As a mom of four kids with a career and hectic household to run, it’s sometimes so easy to fall into the sweats and no make up look. And when I’m at home, I mostly embrace it (ha ha ha).
But there’s times that I need to be camera-ready for video and other promotions, or at least look good for play dates and volunteering at school. I use two types of makeup for these occasions: Camera and video, I’m open to all types of cosmetics that give me the desired look, like MAC, Morphe Brushes, NYX Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay. But for the rest–that is, most of the time–I opt for natural, skin-loving and cruelty-free makeup products. Why care? Because everything, I MEAN EVERYTHING that you put on your skin can and will be absorbed through your blood stream, minus the benefit of the liver to filter out toxins. There are substances so toxic that mere skin contact can kill. So as with my diet, I spend most of my time putting in wholesome products in and on my body, and use the heavy stuff if and when I need it.
In The Green Beauty Rules, written by green expert and celebrity makeup artist, Paige Padgett, “The [Environmental Protection Agency] estimates that three million tons of personal care chemical are dump into waterways each year, adversely impacting our ecosystem,” and our health. There’s just no way around it. The less harmful chemicals the better–for you and for the world in which you live.
But I can tell you there was a time that I was very skeptical of natural cosmetics, and for good reason. They used to be hard to find, and tended to be more expensive than “non-green” products. What is more, I often felt like I was sacrificing makeup longevity and pigment impact using such products. I’ll not lie though–natural care products still have a long way to go to accommodate the color needs of women of a darker hue, but some of them have gotten their act together early. Here’s a list of my favs:
100% Pure Minerals Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer: Cocoa, $42
This is the only foundation I’ve used that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve put a thin layer of cake frosting on my face. What’s more, it’s got an SPF of 20, and is made of fruit and vegetable pigments, organic white tea, acai oil, pomegranate oil, vitamins and antioxidants. Healthy for your skin, healthy for the environment. Doesn’t get overly greasy on my combination skin and wholesome enough to eat.
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation, Rich Sand $ 36
Tarte Cosmetics has come under some scrutiny with activists that claim the products are not as “green” as they claim. So with this brand, you’ll have to give an ingredients check if you’re a purist. I love the airbrush foundation because it’s light, buildable, and the ingredients are pretty natural: mica, camellia sinensis leaf extract, quartz, smithsonite extract, tourmaline, kaolin, pearl powder, ruby powder, sea salt.
It covers well, but…still leaves me a bit shinier than I would like. I do follow up with a setting powder–full discloser and all that. I also really like how the powder comes out of the apparatus without making such a mess. The color has yellow undertones and is just the right color of brown. LOVE. IT.
Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Blush. In Love, $27
Jane Iredale is the queen of natural makeup and is respected by makeup artists on the runway and in salons all over. It’s a bit pricy, but they are zealous about their ingredients. The minerals they use offer sun protection, which is always a plus. They don’t clog pores and only uses natural preservatives. It is a bit hard to find, and I’ve only seen it in a handful of beauty supply stores and hair salons. Of course it’s available online.
Best mascara EVER! Maracuja Mascara: Black Tea $25
All I can say is, OMG. First, the mascara smells like berries. Second, the wand and formula condition, lengthen, and thicken the lashes to the point where they nearly look like falsies. I just can not stress how much I love this stuff!
It’s made with maracuja oil, pro-vitamin B5 and other conditioners strengthens for healthier lashes. Colored from black tea leaves, berry and cocoa pigments. Downside: Although the company says it’s water resistant, it really not that great at it. But who cares? Just don’t watch Titanic when you wear it.
This piece wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Mineral Fusion, which is the Number One cosmetics line in healthy stores like Whole Foods. The real standout is the nail polish and lipstick line, but they’ve pretty much got all beauty covered–from hair care, skin care, body care and makeup. The company provides products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates.My only complaint is that, like many natural cosmetics companies, they’re tinted sunscreens, BB creams and foundations are still much to light for darker women of color.
Also of note is Josie Maran. They’re cornerstone ingredient is 100% organic argon oil, but the founder is very careful to admit that they aren’t quite…there yet. I really like their mascara, which is build able and doesn’t get hard, brittle and clumpy. The argon oil is a wonderful base before you apply your makeup, especially in the cold winter months.
Burt’s Bees has a line of lipsticks and glosses that are reasonably prices and boasts:
• 8-hour moisture
• 100% Natural
• 14 versatile shades deliver luscious, bold color
• Smooth, satin finish
• Doesn’t dry out lips
• Helps to hydrate and moisturize lips leaving them feeling soft and smooth
• Features naturally moisturizing ingredients such as Beeswax, Moringa Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, and Vitamin E
Have a favorite natural products brand? Share!