Best Makeup & Cosmetics

When it comes to makeup and cosmetics, there are tons of options to choose from. Unfortunately, a bunch of products just aren’t all that great because they either don’t look good, are too expensive, or potentially have ingredients in them that aren’t safe for your skin. However, more and more cosmetics brands are popping up that are being fully transparent about their materials and their production process, many of which are made in the USA. We did the research to find the best cosmetics brands made in America, our findings are below. Happy searching!

Our Findings

The makeup and cosmetics industry is incredibly vast – there are so many different types of products that you can use to improve your skin and overall health. We broke down our recommendations into a few major categories: soaps, hair products, facial products, makeup, nail products, and skin protection. Within each category (and sub-categories within them), we typically found one American made product that stood above the rest, but also included links to other products we really like. We are continually doing additional research for other great makeup and cosmetics products, so if you have more recommendations we should look into, shoot us a message!

Top Recommendations

Best Makeup & CosmeticsBest for:
Chagrin Valley Soap & SalveNatural Soap
Green TidingsNatural Deodorant
Innersense Organic BeautyNatural Shampoo
Herbivore Botanicals Sea Salt MistNatural Hair Spray
Not Your Mothers Kinky MovesCurl Defining Cream
Susan CiminelliFacial Cleanser
Angel Face BotanicalsFacial Oil
Mother DirtProbiotic Spray
ClarisonicFacial Cleansing Brush
Mineral FusionMoisturizing Cream
Alpha Skin CareWrinkle Reduction
Sia BotanicsNight Cream
Skin OwlEye Area Treatment
EslorFacial Mask
Vapour Organic BeautyFoundation
Endlessly BeautifulNatural Mascara
BeautyblenderMakeup Sponge
FacekinsMakeup Removal Pads
Axiology LipstickNatural Lipstick
EssieNail Polish
IncocoNail Polish Strips
Sol ScentsSunscreen

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below is a lot more detail on each of our top picks along with our other honorable mentions.

Best Natural Soap

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve is a family owned business out of Ohio making some incredibly high quality natural soaps. Their soaps range from hand soap, to body scrubs, to shampoo bars, and tons of other varieties. They use fresh and safe ingredients that are free of harmful chemicals and help clean (obviously) and protect your skin. We absolutely loved trying their soaps. They come in so many different smells and formulas too! Our favorites were the honey butter and adzuki bean complexion soaps.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Natural Deodorant

Green Tidings

Green Tidings is producing great natural deodorant out of their completely solar-powered facility in California. Their deodorant sticks are actually all natural too – the magnesium oil and baking soda used to make it are naturally mined with zero chemical alterations. Green Tidings comes in a few different scents, with lavender and unscented being their most popular varieties. If you’re not sure, you can also get their sampler pack with 5 different scents to choose from.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Natural Shampoo

Innersense Organic Beauty

Big shampoo brands put a lot of crazy ingredients in their soaps, but not Innersense Organic Beauty. We were really impressed by their shampoos, which are made from certified organic plant ingredients that provide great support and health for your hair. Their Pure Harmony Hairbath is really soothing and feels great! Innersense Organic Beauty also has a Color Awakening Hairbath, Hydrating Cream Hairbath, and dry shampoo to choose from.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Natural Hair Spray

Herbivore Botanicals Sea Salt Mist

If you’re struggling to get the right volume or texture in your hair, try Herbivore Botanicals Sea Salt Mist. Made in Washington, this natural hair spray is non-toxic, safe, and highly effective with just a few ingredients. Our favorite is their coconut and vanilla sea mist spray, which has a great aroma.

Browse Products

 

Best Curl Defining Cream

Not Your Mothers Kinky Moves

The Kinky Moves Curl Defining Cream from a company called “Not Your Mother’s” is simply great. It’s infused with natural grape seed and jasmine that adds the extra oomph to your hair that really makes it stand out. It also holds well throughout the day, which is something that it tough to find in other creams and sprays. The application process can take a little while, but trust me, it is well worth it.

Browse Products

 

Best Facial Cleanser

Susan Ciminelli

Susan is a well known holistic health coach that has spent over 40 years studying skin issues and remedies for them. Her company’s facial cleansers are no joke either – they work on virtually any skin type, helping moisturize and energize both your face and body. Some of the major ingredients are honeysuckle, chlorophyll, seaweed extract, coconut extract, and sea salt, all of which are organic and have their own cleansing properties. Susan has facial cleansers for both men and women in a few different varieties.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Facial Oil

Angel Face Botanicals

Angel Face Botanicals (also known as The Apothecary) creates amazing face and body oils out of their facility in Santa Cruz, California. They have been getting their ingredients from the same local farmers and suppliers for over 10 years and are cruelty free, meaning they only test their products on people, not animals. All of their plant extracts are made in-house from those fresh ingredients they get from local suppliers. Their eye elixir, vitamin boost elixir, and pear nectar were our favorites among all their facial products.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Probiotic Spray

Mother Dirt

Mother Dirt makes a variety of skin products, but we were particularly impressed by their probiotic spray, AO + Mist, which uses Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) to restore clarity and balance to your skin. This bacteria actually naturally occurs on our skin, but is washed away pretty quickly with modern skincare products. Since it is a probiotic, it has a shelf life, so be sure to use it within 6 months if you are storing it in the fridge, which will extend its shelf life.

Browse Products

 

Best Facial Cleansing Brush

Clarisonic

Clarisonic assembles all of their facial brushes in the USA, which help you clean a lot deeper than a normal makeup removal pad. The brush accomplishes a deeper clean through oscillation – it oscillates back and forth up to 300 times per second and uses water to remove the dirt and other debris on your face so you go to bed feeling clean. Be sure to check out all of Clarisonic’s different attachments in addition to their basic brush head.

Browse Products

 

Best Moisturizing Cream

Mineral Fusion

Mineral Fusion began as a small mineral cosmetics brand in 2007 and has blossomed into one of most renowned natural cosmetics brands in America today. In that growth, they haven’t forgotten their roots though – all of their products are made in the USA and many of them are still handmade. Their Intense Hydration Face Cream really caught our eye when we tried it. This moisturizer is made with Shea Butter, Rosehip Oil, and Hyaluronic Acid that helps hydrate your skin and make it noticeably softer. It has great soothing properties and natural antioxidants to help firm and restore your skin as well.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best for Wrinkle Reduction

Alpha Skin Care

Alpha Skin Care makes an Intensive Rejuvenating Serum that helps restore youth to your skin. Its concentrated formula is made with 14% Glycolic AHA which helps release dead skin cells so that healthier ones can easily grow in their place. It helps to support collagen production in addition to reducing their appearance of wrinkles and lines. Overall, Alpha Skin Care Intensive Rejuvenating Serum is incredibly soothing and effective.

Browse Products

 

Best Night Cream

Sia Botanics

Sia Botanics lets the plants they use in their products do all the talking. Plants that can withstand harsh conditions with longevity, beauty, and adaptability can have the same effect on your skin. Their Deep Hydration Night Cream is one of the best we found for revitalizing and replenishing your skin while you sleep, even if you have dry skin. The main ingredients are Jojoba, Evening Primrose, Vitamin E and Desert Botanicals, all of which help towards the cause. One note to caution: since there are no artificial binders in this cream, it will melt in the heat, so make sure to keep it in a cool environment.

Browse Products

 

Best Eye Area Treatment

Skin Owl

Skin Owl Eye+ treatment worked like a charm for under eye circles and puffiness. Each active ingredient has its own effect: the cucumber reduces puffiness, aloe smooths everything out, and their botanical hyaluronic acid “lightens and tightens” everything up.

Browse Products

 

Best Facial Mask

Eslor

Eslor makes a great skin tightening mask that you can use twice weekly. It’s a dried film of natural milk proteins, plant extracts, seaweed extracts, and minerals that helps with blood circulation, reducing lines, and of course tighten the skin. We noticed results pretty instantaneously after a few uses and my skin just felt noticeably softer with more balance and life. Eslor’s Chlorophyll Lifting Mask is also 100% free of parabens.

Browse Products

 

Best Foundation

Vapour Organic Beauty

Vapour Organic Beauty Luminous Foundation is a stick foundation that we were really impressed with. It goes on easy, blends well, is breathable, and lasts throughout the day. The stick also comes in handy when you’re on the go, so it’s a great traveling companion. Luminous Foundation is also 100% natural, chemical free, and made in a wind-powered facility in sunny New Mexico.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Natural Mascara

Endlessly Beautiful

Endlessly Beautiful has a natural mascara that is all organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA. Their mascara performs really well too – it didn’t clump up at all, stayed on all day, and was resistant to all the water, sweat, and tears we threw at it. It’s also gluten free and paraben free.

Browse Products

 

Best Makeup Sponge

Beautyblender

Shaped like a cone, the Beautyblender Makeup Sponge gets the job done when it comes to makeup application. All you have to do is wet (it will grow to about twice the size), squeeze, bounce it in your powder or liquid foundation, then apply. This sponge is easy on the skin and applies makeup really well, leaving zero smudges.

Browse Products

 

Best Makeup Removal Pads

Facekins

These reusable pads from Facekins are perfect for quick makeup removal. They are super soft, even on the edges so that you can get to that sensitive area under your eyes. Facekins are pretty easy to wash as well, although you’ll probably want to grab a fresh one after a few uses.

Browse Products

 

Best Natural Lipstick

Axiology Lipstick

We loved all of the color options, safe ingredients, smooth application, and pretty much everything else about Axiology lipsticks. They are 100% natural, vegan, and cruelty-free, and their packaging is even made of recycled paper! After a single application, the color was smooth and lasted pretty much all day. It also helps keep lips soft and moisturized. Overall, big fan of Axiology lipstick. Hopefully you can find the right color for you.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Nail Polish

Essie

Essie is an icon in nail polish and salons around America and they have so many different varieties to choose from. The color is rich and stays on your nails really well, preventing the need for additional coats after the slightest bump into something that might chip other nail polishes. Check out all of their polish varieties below. We listed some other American made options as well.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:

 

Best Nail Polish Strips

Incoco

Located in Clifton, New Jersey, Incoco is a well recognized leader in nail strips, which are made from 100% nail polish. They have a near endless number of designs, patterns, and shades to choose from and are really easy to apply. They are easy to come by as well – Incoco is sold in most Walmart locations across the country.

Browse Products

 

Best Sunscreen

Sol Scents

UV protection is super important and Sol Scents leads the pack when it comes to blocking out harmful rays. Their sunscreen is great for sensitive skin, it’s water resistant, and helps moisturize and nourish your skin while keeping it protected. It goes on easy and a bunch of Sol Scents sunscreens have a refreshing scent to them, like cucumber or vanilla.

Browse Products

Other Good Options:


Factors We Considered

Safe Ingredients

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your makeup and cosmetics products have 100% safe ingredients before you use them. These days, so many big-box manufacturers are pumping their cosmetics full of chemicals to help improve performance, shelf life, or provide some other “benefit”. We looked for products that were free of all those harmful ingredients. Here are a few to look out for:

  • Parabens
  • Artificial fragrances or parfum
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)
  • Toluene
  • Phthalates
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Oxybenzone
  • Diethanolamine
  • Triclosan

Cruelty-Free

Animals are often used a test subjects for product trials, putting them in harms way to potentially be exposed to dangerous chemicals or adverse reactions. We only looked for products that are cruelty free, meaning that the brands are only testing on humans.

Easy to Apply

Whether it’s makeup or soap, your cosmetics have to be easy to apply. Streaky foundation, clumpy mascara, or soap that doesn’t dissolve well in your hands are all super frustrating. We looked for products that you can handle seamlessly and look and feel great.

Looks and Feels Great

Speaking of which…we only recommended products that we thought looked and felt great. Obviously, the definition of those two feelings are different for every person, so we encourage you to try them yourself and find the cosmetics that you truly enjoy most.

Price

There are way too many cosmetics brands out there that charge ridiculous prices for not much value. We want to make sure you’re getting the best cosmetics for your money, so we eliminated any brands from our analysis where we felt like the quality of the product just didn’t live up to the price.