Staff Writer Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…See full bio
Trendy and seasonal beauty products are great, but sometimes you just need to add a versatile, tried-and-true standby to your beauty routine. Whether you’re looking for a high-performing cleanser or a bold lipstick for a special occasion, finding natural beauty products that stand up to traditional, chemical-laden brands (and don’t cost an arm and a leg) can seem impossible.
But thanks to the incredibly fertile land and innovative minds in California, there are numerous beauty brands dedicated to creating the best natural products—many of which are also vegan, allergen-free, and organic. So, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite items from top California-based companies to help you complete your beauty routine. (Bonus: Every item on our list is under $50.)
If you’re trying to create a natural makeup look or wanting to add a touch of pizazz to your natural skin care routine, look no further, because these are sure to become your new go-to makeup brands.
Why we love it: While cleansers alone can purify skin, they do not always remove the tougher impurities like dirt, sunscreen, and makeup—but this pre-cleanse oil can help. Unlike traditional makeup removers, the True Botanicals Pre Cleanse Oil is gentle and doesn’t tug on the skin (a process that can accelerate the aging process).
How to use: For best results, massage the oil onto dry skin, smooth a cleanser on top, and rinse with warm water. Keep the oil in a dry, cool place when not in use.
When to use: After spending a day exploring your favorite national park, relaxing on the beach, or getting through a long day at the office.
Key ingredients: Jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, apricot kernel oil
Why we love it: Mineral sunscreens are a great alternative to mainstream sunscreens made with chemicals, which can have damaging effects on the ocean and coral reefs. Juice Beauty’s tinted mineral moisturizer contains zinc broad-spectrum, non-nano SPF that protects skin from the sun’s rays as well as mineral pigments that provide light, glowing coverage.
How to use: Prior to sun exposure, apply the moisturizer to the face, neck, and top of hands. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
When to use: Before leaving the house to take Fido to the beach, going on a hike, or spending time picnicking with friends.
Key ingredients: Sunflower oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil
Why we love it: Honest Beauty’s truly magical balm is made with organic fruit and botanical oils that instantly moisturize and soothe whatever they touch. You can now feel polished and put together without having to clutter your purse and nightstand with dozens of different products.
How to use: Apply to soothe lips, highlight cheekbones, nourish elbows, calm cuticles, and tame flyaways and frizz—or spread the balm anywhere you need some extra moisture.
Key ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, olive fruit oil, beeswax
Why we love it: True Botanicals’ gentle purifying cleanser leaves skin feeling fresh and clean without stripping it of its natural moisture. The cleanser is strong enough to slough away dead skin, purify, and tone—all while using antioxidants and moisturizers to repair and hydrate the skin.
How to use: Apply the nourishing cleanser on top of the pre-cleanse oil or directly onto wet skin. Then massage, rinse, and admire your dewy look.
When to use: Morning and night, or whenever you need a bit of a pick-me-up. Pair with a warm cup of coffee from your favorite roaster for a truly luxurious experience.
Key ingredients: Green and white tea, aloe vera, green tea seed oil
Why we love it: OSEA’s luxurious, silky oil makes skin look instantly rejuvenated and radiant. The soothing blend of botanical oils is gentle enough for dry and sensitive skin, but it packs in performance by reducing redness and moisturizing for visibly plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
How to use: After cleansing, gently massage the oil onto the face and neck. It is most effective when used morning and night and when followed by a protection cream.
Key ingredients: Argan oil, chamomile oil, undaria pinnatifida extract, grapeseed oil
Why we love it: This non-drying, volumizing formula leaves lashes with a feathery appearance and prevents them from clumping, smudging, and flaking. Juice Beauty’s organic makeup, including its mascara, is also formulated with vegan and cruelty-free ingredients—not with the harmful items typically found in cosmetics such as parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes, and synthetic fragrances.
How to use: Use the wand to lift mascara up and out from the base of the lashes to the tips. Apply one coat for a natural boost, or add a second layer for a more dramatic, voluminous look. Allow the first coat to dry before adding a second.
*Pro tip: Avoid pumping any mascara wand; this can introduce air into the tube and allow bacteria to grow and can make mascara appear clumpy. Instead, try twisting the wand out of the tube and rolling the wand up and out along lashes for added curl and separation.
When to use: Layer on a couple of coats and don your formal attire before heading to a wedding, or opt for a single application for a day out with the girls.
Key ingredients: Organic aloe leaf juice, candelilla wax, organic carnauba wax
Why we love it: Kosås is one of the best makeup brands because it offers quality products that are as good to look at as they are for your skin. The Phoenix lipstick shade looks beautiful on every skin tone and is perfect for any season—making it one of the best makeup items you can purchase.
Along with providing ultra-hydrating, long-lasting lip color, the product’s warm tones and matte finish give new life to the classic red hue. This lipstick is extra noteworthy for being cruelty-free and devoid of gluten, eggs, nuts, soy, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, and synthetic fragrances. Put it on your lips from morning to night, and use it as a makeshift blush when in a pinch.
How to use: Apply directly onto bare lips. Add a second layer for a bolder look, or blot with a tissue for a softer look.
Key ingredients: Mango seed butter, shea butter, rosehip seed oil
Now that your beauty routine has received a major upgrade, you’re ready to take on whatever life throws at you next. From the grocery store to the seashore, you’ll want to take these must-haves everywhere you go.
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