I walked through the cosmetic hall of a giant department store yesterday and watched with dismay as women of all ages swiped their credit cards for pricey cosmetics – heavily packaged jars of makeup that promise to create a flawless finish – foundations that are ostensibly packed with all kinds of botanical ingredients, even vitamins that will “help fight against free-radicals” etc. I wanted to scream – if only these women knew what they were buying! I just know that they’d be horrified if they realized that most cosmetics, unless otherwise stated contain a veritable cocktail of toxic ingredients that really shouldn’t be allowed on the shelves. Now obviously one application isn’t going to send anyone to the hospital – many of us have been using these products for years – HOWEVER -look around you and notice that illnesses of every kind (estrogen-sensitive cancers, respiratory illnesses, allergies etc), are steadily on the rise. Which one of us doesn’t know someone whose life has been devastated by a scary diagnosis?
When we use these products day-in/day-out we can be affected. We also don’t know how sensitive we may be to parabens, asbestos (in talc), phthalates (perfume), and all the other chemicals that are hanging around in that cute little compact.This issue was one of the first that I wanted to address in my first book, Gorgeously Green. I wanted to address Beauty because I felt strongly that as eco-friendly women, we shouldn’t have to compromise or feel that in order to be healthy, we had to go without.
I spent years researching this topic and began to understand that many of these chemicals nudge our endocrine systems off balance – doesn’t sound catastrophic, however, over time it can be. Our endocrine systems are delicately balanced and can be easily knocked off course. I like to think of my hormonal system as a perfectly woven spider’s web. If one area of the web is even gently nudged, the whole web will be affected. Since we are exposed to multiple environmental toxins everyday, it’s so important that we take steps to minimize our exposure – especially in our nearest environment, which is our skin! It’s really hard to understand the ingredients (if you can even see them,) on makeup packaging – much harder than skincare – so you really need to go with companies that fully disclose all of their ingredients and then if still in doubt, ask an expert about each and every ingredient. Even some of the “natural” and “organic” companies that have sprung up of late, contain ingredients which are pretty suspect.
I was in Georgia last Summer speaking at an event and a irritated-looking women came up to chat to me. She told me that she wanted to use the “right” products, as she was a breast cancer survivor, but that she’d tried a brand that looked awful, “dry and powdery,” she said – so she was put off the whole idea of organic makeup! Well – I’m here to tell you ladies that things have much improved from even 3 years ago. I am a makeup diva. When I’m at a makeup counter, I lose all track of time and just love to “play” – ever trying to find the perfect base and non-crease eye shadow. I’ve had many companies sending me all kinds of makeup products (mostly “organic”) to try, but there are only a handful that I really love.
It all depends on whether you are a stick, liquid or mineral girl. I’ve met women who swear by mineral make-up and others who hate it. So I’ve picked the best from each category – all of which contain ingredients that I PROMISE will not harm you – on the contrary all of them contain ingredients that really will nourish your skin.
The best stick foundation is hands-down Vapour Organic Beauty, which I’m thrilled to have just got into my store. LOVE this handy stick. You can get made-up really quickly in the morning and slip the stick in your purse for touch-ups in the day.
There’s 2 I like in the liquid category: N’vey Eco and Jane Iredale – both do a lovely job.
I love Terra Firma – great fan of their to-go kits, which will give you everything you need for a flawless look – at a great price. I also like Jane Iredale Mineral Foundation Compacts – a little pricier, but really nice. You need to beware that mineral foundations do not contain bismuth, which many are allergic to. Both these brands do not.