Tag Archives: cosmetics


19 Mar

I have so many video/post ideas, and a few videos that are almost 100% edited, BUT I have been short on time since early February. So if anyone is wondering: yes, more content is coming!

I also wanted to talk about how great it is that there seem to be ever more articles (newspaper/blog) on non-toxic cosmetics and household products. I was surprised to see articles on TheGloss (or an affiliated site, Blisstree, I don’t remember) on lead-free lipsticks, and making your own mascara. Over the last few years, beauty blogs have occasionally tested or mentioned natural products, but I have the feeling that bloggers are starting to take natural products and toxicity issues more seriously. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the tides are seriously turning.

Of course, the increased availability of actual products that respond to increasing demand for less/no toxins is fab as well. The increasing demand itself is reassuring to a certain extent; I am obviously glad that people are aware of potential dangers and are requesting better formulations, even better regulations for household and cosmetic products. However some have said that this phenomenon (household purges and then purchase of “green” products) is a fad, or just another way from consumers to continue to consume albeit with a lighter conscience. Does that make sense? I may be expressing myself badly. The New York Times recently ran an article that takes on this issue:

Is It Safe to Play Yet? Going to Extreme Lengths to Purge Household Toxins

I’d like to think that the motivation behind a switch to natural products is always honest (often it is done in the hopes of protecting your infant/child, as discussed in the article above), however there are ways of going about your switch that are better for the environment than others. The NYT article references the fact that many are perpetuating the cycle of consumerism despite having good intentions, which can be true. When you toss toxic products, you don’t have to replace each and every one with a “green” alternative. You could take this opportunity to think about your needs: what items can I actually completely live without but only feel like I need? A lot of specialized household cleaning products are superfluous, and a lot of others can be easily made at home or replaced by an effective natural all-purpose cleaner. Beauty salespeople/bloggers/vloggers definitely feed a consumer’s perceived need for a complete palette of eyeshadow (lipstick, etc) shades, but you can achieve most looks with a pretty simple makeup kit. I have a video planned for this topic and will hopefully be able to record it soon.

My head is totally buzzing with more ideas but I am, as usual, pressed for time. I will hopefully come back to these topics soon, in the meantime, thanks for reading!


Evaluating and shopping for natural products

17 Jan

This video is a general overview of some toxic ingredients and a bit of a shopping guide. Hopefully you’ll find it useful! There are some links to other, excellent, shopping guides and ingredient lists below the video.

Just Beautiful Personal Care Products Shopping Guide (Environmentaldefence.ca)

Dirty Dozen Pocket Shopper’s Guide (David Suzuki Foundation)

Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics (Environmental Working Group)

*edit* Maybe a list of the ingredients I name in the video would be helpful! Should have posted this originally:

  1. Synthetic/coal tar dyes
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Fragrance/parfum
  4. Hydroquinone
  5. Mineral oil (another note: it coats your skin, locking in moisture, which is the so-called “hydrating” effect advertised for certain products, but it prevents the skin from releasing toxins; it’s an artificial way of having “hydrated” skin)
  6. Parabens
  7. Polyethylene glycol/propylene glycol (and 1-4-dioxane)
  8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  9. Talc
  10. Triclosan
  11. Oxybenzone (disappointingly, is present in my Origins lipstick)

A less toxic kind of tutorial

7 Jan

I’ve decided to film some makeup tutorials, not because I am an expert but because there are not all that many natural/less-toxic makeup tutorials available online, and I’ve done quite a bit of product testing so I thought I would put that to work. This is a basic look but I’m planning on filming some slightly more advanced tutorials in the future; mostly re-creating popular looks, however.

Anyway, on to the video!

Products used:

  • Avene: Eau thermale
  • Green Beaver: Gluten-free lip balm
  • Couleur Caramel: Teint Hydracotton, cream foundation, in colour #2
  • Tarte: Dark Circle Defense concealer, in Fair/Light
  • BareMinerals: Eye shadows in Nob Hill and Queen Phyllis, and Big & Bright Eyeliner in Black.
  • Physicians Formula: OrganicWear mascara in Black, and pressed powder in Light.
  • BareEscentuals: Lipstick in Rock Candy.


Why make the switch? Why choose natural cosmetics?

26 Dec


Studies on phthalates:

and the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate

Review: a few RMS beauty products

5 Dec

So the video above gives you a bit of an impression of what the products are like, and I’ll go into a bit more detail here. I hope you can see that they all go on very easily, you can use just your fingers. It is probably hard to tell from a Mac-filmed video, but when I went out for the day, my skin was glowing. The products feel amazing on your skin, but I do have the following tips:

Un-cover up: blend well, apply a couple of layers (waiting a bit between applications), but don’t expect full coverage.

Living luminizer: DO NOT APPLY TO ENTIRE EYELID – I don’t want to sound dramatic, but if you apply this any higher than the few millimitres closest to your lash line, your eyelid will feel greasy-sticky. Keep it AWAY from your crease! Apply liberally to your cheekbones/wherever you want to glow. It is not shimmery or sparkly, it simply creates a warm glow.

Lip2Cheek in Modest: apply lip balm/make sure skin is well hydrated before applying, since this is a stain-like product. It will not provide much hydration but the colour is gorgeous and a little goes a very long way.

Quick take on RMS Beauty overall:

  • Most ingredients are organic.
  • There is not a single toxic (or potentially toxic) ingredient in any of the RMS products except one of the Lip2Cheek colours (where there is 0.5% synthetic colouring; all the other colours are beautiful so you can easily avoid it if you want to).
  • The packaging is recyclable: the glass pots with metal lids as well as the paper box they come in. You could even re-use the little glass pots if you want.
  • You will receive a sample of another of their products with your order, which is nice since their products aren’t available in any stores where I live, and investing $25+ in something I might not like is hard to do!
What I really appreciate is that RMS isn’t one of those “natural” brands that excludes recognizable toxic ingredients but throws in a whole lot of hard-to-evaluate ingredients instead. RMS sticks to oils, butters and natural colorants that we can be almost certain have few (if any, really) harmful effects.

You can visit rmsbeauty.com for more information (or to make a purchase, if you feel inclined to do so. There is free shipping on orders over $25, which basically means free shipping on almost everything, since most products are $30+ 🙂 )

Hope that was helpful!

(Brief) Book Reviews!

2 Dec

In the video I say that the first book is the least useful, but the last one isn’t particularly fantastic either and might be even less interesting than the first, considering that it doesn’t provide recipes using somewhat uncommon ingredients (which the first book does).

So here’s the list of the titles and authors:

  1. Les Produits Cosmétiques au Naturel: jeunesse et beauté avec les plantes de Brézil et de l’Amazone, by Estelle Guerven.
  2. There’s Lead in Your Lipstick, by Gillian Deacon
  3. No More Dirty Looks, by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt
  4. Bien Choisir vos Cosmétiques: comment préserver votre peau et votre santé, by Laurence Wittner
  5. Les Cosmétiques bio: leur histoire, leur création, leur futur, by Maria Bardoulat
I had a few more thoughts about the two English books since making the above video, so here goes!

The tone in “No More Dirty Looks” is conversational and casual, but I didn’t really enjoy the whole “bear with us we know this law/government stuff is totally boring” thing. I’m thinking, if you picked up this book you’re ready for some serious information, but it did keep the tone light.
At the end of the book they talk about broader lifestyle topics and occasionally get a bit preachy or condescending, depending on how you look at it. While dealing with the topic of eating eggs, they say eat them if you must, but “may we suggest cage-free?” My thoughts were: yes you may, but we cannot all afford it. Overall they seem to mean well and give really decent advice. I really appreciate that they did a lot of testing on themselves. Their anecdotes are fun little asides; they talk about getting all-natural highlights and other stuff.

“There’s Lead in your Lipstick” is a bit dryer, but as I mentioned in the video, it’s very nice to have a book written by a Canadian, I know I’ll be able to find most of the products somewhere in my city or on a site that will ship to Canada. The author’s motivation in writing this book was her research and experience when she found out she had cancer, so I have faith in her good intentions. Both books include do-it-yourself recipes, so if you want to control the ingredients touching your skin as much as possible, they’ll help you do that too.

These are just a few among dozens of books on this topic available at my library. I’ll probably post more reviews as I do more research, and please feel free to give me your recommendations if you have any!