The other day, a friend of mine who is not so much with the Instagram, was surprised to learn that I post and write about makeup on my account there. You see, dear readers, she sees me every day and witnesses, in-person, the very scant amount of visible cosmetics I wear on the daily. In fact, to further confess, even when I do wear makeup, unless I’m doing a bold, red lip (I have decided that this is the one real and true symbol of chic adulthood….), I kinda don’t want it to even look like I’m wearing makeup. I just want to look like a fresher, more well-rested, more yoga-ed up version of myself. My goal is never to have someone compliment my masterful application of blush and/or highlighter. Rather, I would much prefer someone to say, “You look amazing! Did you just come back from a week at a spa?“
So, in one way, it is kind of funny that I post about makeup. But here’s the deal. I don’t post, write about, or espouse just any old concoction that make its way into my bathroom. I have three criteria for each and every product I post – no exceptions:
1. It has to be a product I have used over a long period of time.
2. It has to be a product I really love and would advise my best girlfriends to use.
3. It has to be SAFE.
And I have to say, number three is the biggie, y’all, and it’s the only reason I bother posting about beauty products at all. Here’s why those seemingly frivolous posts about lip gloss are majorly, majorly serious to me: I want women (and men) to stop poisoning themselves with toxic, cancer-related chemicals, just to look their best. We don’t have to risk our health to look pretty. And when you think about it, how ridiculous is it to make ourselves sick in an effort to make ourselves look well?
(And PS, this is not totally our fault. There should be protections in place to keep toxic, cancer-related products off our shelves, and away from our bodies. However, as we see every day with the food industry, the companies with the most lobbying money and power are the ones who get heard, not necessarily the folks working to make products safer, or, at the very least, pushing for proper labeling so that consumers can make the choice themselves. This story is a long, sad one that needs its own research and time, and probably its own post. That said, we are living in the information age, and we can educate ourselves. And fortunately, as personal missions align with popular demand, companies are popping up every day that believe that beauty can be beneficial, and that, dare I say it, safe can be sexy.)
My first beauty posts were all skincare related, as I am a skincare first, makeup second kind of girl. When I found True Nature Botanicals, a high-end, non-toxic brand, with a mission I believe in and made by people I adore, I felt compelled to spread the word to anyone and everyone who would listen. I started with my friends and family, and then, as I found a smart, thriving and welcoming green beauty community on Instagram, I started posting pics and reviews there, too. I even did ten days of pretending to be a green beauty blogger, and I was thrilled to hear that so many flesh and blood friends, as well as friends of the cyber variety, were reading the posts and making changes in their lives. Igniting even a small spark of change is as gratifying to me as teaching a well-balanced yoga class or writing a paragraph or two I feel proud of. And it's helping people change their lives for the better. For reals.
Now, I’ve found that once you enter into the world of green beauty and start doing your research, there’s really no going back. What started with skin care, eventually led to me throwing out anything and everything toxic from my makeup, my bodycare and my haircare, too. Gorgeous, expensive lipsticks went in the trash when I saw their ratings on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. After all, anything in a lip color that’s not absorbed into the skin is quite literally eaten with our food throughout the day. Who wants tube after tube of toxic chemicals mixed in with their organic kale salad? Not me. I must admit that I did keep the gorgeous tins I bought in Paris at the Guerlain boutique, but the meteorites that came inside them? Into the garbage - along with various compacts from Dior, Chanel and Bobbi Brown. All of it, GONE. Aveeno body lotion was replaced with a gorgeous blend of essential oils from Kahina Giving Beauty, and today, in the place once occupied by my once-beloved Oribe haircare is a rotation of shampoos and conditioners from True Nature Botanicals, Evolvh, and the incredible Josh Rosebrook.
So, while it is true that I am not a total makeup addict, with a 10-step face-of-the-day situation, I do use beauty products every single day, as I'm sure most of you do, too. And if I feel strongly enough to spread the word on more nutritious food choices or the immense benefits of yoga and fitness, why not share another way to live a healthier life? And if just one person makes just one change, isn’t that worth it? I think so.
Anyhoo, I hope you find all of this compelling enough to really look at what’s in the products you’re putting on your own gorgeous bodies. And maybe you’ll decide treat yourself and your loved ones to a little green goodness this holiday season. Here are some great places to start:
If you’re interested in this green beauty thing and you’re not already following me on Instagram, look for me there as @the_goodness_. As for other great, green, beauty accounts to follow there, I worship at the beautifully pedicured feet of @thegreenproductjunkie and green retailers like @thechoosychick. I also love the accounts from two of my favorite green beauty brands, Kari Gran (@karigranskin) and RMS Beauty (@RMSBeauty). Also, @organicbunny throws a truth bomb like no one else – she does a ton of research and really lets you know why so-called “conventional” beauty products are made from some of the ugliest compounds you can put on your person. She also shines a light on great product swaps, and is clearly much, much better at real makeup application than I ever will be.
Oh, and one last thing: no one pays me anything to write about their products. And while every once in a blue moon someone kind sends me something to try, I only write about products I use over a long period of time and really love. So if you see it here or on my Insta, you know it’s something I really and truly recommend – after 20 years in advertising, I can spot a shill a mile away, and I’m sure you can, too.
Until next time, y’all.