Just because your costume is scary doesn’t mean your post-Halloween skin needs to be.

By Brittany Gibson
September 28, 2020
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So you’re walking through your local Halloween costume store trying to decide what you’ll transform into this year—and there it is: All the costume makeup inspiration you could ever imagine, staring right back at you. It couldn’t hurt just this once, right? Wrong. As someone with super sensitive, acne-prone skin, I can tell you that wearing cheap costume makeup, even for one night, can leave you with some seriously scary skin the next day. As much as I love the convenience of picking up an inexpensive makeup palette while buying a costume at the Halloween store, the cheap stuff usually includes some frightening ingredients.

According to a study published by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, almost half of the Halloween makeup products they tested contained toxins, like parabens, talc, and ethoxylated ingredients. Face paint kits can be even more dangerous, and “oftentimes have high levels of nickel, cobalt, and chromium which give the products vibrant color of the paint, but are likely to trigger sensitivity or allergic reaction,” adds Rhonda Klein, MD, MPH, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and partner at Modern Dermatology in Westport, Conn. All of this is to say: It’s time to swap out the toxic stuff, your skin (and health) will be forever grateful. Plus, you won’t need to worry about making any costume sacrifices—these non-toxic makeup alternatives will still help you win first place in this year’s costume contest.

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$14, unicornsnot.com

First, a disclaimer: Unicorn Snot’s Bio Glitter Gel is cruelty-free and vegan, which means no unicorns (or any other kind of animal) were harmed in the making of this product. It also exclusively contains irritant-free ingredients that are safe for your skin and stays in place all night. And the best part? The glitter is not plastic and totally biodegradable, so you can sparkle responsibly. Consider your mystical fairy look complete.

RELATED: I Replaced My Regular Makeup With Clean Beauty Products–Here's What Happened

Beautycounter

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$29, www.beautycounter.com 

This lip gloss’ squeaky clean ingredients are what helped land it on the EWG’s favorites list. Not only does Beautycounter’s Beyond Gloss provide some serious shine, even in its darker, spookier plum and eggplant hues, but it’s also made with moisture-rich castor oil, beeswax, and vitamin E. And that sticky feel that most glosses have? Nope, not here, thanks to Beautycounter’s zero plasticizers and no phthalates policies.

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$24, amazon.com

Rituel de Fille is super transparent about the ingredients it uses in its products, which are all handcrafted without parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, or synthetic fragrances. The brand uses only the bare minimum ingredients, meaning each one has a purpose. Forbidden Lipstick is available in 11 different shades, but we find Shadow Self, Chrysalis, and Darkest Deeds to give off the spookiest vibes. 

Amazon.com

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$42, amazon.com

Just like Rituel de Fille’s Forbidden Lipstick, its Eye Soot collections are crafted with minimalistic ingredients to ensure only what’s necessary is added. Whether you want to wear them as eyeshadows or brush them on your cheekbones as highlighters, each and every one of Rituel de Fille’s eye soots have the same plastic-free shimmering gelee formula that will look out of this world. All of Rituel de Fille’s are crafted with non-toxic ingredients—and there are a lot of color choices. With collections with names like Crystalline Matter, Ash and Ember, and Celestial Sphere, don’t be surprised if you find yourself entranced by all of the galactic shimmer.

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$58, sephora.com

Āether Beauty prides itself on using vegan, organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. It has even banned over 2,700 ingredients from ever being used in its products to ensure only the highest quality. The Joshua Tree Palette is saturation central, making it perfect for a bold Halloween look. Each of the palette’s 12 ultra-matte colors are infused with organic hemp seed oil (for hydrating and reducing inflammation), charged with citrine to promote skin renewal and radiance, and are formulated with organic coconut oil and shea butter. Plus, each of the colors’ naturally reflective properties help conceal wrinkles and visibly even out skin tone. 

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$20, amazon.com

Although this face paint kit is technically geared toward children, it still gets the job done when it comes to being a great non-toxic Halloween makeup alternative, regardless of your age. Plus, it’s dermatologist-approved—Dr. Klein suggests opting for this face paint for your costume needs. It’s water-based, lead-free, hypoallergenic, and paraben-free.

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$23, aunaturalecosmetics.com 

Au Naturale’s Swipe-On Essential Eye Pencil collection offers a wide array of hues from a chic “Carrara” white to a bold “High Tide” blue. Crafted with natural mineral pigments and organic oils, this non-toxic eye pencil holds true to Au Naturale’s high standards of being synthetic preservative-free, paraben-free, filler-free, nanoparticle-free, and gluten-free. The best part is that you can use it anywhere on your body to achieve whatever Halloween look you’re going for (hello, classic cat whiskers).

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$23, amazon.com

This EWG-verified blush in matte bright pink is the perfect addition to any bold Halloween look. Mineral Fusion Blush swaps out toxins for hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, gluten-free, talc-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free ingredients to make sure your beauty needs and your health are prioritized. Infused with pomegranate, white tea, red tea, sea kelp, vitamin C, and vitamin E, this blush promises more than just a spooky look—it’ll nourish your skin with antioxidants and help lock in moisture at the same time. 

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$25, aunaturalecosmetics.com

Au Naturale is exactly that: 100 percent natural, organic, vegan, and cruelty-free. The brand screens and sources all of its ingredients to make sure they’re non-toxic and eco-friendly, which means no synthetic preservatives, no animal by-products, zero fillers, no gluten, zilch parabens—you get the idea. Needless to say, Au Naturale’s su/Stain Matte Lip Stain fits the bill as far as a non-toxic alternative that also works as killer, long-lasting Halloween makeup. The hardest part is choosing which of the many color options to choose from—if not all of them. There’s no harm in splurging on makeup if it’s good for your skin right?

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$27, amazon.com

Au Naturale’s Bold Statement Vegan Mascara usually comes in just one color: a true black—but it's switching things up this fall. Starting October 5, the brand will be introducing five new Halloween-inspired colors: Plum, cobalt, magenta, purple, and navy. These limited-edition colors will be sticking around for about a year (according to the CEO/Founder, Ashley Prange, the most popular shades might even be permanently added to the collection in 2021), which gives you plenty of time to scoop up your favorites.

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$38, sephora.com

Pure diamond, pink diamond, or yellow diamond? That’s a trick question—it doesn’t matter which one you choose, they’re all infused with ethically sourced diamond powder (see ya, mica) and look amazing no matter where you swipe them on. No fillers? No problem. This highlighter doesn’t need anything extra for you to benefit from its reflective properties and illuminating shine. In case all of that isn’t enough, it also helps protect collagen, is naturally antibacterial, and improves uneven skin tone with honeysuckle flower extract.

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$38, 100percentpure.com 

Need to contour your face to get that witch look just right? This luminous liquid bronzer combines aloe, coffee, cherry, and pomegranate oil to give your skin the refreshing and moisturizing boost it’s been craving. The bronzer contains gold and bronze mineral pigments, which gives it its naturally reflective glow. Plus, it can be used on more than just your face; this non-toxic formula is totally safe to use if you want to add some shine to other parts of your body, too.