Kris Carr

Blog Post

What’s in My Makeup Bag?

Hiya Gorgeous!

I’m a big believer that beauty comes from the inside out. It’s part of who we are, how we care for ourselves, speak to ourselves and feed ourselves.

Regardless of what the cosmetics companies promise, looking our best has more to do with consistent self-care and self-love vs quick fix potions. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun or that there aren’t products out there that can enhance what’s already radiant (yes, you are already exquisite, the gloss just amplifies your natural shine, darling!).

While I’m a more natural kinda gal, I know how glamorous I feel when I get my makeup done for a photo shoot or big event. I’ve found some gems along the way, and today, I want to open my makeup bag so you can see what I’m currently using when it’s time to glam.

Since I don’t wear makeup every day (or even every week!), I don’t mind spending a little extra on high-quality products that I simply love.

What I put on my body is just as important as what I put in my body.

This means that I try to use products I know aren’t harmful—to me or any other creature.

Each of the products below has been vetted for their safety, toxicity, and animal cruelty. I always rely on one of my favorite organizations, the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—a leader in up-to-the-minute research on toxins and chemicals present in our personal and home products. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database allows you to search products to ensure their safety. I also love Leaping Bunny and the Think Dirty app as alternative resources to find the safest products.

And while I try to keep everything as high-quality and organic as possible, I’ll be honest—I’m still searching for healthy options to products I just can’t quite find an alternative for! So I’d love to hear your suggestions, tips, favorite brands, and go-to products below in the comments.

And now, without further ado, if you dig around in my makeup bag, here’s what you’ll find!


I’m pretty fussy about eyeshadow. Texture is super important. There’s nothing worse than chalky shizzle that gets caught in my wisdom cracks (shall we say). Beautycounter and RMS beauty are solid brands I can always trust. But I also am a big fan of Urban Decay… a girl’s gotta shimmer from time to time.

Beautycounter eyeshadow (color: Shell/Malt) ($34)
RMS Sunset beach eyeshadow (color: #46) ($20)
Urban Decay eyeshadow (color: Sidecar) ($19)


Nothing perks up my peepers than a nice black liner. I usually prefer pencil because it’s easy to glide on and I don’t have to worry about getting a little too dark. So I’ve shared two options, and I’ve also included a gel (which is applied with a brush) for those with a steady pair of hands.

W3ll People Hypnotist Eye pencil ($18.50)
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Precision Eye Pencil ($20)
Pacifica Smolder Eye Lining Gel ($13.98)


A little dab of this on my cheeks and I feel like I got smooched (or pinched slightly hard) by cherubs. You can even use it on your lips. What I love about this blush is you can’t really overdo it.

Glossier Cloud Paint (color: Dusk and Beam) ($18)


A little bit goes a long way—that’s my mantra when it comes to bronzer. You don’t want to look like a Florida orange. This powder is so light, it adds just the perfect hint of color to make ya look sun-kissed.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (color: Luminous Light) ($46)


This is my go-to concealer. I probably use this product the most out of everything listed here. It’s made to enhance skin, not just cover it up—hence the clever name!

RMS uncover ($36)


Both of these options are wonderful. Mascara can be tricky because I always want it to look natural (not clumpy).

RMS Volumizing Mascara ($28)
W3ll People Mascara ($21.99)


Honestly, I’m not a big powder gal—until I tried this stuff. It’s super fine and I use it on its own or with foundation. And it’s available at Target!

W3ll People Powder ($24)

Blotting Papers

While I don’t use blotting papers every day, I do use these all the time on shoots. Rather than slathering on more powder, just blot off the shine. There are many brands out there, here’s one I’ve used from time to time.

Live Fresh Naturals ($6.99)

Primer and Foundations

I’m a big fan of both the Honest Beauty primer and foundation. I’ll put a little primer on first, then follow it up with the foundation. The two go hand-in-hand with each other. I thought I would never stray from this combo, until I came across the Gressa foundation. On a recent photo shoot, the makeup artist used it on me—and it was so light and fabulous! It’s formulated with rosehip seed oil and is all botanical too.

Honest Beauty primer (apply first) ($27)
Honest Beauty foundation ($30)
Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation (color: Light Medium/ #1.5 and #2) ($15)

Brow Filler

I’m obsessed with brows. True story: Back in college my girl friends used to call me Tweezer Bitch. Apparently, I was pretty good at taming and framing eyebrows. So good that gals lined up for free appointments with me and my tweezers. Today I love a good brow filler because it is a wonderful face framer. And they also can help to keep brows in their place. A two-fer!

Glossier Boy Brow  (color: Blond) ($16)
Beautycounter Color Define Brow Pencil ($23)
Jane Iredale PureBrow Brow Gel ($21)

Lipstick / Gloss

Throwing on a little color on my lips is one of my favorite beauty tricks. I love these products—some are more glossy and others are in lipstick form. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll switch up which one of these I use.

Honest Beauty (color: Generous Kiss) ($18)
Tata Harper (color: Be Adored) ($29)
Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipstick (color: Chloe) ($25)
Vapour Organic Beauty (color: Siren Au Pair) ($25)
Ilia (color: Hold Me Now) ($26)
Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick (color: Petal) ($30)

Your turn: What are your favorite beauty products? Let me know in the comments below—I’m looking to you to share your suggestions, as my beauty lineup is an ever-evolving work in progress!

Peace & Beauty,

Add a comment
  1. Annette Collins says:

    I wonder if you have a list of products to avoid. I am specifically looking for companies and name brands of particular make up products that should be avoided at all costs. They used to say certain lipsticks had lead in them. I have used Revlon, cover girl, physicians formula, and L’Oreal for face, OPI, Sally Hansen and Sinful Colors for 30 plus years and now I am so worried that I have been poisoning my system. Also we use Nivea, Palmer’s cocoa butter skin creams. Can you tell me it we are using the wrong products? I know that you have listed many alternatives, I’ve never heard of most of them. We just use the things that are commonly found on the shelves of retail stores. I appreciate any and all help!

  2. Christine says:

    Live the list. I’ll check out some products for sure. Have you ever used Arbonne?? It’s currently all I use. Vegan, no animal testing. So good. Downside – it can only be ordered online.

  3. Jeni Hagger says:

    Hey I love this! I love it when people share cruelty free make up tips. There’s no excuses for testing make up on animals in this day and age! It’s upsetting to know also that some high end brands now make their products in countries where the law states that the products or ingredients HAVE to be tested on animals! Why????? Anyways, I live in the UK and have to shop on a tight budget. So I purchase my make up products from a shop we have called Boots. It’s a drug store, but holds loads more than pharmaceutical products. From food to baby products to make up to medicine. They have their own make up line called Natural Collections. I love this make up line, and so does my teenage daughter! Who is make up obsessed! Not only are they really good products, they are gentle on skin, some have SPF 15 in and they are all completely cruelty free, AND prices start from less than £3!!!!!! It’s a no-brainer for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I think the UK are getting a lot better at giving alternatives to products tested on animals, not great, but getting better. Even household products are improving! Xx

  4. Molly says:

    I can recommend you this makeup bag

  5. Megan Smith says:

    Hey Kris have you tried Beautycounter’s two new mascaras? They are awesome. You will love them. Also check out the 5 minute face! I don’t wear a ton of makeup either but this 5 minute face gets me out the door faster in the mornings ready to start my crazy sexy day!!? thanks for this post! Everyone needs to know….not only does it matter what you put IN your body it matters what you put ON your body!

  6. Linda says:

    Shaklee now has a new skin care line (YOUTH) that is safe, pure, and without harmful chemicals. It is also 100% vegan, cruelty free and gluten free. Their “free of” list has over 2,500 chemicals including colors, mercury, propylene Glycol, Hydroquinone, Lanolin, Quaternium-15, EDTA, Ethanolamine, Formaldehyde, Styrene, Quat Ammonium, Silver, CFC, Perfluoro, PEG 1,2,3, Cycosilicone, Parabens, Phthalates, etc.

  7. Kathy says:

    I like Boom by Cindy Joseph

  8. Anna Chilingarian says:

    I love you Kris Carr – Thank you!

  9. Jen says:

    This is wonderful, thank you for revealing your beauty favorites! I’m in need of some new mascara especially, and would like to start “reviving” my makeup collection with some more earth-friendly and body-loving alternatives. 🙂

  10. Wendy says:

    The RMS concealer looks awesome! Any suggestions how to choose the right shade?

  11. Laura says:

    I’ve been using cocoa powder for bronzer lately and I just love it! All natural and I smell like chocolate 🙂

  12. Shae says:

    What make-up brushes do you use?

  13. Katrina says:

    I recently made the switch from toxic beauty products to cleaner products. It has been a process for me. There aren’t enough local beauty stores that specialize in only non-toxic makeup. You really have to do your research, I’ve been told by many makeup artists that products are non-toxic blah blah and they have the worst ratings on Think Dirty App. I’ve found that a lot of natural foundations tend to be very orange. So far, my favorite beauty products have been…

    100% Pure coffee bean caffeine eye cream
    Nu Evolution Complete Coverage Foundation
    W3LL People bio Correct concealer
    Nu Evolution pressed Blush in Flushed (looks just like Nars Orgasm)
    W3LL People Mascara
    RMS beauty- has really pretty eye shadows. currently wearing Tempting Touch

    I haven’t found an eyeliner that I’m crazy about so I definitely will be trying the gel liner Kris listed above.

  14. Emily says:

    Everyday minerals (base powder, concealer, blush, face powder, &finishing powder) I believe they are $9-$18.
    Red Apple Lipstick (lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip pencil, Lip gloss) $20-37 I think.

    Three thing I really love about Red Apple Lipstick is they are gluten free and they really care about where they source their ingredients from. Also their mascara FINALLY made my eyelashes stop falling out every time I wash my face!

  15. Regine says:

    I love the Pattyka products, especially the essential oil. Amazing!

  16. helen meleisea says:

    Hi Kris. I like using ‘NuSkin’ products. They are totally natural, no fillers etc. I too like natural products.

  17. Meaghan says:

    Aww, I was hoping to see Arbonne on your list; it totally aligns with your values and is friendly to the earth and animals.
    Sidebar: ewg is not always reliable… especially since some of its founders have their own skincare lines.

  18. Kris thank you for all of the awesome recommendations. My favorite for clean makeup and skincare products is Arbonne. They are Vegan and cruelty free. I am sure you get bombarded with things to try it, but if you get a wild hair and would like to try some samples let me know!

  19. Paryse Labrie says:

    A beautiful company founded by a passionate health and natural and vegan enthusiast offers completely natural essential oil based skin care and makeup here in Québec, Canada. They are high quality and really affordable products. The link to her website is:

  20. Sue says:

    Hello Kris! Just wondering if the makeup reviewed above is available in Canada….or is it only available in the U.S.?

  21. Laurie says:

    Thank you! I’ve been looking forward to this.

  22. Kaye says:

    Hi Kris!

    Thanks for the awesome list. I love the brow suggestions! Sadly for me 🙁 , the Beautycounter website states that the brow pencil contains fish oil. Thought I may point that out for others who avoid animal products in addition to the beeswax in the other two brow items that you already pointed out. I’m wondering if there are any brow products out there that are vegan and worth trying, ’cause my brows could really use some filling :-).

  23. Hi Kris!
    Young Living Essential Oils just introduced their cosmetic line. Amazing. I’m a distributor, for this brilliant and conscious company.
    Before their line, I’ve used Tarte. Great colors and textures, and no crease eye shadows.
    Thanks for your blog. Hit me up if you’re interested in YL products. Their essential oils are truly 100 percent therapeutic grade- they are the only company with a line of oils just for consumption.
    Enjoy your day.

  24. Ruth Biersdorf says:

    I have been getting all of my cosmetics from Real Purity,, for several years. Check them out.

  25. Christina Patrick says:

    Why no “Milk” products? I’m “brow crazed” at the moment and their brow pencils are my favorite.
    The products are vegan and cruelty free, but a I don’t see a the leaping bunny. Let me know if they have some nefarious secrets.
    BTW – They also have adorable gender fluid tutorials, gorgeous kids.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Love your approach…I go natural and green as much as possible without giving up performance. I like a lot of the makeup from 100% Pure. Also I swear by the Burt’s Bees Shimmer Sticks for color and protection. Rhubarb is my fave. And yes to Urban Decay…even if they’re not green and natural I am obsessed with the colors, wear and naughty names! Like Kris, I believe beauty come from within but I’m always checking out green makeup and Skincare on my happy, healthy and hot blog.

  27. Paige says:

    Hi! You’re amazing! Are all your products vegan?

  28. Deb says:

    Hi Kris – Awesome post with lots of options. I have heard a lot about BeautyCounter and was wondering what you thought of their products and if you’d recommend them?

  29. Heidi says:

    I recently started using Araza Beauty and love it! It’s all natural and feels amazing on my skin. So far I’ve just tried the coconut oil foundation and the lip gloss, butam looking forward to trying more of their products as I run out of what I currently use.

  30. Joey says:

    I’ve done more homework on this than I did in high school . . .and my favorite completely non-toxic makeup is by Mineral Fusion. Their Illuminating Powder is my go to. Everything you need is right there. I can swirl my brush in all four compartments and have a young glow, hit the pink for cheeks, a little gold for eyes and then I tap a small eye brush in the white to add highlights on my cheeks, nose and eye lids. I bought the blush/bronzer, it’s simply lovely for shading and cheeks. If I don’t want to bother with any makeup, their liquid lip gloss makes me happy. That’s all I have in my makeup bag now! Keeping it simple!

  31. Kelly says:

    I’ve just discovered Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage. I don’t really use foundation because it has always looked unnatural to me but this coverage is wonderful! It feels so hydrating when you put it on and instead of giving your face a different color, it rather enhances what you already have. The SPF 20 is a huge bonus as well.

  32. Deb says:

    Wondering which polishes you’ve used and recommend. So many are toxic, but I love my mani/pedis!


  33. REW says:

    Some of my faves I use are:
    Alima Pure pressed eyeshadow are lovely, nice range of colours (both matte & glimmer), light but buildable coverage lasts all day.
    Vapour Beauty multi-use classic blush is a creamy stick that gives buildable coverage that feels light once on.
    RMS uncover concealer – fabulous light but proper cover for spots & dark marks.
    Jane Iredale lip pencil.
    Alima Pure lip tints – lovely & creamy wh a hint of peppermint; good coverage like a lipstick. My faves are Honey (a light nude shade) & Petal (a like-my-lips-but-better medium nude).
    Jane Iredale brow builder fills in brows but looks natural.
    RMS master mixer – a rose gold highlighter that I use on my brow bone.
    Lily Lolo does wonderful eyeshadow palettes…. the list goes on.
    There are so many wonderful products I’d love to try (especially the Gressa foundation as I’ve heard such good things) but being in the UK some brands just aren’t available here sadly. But I keep hoping more will become available.

  34. Love this blog, Kris! I made the switch to organic skin care and make-up about 4-5 years ago. I also found it hard to replace some of my favorite items!!! Here are a few brands I like and have found some quality products that work very well: LaMav Organic Skin Science (Australia), zk’in Certified Organic (Australia), and Rejuva Minerals. Many other countries have stricter rules for what passes as “organic” than we do here in the US and I like that. I do also love the Juice Beauty line. 🙂 Thanks for the education and recommendations!

  35. Tracy Case says:

    Beautycounter is my go to. High performing and the testing and screening they do make
    Me feel confidant using it. Also the fact they are fighting for more regulations on top of it all impresses me. That’s why I signed up to be a consultant. As a stage 4 breast cancer survivor of 14!years I want to keep my beauty products safer

  36. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for promoting safe makeup application to your readers! A brand that I have fallen head over heals for is Hush+Dotti. I am obsessed not just with their cleansers and moisturizers, but lipsticks, pressed powders, eyeliner… you name it. Dina takes such care in her brand and products, and I appreciate her distrusting the “over the counter” beauty scene.

  37. Melissa says:

    This is a tough one for me because in addition to wanting products free from toxins, I am also working to reduce my plastic waste. I use and love Pure haven essentials products because they are truly free of toxic chemicals. But I’m also looking for refillable glass, bamboo or other containers. A quick look around any bathroom and the plastic bottles, tubes, palettes and containers is overwhelming to me when I think about all of it going in the trash. (Most not recyclable.) The companies that are producing cosmetics with refillable containers are still using toxic ingredients. Some things can be DIY at home and put in refillable containers, but not everything can be made at home and not everyone has time to do that. With every baby step in the journey of non-toxic and zero-waste living, I learn more and do the very best I can. That’s all we can ask of each other. So thank you Kris for sharing your journey and doing the best you can. 😉

    • Kris Carr says:

      Love all your baby steps, Melissa. Keep shining! xo, kc

    • Ariel says:

      Melissa, I’m in the same boat… really working to reduce my overall waste, and plastic usage in general while also keeping it healthy! I use RMS Beauty products, but I only use what’s packaged in glass (the pots have a metal lid and I reuse) and they ship in paper. I love their uncover-up that Kris mentioned, and I also use their lip2cheek, bronzer and highlighter. They’re super expensive but they last forever, I’ve had some of those tins for well over a year! Still looking for a zero/low-waste eyeliner and brow powder so I will check out Kris’ recommendations but I use Keeping it Natural mascara in a reusable tin from Etsy! She will also ship in paper and without a spooly brush at your request! I used to make some makeup products but it’s time consuming and when you’re going zero waste, you find yourself making EVERYTHING so I hear ya!!

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks for your comment Ariel! It’s easy to feel alone in some of this 😉 Etsy is a great place for ZW finds, and I haven’t tried RMS products yet so I will check them out. Keep up the great work on your ZW journey!

      • Kelly says:

        Aveda uses minimal packaging and it’s all recyclable! Aveda doesn’t have stuff like brow powder, but the liners and shadows double as brow products. (Btw the tinted moisturizer with spf is really great) ?

  38. Leela says:

    Would like to know if you use sun screen on your face ? If so what product do you use. Will be interested as my daughter is allergic to the brands out there.
    Thank you kindly. Leela

  39. Maria says:

    I am in love with the skincare products at The Body Deli, a small company in CA. You’ll find nothing harmful in any of their lines, and they smell so delicious that you’ll almost want to eat them. Don’t worry, your temptation to eat them will
    be halted by the price:) Theyre worth every penny, though!

  40. Charlotte says:

    Is Urban Decay non-toxic?! That used to be my favourite brand but I stopped using them when I started reading up on natural skin care products… I’d love to know if I could go back to UD though!!

  41. Alexandra Rehm says:

    The brow filler has beeswax in it!

    • Kat says:

      Some products also had carmine in them and that’s made of bugs. It’s not toxic, but it could be against some people’s ethical standards.

  42. Bonnie Berke says:

    I love Young Living sassy mineral makeup!
    This is by far the best makeup line I have ever used and the minerals are good for my body and face!
    I am happy to share it with you!

  43. Danielle says:

    You make everything sound so lovely. All of my personal care products are from Arbonne International (I’m actually an Independent Consultant with the company) Although I really like everything about their skincare and makeup (best of nature and safest of science combined) – I do have favorites: the Primer, ohmygosh is excellent and very light; even the days I don’t use any other face make up I’ll use the Primer. It’s one of the many reasons I love our products – even with a “complete” face on, it never ever feels like I have a “full face on”.

  44. Susan says:

    I use Moringa oil from True Moringa for both my face and body. It contains only Moringa oil and some essential oil such as lavender, lemongrass or peppermint. I also use it to remove eye makeup and for my cuticles. This is the first winter that I have not had cracked hands from dry winter skin. I was so happy to find your recommendations for natural foundation, I have been searching for something. I can’t wait to try your suggestions. I also use True Moringa hair oil to tame the frizz in my hair, but I am still searching for a shampoo and conditioner that are free of harmful chemicals. I would love recommendations for those as well.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi sweet Susan! Thanks for all your wonderful reco’s! This may help ya in your search for non-toxic hair products: xo, kc

    • Julia says:

      Hey Susan – and Kriss
      For shampoos and conditioners that are free of harmful chemicals, smell gorgeous. and do the job I’d like to invite you over to Powerful Organic to check out what our new company is offering. We launched in august 2017 – while I was recovering in intensive care from a chemo induced near death experience (when I found your site, Kriss – and loved your energy and positivity). My cancer had come back and I was determined to minimise the toxins and dangers lurking in my environment, and to find organic body care products that would smell good, feel good, do good and be good – for people and planet. Nothing ticked all the boxes, so we decided to make some ourselves. Worried about the impact of chemicals on her hands and her customers’ heads, our dear friend Bex – busy mother and entrepreneur hairstylist – set us a challenge. Could we create a salon quality shampoo that would be wholly natural and as organic as it could possibly be and not cost the earth? We worked on it, she tested it, her customers loved it – and so do we! Our special body and hair care products are all triple certified for organic content, non-animal ingredients and no animal testing by the Soil Association, Vegan Society, Cruelty Free International – and 10% of pre-tax profit goes to support environmental, well-being and social change projects we care about.

  45. Diane says:

    I have very dry hands, what would you suggest for a hand cream please? Thank you.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi Diane, Coconut oil is my go-to for just about everything—as a hand cream, for boo boos, and even as a hair frizzy tamer! I hope that helps 🙂 xo, kc

  46. Claire says:

    Do you have any thoughts on a moisturizer?

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