12 Natural Beauty Brands You Need To Know

With all of the scary statistics going around lately about harmful toxins in our beauty products, it's only natural to be wary of chemical-laden makeup and skin care. There's a lot of conflicting info out there on just how dangerous some of these products really are, but we're of the mentality of better safe than sorry, which is why we've been stocking up on more natural and organic options.
Now we know what you're thinking: Those crunchy-granola beauty balms are all well and good, but if they don't work as well as your high-tech potions, what's the point? Clear your mind of any pre-conceived notions — most of the high-end natural brands on the market now have evolved from the days of patchouli oil and hemp seed, incorporating new natural actives and luxurious formulas that provide results, without sacrificing your health.
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While you might already be familiar with the usual eco-friendly suspects, we wanted you to get acquainted with a few of the under-the-radar green brands. From some seriously stunning makeup lines, to a hairspray so pure you can drink it (for reals!), here are the eco-friendly brands that should be high on your must-try list.
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W3ll People
On the list of things that scare the living sh*t out of us, the fact that "one third of personal care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer," according to the a report by the Environmental Working Group, is right up there alongside the Meat Man. Instead of petrochemicals, parabens, preservatives or phthalates, this versatile makeup line uses good-for-you extracts like organic pomegranate, reishi mushroom, and green tea. Their all-in-one color stick — aptly named the Universalist— is a staple in our makeup bags, thanks to its rich pigment, flattering array of shades, and creamy texture.

Photo: Courtesy of W3ll People
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Aesop
This Australian line is a cult favorite of beauty insiders, and it's easy to see why: With their luxe apothecary packaging, fresh scents, and efficacious concoctions, natural beauties in the know swear by their products because they actually do what they say. We also love the fact that they don't sacrifice quality in an effort to make a quick buck: The brand spent a whopping 10 years formulating their new SPF moisturizer, refusing to sign off on the formula until it met their (very high) expectations. That kind of dedication means you know you're getting the absolute best, and in a world full of false advertising and crazy claims, that's pretty much priceless in our book.

Photographed by Erin Yamagata
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Intelligent Nutrients
Created by the man who started Aveda, way back when natural beauty was considered the stuff of hippie communes, this all-encompassing range of skin, body, hair, and nutritional supplements uses certified organic ingredients and "nothing toxic, plasticizing, metallic, or scary." We love a brand that practices what it preaches: When they first launched in 2008, founder Horst Rechelbacher demonstrated his commitment to purity by drinking the brand's hairspray. Now that's what we call a dedication to clean living.

Photo: Courtesy of Intelligent Nutrients
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Original & Mineral
What we love most about this Aussie brand is that the products, even the stylers, actually make your hair look and feel healthier. Original & Mineral took out the harsh chemicals usually associated with hair care, replacing them with natural botanicals from the Australian Outback. Their Atonic texturizing spray is probably one of the best texturizers we've ever spritzed on our strands — instead of making our tresses all tangled and ratty, it zhushes them up while still making them feel soft and silky.

Photo: Courtesy of Original & Mineral
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Ren Clean Skincare
We love Ren's approach to skin care — that products should be clean, but still effective. The brand uses synthetic-free formulas that have bio-actives, antioxidants, and replenishing phytohormones. The brand focuses not on watchwords like organic, but instead on creating the best mix of nature and science, for products that perform without doing you harm. The proof is in the pudding — or, in their case, the Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. One application of this super-charged mask and your skin will glow, and feel instantly softer and more supple. We're certifiably addicted.

Photo: Courtesy of Ren Clean Skincare
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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
OCC's Lip Tars are the stuff of legends — the pigment-packed creams come in an astounding range of color options, go on oh-so-creamily, and a teensy drop will literally do to cover your whole pout. We'd heard so many makeup artists rave about them, we were starting to think they were all part of some freaky makeup cult. Then we tried the Lip Tars for ourselves, and you better believe we're drinking the Kool-Aid, too. But this vegan line is so much more than just its lippies — there's also their signature airbrush foundation, loose pigment eyeshadows, and nail lacquers to choose from, all cruelty-free and just as high impact.

Photo: Courtesy of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
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Tata Harper
Okay, okay — we know we've already talked your ears off about all things Tata Harper, but the all-natural products really are that good. And, thanks to a spankin' new package design, the line now looks even chicer. Plus, how many beauty mavens can say they own a farm where they grow the ingredients found in their skin care line? Our point exactly.

Photo: Courtesy of Tata Harper
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Neal's Yard Remedies
Not only is this Brit brand one of the oldest organic lines, it's also one of the most eco-friendly. Neal's Yard Remedies is a family-owned company that produces their products in their very own "eco-factory," has CarbonNeutral status, uses minimum preservatives, and makes all of their pampering skin care products with a mix of locally-grown and sustainably-sourced organic ingredients. Says founder Peter Kindersley, "We love organic because no ingredient contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than those which have been organically grown.” Word.

Photo: Courtesy of Neal's Yard Remedies
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Kevin.Murphy
Yet another entry from Australia, this eco-chic line is what happens when an editorial hair stylist decides to go green. Kevin Murphy, the man Vogue credited as the creator of "beach hair," was unsatisfied with the performance of traditional hair products on the market, so he set out to create his own line of high-performance, high-fashion hair care that includes plant extracts, essential oils, and natural antioxidants. We're particularly smitten with his Young.Again Treatment Oil, which provides lightweight protection and reparative benefits that leave hair feeling silky soft.

Photo: Courtesy of Kevin.Murphy
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Tammy Fender
Based on the ancient practices of holistic medicine, Tammy Fender's line of skin care saviors is beloved by beauty editors and starlets alike. All of her custom-blended formulations are based around the philosophy that "everything put onto the skin enters into the body and becomes one with the person." The last thing we want to become one with our person are cancer-causing chemicals, so we appreciate the brand's commitment to using high-quality, organic ingredients that do no evil to your delicate skin.

Photo: Courtesy of Tammy Fender
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RMS Beauty
After years of dealing with products that just didn't live up to her expectations of purity, makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift was forced to take matters into her own hands. She created her signature line, RMS Beauty, to fill the void in the green market for a high-end organic line that was truly luxurious. "I've taken the idea of organic skin care (nourishment and moisturizing) and combined it with color minerals, making it a color cosmetic with skin care benefits," she says. "This avoids the drying effects of minerals alone and also avoids the inhalation concerns of loose minerals."

Her self-admitted "obsessive" research into each and every ingredient that goes into her products means that all the items in her line comes with Rose-Marie's personal stamp of approval. She takes quality control to a whole new level, and for that, we're grateful.

Photo: Courtesy of RMS Beauty
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Apivita
Bees have been getting a lot of press lately, thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow's recent confession that she's taken up apitherapy. While we're still not sure we can get behind bee venom therapy, we're definitely all for this natural, bee-inspired skin care collection — it features holistic treatments and creams based on propolis, bee pollen, honey, and royal jelly, all sustainably sourced from the brands very own bee farm.

Photo: Courtesy of Apivita
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