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The 10 Best Natural and Organic Foundations to Buy in 2021

The 10 Best Natural and Organic Foundations to Buy in 2021

Foundation is an integral part of any beauty routine. It can be the base for your dramatic night out on the town look or act as a light skin covering for when you want a more casual vibe. Some foundations can even help protect your skin from the sun!

But what if you don’t want to spend every day applying a product to your face that is full of harsh and potentially skin harming chemicals? Thankfully, the answer to that dilemma comes in the form of an available and ever-growing category: natural and organic foundations. These products can be used on a daily basis, and instead of hurting your skin over time, they heal it!

When you first make the commitment to buying a natural or organic foundation, it may seem like a difficult task knowing what to look for. Fortunately, we’re here to help you out. We’ve scoured the internet to find the best clean beauty foundation brands out there and compiled them into a handy list for you to reference. Read on for our top 10 natural and organic foundations of 2021.

Why Use Natural and Organic Foundations?
Natural and organic foundations have a number of benefits that go beyond just evening out your skin for a fresh-faced look. Many of these products have carefully selected, plant-based ingredients that can do everything from soothing dry skin to providing protection from the sun.

Additionally, these natural and organic products are more likely to be produced with the environment in mind, using sustainable methods. If you’re looking to do your part in battling climate change, switching to a natural or organic foundation is a great first step.

The Difference Between Natural and Organic

It may surprise you to find that the labels “natural” and “organic” are some of the least regulated claims in the cosmetic industry. There is almost no government oversight for the word “natural,” but there is some regulation done by the USDA for the term “organic.”

As a general rule, “natural” is typically used to refer to products that have a significant percentage of plant-based ingredients included in them or products that have a minimal amount of synthetics. However, natural products might still be produced using chemical processes or have things such as preservatives added.

Organic products are comprised of ingredients that are entirely grown without use of pesticides, fertilizers, or chemicals and chemical processes. There are different labeling specifications companies must follow based on the exact content of organic ingredients in the product. Guidelines on these specifications can be found on the USDA’s factsheet.

When selecting a natural or organic product, be sure to research the companies and check out the ingredients list to be sure you know what you’re getting. Some companies practice “greenwashing,” which is the arbitrary use of the label “natural” on their products (also natural imaging and neutral colors) in the hopes that it will appeal more to consumers. You can read more about greenwashing below.

What to Look For

There are a number of factors involved in selecting a foundation that determines if it’s the right one for you. Before we get to our list, we’ve included a breakdown of what is most helpful to look out for in each foundation.

Foundation Type

  • Liquid Foundation: Typically comes in a bottle or tube. Liquid foundation can have either a lightweight texture or a thicker, heavy texture. The great thing about liquid foundation is you can apply more layers if you are looking for more coverage. You can also blend two different shades together to customize the color to your exact skin tone. Our best overall foundation is a liquid foundation.
  • Powder Foundation: Powder foundation is great for touch-ups or on-the-go application. It usually comes in a small compact so you can easily carry it around with you. Though if you have dry skin, be wary of applying too much, as powder foundation can dry your skin out even more.
  • Cream Foundation: If you’re looking for a more moisturizing foundation to work with your skin, cream foundation is usually the way to go. The texture is usually thicker than a liquid foundation, but it does provide more coverage. From our list, Honest Beauty Everything is our favorite cream foundation.
  • Mineral Foundation: Mineral foundation is made out of crushed minerals pulled directly from the Earth. Usually found in a loose powder form, mineral makeup is great for those with sensitive skin, as it provides good coverage without being too irritating.

Available Shades

The amount of shades available is also a good indicator of whether a brand is right for you or not. Some foundations offer up to 23 shades, like Catrice’s HD Coverage foundation. Others only offer shades in the single digits, like Harvest Natural, which only offers six.

It’s important to pick a shade of foundation that is as close to your natural skin tone as possible; finding a brand that can provide you with the proper color is vital. We’ll be discussing more about exactly how you should find the right foundation for your skin type later, but for now, let’s head straight into our list!

Ingredients

When selecting a natural or organic foundation, it’s important to make sure the ingredients won’t harm your skin. Remember, just because it says natural or organic on the label doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you.

Look for things such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and nature-based materials such as chamomile and minerals. Try to avoid preservatives, artificial colorings and fragrances, and parabens.

Top 10 Best Natural and Organic Foundations 2021

1. Best Overall Foundation: BaeBlu Organic LUX Liquid Foundation

BaeBlu Organic LUX Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: BaeBlu offers their LUX liquid foundation in 16 different shades, each designed to provide medium coverage without being too heavy. Add in certified organic ingredients and a vegan, cruelty-free product, and you have one of the best foundations on the market.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 16
  • Ingredients: Certified organic ingredients, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, vegan

With a light vanilla scent, BaeBlu Lux Liquid foundation promises to give you medium to full coverage with every use. Each of their colors is designed to be buildable and blendable, so you can be sure you get the perfect shade. And if you need even more help finding a color, you can reach out to their customer service department to help you select one. You can also find a 3-piece sample kit of their foundation here if you’re interested in trying it out before you commit to a full-size bottle.

While the entire product isn’t certified organic, it is made with a majority of certified organic, vegan ingredients, and is Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. This product is a good choice if you are looking for a basic, clean foundation.

Unfortunately, this product doesn’t work well on mature skin. The foundation has a tendency to settle into fine lines and accentuate them, rather than cover them up. For a foundation that is more agreeable to mature skin, check out Bella Terra Mineral foundation.

Pros

  • Customer service to help you select a color
  • Light vanilla scent
  • Sample kit offered

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well for mature skin

2. Best Premium Foundation: GLO Skin Beauty Pressed Foundation

GLO Skin Beauty Pressed Foundation

Why we like it: This pressed foundation has a long-lasting formula made up of natural, Earth-based minerals and the few preservatives it uses are safe on skin. It even has vitamin E added into it, so every application leaves your skin better than before.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Pressed powder, mineral
  • Number of Shades: 21
  • Ingredients: Minerals, Vitamins E and C

As we discussed in our section above, mineral makeup is comprised of minerals taken directly from the Earth. It is great for sensitive skin due to the lack of chemicals and processing involved, and the presence of zinc oxide actually works as a non-drying way to calm skin down from breakouts.

Instead of traditional preservatives, GLO Skin Beauty uses skin-friendly plant-based preservatives and vitamin E in their foundation. This creates a long-lasting powder that will work with your skin to leave it feeling soft.

Even though there are 21 shades in this foundation line, colors tend to run a little lighter than pictured. For a more true to color foundation, look into Catrice HD Coverage foundation. It is also a more premium product; this is reflected in the higher price this product has compared to other foundations on the market.

Pros

  • Added vitamin E
  • Long-lasting powder
  • Safe preservatives
  • Great for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Pricier
  • Colors run light

3. Best Budget Foundation: Catrice HD Coverage Liquid Foundation

Catrice HD Coverage Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: A natural product, Catrice offers an incredible variety of foundation shades at a ridiculously affordable price. It’s also PETA certified cruelty-free and free of parabens and alcohols.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 23
  • Ingredients: Vegan, gluten-free, PETA certified cruelty-free

If you’re looking for a great budget buy, it doesn’t get much better than Catrice’s HD Coverage foundation. This product comes in a stunning 23 shades, with each color tailored to a specific skin undertone (take a look at our guide on skin tones here if you don’t know your undertone). This makes it much easier to select a product perfectly suited to your skin. Catrice is a great option for someone looking for an affordable, quick buy.

The packaging is recyclable, a benefit for those looking to keep the environment in mind, and comes with an easy use dropper, so you can dab a little bit of foundation onto your favorite sponge or brush and blend away.

The foundation itself has a very second-skin-like, natural finish. It can be layered if you want more intense coverage, but it will likely dry your skin out. If you want a product that is more moisturizing, check out Mom’s Secret foundation.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Very natural finish
  • Easy-to-use dropper

Cons

  • Can dry skin out

4. Best Loose Powder Foundation: Bella Terra Mineral Foundation

Bella Terra Mineral Foundation

Why we like it: This mineral foundation comes packaged in a loose powder and is made with limited ingredients. It also has a free exchange guarantee, so that you’re sure to find the best color match for your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Loose powder, mineral
  • Number of Shades: 12
  • Ingredients: Natural, vegan, cruelty-free

Anyone with mature skin or blemish-prone skin will do well with this foundation. The loose powder is great for sitting on top of the skin and covering any imperfections without becoming too heavy or settling deeply into fine lines and wrinkles.

There are only 6 ingredients in this product, making it great for sensitive skin, like GLO Skin Beauty. There are also no preservatives of any kind in this foundation.

Bella Terra offers free exchanges on the shade you order. You can move one color up or down from the shade you received, so it’s easy to purchase with confidence knowing that Bella Terra will help you find a foundation color you’re completely happy with.

Because it is a loose powder, this foundation isn’t very buildable; it lays lightly over the surface of your skin instead. If you are someone looking to get heavier coverage out of your foundation, we suggest using Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor foundation instead.

Pros

  • Good for mature skin
  • Free exchanges to find a color match
  • Only six ingredients

Cons

  • Not very buildable

5. Best Liquid Mineral Foundation: EVXO Organic Mineral Foundation

EVXO Organic Mineral Foundation

Why we like it: EVXO has blended the best of both worlds into their mineral-based liquid foundation. Made with organic ingredients and soothing aloe and chamomile, this foundation will leave your skin thanking you for using it.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 12
  • Ingredients: Certified organic ingredients, aloe, chamomile extracts

This product is a great option if you’re looking for something that can be used to create either a matte or dewy finish, depending on your mood. Simply use a moisturizer under the foundation for a dewy look, or apply and blend with a brush for a more matte look.

EVXO is committed to plastic-free products and guarantees that this foundation is made without the presence of microplastics – small plastic particles found in a number of cosmetic products that have been known to cause hormone disruptions and can irritate skin.

Additionally, the presence of chamomile and aloe in this foundation makes the formula super soothing. It’s a great option if your skin is sensitive or prone to getting itchy when covered with foundation.

This foundation does contain a small amount of titanium dioxide in it. Titanium dioxide is used as a coloring agent, but some users may want to avoid it for its potential carcinogenic risk. Go back and look at BaeBlu LUX Liquid for a similar organic product free of titanium dioxide.

Pros

  • Soothing chamomile and aloe extract
  • Gives a matte or dewy finish
  • Guaranteed microplastic free

Cons

  • Contains a small amount of titanium dioxide

6. Best Cream Foundation: Honest Beauty Everything Foundation

Honest Beauty Everything Foundation

Why we like it: Honest Beauty’s Everything foundation is dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic, so you can expect a wonderfully smooth, non-irritating formula from its cream blend.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Cream
  • Number of Shades: 16
  • Ingredients: PETA certified cruelty-free, fragrance-free

Honest Beauty is a relatively new clean beauty brand founded by actress Jessica Alba. All of Honest Beauty’s products, including their Everything Foundation, are dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic. This, combined with the addition of moisturizing jojoba oil, makes the foundation a good choice for anyone prone to blemishes and breakouts.

The foundation has a luxurious cream feel to it, and goes on without feeling too sticky or heavy. It’s also free of synthetic fragrances and doesn’t really have much of a scent, which is great if you are someone that prefers their makeup fragrance free. For another low-fragrance product, look at W3ll People’s Bio Base Baked foundation as well.

If you are trying to find a completely natural or organic foundation, this might not be the best choice for you. Honest Beauty’s foundation does contain isopropyl palmitate, an alcohol that can be drying to the skin, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Take another look at the six-ingredient Bella Terra Mineral foundation if this is the case.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains alcohols and preservatives

7. Best Plant-Based Foundation: Ecco Bella FlowerColor Foundation

Ecco Bella FlowerColor Foundation

Why we like it: It says it in the name – Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor foundation is formatted using parts of flowers, more specifically, flower cutins. Cutins help protect against moisture loss, so this foundation is bound to do the same for your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 7
  • Ingredients: Vegan, organic aloe, flower cutins

Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor foundation boasts a water-based formula blended with flower cutins. The cutins in plants are what helps them to retain moisture and stay hydrated. As part of your foundation, they will do the same for your skin. In addition, water-based products are great options when you want something guaranteed to not clog your pores.

Due to the addition of these cutins and organic aloe, this foundation can help treat your skin for any dryness and blemishes, and will protect it from future ones. It is also designed to help shield your skin from UV damage, so it’s a great option if you’re headed out into the sun.

This liquid foundation does have a slightly thicker texture than its competitors, making it harder to blend and get a natural-looking finish. It also contains glycerin, a type of sugar alcohol that is hard to be absorbed by your body, which can leave this foundation feeling sticky on your skin. If you’re looking for a truly lightweight liquid foundation, go ahead and skip to Harvest Natural Beauty’s liquid foundation.

Pros

  • Water-based
  • Added flower cutins
  • Helps to treat and protect skin

Cons

  • Thicker texture
  • Contains glycerin

8. Best Moisturizing Foundation: Mom’s Secret Liquid Foundation

Mom’s Secret Liquid Foundation

Why we like it: Mom’s Secret foundation is one of the most moisturizing foundations out there. Aloe, vitamin E, and shea butter all combine to make this the creamiest, most hydrating foundation in the clean beauty market.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 12
  • Ingredients: Vegan, 90 percent certified organic, cruelty-free

Formatted with 90 percent organic ingredients, this foundation is highly moisturizing. It has vitamin E, shea butter, aloe, and olive extract in it to help hydrate your skin during each use. This makes it a good choice for someone who has dry skin or combination skin.

All of the nourishing ingredients also unite to make Mom’s Secret into one of the creamiest foundations on the list. The texture is smooth and responds well to both blending and building for when you want to up your coverage.

This foundation does use a combination of plant extracts such as vanilla, rosemary, and lavender as part of its fragrance. While some people may like the scent, it can be overwhelmingly chemical-smelling, which is not the best look for someone sensitive to fragrance or someone looking for an unscented product. Check out Honest Beauty’s Everything foundation if you’re more interested in fragrance-free products.

Pros

  • 90%-organic ingredients
  • Highly moisturizing
  • Smooth and creamy texture

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

9. Most Versatile Foundation: W3ll People Bio Base Baked Foundation

W3ll People Bio Base Baked Foundation

Why we like it: If you’re looking for the handiness of a powder foundation with the richer texture of a cream foundation, W3ll People’s Bio Base Baked foundation is your answer. It can give you both of these things, all neatly packaged up in a travel-suitable format.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Powder, cream
  • Number of Shades: 6
  • Ingredients: Vegan, sustainable, certified organic ingredients

W3ll People’s Bio Base Baked is the pinnacle of versatility. It’s packed in a compact as a pressed powder, but when combined with a little water, it becomes a cream foundation. The best way to use it is to add a little to your brush, mix with water in the lid and apply that before using a dry brush to blend powder in over the top. This gives you the adaptable coverage you need. Plus, it’s all neatly packaged in a compact you can take everywhere with you.

Organic squalane and honokiol extract are added into this foundation for their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. This makes the foundation a great choice for all skin types, but especially for those with mature skin or sensitive skin. It is also a certified sustainable product with a very light scent to it.

The drawback to this product is that it only has six shades, so it is not that diverse of a foundation line. It is also rather difficult to blend between shades because of the powder-cream hybrid formula. If you’re looking for a large range of shades to choose from, take another look at Cantrice’s HD Coverage foundation.

Pros

  • Works as a powder and a cream foundation
  • Organic squalane and honokiol extract
  • Certified sustainable

Cons

  • Only 6 shades

10. Best Lightweight Foundation: Harvest Natural Beauty Foundation

Harvest Natural Beauty Foundation

Why we like it: This foundation is perfectly whipped to be lightweight and provide a natural-looking coverage that flawlessly evens out skin tone.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Foundation Type: Liquid
  • Number of Shades: 6
  • Ingredients: Certified organic ingredients, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free

Harvest Beauty should be your go-to foundation if you’re interested in a product that applies and wears as if it isn’t even there. Its super lightweight formula leaves your skin feeling soft and like you aren’t wearing any makeup at all.

This 100 percent natural foundation is great at evening out skin tone. It can be blended over your skin to effortlessly hide dark spots or uneven texture without looking like it is caked on or unnatural. This makes it a good option for someone looking for a low fuss, easy-to-use foundation.

However, because of its lightweight formula, this foundation is not the best choice if you are looking for more heavy coverage that covers blemishes completely. Harvest Beauty does not layer as well as other brands when it comes to building up coverage. If you want a foundation that is great at building up via multiple layers of application, look at BaeBlu’s LUX foundation.

Pros

  • Super lightweight coverage
  • 100 percent natural
  • Great for evening out skin tone

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover blemishes completely

A Full Guide to Natural and Organic Foundation


woman’s arm marked with foundation

Still have questions about choosing a natural or organic foundation? Want to know how to determine your skin tone? Our full buyer’s guide will tell you all that and more to help you find the perfect foundation.

Are Clean Products Really Better?

While “clean beauty” may feel like just another beauty buzzword or trend, it’s easy to see why so many people are starting to choose natural and organic products over traditionally-made cosmetics.

Clean products are more skin-friendly; they have ingredients that heal and nourish the skin instead of compromising your skin’s integrity over time, leading to early aging and pronounced wrinkles. Choosing these products also reduces your exposure to chemicals that have been known to affect hormones or become potentially cancer-causing with prolonged use.

The Impact of Greenwashing

Many companies attempt to greenwash their products by adding the term “natural” to their labels, despite the product still containing chemicals or other artificial ingredients; consumers are then tricked into buying these products thinking they are something they’re not.

This leads to public confusion over natural and organic products, and continued environmental impact as people purchase “natural” products that are produced using less-than-sustainable business practices.

As we mentioned earlier, try to always research companies in advance and examine the ingredients list before buying a natural or organic product to be certain about the legitimacy of their labels. You can also refer back to our top 10 list to find some of the brands we recommend.

Benefits From Clean Beauty

Even though buying a natural or organic foundation is just one small action, it can have long term effects on both you and the environment.

Natural and organic products are usually gentler on your delicate facial skin than other foundations. They are also more likely to contain things such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and essential oils, all of which go a long way towards healing damaged skin and keeping it soft. A lack of artificial and synthetic fragrances also means fewer potential irritants for sensitive skin.

Organic products, and some natural products, depending on the brand, are typically produced using environmentally friendly ingredients and sustainable farming practices. Supporting companies with these practices allows them to grow and continue producing products that benefit both you and the planet. There are also plenty of earth-friendly options beyond organic and natural foundations: you can also consider a natural face wash, moisturizer, or body lotion.

Finding the Right Foundation for You

So, let’s say you just found the perfect brand using our list. How do you know what color to get? You want to pick a foundation that is as close to your natural skin color as possible, or you risk walking around with your face a few shades different from the rest of your body.

Fortunately, all you have to do to find the best foundation color for you is determine what your skin tone and undertones are.

Your Skin Tone

The three basic skin tones, also known as complexions, range from light, to medium, to dark, with small steps in between. Below, we have listed the different types of complexions (based on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type test) so you can decide which one you fit the most.

  • Type 1: Light skin, usually burns and never tans. People with this type have light red or blonde hair and light grey, green, or blue eyes.
  • Type 2: Fair skin, sometimes burns, sometimes tans. Usually accompanied by blonde hair and blue, grey, or green eyes.
  • Type 3: Medium skin. May burn, but often tans well. Hair color is dark blonde or light brown and eye color is hazel or light brown.
  • Type 4: Olive or light brown skin. Rarely burns, tans well. People with this complexion have dark brown eyes and hair.
  • Type 5: Dark brown skin. Almost never burns, tans very well. Both eye and hair color are dark brown to black.
  • Type 6: The deepest brown or black-brown skin. Never burns and always tans well. Eye color ranges from dark brown to black and hair color is black.

Undertones

Undertones can be either warm, cool, or neutral. There are a couple of tests you can try out at home to determine what your exact undertone is.

  • Vein Test: To perform this test, make sure you have a clear view of your forearms. Stand in natural lighting and look down at your arm. You should be able to see your veins. If your veins appear blue or purple, it is likely you have a cool undertone. If they appear green or olive-colored, you have a warmer undertone. If they are a blue-green color your undertone is neutral.
  • Jewelry Test: Silver and gold jewelry flatter different undertones. If silver is more your thing, you have cooler undertones. If gold makes your skin pop, you’re working with warm undertones. If you’re lucky enough to look fantastic in both, you probably have a neutral skin tone.

Skin Type

The type of skin you have also goes a long way towards finding the right foundation. You want something that is going to work with your skin’s health and not be too irritating or cause long term skin issues.

  • Normal Skin: This type of skin isn’t too oily or too dry. You rarely have sensitivity to products, and your complexion is all over pretty even.
  • Dry Skin: If you have dry skin you will usually have an all-over redness or roughness. This can also be accompanied by almost no visible pores and less elasticity of the skin.
  • Oily Skin: Oily skin tends to be shiny. You usually have larger pores with this skin type, and are more prone to both blackheads and breakouts.
  • Combination Skin: This is a combination of both oily and dry skin occurring in different areas of the face. You might also have a shiny complexion or overly dilated pores.
  • Sensitive Skin: Sensitive skin is easily irritated. It can feel like burning, itchiness, or look red or dry very quickly when it comes into contact with certain products like fragrances or synthetic compounds.

Pro Tips

  1. If you notice a grey undertone when you’re wearing foundation, it probably isn’t the right shade for you. The grey color is caused by your foundation not properly complementing your undertones. Look back at our steps for finding the right foundation to help with this.
  2. Once you know what your skin complexion and undertones are, you can factor this into your makeup choices. Your eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, and even hair dye can all be customized to work with your skin for a perfectly flattering style. This guide of makeup colors can get you started. Looking to improve the look of your under-eyes? Check out this guide on our favorite natural and organic eye creams.

Once you’ve completed these tests and found your skin type, head back up to our list to select a foundation.

Concealer and Foundation

Some people think that concealer and foundation are the same thing, but they are in fact two different products with different purposes. Foundation is to even out your overall skin tone and hide any blemishes or imperfections. Concealer is applied on problem areas like dark undereye circles or to add more coverage to blemishes. You can wear either on your skin separately.

Recommended Use

If you have both foundation and concealer but aren’t sure how to use them, don’t worry. Read these basic steps we put together to get an idea of how to properly apply your products.

  1. First, wash your face, dry it thoroughly, and apply a good moisturizer.
  2. The next step is to apply foundation. You want to apply it to large areas first, like your cheeks, and then dab it on small spaces such as the chin and forehead.
  3. Blend your foundation in the outward direction of your facial hair growth. This is to give it a more natural look.
  4. After you have blended your foundation, go back and cover your problem areas with concealer. This can include any dark spots or underneath your eyes.
  5. Blend the concealer into your foundation and optionally follow up with a powder foundation or setting spray to hold it all in place.

While concealer is typically applied after foundation, if you are after heavy blemish or dark spot coverage, it is ok to apply the concealer and blend it first before applying your foundation.

Foundation That You and Your Skin Will Love

The journey to purchasing a natural or organic foundation may be a long one, but it’s not impossible. Simply do your research on clean beauty brands, the ingredients you want to have in a foundation, and have a good understanding of your overall complexion, and you will be well on your way to making the best beauty purchase of your life!

We hope this list has helped to inform you about the best natural and organic foundations, and that you will be able to find a product both you and your skin can fall in love with.