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Makeup Alternatives For Every Shero

  • Health & Wellness


It’s great that we’re becoming more thoughtful of what we're putting in our bodies (whole food, plant-based) and what we're putting our bodies through (yoga). It’s high time we become more conscious of what we're putting on our bodies, too!

As we try to live more mindfully of our planet, how do your favorite beauty brands measure up? Sadly, some brands marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘green’ are really not as there’s no regulation for either of these claims. It’s up to cosmetics companies to guarantee that their products are safe. But corporate scandals have taught us that we can’t really rely on them to put our safety over their profitability.

“’Clean beauty' is a much better term for the consumer as the products are non-toxic and still effective,” said cosmetic chemist Ginger King. "'Non-toxic' means free from undesirable ingredients listed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). This is better than claiming 'natural' or 'organic' as they are products that perform without compromising safety. People want natural because they assume natural ingredients are safe, which is not necessarily the case. They also may not be as effective as synthetic materials.”

Clean up your cosmetics bag

Concerned about possible hormone disrupters? Let’s ditch all the harmful chemicals found in your beauty routine. Keep an eye out for parabens and phthalates – preservatives found in cosmetics that could speed up ageing, sagging, and other nightmares – go for simpler, more gentle products. If you’re passionate about saving the planet,don’t buy products with plastic microbeads  that hurt the planet and our bodies. Micro-beads are the tiny little bumps we feel when we use exfoliants. Not only do some get embedded into our skin, but they end up filling landfills and water systems despite their tiny size!

People are said to ingest up to five pounds of cosmetic chemicals annually, so stick to brands that ensure its products are safe.

Read the labels

Real naturals use only pure, earth-friendly ingredients and never test their products on animals. They have seals like COSMOS Natural or EcoCert — European organizations that allow up to 5% synthetics.

Before buying anything, read the list of ingredients first. “We deal with companies all the time that say they use active naturals. There is a lot of green-washing out there. The label might lie but the ingredients don't,” said Harvard business school student and Beauty Lies Truth blogger Jessica Assaf.

 Confirm if the product list is true to its word

A bottle of, say, Tea Tree Oil, doesn't necessarily mean that's the only thing in there. According to Self.com, the EWG’s cosmetics database Skin Deep rates products on safety, but many of those in the “safe” list just haven’t been studied and so have never been shown to be harmless.

Use the Think Dirty app to see if your personal care items have been rated “clean" and read up on the production and packaging. Choosing healthy makeup also means opting for packaging that’s safe for you and the earth. For instance, open-mouthed bottles can become tainted with bacteria, so choose airless packaging like pumps with one-way valves to keep air from entering, making contamination more unlikely. 

Chemicals aren’t just dangerous for us, but for animals, too. Many cosmetic companies use dead animal parts, or test their products on animals while they are still alive, pouring substances in their eyes or subjecting them to toxic fumes. How can this be beautiful?

So make sure your make-up, as with all items you buy, is ethically sourced and cruelty-free. 

Make Your Own Natural Make-Up 

You can create lip stains, blush, bronzers and shadows from real food at home:

1. Lip stain

Stock up on fresh or frozen berries for truly natural lip stains. Blackberries have a pinkish, dark berry hue. Thaw a frozen berry for about five minutes then rub a bit of the juice on your lips. This gives your skin a potent antioxidant hit! Use cherries for a wine-red hue; raspberries for a pretty pink. 

2. Blush

Cherries and raspberries can lend your cheeks a nice natural flush. Thaw one and rub the juice on your cheeks in a circular motion.

3. Eyeshadow 

Multitasking raspberries can work as brightening pink eyeshadow, too. 

For barely-there nude appeal, use cocoa powder. Wet an eye-shadow brush and then dab in 100% cocoa powder. 

If you want a darker look, combine a bit of deep sea algae spirulina powder with water to create a dramatic deep green eye-shadow. 

5. Eyeliner

To spirulina powder, add just enough blackberry juice and raw coconut oil to form a paste to solidify. Apply right along the eyelids with an eyeliner brush. For brown liner, use Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa powder. 

6. Bronzer

Use raw cacao powder and apply with a blush brush over the previous blush tints. 

Natural or organic materials can still cause allergic reactions, so always do a test patch before committing to a full-blown slathering on your skin to know how your body responds.

Making strides in the way you treat your body and the environment will not only benefit yourself, but the planet too.

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AUTHOR BIO Your friendly neighborhood Shero.

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