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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Makeup Round-Up

Alright y'all. We are going to charter new territory together. Recently I was talking with a friend, & she mentioned that it seems somewhat easy to find pretty natural brands for most things, except when it comes to makeup. It's true! I read a lot of natural blogs & follow people on Facebook who post about natural things, but I rarely see anything about makeup. (Maybe because super crunchy people don't wear it? Well count me out!) So I inquired on my Facebook wall about natural makeup, & I decided to research each of the responses I received.

Why do we want to wear natural makeup? Our skin is our biggest organ. What we put on it is quickly absorbed into our bodies. The thing about makeup is most of us wear it every day, & for most of the day. So what are we putting in our bodies? We need to know.

My first stop is always to go to the Cosmetics Database. They rank the products that each brand makes, based on the ingredients & their possible or proven toxicity. Then I went to each website & explored - what is their mission statement? Can I see the ingredients of each product? Do I see any red flags?

Tarte: Their products range from 1-8, 1 meaning those products hold very little concern, & 8 meaning they have a lot of toxic ingredients. This immediately tells me this company isn't super concerned with creating as-natural-as-possible products. As I skim the results (24 pages worth), it seems they have eye & lip liners, as well as some bronzers, that are "low hazard."

On their website, I see they claim to make makeup "without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten." However, EWG shows they do use fragrance in some of their products (which is why some get a bad rating). Retinyl acetate & limonene are two other ingredients I immediately see that are to be avoided.

Younique: Not on EWG.

Younique is an MLM & it does seem that their ingredients are pretty harmless - looking up some of the individual ingredients, they rank between 1-3. Lots of chemical sounding components but nothing seems too concerning. All in all, I would think if you wear all forms of makeup (primer, foundation, concealer, etc.) & wanted to get them all from one place, this might be something worth looking into.

Everyday Minerals: Not on EWG.

"All natural" & "handmade in Austin" jump off the website & I immediately swoon (it is what it is - I feel my crunchy self belongs in Austin sometimes). I start checking ingredients & see things that mainly fall between 1-3 on EWG. I'm not feeling anything definitive about the purity based on ingredients. I hope EWG will review the products soon. The company makes some good claims & it does seem like they try to keep things simple. I would say it's probably a pretty safe option, all things considered.

Alima Pure: 18 products on EWG & they all rank between 1-2. Nice!

Apparently there is a certification in Europe called the "Certified Natural Cosmetics Seal" that Alima Pure can claim. We do know that Europe has higher standards for what is healthy & natural than the US does which is why they sought it out. They donate 1% of their revenue to grassroots environmental organizations & aim to be sustainable in their operations. I am pretty impressed by what I see.

Aveda: The 6 products that show up on EWG are all old products, ranked 4-7. So I certainly wouldn't want to use their old products.

On their website, unless it's somewhere hidden, I'm only seeing things like lavender & jasmine under ingredients when I'm looking at eye makeup & blush. I know that certainly isn't all that's in there so why don't they disclose their ingredients? Based on the lack of information I'm finding, I do what everyone does - Google. Here are a few things I read: Behind the Label, Paraben Police Report, Are Aveda Products as Safe and Natural as They Claim?

I will say that the past 3-4 times I have had an Aveda product used on me (shampoo at the salon, & one time a facial), my skin had a reaction. My scalp began to flake (I do not have this problem otherwise) & when I had my facial, my skin BURNED. She immediately took that stuff off & put on another kind which immediately started burning too. I do not usually have reactions like this. Unfortunately, after doing a little research, I still don't feel comfortable using their products.

Arbonne: Only their mascara shows up on EWG & it is ranked 2.

LOTS of chemicals in their ingredients - more than I am comfortable with. & that's only the products I'm able to look up - only 1 of the first 3 products I look up lists ingredients. Again, why are the ingredients not readily available?

100% Pure: Their few skin care products on EWG all rank between 1-3. Don't see makeup though.

Reading through their FAQ page, they just seem to get it. They know why we should care about what we use on our skin. I am quite impressed by the ingredient lists I check out. They're all REAL WORDS. No crazy chemical names & numbers. They actually use fruit to dye their products. How much more natural can one get? I mean, reading the ingredients of their mascara makes me almost think I can wear it AND eat it. I'm holding back from just ordering one of everything....

Origins: Ranked 2-7. Yikes. Of the nine current products ranked, only one is in the safe zone. Yeah... no.

I'm not able to find the ingredients of each product. They have an "ingredients" tab where they show all the plant ingredients they use somehow in some of their products. The impression I get is that they certainly know how to market themselves but don't deliver what they claim. They know natural is "in" so they throw around pictures of plants & talk about purity but seemingly only for the sake of selling products. They use artificial fragrance which is ranked an 8 on EWG (& you already know it's bad for you). They say they're earth-friendly in their production & maybe they are.

Conclusion: I am likely going to order products from Everyday Minerals, Alima Pure, &/or 100% Pure & try them out. I did check the EWG score of some of my current makeup products & find most of them hang out in the 3-5 range. Yuck. Physician's Formula is one brand I use that does have some low ranked products so I might stick with a couple of those.


  1. Thanks for doing all the research and introducing us to EWG! I wonder about my makeup all the time. Think I'll go check out my brands right now!

  2. Have you looked into Lemongrass Spa's makeup? I use it and love it! Just minerals!