Green Up Your Beauty
I orignally wrote this article last year and am constantly learning about the topics covered below and brands that are clear and true to my ethics. I am discovering a lot of hidden truths about a lot of my go-to brands, and also there are constant changes in the cosmetics market, so please be patient with me while I learn.
Your Beauty regimen can impact not only your health but the world we live in. I am not only a Make Up Artist, but a Woman (yup!) and a Consumer (Eek!), and I have been trying to "Green Up" my beauty regimen (and life) for years, which has also extended to my profesionnal life. This honest picture of my beauty cabinet is a glimpse into the many brands I have used. You can see Aveda (who are owned by Estee Lauder and Sell in China... more on this a little further down), Dr Hauschka, Liz Earle, Caudalie (despite my love expressed numerous times on this website, I have discovered that their animal testing claim may be dubious as they sell in China), SACHAJUAN, Laughing Bird, Omorovicza (who also now sell in China as of this year and therefor test on animals) and Philip Kingsley. Hidden in there is also REN (Which is now owned by Unilever), and yes that is a shelf devoted to nails and personal grooming and home to my JAPONESQUE Brush cleaner. My makeup bag contains WAY more brands (Pictures of my makeup bag and kit is overkill). In my shower is a Giant Dr Bronner soap.
I try my best to think about how and why I make my purchases wherever I can, especially if performance is maintained, and cost makes sense to me. This consciousness does not mean that I am the perfect consumer, as you can see, far from it, but I do try to make informed and educated choices, and thereforeincorporate products that align with my values as and when I am able to do so.
This means that I tend to look for Skincare, Hair care, Makeup, Makeup tools and Bath Products that fall into 1 or more of the following categories: Organic, Natural Ingredients, Recycled Packaging, Locally made/sourced, Fairly Traded, Low Carbon, Socially Conscious (i.e. Charitable), Petrochemical Free, Paraben Free, Cruelty Free and Ecological. Truthfully, Bath care is the easiest category to make more natural.
I have also become more interested in Vegan and Cruelty free brands. This can be a bit of a a mine field. I am not Vegan, but I do think in this day and age, cosmetic testing does not need to be conducted on animals. I find that the best resources for Cruelty free beauty are PETA's list of companies that don't test on animals as well as Cruelty Free Kitty. If the issue of animal testing is very important to you, I suggest looking into fully Vegan options because sometimes companies that do not test on animals, are owned by parent companies that do (eg. Smashbox and Estee Lauder) See This article for more information. This a big issue and I am still learning about brands being unclear about their policies.
Sometimes Companies use labels and claims to attract customers. They do not necessarily make false claims, but perhaps market in a certain way so be on the lookout for claims like "All Natural" or "with natural ingredients" . Read the label or research the website of the brand in question. I have fallen in the trap on many occasions of being fooled by packaging and marketing, but reading the ingredient list or looking at the parent company of the brand can often reveal a little more about the values of a brand.
If you too are trying to "Green Up" your life, here are some tips:
Read labels: If the ingredient list is long and has many words you cannot pronounce, perhaps look elsewhere
Think about where you shop: Your Local Natural Food stores are more likely to have brands that are socially conscious, and walking over to your local store not only encourages business, you can support independent producers.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives in cosmetics that have been linked to cancer and may affect hormones. See this article explaining what they are and why they may be dangerous.
Look for products made closer to where you live, they did not incur air miles on their way to you
Try organic cotton buds (Qtips) and pads.
Try makeup brushes made with bamboo handles (EcoTools) and synthetic fibre OR buy quality responsible natural hair brushes and TAKE CARE OF THEM, and you will never buy another again. ( The London Brush Company)
Watch out for mineral make up that contains VERY little minerals
Try to avoid petrochemical based products
Lauryl/laureth sulphate, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), diazolidinyl and imidazolidinyl urea, PEGs, quaternium 15, fragrance Are all irritants and possibly toxic so perhaps avoid or limit them.
Here are links to helpful websites, shops, and information. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but a good place to start and feel free to get in touch if you have more suggestions! There is actually a truckload of brands I like and appreciate and the best way to see who is to check out my Twitter or Instagram or get in touch