I’ve shared a few times on the blog how I switched some of my personal care products over to more green or natural versions, for example skincare. I’ve been wanting to do a similar post on makeup for a while, but was waiting to try a few things first.
I’ve picked three favourites to share, not because they’re all I use or have tried, but because they’re the ones I most enjoy.
I switched to a mineral foundation several years ago now; initially I used one from the British brand Elemental Beauty, and was very happy with it. However, once it ran out I tried this pressed compact powder from The All Natural Face, one of the more affordable natural makeup companies. And I am very happy with it.
One thing that intrigued me about this compact version, aside from its being less messy than the traditional loose mineral powders, is that once you’ve ordered the compact you can order refills which come in the metal pan only; so aside from saving a bit of money, this is a less-packaging option.
Here’s an interesting one. I’ve been using a fairly natural mascara from an Etsy shop, Keeping It Natural. The unusual thing about it is that it’s a pressed cake mascara, kind of like an eyeshadow. To use it, you dampen the wand and scrub it along the mascara, then apply in a normal fashion. In fact, historically this is how early mascaras were applied, before the more familiar liquid tube version was introduced. (The geek in me wanted to try it for this reason!)
I’ve been eager to try this for a while, not only because I’d heard it well-reviewed on YouTube, but because it strikes me as a smart design. The downfall of mascara is its short shelf life, since you’re supposed to replace it ever 3-6 months regardless of whether it’s used up. That has always made me hesitant to try any of the more expensive natural mascaras, and having tried a couple of cheaper ones I was only moderately satisfied with them. But this cake version, because it is dry and dries between uses, has a longer shelf life and avoids the problem of preservatives. It’s also another zero-waste-friendly option because it comes in a metal tin.
It takes some getting used to, but I’ve been using it for a while now and it suits my needs. I don’t really ask for big oomph from my mascara, just a natural look, and this provides that nicely. Interestingly, though it comes off easier with water than other mascaras (I think because you use water to apply it), it seems less likely to loosen with oil than most mascaras I’ve tried, including conventional ones. And since there is more oil than water on my greasy face, it actually doesn’t smudge!
I’ve saved the best for last. Red Apple Lipstick is one of the darling brands of the green/natural beauty community, so I’m hesitant to rave any more than others already have. But since many of my readers may not be part of that circle, I wanted to talk about this lipstick in case it was new to any of you.
I have two colours from their extensive line, a natural red called Strawberry Lips, and a neutral pink called Audrey. These are splurge items for me at $23.50, but a case of getting what you pay for. They have a creamy texture which is easy to apply and feels nice and balmy, and they’re easy to use very lightly or layer on more dramatically. They also wear off well, just slowly disappearing without getting dry, creased or crummy. And they come in a classic black bullet tube which closes with a firm click. In my case, since the company is based in Houston, I feel this is a semi-local brand.
I never used to be a lipstick person, largely because I struggled to find the right kind of colour. But lately, particularly since having Edith, I keep these two lipsticks in my bag and I often wear them just to the grocery store.
One final note…
You may have noticed that all three items I mention here are from online sellers. You don’t have to buy natural makeup online; you can find it in Whole Foods or other natural food stores, and the occasional organic boutique (which tend to be out of my price range). I’ve gravitated towards these particular brands because they are smaller companies that I enjoy supporting, and in some cases are more affordable, though you have to factor in the price of shipping and ordering samples in advance. I also think they tend to offer a wider range of colours than I’ve seen from the brands in shops. And in a few cases (the mascara particularly), these sellers are willing to mail their products without plastic packaging, making them zero-waste-friendly.