaging that wouldn't look out of place at any high-end department store. I also appreciate Beautycounter's transparency on ingredients. Their Ingredients Glossary explains what's in each product, and why (because "scientists shouldn't be the only ones able to decipher the label on a cosmetics bottle"). There's also a "Never List" of the no-no ingredients that you'll never find in their formulas. 

So how do the products measure up? Now that I've had the chance to try a selection of their makeup and skincare, my full report is below!

(Note: Although Beautycounter does use a network of independent consultants, similar to Avon, you can also purchase directly from

1. Beautycounter Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation

Beautycounter Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation.

Beautycounter Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation in (from left to right) Porcelain, Linen and Sand. 

The Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation has a creamy texture that can be sheered out for light coverage or applied a bit heavier for flawless medium coverage. It's also quite moisturizing, and dries down to a beautiful glowy and slightly dewy finish (maybe too dewy if you are oily, however). There are eight shades, and I tried the three lightest; Porcelain, the lightest, was a match in the spring, but now that I've got some tan, I'm wearing Linen, the second lightest. Although I'd prefer it without any silicones, you really can't tell that they're in there—it looks and feels very natural on the skin, unlike most foundations I've tried. 

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Coco-Caprylate, Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isostearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Isoeicosane, Propanediol, Jojoba Esters, Glycerin, Magnesium Sulfate, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d'abeille, Dimethicone, Gluconolactone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Lecithin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499).

2. Beautycounter Lip Gloss

Beautycounter Lip Gloss in Peony, Dahlia and Buff.

Beautycounter Lip Gloss in (from top to bottom) Peony, Dahlia and Buff.

The Lip Gloss is non-sticky, super-shiny and extremely moisturizing. It comes in seven shades; I tried three: Peony, a pink, Dahlia, a mauve with pink undertones, and Buff, a nude. Although there's not a huge amount of colour payoff, I love how these feel on the lips, and the high-shine texture is really pretty.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Polybutene, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

3. Beautycounter Lip Sheer

Beautycounter Lip Sheers in Nude and Terra.

Beautycounter Lip Sheers in Nude (top) and Terra (bottom).

The Lip Sheer is a rich, moisturizing lipstick with sheer pigment and a slight sheen. There are 10 shades, and I tried the two lightest. Nude is a sheer peachy beige that lets some of my naturally darker lip tone peek through (so you might get better coverage if your lips are more neutral-toned). Terra is a tawny rose—very "your lips only better." Although they're super-creamy, I think these look even better blotted down for a softer, stained effect.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Diisotearyl Malate, Jojoba Esters, Octyldodecyl Ricinoleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Calcium Sodium Borosilcate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnuba) Wax, Tin Oxide. May Contain Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 5 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Blue 1 Lake.

4. Beautycounter Color Sweep Blush Duo

Beautycounter Color Sweep Blush Duo in Flamingo/Apricot.

Beautycounter Color Sweep Blush Duo in Flamingo/Apricot.

The Color Sweep Blush Duo is a silky powder blush in two complimentary shades that can be worn alone or swirled together. There are three combinations to choose from, each with one shade slightly deeper than the other. I tried Flamingo/Apricot, the coral palette; there is also Bloom/Tulip (pinks) and Tawny/Whisper (tan and peach). Although I found it looked more pink than coral on my skin, I was pleasantly surprised that I could get away with both shades. This blush is so sheer and buildable, you can totally control the intensity, and it doesn't look obviously powdery. 

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Capryloyl Glycine, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Zinc Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Hoya Lacunosa Flower Extract, Tin Oxide. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Red 6, Red 7, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Ultramarines, Manganese Violet.

5. Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo

Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo in Pearl/Champagne.

Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo in Pearl/Champagne.

The Color Shade Eye Duo is a satiny eyeshadow in two complementary shades that you can wear alone or mix together (just like the blush). There are six colour harmonies; I tried the lightest, Pearl/Champagne. I didn't love the gold on me, but I'd wear the white one as a base shadow all over my lids. They're definitely on the subtle side, but would probably show up more on deeper skin tones. Since the pigment is sheer and the texture is very smooth, these are pretty goof-proof to work with.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Zinc Stearate, Capryloyl Glycine, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Lauroyl Lysine, Hoya Lacunosa Flower Extract, Tin Oxide. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Manganese Violet, Carmine.

6. Beautycounter Color Outline Eye Pencil

Beautycounter Color Outline Eye Pencil in Brown. 

The Color Outline Eye Pencil features an eyeliner on one end and a handy built-in smudger brush on the other. Unlike many liners I've tried from natural brands, this one has a soft texture that doesn't drag on your skin. For some reason, I can't find it online, so I'm not sure about the ingredients or how many shades it comes in (I tried Brown). I like that it simply fades instead of smearing or sliding as the day wears on.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

7. Beautycounter Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush

Beautycounter Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush.

The Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush is a portable brush designed to be used with foundations and tinted moisturizers. It's made of soft, synthetic (taklon) bristles and works really well to buff in your makeup for a seamless, flawless finish.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

8. Beautycounter Purifying Charcoal Mask

Beautycounter Purifying Charcoal Mask.

The Purifying Charcoal Mask is a clay and charcoal face mask that absorbs oil and draws impurities out of the pores. This would be perfect for oily or congested skin—or, if you're into multi-masking, you could apply it to your T-zone and put a different mask on your cheeks. It has a creamy texture and you're meant to leave it on 10 minutes; by that time, it's dry, but easily comes off with water. 

Where to buy: Beautycounter

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Kaolin, Charcoal Powder, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Illite, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Xanthan Gum, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Powder, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Powder, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Powder, Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Allantoin, Lactic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol. *Organic/Biologique

9. Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar

Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar.

The Charcoal Cleansing Bar is a non-drying, sulfate-free soap that is claimed to absorb impurities (thanks to the charcoal powder). I'm not sure about that, since it's not on your skin for more than a few seconds, but I appreciate that it doesn't leave my face feeling tight, like other bar soaps do. In case you're wondering, it lathers clear, not black—so you don't need to worry about making a mess in your sink!

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Cocoate,Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Charcoal Powder, Sodium Citrate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Alcohol*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Tocopherol. *Organic

10. Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Exfoliator

Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Exfoliator.

The Nourishing Cream Exfoliator is a non-abrasive creamy scrub that uses biodegradable jojoba beads to buff away dead skin cells. As you know, I'm a fan of acids, but if you prefer a manual exfoliator, this would be a safe, gentle choice. (I don't like aggressive scrubs, as they can create micro-tears in the skin.) Thanks to the coconut oil and glycerin, it leaves your skin feeling super-moisturized.

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Esters, Cetearyl Alcohol, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Xylitol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate. *Organic/Biologique

11. Beautycounter Citrus Mimosa Body Bar

Beautycounter Citrus Mimosa Body Bar.

The Citrus Mimosa Body Bar is a finely milled bar soap with a subtle, refreshing scent. It's also sulfate-free and high in shea butter, so it won't dry out your skin. If you're looking for a high-quality soap that will last a long time in your shower, this is a great option!

Where to buy:Beautycounter

Ingredients: Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Sodium Citrate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mimosa Tenuiflora (Mimosa) Bark Extract, Ricinodendron Rautanenii (Mongongo) Oil*, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil. *Organic


These non-toxic makeup and skincare products from Beautycounter won't disappoint you.

So there you have it—the lowdown on everything I've tried so far from Beautycounter

All in all, I think the products are great quality, although the price points are high (on par with luxury cosmetics). The makeup I reviewed here ranges from $36 to $51 Canadian, for example, and the skincare from $30 to $55. 

However, if you're like me and concerned about harmful ingredients, the safety profile makes them worth it—not to mention the gorgeous textures and packaging.