Eco Beauty & Fashion

Go Put On Your (Natural Beauty) Face!

woman holding makeup brushes with children's drawings behind her“I’m just going to go put on my face.” How many times did you hear your grandmother say that? For me it, was too many to count. And it always confused me because honestly my grandmother didn’t look that different before and after. But as I grow older, I get it. Today, it takes a little work to achieve the “natural” glow that I used to have without any makeup at all. And even though no one probably even notices, I feel better when I have my natural beauty face on. It takes me literally five minutes. I use five natural beauty products. And there’s not a toxic chemical in the bunch. Here’s how.

“Putting on my face” takes me literally five minutes. I use five natural beauty products. And there’s not a toxic chemical in the bunch. Thanks, Grandma. I start out with a moisturizing sunblock like Juice Beauty SPF 30 Mineral Sheer Moisturizer, which I’m partial to right now. (I don’t count sunscreen as makeup. After a particularly drastic bout of melasma, sunscreen is something I slap on after toner and before deodorant, each and every morning.)

Before we start, can I just share how life-changing the discovery of makeup brushes has been for me? They really make a HUGE difference, especially when you’re talking about the base coat. Eyeshadows and liners are easy to smudge on with your fingers but to blend and smooth, you REALLY need the right brush. I’m in love with vegan EcoTools brushes, which come in all shapes and sizes. If you don’t already have brushes, this EcoTools 6 Piece Essential Eye Brush Set is a great place to start.

And, action! First, using a flat-sided brush, I apply Josie Maran Concealer in Butter to cover up my eye circles. I don’t use it on blemishes on the rest of my face, because I find that the argan oil in this product can make it slide when my already-greasy skin starts to warm up. But extra moisturizing under the eyes is a-okay with me. My concealer is, um, older and comes in a tube, but the new Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealers, which come in chubby little sticks, look truly awesome.

After that, using a bigger flat-sided brush, I brush on Mineral Fusion Natural Brands Pressed Foundation Warm 2. Loose powder makes me crazy. It goes everywhere no matter how much I tap-tap-tap, like they tell you to in those infomercial videos. I like my powder pressed, thank you very much. I start with the red spots around my nose and the dark spots in my cheeks and forehead, as well as anywhere that I have a blemish. I don’t worry about blending–that comes later.

And then I grab a big fluffy brush, swirl it around the pressed powder, and sweep it repeatedly all over my face, saving my chin until last. If you build powder up on your chin it tends to look really cakey for some reason, but for the rest of your face build, build away. I seriously don’t think you can layer on too much powder. The coverage just gets better as it warms up.

I love a big stick bronzer or blush for lips and cheeks. Right now I’m using Vapour Organic Beauty Solar Translucent Bronzer in Spicy. Again, the trick is in the brush. Suck in your cheeks and tap about four times under your cheek bone. Then using a fat kabuki brush, sweep the color up onto your cheekbone and also along your brow bone. You can also tap a few times on your lips, then use your finger to smooth out the color.

Finally, remember that  youthful glow I was talking about? I use Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer Argan Illuminizerto get it. Seriously, I have tried other bright-and-shiny products and they all cake up in my wrinkles. This is the sh*t. Squirt a tiny amount onto your finger and then smooth it between the first two fingers of both hands. Using one finger to apply and another product-free finger to blend, apply the glowy stuff on your brow bone, into the inner corner of your eye and lid, and stroke it down into the hollow above your cheekbone. It is amazing. Tilt your face into the light so you can see what I’m talking about. Awesome, right?

And then, to make it all stick, spritz on a toner. I’ve used several, including one in this video, but since then I’ve discovered rose flower water, which you can get at any upscale cooking store. It smells amazing, too!

And that’s my natural beauty face! If I’m going out, I’ll add Kjaer Weis Organic Mascaraand Devita Skincare Absolute Minerals Softlines Eyeliner blah blah blah but for everyday this is the face I put on for everything but yoga. Because these days, natural beauty needs a little help.

How do I know that these products are truly natural? I could read their ingredient labels, but by law personal care manufacturers aren’t required to list their ingredients nor does our government review or approve their products or ingredients before they hit the shelves. (Although all of these awesome manufacturers are all about full disclosure.)

When shopping, I rely on the Environmental Working Group’s easy-to-use new, free smartphone app, available here on iTunes or here at Google Play for Android. In stores, I can simply scan a product’s bar code, or type in the product name, then follow EWG’s easy-to-understand “0 to 10” scoring system: Zero reflects products that pose a low level of concern, and 10 shows those with ingredients that may be highly hazardous to your health. (The ratings are also color coded from green to red to make things even easier.)

In a nutshell, the Skin Deep App uses your smartphone to access EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. For nearly 10 years, Skin Deep has combined product ingredient lists with information in more than 60 toxicity and regulatory databases to bring you real data on beauty and personal care products. A trusted resource for health information since 1992, the non-profit Environmental Working Group developed Skin Deep because beauty and personal care products are not regulated, and chemical ingredients in many of these products have been linked to everything from skin allergies to infertility—even cancer. Some personal care manufacturers are still using carcinogenic ingredients like formaldehyde and coal tar in their products—but they aren’t always listed on the label. The concept can be scary, but Skin Deep makes it easy to take control of your  health.

Full disclosure: I am honored to be consulting for the Environmental Working Group, helping to build awareness among amazing communities like ours at Mommy Greenest.


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