One of my largest passions in life is makeup and beauty. It’s trans-formative ability to instantly make you feel confident and comfortable is something that is completely amazing. It is an art form that is completely different from person to person, taking on different colors, shapes, and intensities with each individual. It is a massive market and part of it’s charm is it’s accessibility. From high price point to low, they is so much choice and it is so readily available.The exceptionally good news is that there is amazing quality, vegan, cruelty free products being introduced to the market every day and for reasonable pricing. It is becoming clear to cosmetics businesses that there is a market for consciously created cosmetics.
Since it is something that we put onto our skin and therefor is distributed through out our system, there are things we should be aware of to keep our health and our cruelty free standards in the forefront of our minds. Some things to be aware of when purchasing cosmetics are:
1. BHA and BHT – BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are used as synthetic antioxidants and preservatives. They sometimes serves the claim purpose that something is anti-aging and contains antioxidants. They are a common cause of skin related allergens and dermatitis. Their real danger lies in their hormone blocking abilities. The European Commission, an agency responsible for upholding the interests of the European Union including the preservation of the environment, listed BHA as a Step 1 Priority Substance which indicates that the particular chemical was responsible for endocrine disruption. BHT is a molecular twin for estrogen. This at young ages and large does can result in early onset puberty in females and can prevent the expression of male sex characteristics.This, and other estrogenic chemicals, need to be taken seriously. The average age of puberty onset (ie. first menstration) was 10-14 years of age in girls in the late 90’s. Now, the NORM for onset of puberty in girls in 8-12 years of age. What’s important about this is to understand how it effects the girls. There is an inherent loss of childhood that comes with puberty. Girls are losing 2 years of innocence and being children.
2. P-Phenylenediamine and Colours listed as “CI” followed by a 5 digit number (strictly speaking between 75000 and 77000) – All of these colourants are coal based. Yes, you read correctly. These colours are a by product of processing and burning coal. Products created and labelled in the states use a different system and typically show coal based dyes as “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”. These dyes are very unpredictable as far as their chemical composition goes and their very commonly contaminated with heavy metals, such as lead, which can be toxic to the circulatory and nervous systems.
3. DEA and TEA Related Ingredients – As already discussed in my last post, DEA and TEA are commonly occurring ingredients in the beauty world. Diethanolamin and Triethanolamine are commonly used in moisturizers and skincare products to restore the natural pH level of the skin. What is typically not disclosed is that these two chemicals are known to disturb natural hormone levels and cause allergic reactions. When washed down the drain they are also harmful to fish and other wild life.
4. Dibutyl Phthalate – Dibutyl Phthalate is described as a ‘plasticizer’, which means it is added to products to increase the fluidity of whatever product it is added to. Currently, DP is banned in the European Union. The United States has listed is as a “suspected” endocrine disruptor; however, it is still added to many beauty products such as nail polish. Please don’t bite your nails if you’re wearing nail polish.
5. DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15 – The most sneaky of all the chemicals! Formaldehyde releasers! Obviously we don’t want formaldehyde anywhere near us, it preserves deceased things, but what else does it do? Well, it can be extremely detrimental to your immune system and can lead to skin allergies. Fun fact: The formaldehyde products found in cosmetics are also in toilet bowl cleaners and vinyl flooring.
6. Parabens – As already discussed in my last post, parabens are a commonly occurring chemical in the beauty world. Propyl, Methyl and Butyl parabens are typically used to preserve products and prolong their shelf life, making it easier for companies to distribute large quantities of products and ensure that they will be able to remain on the shelf for a long, long time. They have been linked to cancer in many studies but any one who has taken a research based course in their life knows the age old adage ‘correlation does not mean causation‘; however, it is important to know that the molecular composition of parabens mimic estrogen which can lead to early on set puberty in young girls.
There are many other chemicals in cosmetics, many suspected to be hormone disruptors and reproductive toxicants (can interfere with the reproductive system of both males and females). A great resource is the David Suzuki Foundation’s list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Cosmetic Chemicals.
Now that all the sad stuff is out of the way onto my favorite part! Sharing with you all some of my most loved cruelty free cosmetics brands and the products that they make!
ColourPop – born and raised in the Californian sun, ColourPop cosmetics is one of the most affordable cruelty free brands. Relatively new on the scene, ColourPop has quickly become the favorite of YouTube beauty gurus and beauty bloggers. With a low price point and extremely satisfying pigmentation, their colourful products are the perfect addition to your collection.
What’s my favourite product? Take your pick! The formulations of all of their blushes and eye shadows feel like no other I have purchase. They feel very soft, almost mousse-like but apply like a finely milled powder. Their lip sticks and lip liner have the most beautiful creamy texture, including the matte formulations. The best news? None of the products are over $10. Yes. I know. Amazing.
Jane Iredale – Jane Iredale is a mineral makeup company established in 1994 and founded on the idea that beauty can be natural and simple. Jane has made a successful presence in the spa industry, being one of the most popular spa makeup lines. Much of the popularity is due to it’s ability to care for the skin while perfecting the appearance of it. This year they have launched their 7th SPF product and continue to create sensitivity-conscious cosmetics. Want some reasons to give it a try?
1. Lip Fixation Duo: By a complete fluke I happened to fall in love with this product. I was at a training and launch session for the newest collection from Jane and I happened to win one of these lip duos. I have never been one for touching up my lip colour and get very annoyed at rings of lip gloss on my coffee cup. This product is perfect. It dries much faster than a lot of other lip laquers that I have used and it much lighter in texture. The lip laquer is paired with a lip gloss in a complimentary shade. I love a matte lip for day, and for a easy transition to a more sultry pout the lip gloss adds a beautiful shine and sparkle. None of the colourants used in these lip colours are coal based and they are made with Tahitian vanilla extract for a subtle, yet very appealing scent. My three favourite colors are ‘Relish’ (discontinued), ‘Compulsion’, and ‘Craving’
2. Glowtime Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream: Before I begin, you need to forget everything you thought you knew about what a BB cream is. Finished? Good. The JI Glowtime BB Cream is what all BB creams should attempt to be. The consistency is thick enough to effectively neutralize the skin, hiding imperfections and evening skin tone, just the proper fluidity to blend to perfection into your skin. It is loaded with healing essentials like green tea, aloe vera juice, grapefruit extract, and sunflower seed oil. It also has an SPF of 25 for both UVA and UVB rays. I’ve found the best application for medium coverage (which is perfect for me as I have a considerable amount of pink and red tones with typically no blemishes) is to lightly buff the product onto the face with a synthetic duo fiber brush, then press it into the skin with a damp foundation sponge. This gives the perfect medium coverage with a natural dewy finish. I then set it in the t-zone with a pressed powder of my choice.
3. Purepressed Eyeshadow in ‘Rosegold’: Listen up you any beautiful people reading with green or blue eyes – you need this eyeshadow in your life. Why? Let’s have a chat about the magical thing that is the colour wheel. This wheel is your best friend for two reasons: correcting and enhancing. When considering either you look directly across the wheel from the colour you are beginning with. In this case we are looking across from blue and green. The opposing colours are orange for blue eyes and red for green eyes. Placing these tones around your eyes will enhance and intensify the colour of your eyes, almost like a sort of optical illusion. Because the colours are in such contrast with one another, they enhance each other when placed side by side. The simplicity of the wheel is a beautiful thing. We can cover the correcting in another post! My favorite method of using this colour is an all over lid colour and along the lower lash line. I never get as many compliments on my eyes as I do when I am wearing a shadow of this tone. If you want a more dramatic look for night, try wetting your brush to intensify the pigment.
4. Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation: Hooray for sun protection in an adorable compact! This light weight, SPF 20 pressed mineral foundation is perfect for any makeup lover. It is so versatile and is perfect for the sporty girl on the so who needs to not worry about protecting her skin from the sun to the makeup junkie who wanted to set her foundation after she’s successfully completed the perfect winged eyeliner. It also contains pomegranate extract which is extremely high in antioxidants, great for keeping the skin vibrant.
TooFaced – One of my favorite brands at Sephora is TooFaced, which has possibly the prettiest packaging out there. Something extremely inspiring is that cruelty free is built into their mission statement. It is something they live by and embrace while creating innovative, on trend cosmetics. As a full cosmetics range, they have some of the most pigmented products for a reasonable price. A couple things that keep bringing me back…
1. La Creme Lipstick in ‘Honey Bear’: Hiding in the sleek gold tube is one of the most luxuriously creamy lipsticks I have come across. The base is made from vegetable oil and pomegranate sterols, and comes in 23 shades. ‘Honey Bear’ is probably my most loved shade as it is a darker, mauve based nude with a bit of shimmer. It enhances your lips with out taking attention away from other facial features, perfect for pairing with a sultry cat eye or dramatic eye look.
2. Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzing Powder – It’s matte and it smells like chocolate, how could you ever wish for more. This is the perfect bronzer for warming up light to medium complexions. Many bronzers on the market contain shimmer which can make you look oily, and enhance imperfections or creases in the skin. Another appealing trait of this powder is that it applies relatively sheer, allowing you to custom build and blend your bronzer.
Becca – Based on the idea that perfecting the skin shouldn’t mean covering up all traces of it, Becca cosmetics used thoughtfully curated ingredients to compose light weight products to enhance the natural beauty that already exists. These particular two products never fail to impress…
1. Shimmering Skin Perfector in ‘Opal’: This is probably one of the most popular products in their entire line. I am a sucker for a goo highlight powder along the top of my cheek bones and on my cupids bow. This stuff is so finely milled it give you an angelic glow without looking glittery. The opalescent base give it a pink undertone which is perfect for all skin types. This product is a bit more pricey for a highlight powder; however, you get enough product to last you the entire shelf life.
2. Ultimate Creme Eyeliner in ‘Romanesque’: The most satisfying makeup to wear is winged eyeliner sharp enough it needs a warning sign. I find that this is easiest with a slender angled brush and a potted gel liner. I don’t particularly care for a glossy finish to my liner so this matte black eyeliner by Becca is perfect. It dries quickly, ensuring a smudge free application, and is long wearing, perfect for a full day of cat eye sultry stares.
Ecco Bella – Born out of a struggle to find eco and animal friendly beauty, Ecco Bella was built on the foundation of creating better beauty. Not simply better for the consumer but better for the environment and other living creatures. Ecco Bella creates beautiful cosmetics as well as skincare, organic perfume, and haircare, offering a full range of beauty products to meet the needs of all.
1. Paperback Duo Compact: One of the newest cosmetics delivery and storage systems that has become the most popular is the idea of customizable palettes. Many of these palettes are made of hard plastic and become garbage when they are finished being used. EB has come up with a recyclable palette to hold their blushes and eye shadows, reducing the garbage and wasted plastic packaging that is found with traditional cosmetics. Once the palette is finished being used, it can go in with your paper recyclables.
2. FlowerColor Blush Refills: I love blush. I think it can make a huge difference in the look of your complexion, adding a youthful brightness and glow. The blushes come in 8 colours, some of which are vegan and all are gluten-free. They are also talc free and fragrance free. These blushes are EXTREMELY pigmented so unless you are going for a clown inspired look be light handed in your application.
3. FlowerColor Eyeshadow Refill in ‘Camel’: I love my warm browns for my blue eyes. This shade is the perfect crease shade for a natural yet defined eye look. These eye shadows are naturally moisture resistant which prevents them from creasing throughout the day. All of their eye shadows are gluten-free and vegan! Similar to the blushes, EXTREMELY concentrated, be careful! You can always add more but taking away often means starting over.
4. FlowerColor Lipstick in ‘Rosewood’: All of the EB lipsticks contain one of my favourite things – Calendula oil. Calendula is a magical plant with the phenomenal ability to hydrate and heal. All of the lipsticks are gluten-free and vegan, with the exception of their pink shades with are not vegan. The feel a lot like lip balm when they are being applied as they are extremely soft and hydrating, full of vitamin E and jojoba.
The cosmetics market is extremely saturated and it continues to grow every day. The easiest way to navigate yourself away from companies that test on animals and become familiar with company names that are cruelty free. It will allow you to be more focused when shopping and know what brands to shop within.
I hope this was even a little bit helpful.
Til’ next time,
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