Like many people I know, in my slow (very slow) roll toward making everything greener, cleaner and safer in our house, I’ve changed out a whole bunch of stuff in my pantry — as well as my cleaning products, my laundry detergent, our sunscreens, my kid’s soap, our food storage containers, and etc, etc, etc. My makeup, though, I’m sorry to say, is another story … sort of my own personal final frontier of healthier choices. I just haven’t mustered the energy to figure out which of the many, many “cleaner” makeups out there should replace my beloved (but chemical-laden) drugstore stuff.
So in an effort to jump-start a long overdue shift from probably-toxic to non-toxic (or less toxic?) makeup, I do what I always do: Asked mom friends who know things. So! Here’s a quick crowd-sourced cheat sheet on some tried-and-true favorites picks when it comes to cleaner beauty.
First: The well-reputed Beautycounter is a biggie in the safer makeup world (you can read about why here). Not only do I have several friends who are major fans (including one who says “I don’t care about what’s in it or not in it … I just really like the lipstick!”), but I also know a couple people who sell the stuff, and therefore have tried ALL OF IT, and can offer educated faves.*
One of those people is mom of two Michelle Carini (whom you might remember from her One-On-One). She likes the Tint Skin Liquid Foundation because “I’m of the belief that if your skin looks good, the rest will fall into place. You can use it alone or on top of your moisturizer; the formula is lightweight; and it goes on smoothly to really even out my skin.”
Another one of her favorites is basically a cult obsession at this point — even I had heard about Beautycounter’s lip sheers, which Michelle says “are lightweight and moisturizing and condition your lips while you wear them. I cannot get enough of these babies. And they smell like (real) vanilla!”
Another Beautycounter devotee, Wee friend Katie Cavuto (who has written for us about everything from healthy preschool lunches to cleaner hot cocoa recipes, as well as entire post on her own site about her other B.C. opinions), swears by the brand’s Body Collection (read: shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion). “Honestly, I don’t use a many beauty products and try to limit makeup as much as possible, so the basics, like shampoo, are super important to me,” she writes. Katie’s also got a bunch of other excellent recs (along with each product’s EWG ratings) on this helpful blog post, including the Josie Maran 24-hour black-oil mascara and a Kari Gran Start Kit with a cleansing oil, essential serum and hydrating tonic. (“It’s like a spa day at home!”)
Another go-to green Wee pal, Paige Wolf — author of the Spit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt — has written loads on the topic of clean makeup. Again, I’m going to link to her full blog post that talks about her very favorite green everything (from a hair-removal system to perfumes to dry shampoo). It’s noteworthy here that Paige tries a LOT of products, so when she says things like “It brings you back when you look like death warmed over” about RMS’s Living Luminizer, or that Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Coquette looks “amazing on every complexion”, well, I’m intrigued.
Oh, and also, Paige adds, “I’ve also just discovered this tinted moisturizer I am obsessed with from Sanre Organics — it’s USDA organic, which is pretty cool!”
Finally, Emily Leaman — formerly the editor of Be Well Philly, currently Philly Mag’s Lifestyle Director — says she goes old-school and makes her own moisturizer. “I’ve been doing it since I got pregnant since a lot of skin stuff is forbidden,” she says. “I’ve continued with it because I am obsessed with it.”
Here’s what you do, per Emily:
You get all-natural pure aloe vera gel — not the aloe you get at CVS for sunburn. That’s full of garbage. This is what I have — I have to store it in the fridge. And you mix it with jojoba oil. I swear my skin has never been glowier or clearer. The aloe kills bacteria and the jojoba moisturizes. I almost never get zits anymore. It’s amazing stuff. I mix it into a small travel-size bottle and keep that on my dresser for daily use. I go about 2/3 aloe and 1/3 jojoba in the summer (when I need less moisture) and half and half in the winter (when I need more moisture). You can experiment to find the right mix for you. If you’re dryer, do more jojoba. If you’re oily, do more aloe.
How great is that?
*Disclosure: Yes, these mamas receive commission when they sell Beauty Counter products. No, Wee Wander does not receive any compensation for including a mention of their personal favorites. And regardless, all opinions contained herein are honest.