Posts Tagged ‘makeup’

It’s been about three months since I started using clean cosmetics, and things are going well. I finally finished off that first beet and am onto my second – not bad! At this rate, I’ll be getting 9 months worth of blush out of three beets. I also just finished off my first activated charcoal capsule, which means the bottle of 50 capsules could potentially last me 150 months, or a little over 12 years. Hmm, 12 years worth of eyebrow filler and black eyeliner for $10.99? I dare you to find something that works just as well for less cash.

The first bottles of Aubrey shampoo and conditioner are still in the shower – I use them about once every four days, and Jay uses them only when he gets a haircut. We’re not even halfway through our Dr. Bronner’s eucalyptus castile soap-turned-shower-gel. We’ve hardly made a dent in our Jojoba oil-turned-moisturizer. I’ve replaced my Aubrey face wash (because I finished it) with a $6 bottle of Dr. Bronner’s lavender castile soap, which will last me eons, since I only need a few drops per wash. That’s like $70 for months of cleansers, makeup, and moisturizers. (And some for two people!) The financial savings is just an added bonus.

The real benefit is how much better my skin and hair look. I’m able to enjoy my natural curls instead of blow-drying my hair straight every day and watching it frizz in the humidity. Though my skin still gets that “dewy” look (sounds way better than oily), I haven’t gotten a concealer-worthy zit in three months, despite my hormones’ best attempts.  Probably my favorite part is how low-maintenance it is! No three-step cleansing routine. No layers of makeup, since I don’t need much. No tired arms from holding up the blow drier for 20 minutes.

Another step we’ve taken, mainly just for our benefit, is adding a filter to our shower head. (That was especially fun, since our old shower head was a custom fancy one.) Our shower water no longer smells like chlorine, and I feel okay about washing my face and body in there. Jay swears his skin is less dry, too. Though ours came free with our Big Berkey water filter, you can buy them right at stores like Home Depot. We’re also still using good ‘ole vinegar and baking soda to clean, though we’ve expanded our horizons by adding essential oils to the mix. At least then our counters smell like something other than fish n’ chips! (If anyone from work is reading this, I added it just for you.)

Now that summer’s coming around, our next step is to look into clean sunscreens (i.e. those with titanium dioxide and/or zinc as the active ingredient and not much else) and decent bug repellant. For sun protection on my face, I was thinking of trying this. Since I’m saving so much on cosmetics, I can splurge! As for the rest of me, we’ll see. It doesn’t spend too much time in the sun. We’ve already tried one bug repellant, and the jury’s still out on it. It’s a mix of essential oils, water, and almond oil as a carrier. We initially made it for Shadow (the dog), but since she’s deathly afraid of spray bottles, we’re using it on ourselves instead. Now if I could only have this much willpower and commitment when it comes to what I eat!

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…and it’s not because I am a sloppy beet-eater. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a beet on purpose.  I have beet juice on my face because I put it there. On purpose.

But before you write me off as being insane, let me back up a moment.  Part of the whole “better environment” thing I’ve been blogging about includes taking into consideration what we’re exposing ourselves to by using the products we use, both for cleaning and as cosmetics. We’ve always been pretty mindful of what we use, and have, for the most part, purchased cruelty-free products. There are two issues with that:

1.     Cruelty free doesn’t necessarily mean chemical-free.

2.     Just because it doesn’t harm animals, doesn’t mean it’s not harming us.

We’d been focusing so much on what we were ingesting through our mouths that we neglected to think about what we were absorbing through our skin. The fact that our skin is the largest organ in our body and can absorb pretty much anything we slather on it should have made me consider it sooner.

Why now? Maybe it’s because now that I feel okay about my diet, I can focus on other things. Maybe it’s because that, back in the day, I remember slathering egg yolk on my face as a cleansing mask, and it worked well. (And throughout the years, I’ve heard of many homemade remedies that work.) Maybe it’s because, as of late, my skin has been a total mess.  Whatever the reason, my next crusade is to “clean up” my cosmetics.

I’ve already been using jojoba oil, which I consider a miracle worker. It’s a great moisturizer, makeup remover, and replacement for Neosporin, as it has antibiotic qualities. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg . . .

Over the weekend, I devoured the book No More Dirty Looks after hearing about it in a video. This book cemented my feelings about cosmetics, and I highly recommend that you read it. Even the so-called “organic” and “natural” products I’ve been using have all sorts of unpronounceable chemicals that I don’t want getting into my body.

The good news is options are out there; those you can purchase, and those you can make. We plan to eventually be making many of the products we use, from bathroom cleaners to body lotions, but it will take a lot of time. In the meantime, No More Dirty Looks has great suggestions for easy options and “clean” products (when it comes to cosmetics).

Which brings me back to beets. One of the cheap and easy suggestions the book makes is to use beet juice as blush. Since the blush currently in my makeup kit is definitely full of crap I don’t want sitting on my face all day, I decided to give it a try. As I was at The Living Earth buying clean shampoo and conditioner, I picked up a bushel of beets. They apparently can stay good forever in the fridge.

This morning, instead of brushing on the blush, I sliced off a piece of beet, pressed my finger to it, and then rubbed it onto my face where blush would normally go.

You have to admit, it doesn’t look half-bad! And since beets are full of antioxidants, why not rub it on my skin every day? Talk about long-lasting, too. Have you ever had beet juice stain your fingers?

My next step: find some “clean” foundation and eye shadow, so I’m not just walking around with beet juice on my face. The book suggests using activated charcoal as a liner and/or dark shadow.

A great resource to find “clean” cosmetics and see how what you use rates: www.cosmeticdatabase.com . I’ve been using it for months now to make decisions on sunscreens and see how bad the products I use really are.

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