Safe Affordable chemical free make up in India

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I’ve searched all combinations of possible keywords online that can lead me to safe make up gyan. And within double quotation marks. Because it is so tiring to find as you never get safe make-up. If you are in your first step to convert to chemical free make up, you are probably facing the same hassles with Google India. Somehow, all you get it for US based cosmetics. Even, does not house any details on Indian make-up brands like Lakme or Elle 18 etc.

“Safe” “natural” “chemical free” cosmetics or safe organic make up,  safe affordable cosmetic brands in India,  Chemical free cosmetics under 10$, you name it. And I’m tired. But then, I thought it’s better to share my searching experience. 

Update 21 July 2016: I’m including links for each product so that you can buy it easily, lazying on your bed.

Update 24 June 2016: Now all three boxes of Lotus Herbals Ecostay have broken. The product is good. Not sure if it could be worth as much, but as it is natural, we are dealing with it. But something seriously needs to be done by Lotus for its packaging.

Update 17 Jan 2016: Mini reviews for Lotus Herbals Ecostay range with buying help.

Lotus Ecostay blush

The blush is amazing but very breakable. If the 600 bucks worth of thing falls even once, you are dead. The so called premium looking heavy box is very very breakable.

However, the strawberry shade (Strawberry touch) is the best I’ve ever seen! Surprisingly it suits all skin tones. The peach shade is nice too. (The one that I have is in the shade: Rose Kiss.) Very very wearable and subtle. (More like the color in this photograph).

There are quite many shades. It is breakable but honestly feels awesome. Detail review will be coming up. As buying Lotus Herbals products can be really hectic and a burden, as no stores have them, you can get it here from amazon. It is selling at Rs. 552 (amazon fulfilled – which means “no hidden delivery charges), instead of 625 for 6g. Quite a good grab. Other shades are Pink Petal and Dawn Glow (very very pale peach).

The powder based blush is build-able and blends very well on everything. (Foundation, powder base, or even just a BB cream face).

Lotus Ecostay eyeshadows

Lotus eyeshadows are even worse in terms of falling out. They don’t even perform like my Lakme Tanjore rush eyeshadow palette.
The so called baked eye shadow just falls out into powder form and you feel like you purchased it to use only once!! But if you can handle it with care, it is extremely pigmented and the colo range is fab.

It is in Electric Glaze, Rainbow Passion, Serene Wonder. I’ve it in Serene Wonder. Nice neutral nude shades. The light pink blends like a dream with Tanjore Rush’s purple. If you get it on deals, you must buy it. But I’ve foolishly paid more than 600 bucks in store outlets!

If anyone has any knowledge on Lakme chemical contents please let me know. The Lakme eyeconic range performs insanely well. It takes time to graduate from your drugstore brands to healthier safer chemical free cosmetics. The colors are fabulous. The texture is powder creamy, which is why, it breaks. But once on the eyelids, it stays for a few hours. But not a forever stay like Lakme. Secret tip:Turquoise on Lotus Color Kick black kajal is to die for.

Lotus color kick kajal review

Currently my make up includes Lotus kajal which smudges and is therefore good for eyebrow filling. But, if the weather is good and it’s not that hot outside, you can still count on it (or if you don’t have an oily face). Wouldn’t smudge much on the upper eyelid for a nice 6-8 hours. Not as great as Lakme eyeconic but its natural and safe!

Lakme eyeconic eye pencil review:

Lakme eyeconic eye pencils in black, royal blue(which is a very very pale color and not even close to any shade of royal blue), Turquoise and regal green are awesome.We have been using them for years. They stay 10 hours when applied on Pond’s BB cream applied on eyes as a primer and with powder.

Sometimes even more than that. They don’t refuse to leave me in even 24 hours. Even Maybelline used to smudge on me. Everything smudges on my eyes. Except these.

And although I’m a contact lens user, so far they have never bothered me other than sometimes getting inside the lens.

I’m not sure how safe is Pond’s, but this was a life changing product. Have used it for years now. I must say, when i did stop using it, my clear skin wasn’t as clear.

I’ve very sensitive eyes.

The earlier Lakme mascara used to pain my eyes. I can’t stand chambor eyeliner pencils. My head hurts and drills after a while. Revlon is also a very chemical brand. So I stayed away though the blackest black midnight black eyepencil at least performed well in my teens.

Lotus though seems to be a herbal brand, I’ve not faced any headaches after use of its products but being natural and preservative free, if they don’t perform or stay longer it’s hopeless.

Lotus Nail paints:

The nailpaints do stay. Any idea if Shehnaz Hussain lipsticks perform? I’ve read a lot about Sha eyes too. Do they perform? Please write to me in comments about your experience.

P.S: The lady in Beauty Centre, Mumbai lotus counter says the Lotus Ecostay nail paints priced higher than their two free (toluene and DBP) are also three free and stay longer. All nail paints are also Acetone free. She says they have been trained and they know what Lotus make up products in India contain. But ladies, why won’t they write it officially and flaunt it if it were so?

If Lotus nail polishes are selling like hot cakes because they are toluene and DBP free, why would they not write that in their higher version? You can get it from amazon, here. The idea is to buy when it is less than Rs.120. I’ve got it from both snap deal and amazon for great deals. Always check for amazon fulfilled though, otherwise nail paints, is the category that can drive you mad.

The below ad gives you an image but the damn thing is of 2 nail paints.

Shades I own are zillions. They chip after a while but eating with hands, being Indians, I freak out of chemicals.

The worst bit about Lakme eyeconic is they don’t mention any ingredient list and only mention it is hypoallergenic.

Compact powders:

The 600 range Lotus compact powder offers good coverage but melts in hot Indian weather and can’t keep up to sweat levels as 130 bucks Lakme normal compact does.( Yes, that cheap maroon packaging one). I remember the lady in Dadar charging me Rs.150 for it.

Revlon streetwear performs slightly better.Lakme’s Rose face powder warm performs incredibly well being more affordable than the normal compact powder. You get a ton of quanity than pressed powder and a little goes a long way.

Also, as chemical loaded as any other Lakme product might be, this beauty right here Lakme Rose Powder – Warm Pink  does work for Indian climate. Plus, you get so much for this price! Imagine like stupid fools, we used to pay 120 to 800 for a compact case.Although now, it is a huge dabba to carry, it performs like magic over that compact case shown above. I don’t know about you, it used to always break for me. Have sued it for years!

Lakme works great other than settling to ultra fine lines under eyes (if you have them).

Below, I’ve mentioned ELF translucent powders that are completely safe. But that you need to get from here. It was for an amazing $3 when I saw it.

You are even more sure than Lotus Herbals!). But,this translucent powder from Lotus is tempting me as well. You can try it out here.

Lotus Herbals NaturalBlend Translucent Loose Powder with Auto-Puff SPF 15, Rouge Lustre

Available in Iceberg, 
Rogue Lustre, Sunset Beach. 

What’s your best?


I made my own DIY bronzer with organic cinnamon, cocoa, peppermint essential oil (Joy by nature is cheap and good if you can get it over a deal, say Rs.140/150 each) and Johnson’s baby powder. Plan to add the cornstarch now that I’m home. It works amazingly well! The streetwear compact ka dabba came to my rescue to store it because otherwise every compact packaging is terrible.

I know talc is so not ok. But then somehow Johnson’s just feels good.

Update Aug 2015 :  I purchased lot of Lotus Herbals Ecostay range make-up. Will be soon posting reviews.

Main objective is finding the perfect safe alternative to chemical loaded drugstore cosmetics. As I keep finding stuff,I’ll be updating this post. (And I kept my word. See above. ;))

The good:

There are some really affordable cosmetics which are not so harmful and whether they score a perfect safe 0 or even a green 2, we can (if not completely throw out chemicals)  atleast make better and informed purchase decisions.

For those who don’t know, offers a skin deep rating where 0 is the safest, with a colour doing green and yellows are bad and reds are terrible.

Not every safe product performs bad. 

Mascara : Physician’s formula organic Mascara

21 July 2016: Love it. Even in Balaji shoot for highest TRP show on COLORS, everyone asked. The make up artists went mad. This stuff is crazy, dude!

24 June 16 Update:

I’ve been using for a long time now. It beautifully curls your eyelashes and you do not need any curler. What it does to your eyelashes is beyond words. It’s the best.

It is not waterproof but even in hot Indian weather (in Mumbai), it toally stood the test. It is SWEAT PROOF for sure. It only breaks down if it rains or if there is actual water contact.

There are rave reviews about Physician’s Formula Organic Mascara performing very well although it’s not waterproof. 

It comes in 3 forms again. Even if you choose the brand depending on so many women raving it in YouTube &  elsewhere. 

  1. The green tube is the normal one.
  2. Black tube is to increase lashes naturally
  3. The silver color is to curl your lashes. This is the one I use.
  4. The Barbie pink color one is the fake lashes one. I’m sure none of us want to look fake. 

This is an awesome post here on Chemical free non-toxic mascaras that are also cruelty free gives the ultimate mascara snack down. Also,  she being a person to appear on camera makes it more believable I’d she says it works!  (Click here)

Reviewing is not judging based on what we want but clarifying who it is best for. 

I want lengthening,  volume,  and also a natural look.  Naturally lengthening won’t be bad too! Lol. So, yes olive oil!  But if the black one does work, I’ll be most happy. 

P.S: Adding that drop of Lavendar Essential oil to the mascara feels awesome and keeps it safe from chemicals!

Review : Haven’t tried personally yet, but seems to be great so far. 

Update: My great wishes as young Indian girl on a budget hoping to order it from instead of to save a few bucks is now on a doom roll. (Look at the dollar to rupee difference!)

While shopping for products that are charged way more in India, (even,  because of course,  they take the pain to importand make the improved items available to you, it is better to make a big cart and order it with free shipping to India. 

The bad:

We still don’t want to believe. Most of the Indian cosmetics(or cosmetics widely used in India) have loads of harmful chemicals in them.

  1. Dabur Gulabari has paraben in it. Rose water is an absolute essential, right?
Dabur Gulabari has paraben

However, the spray bottle of Dabur Gulabari makes A TON OF SENSE, currently at Rs.77. It can serve as a great spray bottle to reuse with DIY rose water, as I did.

People, amazon has gone mad. While, I’m trying to link the product, one lsiting says Rs.3762 and the other Rs.169 for 2 bottles. Actually it is Rs.90. So, dont have a heart attack.

I tried the Khadi face mist. But couldnt notice much difference than mint. Also, the bottle is not as great as Dabur’s soap spray bottle. Parabens are not the worst offender.

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm has harmfull toxic chemicals.Scores a dangerous 7.

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm. Read the chemicals before the review

Those of us who believe in the safe brands list,  find brands like 100% pure or The Body Shop very expensive.

Btw even TBS is NOT completely safe as we had thought! Some of their products are very toxic. (And some don’t work. Never buy the 6k worth anti-tan range with Japanese extracts!).

The Body Shop is not chemical free

Check out shocking horrors in a study for Indian make up brands here. 

Ponds white beauty is Loaded with chemicals at 1.36!

Safe natural cosmetics are not a craze but a necessity. 

We all know we are taking in harmful chemicals in every manner as possible. So, what if just a little more?

As my roommate puts it, ‘You think all the women who put it on daily are crazy? It’s ok re’.

Well, I’m not going to tell you it’s not ok to have mercury or lead or nickel in your lipsticks and fairness creams. Because I guess you already know that. You know that we need chemical free lipsticks in India as well. 

Safe chemical free nail paint in India

Your nail paints should be 5 free or at the very least 3 free (Lotus Herbals comes with nail polish that is 2 free.). The latest adverts in Flipkart etc. say it is formaldehyde, acetone and DBP free. But I’ve used it personally. So, now comes the review. 

What we women want is safe natural chemical free cosmetics that are also affordable and (oh, did I forget to say?), ALSO WORK!! They must perform the best too! 

Nail paints — Lotus

It doesn’t perform very well to be honest. The long thin bottles like the ones launched by V earlier are stupid. But it gives them a look of having a lot of content. 

Initially its great. But for the price we pay, (₹ 120 -₹110 ) for a bottle vs ₹60 for Elle 18 , it doesn’t last as much. It soon becomes thick.

Then if you add nail polish remover to the nail polish to make it thin again, then we are dragged to using a natural nail paint remover and then we don’t know if Lakme Vitamin E enriched remover is safe. 

But certainly as of now it is the safest alternative available in India.

I get shocked when I see ignorant and aware women buying nail polish from Mumbai local train hawkers. I mean who are we kidding in 2015? These slice of life ladies are making their flour doughs with the same nail polish and everyone in the family is going to get the same chemicals. Whether or not we accept it, every nail paint is going to chip and fall off and without a loud notification sound. So we have no idea where that chip went. 

Being Indians, we also eat a lot of traditional ethnic stuff by hand. So for us and others, I guess the Lotus is still a better alternative. And I just hope they are not lying. Because the bestseller Lotus herbals product , the matte sunscreen used to hurt me. It used to sting. And when something stings you know something is terribly wrong. But I’d been repurchasing it again and again as it dramatically changed one’s looks and gave an awesome coverage for non make up users like me. Until of course, I found Ponds BB cream. 

Lipsticks in Indian market and their toxic chemical content

I’m not going to tell you how harmful chemicals are there in the products you put on your skin daily (which is your largest organ that you are feeding) because you have been reading about this everywhere. And by everywhere I mean everywhere. 

I don’t have very many brands at my hand but after my rant,  there will be some at the bottom.

Everyone is here to make money. Even Alia

Of course you thought Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm advertised by Alia Bhatt was not harmful? It’s a lip balm, not even a cosmetic product! It has a 7 rating on Skin Deep, with some ingredients 8. I was shocked at this. Sadly, we can’t search Lakme or Elle 18 and other Indian brands there which are not covered in their 70000+ database.

Now,  my concern is only natural and safe cosmetics. More apt is a makeup that’s not only safe,  but also does the job well and affordable! I’ve bought The body shop thinking although it’s expensive everything it makes is safe. But I was shocked by this report.

Review – The Body Shop lipstick I’ve is an amazing shade but after some time it dries your lips and the shimmer is all left. Something hinting that the artificial thing needs to be removed?


Learn to be wise. Just because it’s expensive,  it’s not necessary it’s safe! 

Lipsticks priced at Rs 10 had lead content ranging from 2ppm to 17ppm but those priced above Rs 100 had lead ranging from 11ppm to 23ppm,” – Insight, the consumer magazine by Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad.Read the 2010 Business Standard article here. 


We don’t have very stringent rules when it comes to cosmetics or their ingredients. Most companies won’t even list their ingredients completely. Don’t even get me started about the dupes. 

How can we even expect any when there are no stringent laws or execution for crime against women? Cosmetics are to look good and feel good. To be at our best by highlighting what we got. But for those whose other needs are filled! And for those who think it’s a women only problem,  have we forgotten that a significant male population consumes make up and personal care products? 

And some people look for cruelty against animals act. I’m sorry I don’t. I really love animals. Don’t get me wrong. But when we are struggling to get bare minimum, I’m happy if the product is completely harmless which means even the animals it was tested on were not hurt much.

Because vice versa doesn’t work.

This site says The Body Shop has signed the pact. It is never cruel to animals. But I just showed you this report citing TBS lipstick!


Now I’d be really glad if someone could just tell me what is the cheapest alternative product completely free of any harmful chemical and is preferably also made naturally. I’m OK if it’s not organic as long as it’s safe. And although I love animals and understand that forcibly putting lipstick on a dog can be not respecting of their rights but given the reality of India, I’m OK if safe ones are used on them.

Well known brands SAFE CHEMICAL FREE products that you can use



Must avoid Revlon products

In India Revlon is perceived as a good brand. Even the so-called Ammonia free hair color is 10!! And stay away from the 8 rated concealers and color stay Revlon blushes as well.

Revlon FabuLash Mascara, Revlon Photo ready powder, Revlon lip gloss and foundations are at 7!

I’m afraid of using a score of green 2. The lesser the chemicals the better!

Eyes lips face E. L. F

I’d zeroed down on E.L.F translucent powder Amazon price link to E. L. F -Studio-definition-powder for 5-10$ as a tag along product. 

(In online shopping, a tag along product means that it doesn’t hit add to the cart total value to make it eligible for free shipping.) 

It comes in translucent &  vixen –a yellow tone.  Will that suit our skin better? 

E. L. F studio definition powder in india– 2nd image onwards

The score is ZERO. It’s completely SAFE! 

Have just let the left image stay to give a perspective of cost of drive E. L. F items. The current sale is also offering things for less than a $.  But there’s the catch. You gave to hunt to find safe items out of it and make the cart as expensive to be eligible for free shipping. 

Then I’m worried about E. L. F blush bronzer duo because it could be too light for Indian skin. They had a nice all in one concealer pallette with green,  peach etc quarters. 

But all these products are at 2 in green. 

This lists a few Indian origin make up brands that are cruelty free. 

Below are some brands from a site that lists safe brands but obviously they are not affordable. 


100% Pure – They produce makeup and other cosmetics using food-grade plant-based ingredients (it’s safe to eat, so it’s probably safe to put on your body). They’ve also come up with their own preservative system to replace parabens, using a complex blend of herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants in place of industrial antimicrobials.

BiteBeauty – I like their mission – to create lipstick that you can safely eat (because women and the people who kiss them do eat a fair amount of lipstick) – great ingredients like argan oil and Manuka honey, and they even had their lipstick tested to ensure it was free of gluten and almost free of lead (total and utter elimination of lead is hard because lead is everywhere, including the food-grade ingredients they use).

Josie Maran – Argan oil-based makeup. They also use food-grade ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and mango seed butter.

(Even Elle 18 uses jojoba oil and it does keep the lips well,  believe it or not. But of course ingredients are not even listed. So we don’t know.) 

Scotch Naturals – Many nail polish companies claiming to be free of phthalates actually aren’t, as a recent study revealed, suggesting that phthalates truly are hard to resist for nail polish makers. Scotch Naturals, however, is one of the only companies making truly non-toxic nail polish (that also happens to work really well).

Lavanila – They specialize in fragrance-free fragrances.

Pacifica Perfume – Another maker of safe fragrances.

You can check out a longer list of does etc at the site Marks Daily apple. :

Buying kajal, eyeliner or mascara or even a make up brush can be really safe but how do you decide on the foundation and concealer shade?? Oh. God. Please help me out girls!  If anyone has done any research. 

Most of this list is not affordable but well this post claims to have some good CONCEALERS. For Indian skin tones and especially for dark bluish or grayish dark circles one needs a lot of peach or red tones to neutralize the effect. 

When you are on camera you need safe chemical free products for your skin. Also,  they must perform the best. Because you keep searching for cosmetics that are SAFE and also work! 

My project is still on to find the best blush,  bronzer, powder compact and foundation and concealer that’s perfectly safe. 

I use contact lenses and Lakme Eyeconic Kajal doesn’t hurt or make me have a headache after a long time as Revlon or Chambor do.

But I keep repurchasing the Eyeconic Kajal in black and am planning to get it in blue too. It has an amazing lasting power if worn on Ponds BB cream and powder. It does not smudge. The best I’ve seen so far. Works better than colossal Kajal. And is so buildable. But these days the quality has been reducing and with anyone and everyone having an Eyeconic these days I don’t know who to trust? Do they have authentic Lakme products? The counterfeits are making money like anything. Every time in Crawford market and Mumbai local trains, you see these people offering all real, Lakme , Colossal Kajal for such low prices. I assume them to be as dupe as the pen drives being sold out of VT station.

But for the Eyeconic Mascara review, one of the best sellers, turned out to be a clumpy whiny thing. 

But as Physician’s formula’s best expensive Mascaras are not waterproof, one will need a waterproof mascara right?

P.S: Move that lazy thing. Comment! Just type & hit enter or touch,lol! 😉 I love to hear from you. P.P.S: LIKE : Chirp/Tweet @Doveranalyst Shortcut to comin back Keep visiting!


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