“Natural” beauty products: They’re not just various combinations of coconut oil and patchouli anymore. I worked at Whole Foods for two years, and I discovered that there are a lot of amazing beauty products hiding in between all the almond milk and gluten-free hamburger buns. Many were from brands I had never heard of before, or seen anywhere outside of the store.
While Whole Foods isn’t exactly known for being budget friendly, a lot of their beauty products are more reasonably priced. They also use high-quality standards to evaluate the types of products they can sell: There are over 100 ingredients they do not allow in their body-care items, including phthalates, microbeads, and formaldehyde, and they do not sell any products tested on animals. I may not longer work for Jeff Bezos (for now), but read on to see which five products have lasted to become part of my daily routine.
Andalou Naturals is a brand that should definitely be on your radar because they’re high-quality products at drugstore prices. This incredibly moisturizing lotion absorbs quickly and leaves your skin soft and smooth for hours. Until I started using this, I assumed it was natural to reapply lotion multiple times a day to keep your skin hydrated. Turns out, those were just … not good lotions. Aptly named “1000 Roses”, the scent is strong but not overpowering: It smells like walking into a room filled with 1000 roses. I wear and talk about this lotion so much my friend once poked fun at me by deadpanning, “You only smell like 998 roses today”.
I typically air dry my hair, but a dime-sized dollop of this balm makes it look like I had a blowout. I’m serious, it’s that good. My hair is incredibly thick and slightly wavy, and air drying usually leaves it a little bit frizzier than I want it to be. This balm manages to smooth that frizz and add shine without needing heat to seal everything into place. And it makes my hair feel so soft — not crunchy or sticky at all, which is another problem I run into sometimes when air drying. I have searched most of my adult life for a product I can just comb through wet hair and then get on with my day, and I am happy to say that this is that product.
This is a perfect cream blush. It looks really bright in the package, but it blends into skin easily. I like to apply it directly onto my cheeks from the tube (so for a hot second I look like a creepy doll with perfectly round blush marks) before blending it in with my fingers for a natural-looking flush. They have three shades, and the nude rose pictured here is also a great subtle lip color.
This mascara comes with a convertible wand! With a simple twist of the cap, you can change the length of the brush. Yes, you read that correctly: a convertible wand! WHY IS NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THIS!? When the brush is fully extended, you can use it to build length and definition, and when you twist the brush down, it compacts into a shorter version that builds volume. The mascara itself is very soft, lightweight, and doesn’t flake. I typically sweep on a few coats with the long brush, then a few with the short brush. My go-to mascara had always been Benefit They’re Real! but sometimes that felt a little too dramatic for work. This gives me a softer version of the definition I’m used to from the Benefit mascara, but is a little more substantial than say, a Maybelline Great Lash.
This product has completely streamlined my shower routine. It’s one part soap, one part scrub, all parts magic. You don’t need a loofah or sponge, you can lather it on with your hands. I use it all over my body, it’s great for exfoliating my legs before shaving. It comes in six different scents, and the Coconut Papaya is my favorite because it feels a little creamier than the other versions, but Cucumber Seaweed is a close second.
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