Safe Affordable non-toxic chemical free make-up in India | All options

My research, search, (quest) for safe chemical free, 'affordable' makeup

I've searched all combinations of possible keywords online that can lead me to safe make up gyan. And within double quotation marks. Because it is so tiring to search as you never get safe make-up. If you are in your first step to convert to chemical free make up, you are probably facing the same hassles with Google India. Somehow, all you get it for US based cosmetics. Even, ewg.org does not house any details on Indian make-up brands like Lakme or Elle 18 etc.
ewg.org is a NGO kind makeup database site that lists what's safe in makeup.
safe affordable chemical free makeup in India

The search to switch to safer make-up

"Safe" "natural" "chemical free" cosmetics or safe organic make up,  safe affordable cosmetic brands in India,  Chemical free cosmetics under 10$, you name it. Searched it all. And I'm tired. But then, I thought it's better to share my searching experience. Also, there are updates in this post on whatever best I could find in each category. You'll find updates with dates, throughout this post, based on my #honesttrials. 

The idea is to find the perfect


  1. foundation
  2. concealer
  3. blush
  4. powder/compact
  5. eyeshadow
  6. lipstick
  7. lipliner
  8. eyebrow product
  9. highlighter
  10. nail paint/ nail polish (however you choose to say)
This post has a lot of options, and some scandalous information on the dreaded, little known, dangerous products we use everyday. If you want a quick, comprehensive list, for a full face of make-up options, click here.


Indian makeup brands that claim to be safe

Starting with Indian make up brands, I went for Lotus Herbals although they are very expensive. I mean, the Lotus Herbals Ecostay Range. I've updated some latest finds, here.



Update 17 August 2016: I'm including links for each product so that you can buy it easily, lazying on your bed.
Update 14 Oct 2017:
Coloressence also apparently claims to be safe. The brand used to be called, Nature's essence before. Please note that for Indian brands, be it Lakme or Lotus herbals, we ain't got no proof, girl.


Update 24 June 2016: Now all three boxes of Lotus Herbals Ecostay have broken. The product is good. Not sure if it could be worth as much, but as it is natural, we are dealing with it. But something seriously needs to be done by Lotus for its packaging.
Update 10 Oct 2017: Lotus foundation repurchased but VOV performs better than it. Ponds BB creme performs, (only in terms of performing), better.

  • I have not tried this or bought this, but found out that it is zero in chemicals from ewg.org.
Lakme quartet performs better and is the best I have tried so far, even way better than the Makeup Revolution 32 eyeshadow palette priced 2000, that I got for 228 from amazon India.



Update 17 Jan 2016: 

Full-face of Lotus? Is it worth it?

13 Oct 2017: Lotus Herbals has also come up with a primer? 
My quick review is to not waste all your money on Lotus Herbals. Read on, to know more options.




Main objective is finding the perfect safe alternative to chemical loaded drugstore cosmetics. As I keep finding stuff, I'll be updating this post. (And I kept my word. See above. ;))


The safest Bronzer is DIY Bronzer with zero chemicals
I made my own DIY bronzer with
  1. organic cinnamon,
  2. cocoa powder,
  3. peppermint essential oil
  4. (add corn flour for the smooth feel)
The Cinnamon powder for me was a gift. But, I've linked some cinnamon powder. (Joy by nature is cheap and good if you can get it over a deal, say Rs.140/150 each) and Johnson's baby powder. Plan to add the cornstarch now that I'm home. Did it. 
Corn flour is amazing too, added to Cocoa Powder and Cinnamon.
Allins Exporter is bad, in the sense, buying directly from them is risky. I have 2 sets of essential oil combos, so individual prices go down, like how! I own Joybynature.com oils and allin's. Allin's are not food grade, though.
(Update 1 Sep 2016: Used it. But, plain cocoa powder sometimes feels to be better).

It works amazingly well! The streetwear compact ka dabba came to my rescue to store it because otherwise every compact packaging is terrible. I know talc is so not ok. But then somehow Johnson's just feels good.

The good:

There are some really affordable cosmetics which are not so harmful and whether they score a perfect safe 0 or even a green 2, we can (if not completely throw out chemicals)  at least make better and informed purchase decisions.

For those who don't know, www.ewg.org offers a skin deep rating where 0 is the safest, with a colour doing green and yellows are bad and reds are terrible.

Not every safe product performs bad. 

Mascara : Physician's formula organic Mascara review

Oct 2017 : Best ever.
21 July 2016: Love it. Even in Balaji shoot for highest TRP show on COLORS, everyone asked. The make up artists went mad. This stuff is crazy, dude!






24 June 16 Update:

I've been using for a long time now. It beautifully curls your eyelashes and you do not need any curler. What it does to your eyelashes is beyond words. It's the best.


It is not waterproof but even in hot Indian weather (in Mumbai), it totally stood the test. It is SWEAT PROOF for sure. It only breaks down if it rains or if there is actual water contact.


There are rave reviews about Physician's Formula Organic Mascara performing very well although it's not waterproof. 


It comes in 3 forms again. Even if you choose the brand depending on so many women raving it in YouTube &  elsewhere. 


  1. The green tube is the normal one.
  2. Black tube is to increase lashes naturally
  3. The silver color is to curl your lashes. This is the one I use.
  4. The Barbie pink color one is the fake lashes one. I'm sure none of us want to look fake. 
    This is an awesome post here on Chemical free non-toxic mascaras that are also cruelty free gives the ultimate mascara snack down. Also,  she being a person to appear on camera makes it more believable I'd she says it works!  (Click here)

    Reviewing is not judging based on what we want but clarifying who it is best for. 
    I want lengthening,  volume,  and also a natural look.  Naturally lengthening won't be bad too! Lol. So, yes olive oil!  But if the black one does work, I'll be most happy. 
    P.S: Adding that drop of Lavendar Essential oil to the mascara feels awesome and keeps it safe from chemicals!

    Review : Haven't tried personally yet, but seems to be great so far. 

    Update: My great wishes as young Indian girl on a budget hoping to order it from Amazon.com instead of Amazon.in to save a few bucks is now in doom. (Look at the dollar to rupee difference!)

    While shopping for products that are charged way more in India, (even amazon.in),  because of course,  they take the pain to import and make the imported items available to you, it is better to make a big cart and order it with free shipping to India. 

    Make your natural organic mascara waterproof

    Add a little beewax? So, she said. But for the Eyeconic Mascara review, one of the best sellers, turned out to be a clumpy whiny thing It is good but it soon turns into a clumpy thing. 



    But as Physician's formula's best expensive Mascaras are not waterproof, one will need a waterproof mascara right? Maybe you apply the waterproof mascara on the physician's formula organic wear mascara, but you definitely buy the beauty in India.

    FINDING AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES

    Now I'd be really glad if someone could just tell me what is the cheapest alternative product completely free of any harmful chemical and is preferably also made naturally. I'm OK if it's not organic as long as it's safe. And although I love animals and understand that forcibly putting lipstick on a dog can be not respecting of their rights but given the reality of India, I'm OK if safe ones are used on them.

    Well known brands SAFE CHEMICAL FREE products that you can use

    Maybelline 


    The age rewind concealer is rated safer at 2.


    Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (Promises 36 hours)

    Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is rated 2. It's pretty safe! I bought it like an idiot paying MRP way above 500 at Central, Bhubaneswar. They did give me a discount of Rs.150 on Dream Lumi and the eyeliner, but amazon prices are currently less.

    I tried it once. The bottle is really cute and super tiny. Not as big as it looks here. I'm yet to try the lasting effect for 36 hours but it did stay without smudging despite my constant habit to be scratching with my nails, on my eye makeup.


    Much talked about Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer, Ivory (1.5ml) is rated 4                             


    Below is a video by Shreya reviewing it. Although in this she didn't like it as much as natural concealer options like Oriflame, she does recommend it in the Nykaa video.
    The Garnier eye roll on, she referred later (which I've used for years), is at 4.
    Update: I bought the dream lumi concealer. Somehow I had felt it was at 3. So, I compromised a little bit. I did not have internet on my phone that time as Future Group is terrible at their wifi coupons. I tried Fit Me Concealer on one eye and Dream Lumi on another. The Dream Lumi one is a highlighting concealer, so it has some shimmer particles and gives you that glow. Anything less than the shade honey is too light for them dark dark circles. But anyways, what's done is done. I've bought it! It performs amazing. But, what to do!
    Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, also with great reviews is at 4.

    Revlon

    Revlon Photo Ready Concealer is at 2, though. But not for us. I mean, if you have very very dark circles, you are likely to take a Medium shade. It is rated 2 only till fair. As soon as it reaches the darker shades in the concealer, it is 3.

    Must avoid Revlon products

    In India Revlon is perceived as a good brand. Even the so-called Ammonia free hair color is 10!! And stay away from the 8 rated concealers and color stay Revlon blushes as well.


    Revlon FabuLash Mascara, Revlon Photo ready powder, Revlon lip gloss and foundations are at 7!
    I'm afraid of using a score of green 2. (Now, I feel 2 is still ok). The lesser the chemicals the better!

      L'Oreal Paris


      Pond's

      I feel like dying. Although Pond's BB cream is the safest, (which I swear by), it is the only one in green. Pond's Age Miracle is at a toxic 9. Some version of BB cream is at 9 too. I just hope the one I use in India isn't this one.

      M.A.C

      Nothing is safe in Mac, or something is really wrong with this database. This is what I found. Click here.

      The Body Shop (Owned by L'Oréal)


      The safest product is just one, at 2.

      Eyes lips face E. L. F

       This bad boy, 
      (3 Pack) e.l.f. Studio Complete Coverage Concealer - Dark is said to be safe. Haven't tried it though. wWhen my MAC concealer gets over, will try this.
       These eye shadows from ELF are safe.

      They're very tiny. I have used the golden one. It is very good but small. If you get on a deal, go for it.


      I'd zeroed down on E.L.F translucent powder Amazon price link to E. L. F -Studio-definition-powder for 5-10$ as a tag along product. 

      (In online shopping, a tag along product means that it doesn't hit add to the cart total value to make it eligible for free shipping.) 

      It comes in translucent &  vixen –a yellow tone.  Will that suit our skin better? 

      The score is ZERO. It's completely SAFE! 

      Have just let the left image stay to give a perspective of cost of drive E. L. F items. The current sale is also offering things for less than a $.  But there's the catch. You gave to hunt ewg.org to find safe items out of it and make the cart as expensive to be eligible for free shipping. 

      Then I'm worried about E. L. F blush bronzer duo because it could be too light for Indian skin. They had a nice all in one concealer palette with green,  peach etc. quarters. 
      But all these products are at 2 in green. 

      NYX

      NYX Cosmetics Studio Finishing Powder is rated 1.



      This dark circle concealer is not affordable but is rated 2 and for those who need color corrector for extreme dark circles, this looks promising.





      Mini reviews for Lotus Herbals Ecostay range with buying help.



      Lotus Herbals Long Lasting Ecostay Blush Review

      Fragile, breakable, expensive

      The Lotus Herbals Ecostay blush is amazing but very breakable. If the 600 bucks worth of thing falls even once, you are dead. The so called premium looking heavy box is very very breakable.

      The best Lotus Herbals Ecostay Blush Shade

      for my skin. (You can see how I look, here)
      However, the strawberry shade (Strawberry touch) is the best I've ever seen! Surprisingly, it suits all skin tones. The peach shade is nice too. (The one that I have is in the shade: Rose Kiss.) Very very wearable and subtle.
      • There are quite many shades. 
      • It is breakable but honestly, feels awesome. 

      Detail review will be coming up. As buying Lotus Herbals products can be really hectic and a burden, as no stores have them, you can get it here from amazon. It is also available in Main market building in Bhubaneswar in Queen's Collection. In Mumbai, you will have to go to New Beauty Center in Crawford Market. (This video has footage when we went shopping in New Beauty Center).

      It is selling at Rs. 552 (amazon fulfilled - which means "no hidden delivery charges"), instead of 625 for 6g. Quite a good grab. Other shades are Pink Petal and Dawn Glow (very very pale peach).

      The powder based blush is build-able and blends very well on everything. (Foundation, powder base, or even just a BB cream face).


      Lotus Herbals Pure stay eyeshadows review

      vs Lakme vs Makeup revolution 32 eyeshadow palette-Flawless

      Like the other Lotus Herbals ecostay range brothers, Lotus eye shadows also love falling out and wasting product from the lovely rose gold boxes. They don't even perform like my Lakme Tanjore rush eyeshadow palette, which is superbly pigmented and lasts forever. (And my face is the worst ever. Nothing lasts on me). I've been dying to get the Desert Rose palette. I'm sure they are full of chemicals, but they never irritated me. I've been severely irritated by the olderLakme mascaras and liners (The pre-Lakme eyeconic range). My eyes would pain. But this is going good and I hate that I had bought it at Rs. 550 from retail store.

      The so called baked Lotus Herbals ECOSTAY Long lasting Eyeshadow just falls out into powder form and you feel like you purchased it to use only once!! 

      PROS:



      • extremely pigmented and
      • the color range is fab. 
      • They perform better than the Makeup revolution 32 eyeshadow palette-Flawless
      CONS:


      • Comparing to the Lakme one, I feel, it is just getting used up so fast!
      • Fragile, fragile, fragile. Boy, does it break or what?
      Lotus Herbals ECOSTAY Long lasting Eyeshadows are available in shades:
      1. Electric Glaze,
      2. Rainbow Passion,
      3. Serene Wonder.
      I've it in Serene Wonder(first rom left). 


      • Nice neutral nude shades. 
      • The light pink blends like a dream with Tanjore Rush's purple. 
      • If you get it on deals, you must buy it. But I've foolishly paid more than 600 bucks in store outlets!
      • The colors are fabulous. 
      • The texture is powder creamy, which is why, it breaks. But once on the eyelids, it stays for a few hours. But not a forever stay like Lakme

      Lotus Ecostay Kajal review

      If anyone has any knowledge on Lakme chemical contents please let me know. The Lakme eyeconic range performs insanely well. It takes time to graduate from your drugstore brands to healthier safer chemical free cosmetics. Secret tip: Turquoise from Lakme eyeconic range over and on top of the Lotus Color Kick black kajal is to die for.


      The worst bit about Lakme eyeconic is they don't mention any ingredient list and only mention it is hypoallergenic.

      Lotus color kick kajal review

      Currently my make up includes Lotus kajal which smudges and is therefore good for eyebrow filling. But, if the weather is good and it's not that hot outside, you can still count on it (or if you don't have an oily face). Wouldn't smudge much on the upper eyelid for a nice 6-8 hours. Not as great as Lakme eyeconic but it's natural and safe and (affordable)! I've been repurchasing it.

      Lakme eyeconic eye pencil review:

      Lakme eyeconic eye pencils in
      • black,
      • royal blue(which is a very very pale color and not even close to any shade of royal blue),
      • Turquoise and
      • regal green are awesome.
      We have been using them for years. They stay 10 hours when applied on Pond's BB cream applied on eyes as a primer and with powder.
      Sometimes even more than that. They don't refuse to leave me in even 24 hours. Even Maybelline Colossal used to smudge on me. Everything smudges on my eyes. Except these.
      And although I'm a contact lens user, so far they have never bothered me other than sometimes getting inside the lens.
      I'm not sure how safe is Pond's, but this was a life changing product. Have used it for years now. I must say, when I did stop using it, my clear skin wasn't as clear. It is way better than Garnier's.


      I've very sensitive eyes.

      The earlier Lakme mascara used to pain my eyes. I can't stand chambor eyeliner pencils. My head hurts and drills after a while. Revlon is also a very chemical brand. (but certain products are in safe range till 3). So I stayed away though the blackest black midnight black eyepencil at least performed well in my teens.

      Lotus seems to be a herbal brand and I've not faced any headaches after use of its products but being natural and preservative free, if they don't perform or stay longer it's hopeless. The mascara in NEW BEAUTY CENTER, Crawford Market, really strained my eyes, though! Eww.

      Lotus Herbals Ecostay Nail paints review:

      The nailpaints do stay. Any idea if Shehnaz Hussain lipsticks perform? I've read a lot about Sha eyes too. Do they perform? Please write to me in comments about your experience.

      P.S: The lady in Beauty Centre, Mumbai lotus counter says the Lotus Ecostay nail paints are priced higher than their two free (toluene and DBP) are also three free and stay longer. All nail paints are also Acetone free. She says they have been trained and they know what Lotus make up products in India contain.

      But ladies, why won't they write it officially and flaunt it if it were so?


      If Lotus nail polishes are selling like hot cakes because they are toluene and DBP free, why would they not write that in their higher version? Being a Marketing MBA topper, this doesn't make sense to me at all. I prefer honest brands who are transparent about everythng.

      You can get it from amazon, here. The idea is to buy when it is less than Rs.120. I've got it from both snapdeal and amazon for great deals. Always check for amazon fulfilled though, otherwise nail paints, is the category that can drive you mad. Who wants to Rs. 80 shipping charges for a nail paint you show as Rs.70?
      The below ad gives you an image but the damn thing is a cost for 2 nail paints.
      Shades I own are zillions. They chip after a while but eating with hands, being Indians, I freak out of chemicals.




      Lotus Herbals Ecostay Compact powder review:



      The 600 range Lotus compact powder offers good coverage but melts in hot Indian weather and can't keep up to sweat levels as 130 bucks Lakme normal compact does.( Yes, that cheap maroon packaging one). I remember the lady in Dadar charging me Rs.150 for it.







      Revlon streetwear performs slightly better.







      Lakme's Rose face powder warm performs incredibly well being more affordable than the normal compact powder. You get a ton of quantity than pressed powder and a little goes a long way.

      Also, as chemical loaded as any other Lakme product might be, this beauty right here, Lakme Rose Powder - Warm Pink  does work for Indian climate. Plus, you get so much for this price! Imagine like stupid fools, we used to pay 120 to 800 for a compact case. Although now, it is a huge dabba to carry, it performs like magic over that compact powders shown above. I don't know about you, it used to always break for me. Have used the LAKME Compact for years!


      Lakme Rose Powder - Warm Pink  works great other than settling to ultra fine lines under eyes (if you have them). After a few hours, it settles. But still I've found nothing like it in my entire lifetime.




      Below, I've mentioned ELF translucent powders that are completely safe. But you need to get that from amazon.com here. It was for an amazing $3 when I saw it.



      You are even more sure than Lotus Herbals!). But, this translucent powder from Lotus is tempting me as well. You can try it out here.



      Available in Iceberg, Rogue Lustre, Sunset Beach. 




      What's your best?

      Update Aug 2015 :  I purchased lot of Lotus Herbals Ecostay range make-up. Will be soon posting reviews. Done.



      P.S: Move that lazy thing. Comment! Just type & hit enter or touch,lol! ;) I love to hear from you. P.P.S: LIKE : Facebook.com/Doveranalyst Chirp/Tweet @Doveranalyst      Shortcut to comin back doveranalyst.com. Keep visiting!



      Comments

      1. True.. I am writing a series of blogs on the same. Diy and Indian affordable alternatives for make up. And trust me I went mad. May be u should check out. Www.taifethyaba.WordPress.Com
        and give me suggestions.
        Ps: I have delayed my third blog to continue ffor as I am in midst of a project. But will soon be back blogging.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Taife,

          I hope I'm addressing you correct. I will u rely check out your post and will also be updating this one with all my searches so that it becomes comprehensive as my accounts of Delhi gang rape posts that everyone complements answers everything.

          Make up has been a learning experience for me. And as sensitive as I'm I cannot on an everyday basis put any harmful chemicals on my skin.

          So far people are saying Lotus is a good brand and being cheap as it is, the affordable foundation seems to work like heaven. Or That's how makeup Indian beauty site reviews it. Haven't tried it yet. But the compact seems expensive. What are your SAFE cheat ways for hiding dark circles? I've huge!

          Delete
      2. My project is still on to find the best blush, bronzer, powder compact and foundation and concealer that's perfectly safe. thanks for sharing....

        Chemical Free Nail polish

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Nintriva,
          Hope I got your name correct.. Thankyou so much for stumbling upon my blog. I'm glad I could help someone.

          What else does a writer write for? If not to help?

          I guess so far Lotus with Three Free as they call it is better than Lakme or Elle 18 that we know nothing about.

          I've used these brands all my life and do not know what to say. But ever since the trend of coloring both your hands came back, we Indians should think twice on what nail paint we are wearing before we eat our Indian Khana.

          Also, they make our nails weak over time. Olive oil seriously helps in strengthening them. I'm a lazy dumb thing. But still saying. It works.

          There's also good reviews about Lotus foundation and compact being extremely nice for the price and being safe. Have you tried? Any idea?

          Delete
      3. Thanks so much for the comment. I try to put together my learning and experiece in terms of blog and feel great if this helps others.

        Yii Development Company India

        ReplyDelete
      4. Hey nice blog I believe one should always buy from one of the top cosmetic brands in india or alteast a branded one. Because you never know a quality of any local brand
        I purchased an inglot lipstick after refering this site: http://www.majorbrands.in/cosmetics.html
        This site have wide variety of products. Find it out guys!!

        ReplyDelete
      5. International cosmetic brands in India are widely marketed & is one of the fastest emerging industries in India and is expected to expand more in next couple of years.

        ReplyDelete

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