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Helpful Natural Lipstick Color Guide

Au Naturale Natural Lipstick Non-Toxic LipstickMainstream lipstick is like a sausage – after you find out how it is made, you might never eat it again.  After I had learned what goes into making a typical lipstick, I stopped wearing it for a few years. But I am a human, too, and vanity is not a strange feeling to me.  In the past 6 months or so, I searched for a natural lipstick that I could wear on special occasions, and today I want to share my finding of the best natural lipstick and help you choose the right color.


What is so bad about lipstick?


First of all, because we ingest small amounts, I wanted as many ingredients as possible to be food-grade. Unfortunately, because lipstick is a cosmetic product, lipsticks do not have to be food grade, and it would probably be impossible to find a lipstick with 100% food-grade ingredients.


Second, every cosmetic product, including lipstick, has to contain colorants.


There are two types of colorants: petroleum-based and mineral. Both might have traces of heavy metals; but from specifications detailed by the FDA in 21 CFR 74, generally, petroleum-based colorants have higher limits for lead, arsenic, and mercury. For example, the lead limit is doubled for many petroleum-based dyes (20 ppm versus 10 ppm for mineral pigments).


In addition, petroleum-based colorants may have other contaminants specific to petroleum, including benzo[a]pyrene, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and brominated resorcinol. Some of these contaminants are human carcinogens.


Thus, as always, and especially in this case, I recommend staying away from petroleum-based products. Unfortunately, while mineral makeup is a better choice, it still may contain traces of heavy metals.  To read about independent tests on random samples of cosmetics, head over here.


How do heavy metals end up in colorants?


They are not added intentionally. Because colorants are derived either from petroleum or from minerals, the raw materials of both come from the Earth’s crust. Heavy metals are a natural part of the Earth’s crust, and are present in water, soil, and air as a result of industrial pollution. Thus, heavy metals are found in colorants used by the makeup industry.


When a cosmetics company buys colorants, they should get Certificates of Analysis with them, in which there should be information about heavy metal levels. Most companies are not willing to share these certificates with consumers. I recommend products of companies that shared this information with me.


Some companies went as far as claiming that they test colorants for heavy metals instead of relying on the certificates. However, companies who made those claims, such as this one, were not willing to share the results of their tests with me.


The reason I am so concerned with heavy metals, especially lead and mercury, is that unlike other substances, they are bio-accumulative, which means that bit by bit they add up in your body and it is not easy to get rid of them. You can read about my detox story here.


Au Naturale Natural Lipstick Ingredients


Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil), Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Seed Oil), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Wax), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter Fruit), Camelina Sativa (Camelina Seed Oil), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Oil), Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran Oil), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam Seed Oil), Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry Seed Oil), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba Wax), Hydrogenated Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Wax), Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Micas.


Let’s re-group the ingredients for better understanding.


Waxes in Au Naturale Natural Lipstick


Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Wax): extracted from Euphorbia cerifera, a shrub native to Mexico. Candelilla wax (E 902) is authorized in the EU as a food additive as a glazing agent (source), so this ingredient does not raise red flags.


Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba Wax): sustainably harvested from Brazilian palm leaves and used in numerous cosmetic applications. Carnauba wax is a food-grade ingredient and listed at 7 CFR Part 205.605(a) as one of two non-synthetic waxes allowed in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic.”


Hydrogenated Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Wax): the product of hydrogenation (a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form) of jojoba oil obtained from the seed of the jojoba plant. Generally, hydrogenated oils are not used in foods but are not recommended for consumption in big amounts by health experts. As for jojoba oil, see below.


Oils in Au Naturale Cosmetics Eternity Lipstick


Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil): is not used for cooking but is approved by the FDA as a food additive (source).


Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Seed Oil): an edible oil, no concerns, would be better if it were certified organic, of course.


Camelina Sativa (Camelina Seed Oil): an edible oil with no concerns, it would be better if it were certified organic.


Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Oil): a great emollient and used in natural lipsticks as a better alternative to petrolatum; it is not recommended for oral consumption as it contains toxic erucic acid. I believe that in this case, the “dose makes the poison” principle applies, meaning that in some instances, small doses are fine. You might want to wipe your lipstick off before you eat. Note that it stays well on the lips so the amount that transfers is small.


Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran Oil): this is a food-grade oil commonly used in cooking. I don’t recommend it for cooking because of the potential for arsenic contamination, but in this case, the amount is too small to be a concern as you will probably ingest more arsenic by eating a spoon of rice.


Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil): from my research, apparently sweet almond oil can be food-grade; you have to check the label.


Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam Seed Oil): not edible; however, I did not find any information about any adverse effects if it is orally consumed in small quantities.


Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry Seed Oil): is not an edible oil but again I did not find any information about any adverse effects if it is orally consumed in small quantities.


Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter Fruit): a vegetable fat obtained from the fruit of a tree native to Africa, Butyrospermum parkii.


Colorants in Au Naturale Natural Lipstick


There are three types of mineral pigments used in the Au Naturale Cosmetics Eternity lipstick, which are commonly used in natural cosmetics.


Au Naturale Cosmetics showed me their Certificates of Analysis, which showed heavy metal levels within the limits set forth by the FDA and European standards for colorants, including 0 levels for some heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic.


Titanium Dioxide: is widely used in sunscreen as a UV absorber and in cosmetics as a colorant; rated 1-3 in the Skin Deep database as there are health concerns when it is inhaled.


Iron Oxides: a mineral pigment widely used in natural cosmetics as a safer alternative to synthetic petroleum-based dyes; rated 2 in the Skin Deep database as it is listed in Canada Environment Substance List as persistent (does not biodegrade easily) and may be toxic when inhaled.


Micas: a mineral pigment widely used in natural cosmetics as a safer alternative to synthetic petroleum-based dyes; rated 2 in the Skin Deep database as it is listed in Canada Environment Substance List as persistent (takes a long time to break down).


If possible, Au Naturale tries to source colorants that are EcoCert certified and NOT made in China.  I have to tell you, it is not easy to find a company that uses EcoCert colorants and discloses a manufacturing country of origin of their colorants.  The only company I have found that sources only EcoCert pigments that are NOT made in China is Crunchi.


This concludes my ingredient review of the Au Naturale Cosmetics Eternity lipstick. After looking at every ingredient of this natural lipstick and a number of others, I believe its safety is the best. There were other cosmetic companies that I thought might be promising; however, they did not reply to me with answers to my questions.


That’s another thing before I recommend a product, I like to speak with the person who formulates the products, which makes a big difference in gauging the company’s trustworthiness.


How did I like Au Naturale Cosmetics Eternity lipstick?


There are some reviews on Amazon that point out that the lipstick is dry. I have not found that to be a problem, maybe because I do not have an expectation that a lipstick will act as a moisturizer. My lips get dry often, especially in the morning. I use a lip balm before going to bed or during the day if needed. I actually liked the fact that it is on the drier side, which makes it less transferable to food or drinking glasses/cups.


As for shades, true, it is not L’Oreal, so it does not have hundreds of shades. However, I believe it has a sufficient number of shades to choose from.


Here are my pictures wearing 4 different shades.  From top left to bottom right, they are Elsa Luisa, Cha-Cha, Primrose, and Innocence.

Helpful Natural Lipstick Color Guide

I like them all depending on the occasion and what I wear. I contacted their makeup artist and based on my picture and preferences, she chose the Innocence shade for me, which you can see in the right bottom corner. You might want to contact her for a shade consultation as well.


Where to buy


Au Naturale Cosmetics website



Other Natural Lipstick Options that I Found


Since I reviewed this natural lipstick, I have found another non-toxic lipstick that I like even better.

Non-Toxic Lipstick

Crunchi Makeup Review


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28 thoughts on “Helpful Natural Lipstick Color Guide”

    1. Hi, G: I have not researched this brand yet. I would have to look at every ingredient of every product they carry and, then if I like what I see on the website, contact them for an interview. If more people are interested in this brand, I will do that. Alternatively, you can hire me to research this brand. Thank you for asking. ~Irina

      1. Hello,

        I would also like to know more about Lily Lolo makeup products. I have already purchased their mascara, but haven’t started using it just yet. I would also like to try out their mineral foundation, but would like to know your opinion of the brand and ingredients they use first.

        1. Hi, Eva: I took a quick look, and I can tell in order for me to formulate an opinion I need to contact them and do more research. The mascara ingredients on the US site do not even come up for me. I can do a private research for a fee for you now or we should wait when more people ask about it, and I would not be able to resist my curiosity. Why did you decide to buy their products? And are you in the US or UK or Canada? ~Irina

          1. Hello,
            I am actually from Slovenia, but I order from the UK a lot, here for example:
            Ingredients in mascara:
            Aqua, Cera Alba, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Sucrose Distearate, Cichorium Intybus Root Extract, Propanediol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Wax, Galactoarabinan, Sucrose Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Acacia Senegal, Glycerin, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide (+/-): Ci 77499

            I would love to hear your thoughts about this product’s ingredients at least. I know Sodium Hydroxide is bad, but it’s really hard to find a product that doesn’t have at least one questionable or potentially harmful ingredient. I decided to buy it because it had good reviews and reasonable price. I will try it out when I use up the one I am currently using.

  1. Aloha Irina! Are the iron oxides in Au Naturale synthetic or natural? Have they been tested for heavy metals? There’s a little bit more to iron oxides than just a category 2 in EWG, at least from my understanding of it. Also, out of curiosity – why do you not approve of 100% Pure’s makeup? Even though FDA has not approved of their fruit & berry derived colorants, does not mean they are not safe (if not even safer for us). I’m actually having a hard time following FDA’s approval list, as it is pretty ridiculous! 😉

    1. Hi, Sarina: Of course, there is a little more than a category 2 and I did talk about a lot of it at the beginning of the post. I should probably copy and paste that information in the colorants section. My bad. Could you re-read the beginning of the post? But yes, in short, heavy metals are a big deal for me and hence my 2-year old story with Beautycounter, my heavy metal detox story, and the reason I have not been recommending many cosmetic options. In my experience of researching cosmetic brands for 4 years now, smaller companies do not have resources to test for heavy metals and those who claim they do, would not show or even tell me about their test results, which is not helpful. Au Naturale uses 100% natural iron oxides that are made in Europe and certified by EcoCert. Some companies do not even tell me where their iron oxides are made making me think they are made in China. I agree on the FDA but in this case, there is no information that plant-based colorants work in cosmetics and that they are free of heavy metals. Heavy metals are in our food, air, and soil and thus in plants and when concentrated amounts of plants are used, whatever trace amounts of heavy metals are in plants get concentrated. Does it make sense? ~Irina

      1. Thanks for your thorough reply Irina! I guess what it all comes down to is the sourcing of the ingredients that go into the products, and that’s where companies lack transparency. I could not find any information about the pigments on Au Naturale’s website. Thanks for clarifying that they are actually EcoCert and from Europe – that makes me feel way better 🙂 I would love to learn more about plant-based colorants in cosmetics! XOXO, Sarina

  2. Hi Irina! Have you heard of Red Apple Lipstick? I’m curious about what you think of them. I’ve been using their lipstick for the last two years or so.

  3. They look great on you! I never wear lipstick but have an event next week and thinking of buying one and will do so from your link. I have similar hair color and complexion as you. Between the primrose and innocence color which do you think is less bold. It’s hard to tell in the picture. I want one that doesn’t feel like I’m wearing much of a color but just a little something. Thanks for all your research!!

  4. Hi Irina, thank you for answering.

    Are the other products from Au Naturale, like the lip gloss, and other products also safe, in your consideration?

    Thanks! 🙂

  5. I gotta say, that Cha-cha with your hair curled up like that made you look absolutely stunning! Thanks for the lovely review and posting the lip shades for reference! 😀

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