Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kiss and Makeup: My Take On Natural Cosmetics!

Image via luxuo.com
Being a girl is hard. Being a girl is impossible. There's just so much to do! Shave! Exfoliate! Moisturize! Wax! Conceal! Powder! Paint! Blowdry! Hairspray! I mean, I'm exhausted and that's not even the extent of it. On top of the time-consuming morning routine, we have more products to choose from than Marilyn Monroe had men (in case you weren't aware, that's a handsome array). Products that promise us 12-inch long lashes, skin as soft as a baby's bottom and fine lines that disappear overnight... what are we to believe? It's hard enough wading through the advertising circus without having to worry about products being safe and non-toxic.

That's where I come in. After researching for and writing February's post 'The Ugly Side of Beauty: What's Really In Your Makeup?' about the dangers of conventional cosmetics, I decided it was my duty to you (and to myself!) to explore some new makeup brands. And if you'll allow me, I'd like to give you my humble opinion on a few of the products. I am no expert, but hopefully my initial feedback can help point you in the right direction as you start your own quest for safe, effective beauty products.

DR. HAUSCHKA - Let me start by saying that I was really excited about this line. Many ladies on the Hollywood scene sing the praises for Dr. Hauschka products, including Julia Roberts and Madonna, and while I know that's not the best indication of a product's effectiveness, it DOES make one feel more glamorous and justified when paying $30 for pressed powder (in my defense, I had an Amazon.com giftcard). But being that I spent that much on powder, I had REALLY high expectations. The company uses only natural botanical preservatives (without chemical additives) and their ingredients are grown biodynamically, organically and ethically. To me, this little experiment stood to be a great leap for womankind (or for me, at least).

Sadly, I learned a hard lesson. While a product may be 'all natural', that doesn't necessarily guarantee that you won't have an allergic reaction to it's natural ingredients. Nature is full of allergens and unfortunately, my sensitive skin did not enjoy this experiment. It turned itchy, red and blotchy. Then to make matters worse, because I was using an array of new products, I wasn't able to pinpoint the culprit. I'm only blaming Dr. Hauschka because there seems to be a correlation between the powder and the condition of my skin... also, my massive Google search on allergic reactions to Dr. Hauschka products led me to this conclusion.

While the powder was certainly destructive, the concealer and mascara did the job, though without any fanfare. Don't expect there to be a wide array of color options. The lightest concealer option was still too dark for my snow white skin. I blame winter in New York.

FAERIE ORGANIC - My experience with Faerie Organic has been much more positive! First of all, the price point is completely reasonable ($18.50 for powder foundation) AND you can buy small sample kits for a fraction of the price before committing to the whole kitten caboodle (they so graciously sent me a free sample kit for the purpose of this experiment). This is clearly the way of the future...do you have any idea how much money I've wasted on the wrong shade? Surprisingly, I found most of their shades to be completely compatible with my skin tone and their mineral powder foundation did a great job of covering up the disaster area that Dr. Hauschka left behind (sorry, Dr. Hauschka). The  only caveat I can find is the trail of powder that inevitably gets left behind when you use powder foundation. But hey, while my bathroom counter suffered a bit, my skin seemed to like it! Oh... and how could I forget? Makeup artist Erin Mincks started the line to provide an alternative to the standard, toxic makeup on the market. Faerie Organic products are made from 100% pure mineral ingredients, as the company believes that a holistic approach to beauty is the only approach. When you're free of toxins on the inside, your natural radiance will shine through. Looks like there's hope for me yet!

EOS - I bought some EOS (Evolution of Smooth) lip balm on a whim while standing in a ridiculously long line at Whole Foods. Best decision ever. The lip balm is all natural and organic, and comes in so many good flavors that it's hard to choose - Strawberry Sorbet, Summer Fruit, Sweet Mint, Honeysuckle Honeydew, Medicated Tangerine and Lemon Drop. I went with the Sweet Mint and spent the next 24 hours applying it whenever I got the chance - not because it wore off quickly, but because the cute little pot made it so fun to apply.

Moral of the story? You should definitely use caution when using conventional cosmetics because of their toxicity dangers BUT you should also be careful when choosing a natural brand. Reading the ingredient list, and more importantly the reviews, can save you a lot of money and heartache... oh, and a day spent looking like a pre-pubescent boy.

...fun stuff when you're 29 years old.

Bonus trip - Organic beet root powder for your cheeks! It makes a great blush AND the bag's so huge you'll never run out! Order on Amazon.com or find at your local health food store.

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