I bet you all can already guess I love cosmetics. A brand new tube of lipstick always puts a smile on my face, I am not ashamed to admit it. I have tried all sorts of colors, types, department store, drugstore, expensive, cheap…I’ve tried it.
Over the past year I have devoted myself to educating myself and others about the dangers in typical over the counter cosmetics and beauty products. I never thought beauty products were unhealthy, I believed in all the print ads and the pretty models when they said this one product is going to make a difference in your life. I felt special when I raided the Clinique counter of their facial cleansers and toners, I loved the eye shadows at MAC.
Then a friend started selling a direct sales brand of cosmetics and I was in heaven all over again. I had personalized service and she ran a tab for me as well so I could always have what I wanted, and believe me I used every single item that was offered: cleansers, masks, microdermabraision, moisturizers, toners, eye cream, something to even out my skin tone…and all of this was before I actually put any makeup on. Then came the color and primers and everything else. I had the best eye shadows ever in my entire life, a whole selection of lipsticks and liners and glosses. I enjoyed doing myself up every day.
Then the line changed their formulation for their cosmetics: they came out with a powder mineral foundation that was supposed to be the greatest thing, they changed the formulation of eye shadows from whatever they were to mineral, their lipsticks became scented with vanilla…suddenly cosmetics weren’t as fun anymore. The mineral foundation was full of talc (which my face did not like) the eye shadows did not last on my eyelids, the eye primer made my eyes burn, the mascara made the inside of my eyelids break out, and I cannot stand the smell of fake vanilla.
So I started my search for healthier cosmetics. It didn’t happen overnight, I spent tons of time online looking for eye shadows, lipsticks, and especially foundation, and not only foundation, but there were veils and sheers and all this other stuff THAT WAS LOOSE.
Everything came in little jars, and you needed fluffy brushes to apply. All sorts of brushes: contouring, lining, blush, foundation and lets not forget the numbers of the brushes. I can’t keep them straight. Whatever happened to the little sponge applicators? I liked the little sponge applicators, they work for me. I never bought the line that brushes had to be used to get a more professional, polished look.
Lets go back to my issue: everything is loose. Loose foundations, eye shadows, blushes, veils, shimmers, bronzers. Touch ups are no longer a simple compact with a little pad, now you have to carry around the container and the coordinating brush. Even though there are those new “locking lids”, its really difficult to be discreet when you have to click open the container, shake product onto the lid, then take the kabuki brush and swirl it around, while not trying to shake the powder all over you and everyone else.
The eye shadows: love the colors, hate the big mess, hate the brushes. The days of clicking open a compact and having colors there in one place are long gone, now we have messy jars and brushes and mess. There’s more glittery colors out there than matte, and I am of the age where I am not into glitter. Also, for the most part colors come individually, so instead of having a set of colors together that compliment one another, you have to figure out on your own what color goes with which other colors. Believe me when I say I once ordered from one shop four different times trying to get the right brown.
Samples are cool, but there still isn’t enough product to make a difference. I have a collection of 20 different colors of foundation powders, What I thought was the right color when I put it on turned out to NOT be the right color after the oils on my face broke through (which doesn’t take long, stupid skin) so I turned to another sample. I used almost the entire thing on my face so I didn’t have a whole lot to touch up with, so I used a lighter color, which made my face look as if I dipped it into a floured cake pan.
I got fed up. I wanted to take all of my jars and dime bags and huck the whole entire wad into the garbage can…but then I found hope. Hope in a plastic Petri dish looking container. I finally came across a foundation that was not a powder, that did not need brushes, that didn’t change color over the course of the day and blended into my skin so flawlessly due to its yummy oils I didn’t need an exact color, the foundation came in three colors and the “deep” suited me perfectly.
I did end up finding a pressed mineral powder, so I consider the face part of my makeup routine taken care of. I am still looking for healthy pressed eye shadow. I love eye shadow but I simply hate the mess that comes with all of the little jars. Today, out of frustration and just to be pissy, I went to the drugstore and actually bought a $2.99 pressed eye shadow trio in three very pretty colors. Each color is imprinted with where the color should go: Brow bone, Crease, Lid, and there’s a sponge applicator as well as a little brush for application. Eye shadow for Dummies. Love it. On the back of the compact I am promised “all day crease-resistant color, and the coordinating shades take the guesswork out of creating the perfect eye look”. Hey, if its written it must be true, right? I am going to get a lot for my $2.99, right? As soon as I got into my car I put it on, and as soon as I sat down at work my eyes started to water, but I didn’t let it bother me because I had product that was easy to work with. I got a box of tissues and dealt with it, eventually it went away.
Fast forward to about 8 hours later, I am still at work, writing this article and looking at my new eye shadows in their pretty little black case. I realize I have to peel away at some labeling in order to find the ingredients, which was a pain because I was supposed to separate the back label, not rip the entire thing off. Eventually I came across the ingredient list. I will only point out the ingredients I know are bad and there’s a word or two I can’t even pronounce: Talc (that might ingredient that made me switch to natural cosmetics after my face broke out in an oozy, drippy rash), Dimethicone, Trimethylisiloxysilicate (a silicone derivative, the Cosmetics Database considers it a low hazard ingredient), Nylon-12, (a bulking and opacifying agent, considered a clay alternative in reducing shine, is able to expand and contract with facial movements without filling in small lines, creating a full and smooth appearance, is considered hypoallergenic and sterile), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite all I can find is that it’s an artificial mica), Methyl and Propylparabens, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Tin Oxide (I am just going to give the link to the OSHA listing for Tin Oxide and leave it at that http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heathguidelines/tinoxide/recognition.html ).And this is about half the ingredients. MAY CONTAIN: Aluminum Powder, Carmine, Ferric Ferrocyanide (inorganic pigments used as colorants. Also known as Iron Blue, Prussian Blue, and is known as the antidote to chronic Thallium poisoning), among other things.
Seriously. I think I can deal with the messiness more than an ingredient list such as the one I listed above.
I am on the hunt for healthy pressed eye shadows now.