I have a love-hate relationship with makeup. I love that it kind of levels the playing field for those of us with less-than-stellar skin. But I hate that that's what people think I look like all the time and so I have a compulsion to always wear it in public. Alexandra Dal summed it up pretty perfectly in this comic. I know some people like to play with makeup the way they play with fashion, but for me it's more of a cover up. I don't think it's wrong or un-feminist to wear makeup, but my own shackled relationship with it troubles me. So I'm working on it.
While I'm working on it, I definitely want to wear the cleanest makeup possible so that I don't cause more damage in the process. There are a lot of great brands out there working without government oversight to keep toxins out of their products. I'm giving you a short list of some of the products I use; I suggest you start with these brands in your own search for clean products that work for you.
Foundation & Blush
I use Real Purity Healthy Glow Foundation because it has the fewest ingredients I've ever seen (just five!), but it works surprisingly well. It provides a good amount of coverage (BB creams are not for me) and lasts through the day. It comes in a wide array of colors, but get a sample if you aren't sure which one to choose. To conceal and reduce shine, I follow with Jane Iredale Pressed Powder. I just use a concealer brush to cover redness. Then I finish with this creme blush in pink which is also from Real Purity. I never thought I'd like a creme blush, but I really prefer it now; I think it looks more natural. They also carry powder options.
The bold brow thing is still going strong (pun not intended, but still awesome) and I must say I'm a convert. My brows are pretty thick and dark to begin with, so I just fill in a bit with a pencil. Then I quickly brush them to blend it in. I'm in need of a cleaner version and according to The Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Database, these are in the go-for-it green zone: Boots Botanics Eyebrow Pencil, Logona Eyebrow Pencil, and surprisingly, Maybelline EyeStudio Master Shape Brow Pencil.
On to eye makeup! I'm due for an eyeliner upgrade myself. I know some people really like using the powder kind, but I'm so clumsy I've never tried it. If you want to try your hand at it, Alima Pure Satin Matte Eyeliner is a clean choice which is so important around your eyes. They offer a shimmery version as well. Pencil options include W3ll People Hypnotist Eyeliner and Vapour Organic Beauty Mesmerize Eyeliner. I tend to use liquid eyeliner in a marker form, so I'd like to try the Boots Botanics Liquid Eyeliner Pencil. Jane Iredale has this one that produces a thinner line that dries quickly.
I've been buying this mascara from Real Purity and I highly recommend it. It doesn't sting my eyes, it washes off easily, and it performs its mascara duties well. It comes in a bunch of fun colors, but I've only used black. I haven't used eyeshadow for quite some time; I'm not sure why, but suspect it is part of my increasingly pared down aesthetic. If you are looking for clean eyeshadow, most of these same brands produce all eye makeup products, so start there.
I've only recently started using highlighter, but I need a cleaner option than the freebie I received from Sephora. It's a stick, which I like, so I'm leaning toward either the RMS Living Luminizer or the Vapour Organics Trick Stick. I like highlighter on the apples of my cheeks, the bridge of my nose and the inner corners of my eyes to make my skin look brighter and more rested. Jane Iredale's Highlighter Pencils are just for use around the eyes. Au Naturale, Alima Pure, and Maia's Minerals all offer powder versions.
Where to buy
Some aggregator shopping sites do all of the clean curation for you.
Buy directly from the brands. This often gives you the chance to try samples or get special deals.
- Real Purity offers sample amounts of almost all of their products and free samples every month.
- Try out samples of Maia's Minerals.
- Vapour Organic Beauty has a Sample Program.
- Au Naturale has powder foundation samples to help you choose the right match.
- Shopping with Alima Pure directly will get you some free samples.
Buy in person.
- Whole Foods
- Local health food stores
- Check the brands website for stockists.
This is not an exhaustive list, so I hope you'll share your favorite clean products, brands, or stores in the comments. I'd love to hear your recommendations!
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