Kris Carr

Kris Carr

Blog Post

My Natural Foundation Review + Step-By-Step Application Tips

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Hiya Gorgeous,

Have you ever applied foundation only to find yourself feeling like you’re wearing a Kabuki mask or your face just jetted off to the Bahamas for some sun bathing without the rest of your body? Needless to say, it’s a tricky item to get just right for your skin tone and type. And while foundation isn’t a must-have (no makeup item is!), I like having some on hand for covering up blemishes and dark spots. If you’re an au natural kind of gal—right on!—but if you’re interested in finding a foundation that meets your needs, read on to get more info and the results of my Foundation Review.

To make all of my beauty reviews as accurate and useful as possible, I always bring in one of my favorite organizations, the Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG is a leader in up-to-the-minute research on toxins and chemicals present in the environment and our personal and home products. Together, we’ve teamed up and created a Healthy Home Checklist and done several beauty reviews like this one, including deodorant, lipstick, concealer, mascara and nail polish (stay tuned for more reviews to come!).

EWG did us a huge favor by analyzing the ingredients in these foundations and adding the product ratings to their Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which contains information and online safety assessments for over 60,000 products. Thanks, EWG! 

For those of you who are wellness detectives like I am and want to know more about how we vet the products I recommend, read this

So, let’s get started, gorgeous!

My Crazy Sexy Foundation Review

Natural Foundation Roundup

[tweetbar url=””]Did you know, what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body & can build up? @Kris_Carr #makeup #infographic[/tweetbar]


Bonus: How to apply your foundation

OK, now that you know more about which brand suits your needs and style, how about the next question on everyone’s minds? How do I put it on?! For this, I called in makeup artist/green beauty expert Rebecca Casciano. Here’s what she had to say:

1. You’ll need a foundation brush or makeup sponge and clean hands (really it’s about using the tools that work best for you—some prefer just using their digits!). For liquid or cream foundation, I recommend using a large, flat paddle brush or a sponge. For powder, a soft, fluffy brush will do the trick. Check out these great vegan brushes by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Cozzette or Eco Tools.

2. Place a pea-sized amount of foundation in the palm of your hand or in a small ceramic bowl.

3. Load your brush or sponge by gently dipping it into the foundation. Less is more—you will add product as you go. If you prefer, you may also use clean fingers to apply. If you’re using a powder foundation, lightly tap your brush off to remove excess product.

4. Beginning at your jawline, apply the foundation in light, sweeping strokes. Work clockwise around the face, blending as you go and adding more product as needed.

5. The type of foundation (tinted moisturizer, medium or full coverage) and how much of it you apply will determine the coverage and finish you will get. Many foundations are buildable, meaning you can layer more product for more coverage.

6. For an overall evening out of the skin, apply a small amount of foundation to the whole face. Then, if you choose to target redness or discoloration, just apply a bit more directly to that area. Be sure to blend out any brush strokes or lines of demarcation between the product and your skin.

7. If you are using a liquid or cream, you might want to set the foundation with a light application of powder. This helps to control excess shine and increase the foundations wearability throughout the day.

Your turn: What’s your ultimate foundation or tip?

Gentle request: If you work for a beauty company please be cool, we’re trying to keep these comments as unbiased and useful as possible. Sharing your product is welcomed and awesome. Hundreds of comments about your product and/or why you’re cranky that it wasn’t included is NOT awesome. Thank you!

Peace & reviews,

Add a comment
  1. fnaf says:

    The tips you share are great. Helped me a lot with makeup. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your post is very good and meaningful. How long will it take you to write and post? thank you for sharing

  3. Susan says:

    Hello Kris……Am I missing, in this foundation review, where you say what you and friends tried and what is your fav or 2 and why?? I see that in the other reviews you’ve done….thanks!! Love these reviews and your awesome info 🙂

  4. Rhonda N. says:

    I like W3LL People Narcissist Foundation stick. Skin looks airbrushed. For real. I’ve been wanting to try out Annmarie products. Will do so with your discount code. What serum is your favorite of that line? Thank you. I will also look into your other recommendations.

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing these tips with everyone.

    The foundation I use is called Magic Foundation by Charlotte Tilbury: It hides my imperfections but allows my freckles to shine through so it looks completely natural but with ample coverage. The colours are a great match for my skin tone – either lighter tones in winter or darker in summer but the main reason I love it is because it is vegan. And it contains many healthy and natural ingredients too.

  6. Nicole says:

    It’s interesting, while dimethicone is not a hazard according to EWG it does cause great havoc on your skin long term. For that reason, I would not include the listed full coverage brand. I do appreciate the table reference though!

  7. Melanie says:

    Thank you for this… Although, I wish there were more affordable foundations listed in the comparisons.

  8. Meg says:

    Hey Kris,

    Have you ever heard of Everyday Minerals? I am curious to see what you think about their product!

  9. Cindyhien says:

    Thank you. It seems great, I’ve tried to apply your tips and feel very satisfied. Which cosmetic do you recommend?

  10. Angela says:

    Did Ava Anderson & W3ll People, not make the cut for “health” reasons? Thanks for all makeup/beauty reviews! It gets so overwhelming to find a great healthy product at an affordable price.

  11. Beth Ebbing says:

    I’m an Herbalist and very picky about what goes in and on my body. I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka for over a decade now. Herbal skin care that’s been around since 1967 from Germany. Over the years I’ve loved everything from their make up, herbal baths, serum, body oils and everything except their shampoo/conditioner. I use Max Green Alchemy for that. My favorite, most effective, safest deodorant I’ve found over the years, a small company out of Austin called Silver Botanicals. I used to work for Whole Foods and tried everything on the shelves at some point. I ended up in the end sticking with Dr. Hauschka and Weleda’s although I had to keep them in my purse and apply several times a day. In 2012 we discovered Silver Botanicals and fell in love. Finally a safe deodorant you could use in the morning and it would last all day long. I could go on and on about the importance of what you put on your skin and all the clean companies I’ve tried over the years. I think the most important thing to know is to read the labels. If you don’t know what they are using, ask the company. I’ve called several of them over the years be it for a customer or for myself. If they are a company that is trying to make a healthy, clean product, they WANT to talk to you and share their story and wisdoms. You just have to care enough about this matter to take the time to call them. At least that’s been my experience 🙂 Thanks for allowing us to share our thoughts!

  12. Taryn says:

    This I great and so good to know! I use Alima Pure right now and love it but am kind of looking for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream of some sort with spf so will definitely be checking some of these out!! Thank you for these beauty reviews! Would you consider doing hair care products sometime? Also sunscreen would be good to know about too! Thanks!!

  13. Debi Smith says:

    I have found that ARBONNE’s liquid foundation is the absolute BEST! Fantastic coverage, light and with its Opti-light technology, it gives your face only the most amazing look and feel. Cruelty-free, certified Vegan…

  14. Gina Gill says:

    Beautycounter is launching a new face product which meets the same safety standards. I would love to send you a sample to try. It is called Dew Skin and has SPF 20 in it. Please email me if you are interested. Thanks for all that you do!

  15. Cathy says:

    Oh yay! I’ve been using 100% Pure foundation for the past year and a half, and it definitely tops my list of the many foundations that I’ve tried. It makes my skin look and feel amazing, so I’m very excited to see it at the top of the “Skin Deep” ratings.

  16. Michelle says:

    Have you reviewed Bare Minerals makeup yet? Would love to see how that rates.

  17. Ainee says:

    This was insanely helpful and I went straight on the internet and ordered three. Thank you for this, it is wonderful. I want to be good but have no money or time to research. This was perfect. I want shampoo, vitamins and lotion next. Sunblock?

  18. Tianna says:

    love all of these, esp Alima Pure and 100% Pure!! Have you tried Gressa Skin, Kjaer Weis, or Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques? Those are both awesome as well!

    stop by and chat 🙂

  19. I hope to try the foundations from 100% Pure, Beautycounter, Vapour Organic Beauty, and Physician’s Formula. I like how there’s a mix of high-end and low-end picks. How’s the coverage of these?

  20. Leah says:

    I loooove Vapour products – so glad you included it here! I have a bunch of their goodies and it makes the skin so dewey and gorgeous! Worth the extra $$, I think. Thank you for all this great research! xo

  21. Corinne says:

    Hi Kriss, loving the reviews. Can you look at natural perfume next? One of the sadest things when I moved to all natural was letting go of my nice smellies, and have struggled to find a good alternative ever since. Thx

  22. Tara says:

    Hey Kris! It can be super hard to find a coverup that is light and blends well for a no-makeup look and feel. I have been wondering what your take is on Bare Minerals brand liquid and powder/mineral makeup. I would be surprised if you havent gotten this question by other followers. It’s the only product I have found that works for me… but if it is toxic for my body, I may have to search for an alternative. Would love your advice. Thank you!

  23. Laura says:

    Thanks, Kris & Team! I am loving these round ups!!! I am a foundation junkie and find that I am perpetually trying new ones. I really like the Alima Pure and the 100% Pure Tinted Moisturizer.

  24. Catherine says:

    I just started using the Pacifica BB cream.. I love it! I will have to try their CC cream next.

  25. Noelle says:

    I love Alima Pure! So glad to see they were selected for this. Their blush and eye shadows are spectacular too. Every time I order they send free samples, which is so awesome! Plus you can order sample sizes of their blush and foundation… that is so helpful in picking the right colors and sheen. These sample sizes are also great for traveling. I have very sensitive skin and can’t wear many makeups out there without an allergic reaction, but everything I have tried from Alima has left my complexion clear and radiant. Love Alima Pure so much 🙂

  26. Erin says:

    Kris — thanks for these roundups!!! Awesome — I’m also a cancer survivor and have felt paralyzed when I go shopping that anything I put in my body or put on my body is going to cause the cancer to come back. I’ve been indoctrinating myself in the Crazy Sexy ways and they are terrific! But, I’ve felt a little hole when it comes to beauty products — the Roundup fills that void.

    What about facial moisturizer as a next topic?

  27. Joy says:

    Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Foundation SPF 28 is amazing! The best I’ve found natural or non and it is only a 1 on EWG. They don’t test on animals and make everything by hand in small batches. The price is great at $27 currently too!

  28. Lyn Benavides says:

    I have been working in the cosmetic industry for 30 years Clinique and Mary Kay have very high standards Love their products

  29. Suzanne says:

    I only use makeup that is organic and from ethical companies.

  30. Amy Shah says:

    This is helpful info Kris. Based on your chart– I just ordered the beauty counter tint skin complexion coverage.
    I think, write and preach so much about natural, plant based health but have just recently started diving deep into green beauty products. Thank you for your simple infographic. I will share with all my followers and look forward to more of your “smackdowns” 🙂


    Dr. Amy Shah

  31. Love this post, Kris!!! I am always testing out and reviewing the best in non toxic beauty on my blog and there are so many wonderful clean foundations out there. Thanks for spreading the word about green beauty and how important it is to be aware of what we out ON our skin as well as what we put IN it!!


  32. Alyson says:

    I’ve been loving these makeup roundups you’ve been putting together for us. They have been so helpful, thanks you! I’ve been using Bear Minerals powder foundation for years thinking that was a good healthy option but after looking on Skin Deep I now know I’ve got to find a new brand to use.

  33. Sarah says:

    Well…hey Vani I like the names you call me in my email messages. Anyway well…thanks for the information. But I don’t wear makeup all the time.

  34. Sara weaver says:

    I would love to know what you think of Sappho’s natural and organic liquid foundation. They are a bit pricey, but for trouble skin I’ve found it to be perfect! I find it provides great coverage and goes on feeling nice and light. I love that you can smell hints if the essential oils like tea tree used in the ingredients!

    Thanks for the wonderful information.
    Cheers !


  35. Mina says:

    HI Kris, thanks for the great info. Any tips for great mascara/eyeliners for sensitive eyes…??

  36. Karen Balon says:

    Thanks Kris! I must say I’ve found the beauty products round ups quite helpful. What I would absolutely love is one on deodorant. Especially for a physically active, heading into menopause, lives in the desert climate where temps will be 100+ very soon female who sweats. I’ve tried a number of them with no success at controlling odor. I’m presently trying the much talked about make your own from coconut oil, baking soda and arrow root. Which isn’t working for me. My FAVorite use to be Origins Organic deodorant used it for years and then they sadly discontinued it a year or so ago. 🙁 Ever since I’ve been in the search for a replacement that works. Please help.

  37. AKM says:

    Good stuff, Kris! I know that you love Annmarie Gianni’s line — as do I! — so if you try her new mix-into-your-moisturizer/oil powder foundation, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  38. Marissa says:

    I love that you are doing this! (I also love that you include my fave green makeup artist as well…)

    We spend so much time watching what we eat, practicing our yoga (or other exercise), we drink our green juice… and then we load ourselves up with toxins and other ickiness with the products we use on our skin.

    There are so many amazing clean beauty products out there right now that meet every budget need, every skin tone, every makeup preference… There is no excuse to stick with the toxic crap that women have been sold for far too long!

    Natural beauty is quite fabulous (not to mention way better for you)!

  39. Lisa says:

    Thank you SO much Kris! I’ve been waiting patiently for your results after seeing a few months back you were going to be taking this on. When I saw your email this morning (even before I read it) I said “YES! The wait is over, whatcha got for us?!” 🙂 Your mascara roundup was amazing and I fully expect to have great looking skin now, too! Thank you for doing the heavy lifting for us! You’re the bomb! xoxo! Lisa

  40. Gretchen says:

    Thanks for another great round up Kris. My favorite foundation right now is Jane Iredell “Glow Time” BB Cream. It has great coverage.

    I’LL look foward to trying some of your foundation recommendations in the future to see how they compare.

  41. Julie says:

    Thank you for these very helpful ratings. There are so many companies out there, it’s difficult to find which ones are good for your skin (as you mention here) while offerring coverage and knowing the type of finish too.

  42. Dassi says:

    Keep going! I love this series, because I love makeup. Blush should be next. I would be curious to hear if the brand Makeup Geek, who is a smaller company makes the list. She says she does not test on animals for her products. Thanks!!xx

  43. Anne-Laure says:

    Hi! I guess I’m an au naturel kind of gal, then! But should I need to use any foundation I got that covered – Alima Pure Satin looks like a good one! Thanks Kris & the Crazy Sexy Team 🙂 x

  44. Janet says:

    Hi Kris! I love the Palladio Herbal makeup line at Sally Beauty products store. The wet/dry foundation is something I’ve been using for YEARS! It goes on with a sponge that comes with it (washable) doesn’t break me out or irritate my skin. Give it a try!

  45. Janelle says:

    What about Tarte cosmetics?

  46. Nadia says:

    Thank you for the great review, Kris! And for the bonus on tips how to apply foundation. I certainly needed that 🙂
    I’m definitely curious to try a couple of foundations you mentioned. And also I’m thrilled to try the samples of the new foundation from Annmarie Gianni that was just released yesterday. I’m sure you will share your opinion on this foundation in the future 😉

  47. Renee says:

    This is such a fantastic idea! You make it is easy for those of us who wish we had time to sample everything but may not have the $ or time to do so. Thanks! I didn’t get the opportunity to vote but I can say Arbonne has a foundation that falls right into your description of feeling super light that it doesn’t even feel like you have foundation on. They do not test on animals or have animal by-products in their make up. Just FYI and they have good ratings on the EWG website.

  48. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the great info. I have been an au naturel chick for the better part of my forty years. I like to keep my morning routine to a minimum, and I have no idea how to apply make up in a non-clown fashion. I am putting out videos for my new therapy practice and a family member recently commented that adding make up was her only tweak. So, yeah. 🙂 I will be checking out these products and dipping a toe, or nose as the case maybe, in the pool that is the cosmetic ocean. It’s so good to know it will be safe for me and little critters. Thanks for all the time and energy you put into this process!

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