But over the past year, I've been more attuned to researching companies that use fewer chemicals in their makeup and beauty products, looking for more natural and vegan-friendly alternatives. It's very much a broad industry to peruse, and I've spent a lot of time researching different brands, their claims and ingredients, and their ratings in the EWG Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics. (Read about EWG in this blog post as well.)
And I'm by no means an expert on natural beauty products now, but as my wedding approaches ever closer, I realized it was a great time to invest in a few new products the green way. Besides for wedding purposes, it's also time to invest in better products for my thirtysomething skin. I've grown up a little beyond the days of 1998 that involved Cover Girl liquid foundation the thickness of a milkshake and in the wrong shade.
So, what am I doing to prep my skin for our big day next month?
Although not featured in the title image, the important part is where you begin. Every morning I use Burt's Bees Deep Cleansing Cream, and it always feels so cool and refreshing. (It's rated a 4 on the EWG scale, and the biggest problem ingredient is something I may need to look into more.)
A few weeks ago, I visited my local Sephora looking for a natural or organic mask for general skin glowiness. That might be exactly how I asked the sale assistant for help too. I'm sorry to everyone who's heard me preface anything lately with "I'm getting married in __ months, so..." But, it pretty much is the guiding force of everything on my mind lately.
So. Mask shopping. The girl recommended this new Farmacy Honey Potion mask, so I went for it, because of their commitment to natural ingredients. It's warming, it's renewing, it looks like straight up honey until you massage it into your skin, and it makes your skin extremely soft. I think it's also helped my pores and blackheads, giving me a fresh-faced look. Oh, and the spatula is magnetic so it can attach to the lid so you don't lose it. Is it inexpensive? Absolutely not, especially for someone like me. But now is the time to invest! And even after just a few weeks, I think it's worth it.
I asked how often I could use the mask, and the girl said it was safe to use frequently. Because I'm so addicted to how smooth my skin feels, I use it every other evening (at least until the wedding when I'm officially allowed to let go. Don't tell Phillip. 😝)
And the most basic, most important lesson of all. Drink water. I admittedly don't drink 64 ounces every day, but I've really been working to get back to that so I can feel as good as possible. My head certainly reminds me when I've been slacking, and I do not have the time or the want for a headache. So, all the water.
On the nights I don't use the hydration mask, I apply a layer of this Simple Ultra Light Gel Moisturizer. Found at Target, it's very cost effective for a natural product. On the EWG scale, it ranks a 2. I picked this up earlier this year when the cooler air (what's that?) was leaving my skin extra dry, and it's helped tremendously.
On to my new morning makeup routine. When I was researching brands, I knew that vegan-friendly and natural alternatives would cost a little more than I usually spend, but I wasn't willing to pay too much more. I've been using Tarte blush (3 on the EWG scale), Physician's Formula eyeshadow (2 on the EWG scale) and Ecco Bella powder (2 on the EWG scale) for a few months now and love them all. Everything is comparable to the conventional products I had before.
What I purchased recently for the wedding (and for general upgrades) includes Tarte BB tinted moisturizer foundation, Tarte CC undereye corrector (although there's not much hiding these suitcases), Tarte waterproof eyeliner and Tarte waterproof mascara. (And a-thank you to an Ulta gift card I still had from Christmas.)
Tarte is a larger brand, available at both Sephora and Ulta, but they are committed to keeping parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten out of their products.
And they perform really well. I also have a sample size of Tarte's 4-in-1 mascara, and my lashes look fantastic these days, if I do say so myself. The waterproof mascara may not give quite as much the magical effect, but it still works really well, and both the mascara and eyeliner stood up to an hour of hot power yoga. So I mean, if they can handle that, they can handle ugly crying and sweaty dancing. #weddingapproved
Of note, Ecco Bella is a certified green business and is made in the USA. They place a focus on having sustainable packaging as well - their blushes come in a refillable compact, so when you replace your blush, you can use the same container. The face powder is not refillable, but it is a cardboard compact so it's recyclable. I've had this powder for almost a year, and the compact hasn't lost any strength, so that's not an issue to worry about.
There are lots of makeup brands committed to avoiding chemicals, vegan-friendliness, and sustainability, and if I even tried to list them here, I would leave out a lot.
If you're shopping around for new makeup, do your research first. Visit the company's website to read about their ingredients or values. Look up products in the EWG Skin Deep database. Ask around. (When I first went to Ulta in my makeup transition, I asked the girl to point me toward the natural or organic brands.) Read the ingredients lists on retailer websites or on the product packaging. Ask for samples if you can, to see if you like something before you commit to purchasing.
Makeup may be skin deep, but the effects from harmful ingredients can go way deeper and last longer.
None of these products are featured because of sponsored endorsements; they're just players in my eco lifestyle game! Gotta walk that walk before I can talk the talk.