I know plenty of progressive, conscious ladies who eat organic, work out regularly, and even choose eco fashions over conventionally-made clothes when they can, but get stymied when it comes to makeup and beauty products. We all have our go-to’s, those tried-and-true products that will do what we want, when we want them to. Unfortunately, many of those same products contain toxic ingredients (check yours at The Cosmetics Safety Database to find out what carcinogens or neurotoxins might be lurking in your faves).
To make switching to organic or at least less-toxic products easy, try this two-step process. Pick a product you use every day (moisturizer, mascara, or lipstick), and look around for a more natural version. Once you find a couple in your price range, that seem like they might work for you, try them both. Choose which one works best, then adopt it as your ‘new regular’. Then, when you feel ready, try another product. Over the last five years I’ve replaced my pthalate-laden perfumes, conventional makeup, moisturizers, body washes and other shower necessities (like shaving cream) to natural versions, slowly but surely. Check out some of our team’s picks below for inspiration:
Starre Vartan, author, publisher of Eco-Chick.com
Starre Vartan Loves:
I’m a total mascara junkie! And I’ve tried them all, from natural to not. My favorite by a long shot has got to be Lavera’s Volume mascara in black. It has never flaked out on me, which is unusual because pretty much every other mascara I’ve ever used gives me raccoon eyes. Fortified with jojoba and wild rose oil, it smells delicious and goes on smoothly, no clumping. I have long, relatively thick lashes, with blonde ends, so I don’t need a thickening mascara; if you do, you might find this one too thin. But it’s perfect for me as it darkens and lengthens my lashes and the brush allows for easy manipulation and fine-tuning of application.
My go-to powder is definitely Tarte’s provocateur pressed mineral powder in Light. It’s thick enough to even out my skin tone, but never feels cakey. I usually don’t wear foundation, and find this powder to be enough coverage for me, plus it’s got an SPF of 8.
Alicia Lubowski-Jahn, Eco Art and Design Correspondent
Moksa Organics is a carbon neutral certified company that produces a sustainable line of affordable hand made soap, body lotions, body oils and baths salts. They won me over with their super yummy-smelling, chemical-free, organic bar soaps packaged in 100% postconsumer waste. The soaps are made with fair trade, unrefined bulk ingredients blended with essential oils. Each soap is named after an awesome place on earth and a portion of its sale benefits a designated environment group.
I love the simplicity of Sprout Wellness’ lip, body, and face products. True to their tag line “detoxify your life”, Sprout is inspired by a process of elimination– especially nasty ingredients like preservatives, animal products, petrochemicals, and fragrances. Although it’s a cliche, they actually do smell so good you could eat them and, indeed, they are made with plant and essential oils and kitchen-cupboard ingredients like organic almonds, organic oats, organic apple cider vinegar, and sea salt.
Kimberly Jordan Allen, Contributing Writer
Kimberly Jordan Allen’s Choices:
I like to go as simple as possible, with just a bronzer, an eyelash curler, some white eyeliner on the inner lid to wake me up, maybe some sparkles on the upper lid and lip gloss.
I still love my100% Pure Fave Natural Bronzer: It feels really light going on, and leaves skin with that healthy sun-kissed glow.
For a bit of brightness near the eye when you need it Korres Inner-Lid Pick-Me-Up White Liner really works wonders.
Being able to actually read all the ingredients on the packaging, but more than that, being able to actually pronounce them as well, is one of my reasons for loving 100% Pure. 100 % Pure Watermelon Sorbet Lip Gloss is pretty, and the Cocoa Berry lip gloss is fairly tasty too!
Josie Maran uses Argan Oil in most of her products. Argan Oil is organically grown in Morocco and contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids leaving skin moisturized and nourished. I love this eyeshadow shimmer that’s fortified with the oil.
Haley Sherif, Contributing Writer
From Haley Sherif:
I love to wash my face. It makes me feel awesome afterwards, and it makes me feel even better to use John Masters Organics face wash and moisturizer. The face wash bubbles a bit when water is added, making the wash even more refreshing.
Moisturizer, I die for, so I love to use the blood orange and vanilla scented one. Scents can be more of a hindrance with some moisturizer, but once I rub it in I’m in love with this one!
Stephanie Rogers, Natural Beauty Correspondent
From Stephanie Rogers:
My favorite beauty products tend to be transient since I try so many, but right now I’m utterly obsessed with a certain concealer by Everyday Minerals. It’s called ‘Aussie Perk Me Up’, and let me tell you, it does just that! It’s sort of shimmery, and used around the eyes, it makes me look refreshed even when I’m exhausted. I like the ‘travel size’, which is a roll-on tube, for ease of application.
Lindsay Brown, Contributing Writer
Lindsay Brown’s picks:
I have very sensitive skin so I’m always super cautious about what I put on body, especially my eyes. I discovered this lid primer by Jane Iredale and it has quickly become something I’m wearing daily. It adds just a touch of shimmer to the eye lid and makes the eye look bright and moist. It also controls the oil on the lid so I never have that creased look. Plus, Jane Iredale products contain no talc or parabens and they’re not tested on animals.
Aubrey Organics makes an excellent Green Tea & Gingko Facial cleansing lotion. It’s very gentle, it smells wonderful and I love the way my face feels after I was with it.