Jane Iredale Black Plus cream to powder liner . Elysambre red lipstick (used as eyeshadow) . W3LL People Elitist shimmer mineral shadow in 83
Couleur Caramel eye shadow in 45 . Inika mineral shadow in Turquoise
For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in health and wellbeing. This interest spilled over into natural beauty products. At first I just dabbled for personal use, but as new technology was invested into them, I started to experiment with them in my kit. I was impressed with what was being achieved. However as my appreciation for these products grew, so did my doubts in the conventional beauty industry to which I was seeing an increasingly darker side. Surrounded by make-up every day, I began to question the tools of my trade. From unsavoury ingredients to a careless environmental impact, I realised that these were key elements of many of the products that I was using. So I decided to try and make my kit as clean and green as it could be.
It is work in progress for sure, and will continue to be so for a while. I am learning loads and finding some great products along the way. But what makes a product ‘eco’? Is it the ingredients, the packaging, the carbon footprint? And how should I decide if it should be 'allowed' into my 'cleaner' kit? Something I ask myself a lot.
The exclusion of certain ingredients is big news in the beauty market today. There are many that are causing concerns from allergic reactions and skin sensitivity, to those as serious as suggested links to cancer and other illnesses. It can be really confusing with a lot of conflicting views. Some are accused of scaremongering, others of glossing over potential problems.
Listening to both sides of the story is important to make your own informed decisions. I feel that if viable alternatives are available then they should be utilized.
Think about how many personal care items you use a day. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, face moisturiser, body moisturiser, make-up, perfume, hairspray etc. That is an awful lot of product that is applied or sprayed about our person. Most before we even leave the house in the morning to face the daily onslaught of modern fast living. It is more this cumulative effect of not-so-nice things building up in our bodies that is becoming a worry. If you can reduce your exposure by changing some items in your beauty regime then great. It is also the toxins going out into our environment, during the production processes as well as being washed down the plughole that we should be thinking about.
RMS cream eyeshadow in Myth . Korres eyeliner pencil 13 and 8
Inika mineral shadow in Blue Steel and Turquoise . Beauty Without Cruelty mineral eyeshadow in Lust 54 . Elysambre red lipstick (used as eyeshadow) Bellapierre shimmer powder in Lucky
So what about the ingredients that are included? The beauty industry is constantly evolving; brands compete with each other to release the latest miracle product. Where have these new wonder ingredients come from and at what cost? Were they tested on animals? Yes, it does still happen. Not in the EU, but the dirty work can be done outside of it and then the products shipped in.
A huge proportion of cosmetics are bulked out with cheap ingredients namely petrochemicals. By-products of a bigger industry they may be, but we all know that supplies are running low, so surely not a good option.
And the rest of them – are they fairtrade, are they organic – does organic necessarily mean better? Were they sustainably sourced, were any rainforests cut down in the making of? Is the packaging recycled and recyclable with minimal wastage? Are they carbon neutral? Is your head starting to hurt yet? See my dilemma??
Unfortunately ‘greenwashing’ is too common among our beauty departments confusing the situation even more. There are many brands emblazoned with organic labels and 'free from' claims. A lot of this is clever marketing rather than honest good intention. True, that infamous preservative might not be in there but what is its replacement? It might well contain organic orange peel but how much and what else is it mixed with?
Beauty Without Cruelty lipstick in Deep Plum (used as eyeshadow)
Couleur Caramel eyeshadow in 73 . W3LL People Elitist shimmer mineral shadow in 814 . Couleur Caramel eyeshadow 76
Bellapierre shimmer powder in Lucky
It is very easy to concentrate on the negatives. I have found myself doing it, almost dismissing a product because the ingredient listing wasn’t quite right.
But it is very hard to tick all the boxes and we should be championing the positives that companies are doing. Luckily though, there are many genuine brands with real ethical values that are doing a fantastic job. Giving us products that we can trust on all fronts.
After all these considerations, one very important factor - perhaps the ultimate one - is the performance. Can these eco brands live up to their conventional counterparts? Textures are definitely smoother and more refined than a few years ago and durability has vastly improved.
It is an exciting time for ‘eco’ make-up and I'm really glad to be a part of it.
When I try new products, I play on me first to get an idea of their capabilities. A number of them have made it into my own make-up bag but not quite into the kit. It is harder for eco make-up to compete, let’s face it, it is a lot of these so-called ‘nasties’ that give make-up its staying power along with other traits.
At one point I felt guilty for having products that didn’t tick any of the eco-boxes but I’ve got to be realistic and also deliver a professional service.
However that said, my kit is bursting with brilliant products that do deliver results and have impressive green credentials. I think many people think of eco make-up as thick and chalky boring browns worn by hippies. Wrong. (Well there might be a few culprits out there, but certainly not in my kit!) New green technology is being ploughed into this rapidly growing sector. As people become more aware of what they are using and demand increases even more, the quality and choice can only get better and better.
Couleur Caramel eyeshadows
And people are becoming more aware, I’ve noticed my kit becomes a bit of a talking point. Clients like the fact that I am using greener brands. Many of which are now available on the high street making it accessible for everyone rather than an exclusive club. More and more make-up artists are incorporating them into their kits as well. Another great testament to the virtues of using these products.
Eco doesn't mean compromise. You can have it all, hard working products with responsible principles behind them. I'm not claiming to know it all, far from it, just trying to promote the benefits of choosing brands that are
doing their bit for the environment and for us. Hopefully soon it won't be the case of eco and conventional, you won’t be able to differentiate between the two. It will just be the norm for all beauty brands to be playing their role in a cleaner greener industry, with full transparency of their actions.
It is an exciting time for ‘eco’ make-up and I'm really glad to be a part
Beauty Without Cruelty lipstick in Rosehip . Elysambre pink lipstick (both used as eyeshadow) . Couleur Caramel eyeshadow 111
UNE eyeliner pencil S17 . Inika mineral shadow in Burnt Sienna . Bellapierre shimmer powder in Wild Lilac
W3LL People elitist shimmer mineral shadow in 814 . Melvita lipbalm . UNE lipbalm . Couleur Caramel lipgloss