I know I am getting this out very late. My apologies, but I figured better late than not at all… Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I really love going all out and dressing up. And I am really loving the whole Cosplay trend too.
Now you don’t have to wait until Halloween to be your favorite characters. Unfortunately, theatrical makeup and toxic ingredients go hand in hand. So, how do you look awesome in your costume without poisoning yourself or more importantly your kids?
This post may contain referral/affiliate links. If you buy something, The NMR may earn a commission.
Non-Toxic Halloween and Cosplay Makeup Guide
In case you don’t know, most stage makeup is riddled with toxic ingredients. Including those inexpensive kits, you can find in party supply and drugstores that are marketed for kids. I think it’s pretty scary that lots of Halloween makeup products contain ingredients that aren’t FDA approved, or intended for use on skin.
Certain types of fluorescent and luminescent dyes, as well as certain types of glitter, aren’t recommended by the FDA for use on the skin due to high risk for blistered irritated skin, allergic reactions, and dangerous infiltration of eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cream-based makeup and liners used for Halloween makeup can be dyed with arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, and mercury — yes, these are toxic heavy metals. The FDA has done extensive research on these colorants, and many have been deemed unsafe for use around mouth, eyes, and nose (where they can be ingested, damage eyesight, or infiltrate your lungs).
Some of the harmful ingredients you want to be sure to avoid are –
- Parabens (methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, ethylparaben)
- Formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers
- Phthalates (dimethyl phthalate (DMP), fragrance/parfum)
- Heavy metals (like the ones mentioned above)
- Mineral Oil and other petroleum byproducts
- Talc (may contain asbestos)
- Bismuth Oxychloride (known skin irritant)
Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on it, so you really don’t want to be exposing yourself or your kids to this stuff. Even USA today published an article about this last year which you can read here.
I know you are probably thinking well if it’s just for one night it’ll be okay or here we go another natural beauty fear monger trying to suck the fun out of everything yet again.
I totally get it. Having to be “so careful” about every little thing gets annoying. That is actually one of the reasons I started this blog. I want to keep you informed while also providing you with easy solutions. Finding non-toxic makeup this holiday season is actually a lot easier than you would think.
I searched high and low for the best non-toxic products for you to use this Hallows Eve. Not only are these products completely safe for you to use on yourself and your loved ones they are also very budget friendly. This guide is also for all of the amazing Cosplayers and modern Pin-Ups out there.
The first thing that I would recommend is sticking with natural mineral-based makeup. It is super pigmented, long-lasting and usually contains a minimal amount of ingredients. If properly applied this stuff really stays put. The last thing you want is for the makeup to start wearing off an hour after you’ve applied it. Mineral makeup is also very affordable and easily available online.
Cream blushes, eyeshadows, and even lipsticks in funky colors can be used in place of traditional grease paint or theatrical makeup. Set them with powder blush and eyeshadows to help keep them in place and last through the night or day if you are at a convention.
Here are my top brands for quality and affordability:
TaterRoundsBeauty on Etsy
The above brands are all-natural and cruelty-free!
Face Painting Kits
If face painting is your thing and you are looking for an alternative to the kits you see in most stores then check out these awesome completely natural and safe non-toxic kits –
What is included –
- 4 different kits to choose from
- 5 to 15 colors (depending on which kit you choose)
- Made with vegan, certified organic ingredients
- Cosmetic grade
- Hypoallergenic and made in the USA
GREAT ADDITION TO PARTIES, CARNIVALS, HOLIDAYS – Not just for Halloween, great for everyday creativity.
You can buy it HERE.
- 6 colors – Red, yellow, green, blue, black, and white
- Made from natural clay and mineral based pigments
- Ingredients include healthy skin conditioners such as organic, fair-trade shea butter and organic castor seed oil.
- Certified non-toxic, and it is free of nanoparticles, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and petroleum-based dyes.
- Durable AND wash off easily with just water.
- Hand-crafted in Oregon, USA.
This kit is great for creating all sorts of looks from clowns to tigers, unicorns to Spiderman. If you are a face painter than I highly recommend this kit.
You can purchase it HERE.
A safe alternative to the harsh petroleum-based products. These natural face paints are similar to “grease paints” used by professional clowns. They’re ready to apply and easy to use, no water needed. Long-lasting & easy to blend. This kit comes in stackable jars, making it easily portable for quick touch-ups if needed.
What you get –
- 5 colors of your choice (15 to choose from)
- 3 applicators
- Size: 5 colors, Net Weight: 0.79 oz. / 22.5g
- Hypoallergenic and made with organic ingredients
- No Micronized minerals/nano-particles
- No Coated minerals
- No Preservatives
- No Talc
- No Bismuth Oxychloride (causes itching, breakouts, redness)
- No Synthetic Dyes
- No Parabens
- No Carmine (crushed beetle shells)
- No Fragrances
- No PetroChemicals
- Non-comedogenic / won’t clog pores
- No Animal Testing / Cruelty-Free
This company has several kits available in addition to the above and you can purchase the colors separately too if you prefer.
You can buy this kit and their other products HERE.
Professional Quality Makeup
If you are looking for professional quality makeup and you are into some serious Cosplay then skip the Ben Nye, Graftobian, Kryolan, and Mehron this year and opt for these brands instead.
Period Pieces, Ghosts, Snow Queens, and Vampires
If you are going for a look like the ones shown above that require a lot of white makeup then you definitely want to go the least toxic route possible.White Makeup –
Luckily, LBCC Historical aka LittleBits on Etsy has you covered. This amazing shop specializes in reproducing exact historical Cosmetic and apothecary recipes. How cool is that?!
One of their products just so happens to be a completely natural white face paint. Yay!
- Made with only 3 ingredients – Beeswax, Castor Oil, and Titanium Dioxide
- Goes on very smoothly
- Buildable coverage
- Does not dry out
- Does not sit in fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps treat acne and wrinkles
You can purchase it HERE
White Face Powder –
To help your white makeup last through the day or night you will definitely want to set it with a pure white or translucent face powder. Look for a talc-free powder that won’t clog your pores or look cakey.
18th Century Romance
Marie Antoinette or Dangerous Liaisons anyone? Get the perfect Baroque look using the makeup from LBCC Historical (LittleBits). As I mentioned above they reproduce authentic historical cosmetic recipes including recipes from the 18th century. So, if you are serious about cosplay then I highly recommend that you check them out. I am not an affiliate for them. I am just so impressed by what they are doing that I want to give credit where it is due.
In addition to their white face paint, the following three products will help you achieve the most authentic 1700’s look
1172 Burnt Cloves To Darken The Eyebrows –
Not only do these smell amazing, but this is actually what men and women used during the 18th century to fill in their brows. You can actually use these for your normal everyday makeup routine. It may seem strange but this actually works and looks really good!
Pink/Coral Rouge La Fleur De La Jeunesse –
Inspired by the shade favored by Madame Pompadour herself, this gorgeous pinky-peach cream blush will give you the perfect flushed cheek as seen in the many historic paintings of the time period. Made with natural skin-loving ingredients like jojoba oil and sandalwood.
Click HERE to buy.
1740-1810 Solid Turkish Rouge –
Get perfect rosy red lips with this historically inspired all-natural formula made with cocoa butter, jojoba and olive oil. Highly moisturizing with a glossy finish. This is a limited edition product.
Get it while supplies last by clicking HERE.
1772 Tinted Rose Balm Lip Salve –
Another great choice for achieving lovely red-tinted lips. This is another product that you can use whenever. Made with all-natural and beneficial ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, and sandalwood essential oil.
Retro and Pin-Up
Another great company I discovered this year is Besame Cosmetics. They offer authentic reproductions of makeup from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. On their site, you will find historically accurate lipstick and blush shades, gorgeous packaging, face powders, cream foundations, perfumes, and more. They will be releasing a Snow White collection later this year that has been perfectly matched to the colors in the Disney cartoon from 1937. I cannot wait!
So, again if you want that seriously authentic flapper, retro or pin-up girl look I highly recommend that you check them out HERE. Again, I am not an affiliate for them. I just love their products. They are paraben-free and feature a lot of natural ingredients.
And if you are looking for completely accurate makeup tutorials from the 20’s through the 60’s then Glamour Daze – the most comprehensive vintage fashion and beauty archive on the net have exactly what you want!
Special FX Makeup
When it comes to applying prosthetics things can get a little bit tricky when it comes to avoiding toxic ingredients. Unfortunately, you just have to go with the standard brands and just do your best. Here are some helpful tips on how to protect your skin though –
Top Tips for Protecting Your Skin –
- Prep your skin with an organic moisturizer and primer. This will at least help create a protective barrier on your skin.
- Look for the least toxic products available (i.e. paraben-free, formaldehyde-free, and phthalate-free)
- Only wear the prosthetics and makeup for as long as you need to and then take it off as soon as you get home.
- Clean your skin thoroughly (I like to start with oil cleansing) (I like to start with oil cleansing)! Make sure you remove every bit of glue, spirit gum, fake blood or whatever, but be gentle.
- Treat your skin – the following day use a gentle natural deep cleansing mask and follow it with a soothing serum or moisturizer (preferably organic) that has ingredients like aloe, rose water, green tea, chamomile or lavender.
I hope you found the above guide helpful. If you know of any other natural-based non-toxic brands or details that I failed to mention please leave me a comment below. As always I would love to hear from you!
P.S. if you thought this was fun, check out our post about Makeup and Fashion Looks for Each Zodiac Sign!
Lora is a native Californian currently living in the Southeast. She is an artist, designer, blogger and nature lover. Her hobbies include herbalism, cooking, baking, creating DIY aromatherapy recipes, sipping wine and listening to music. She also loves to go hiking and camping.