Beauté sans Chimiques

Everything sounds better in French….

For this week’s editorial, Shannon and I have decided to collectively take on the challenge of beauty products. By definition, you might think a beauty product is the antithesis of what we promote here at RLB, but au contraire; makeup is an everyday part of most of our lives, and whether you’re an All Out gal or Ms. Minimalist, what you use to enhance your loveliness should be just that, enhancement. We believe that makeup should never hide the real you, but only help you flaunt what you’ve got.

To that end, I’ve embraced natural products whenever possible, because I believe what I put on/in my body matters. Increasing your risk of cancer just to look better is not worth it, in my humble opinion. I mean, have you heard of Stelera? CariDee English, a Top Model winner, suffered from psoriasis, so she now promotes a drug that not only has a daunting list of possible side effects, but they actually include the following: a higher risk of cancer, a “rare and potentially fatal brain disorder,” seizures, severe allergic reactions, upper respiratory infections, and so on and so on…. Don’t get me wrong, psoriasis sounds like it sucks – but to what lengths are we willing to go to simply Look Better?

Most of us are lucky enough to not suffer from a condition as serious as Ms. English, and admittedly I can’t fully empathize with her position. But here at RLB we want to find beauty solutions that won’t potentially kill you. Makeup doesn’t usually carry such serious risks, but when there are all natural products out there that actually work, why not use them? If your choices are concealer that might give you cancer* and concealer that won’t, isn’t that a no-brainer?

So, here’s how this will work: It turns out Shannon needs a lot of new makeup, so she’s going to be the field-tester for my recommendations. I’ll gush about some all-natural products that I love, and she will choose some to run out and purchase like a good little consumer. We have different skin types and colors, so this is some real world data, people. Clearly I love these products, but what happens when an everyday gal reading a beauty article decides to try the touted delights for herself? Stay tuned to find out….

Okay, disclaimer up front: I have a small, not-so-secret obsession with Josie Maran and her beauty line. Josie Maran is one of those women it would be easy to get all jealous and snarky about if we were that kind of blog. Thankfully, we’re not, so instead we just get to talk about how Amazing she is and how killer her products are.

Let’s start with the Best Concealer on the Planet:
I have dark circles like whoa. Genetically stubborn, ambitious, permanent dark circles. It doesn’t matter if I have three hours of sleep or ten, if I hydrate like it’s going out of style or get my water only from wine for the day – they are always there. Concealer is my “I will never leave the house without _________.” Hell, it’s my “I won’t even sit around the house without _____________.” What if someone randomly stops by? Without concealer they’ll worry that I’m sick or exhausted, or on really bad days that I’ve been in a bar fight and came away with two black eyes.

Enter my favorite concealer ever. The argan oil is moisturizing, so this stuff is never cakey and never dries out my delicate eye skin, even in the midst of a desert summer.

Yes, it’s a small investment. In fact, none of the products on this page are the $2 wonders you’ll find at Walgreens, but they work, it feels like they last forever, and they’re not filled with unpronounceable chemicals either.

There is no waterproof version of this, so if you’re a crier you might need to look elsewhere. But for a little extra oomph on your peepers, try this mascara for two – one for you, one for a cancer patient/survivor:

Now, S tells me she needs new foundation. I don’t use foundation and I never have. People put it on me when I have to be in front of a camera, but otherwise I prefer to let my freckles do their thing. I’ve heard raves about this lighter, more natural-looking alternative to foundation, tinted moisturizer, so I’m going to recommend that S try my girl Josie’s offering:

This brand is in the process of phasing out parabens and other nasties, so you have to read their labels if you want to be sure you’re avoiding them. Luckily, this stuff is paraben-free, so I get to keep using it.

In lieu of foundation, I use just a touch of powder in what I think of as my I-Zone. It’s not a T-Zone, because I don’t put it on my forehead (my bangs are my favorite accessory). All I need is a little camouflage for the redness that happens around my nose, upper lip and chin. So in truth it’s more of a small i.

I don’t use the poof directly on my face, but instead I tap a brush onto the poof and then apply the powder from the brush. It’s a less heavy-handed application, and makes my face look just a touch more flawless.

Does anyone else feel like Greeks are way smarter than the rest of us? They eat amazingly well, live by the sea, and they don’t put chemicals in their makeup. At least the Greeks behind Korres don’t. Smarty smart pantses.

Primer, because ageing happens:
(No, I did not misspell ageing. It’s how the Greeks spell it, see below. And they’re smarter than me, see above). Yes, yes, you may think primer is pointless – but I swear to you, Girl Scout’s Honor, primer makes your makeup stay on longer. It smooths out the canvas before you even begin. This primer has the added bonus of smoothing out little ageing lines, though S is youthful enough that she can stick with the regular version.

Lip Butter:
Just try this stuff. I dare you.

I encourage everyone to take a look at the ingredients listed for Tarte Cheek Stain. At first glance, it can look like a string of chemicals, but do a little googling and you’ll find that everything in there is mineral and plant-based. Even Red 40, which is derived from coal. No one said being a chemical conscientious consumer would be easy, but it sure is interesting!

What are chemicals most often used for? (Pop Quiz!) Answer: Preservatives. In the case of Tarte Cheek Stain (aka, Blush), we have proof that chemicals are not Needed as preservatives. I bought this shade, Blushing Bride, back when I was a blushing bride, and that was Three Years Ago, people. Three. Years. I still have it, it still works, and I’m estimating another six months or so before I actually run out.

The details are all in the name – Bare products made from Minerals. I’ve used a few of their products before and have always likes the company, but the following will be a new endeavor for me and Shannon alike….

While scouring Sephora for my favs, I stumbled on this au natural eyeliner and seriously, look at that blue! You’re all dying to try this, I can tell. So long, boring blacks and browns! Time to summer things up a bit with a splash of Blue. We’ll report back and let you know if it’s as awesome as it looks.

*There is a debate about whether or not parabens actually cause cancer in humans. Studies have proven that parabens cause cancer in animals (specifically rats), and they have been linked to the development of tumors in human breast tissue. Parabens are found in a lot of cosmetic products, not just your deodorant. If you decide you want to avoid them, you can start with the products listed above, or visit to learn more about natural beauty products.

3 thoughts on “Beauté sans Chimiques

  1. Very interesting – being Ms. Minimalist myself (powder, maybe mascara) most of the time, you found a way to make this interesting! My hubby has psoriasis (he takes a similar med – Humira) so I can speak a bit to the non-cosmetic symptoms — it’s like an auto-immune inflammatory disease that is not really a skin condition, but presents on the skin in itchy, sometimes painful scales. Topical treatments (like tea tree oil, olive oil, etc) only provide a little skin relief, but don’t actually address the internal inflammation. He gets psoriatic arthritis in some joints which is a bit different from osteoarthritis. He gets flare-ups in his joints that are really painful, and he’s got a high pain tolerance, so I’m guessing it’s really bad. I hate the increased risk of lymphoma associated with his Humira; it’s an immuno-suppressant so he’s also more susceptible to getting sick. 😦 ALL THAT BEING SAID…… Those are some high prices to pay for beauty! I hope she’s not promoting it solely based on that!!

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