There was a time, not so long ago, that I would walk into a mega beauty store like Sephora and become almost dizzy from excitement. The options, the colors, the promises of flawless skin and mile long lashes! It was almost too much. Even though I was hoarding baskets full of makeup at home, I would drop a whole lotta cash on a sack of pretty packaged palettes and pots, without ever really thinking about what I was slathering on my face.
Cosmetics or Chemical Cocktails?
I did an overhaul on my makeup a couple of years ago, and now you better believe I’m researching and contemplating for weeks before I add anything to my (minimalist compared to what it was) collection of makeup. Not all of it is perfectly natural, but it has to be two things: a) void of animal or animal derived ingredients and b) not tested on animals. My goal lately has been to move to more natural, simple cosmetics. One thing I’ve realized is that if you want toxic-free vegan makeup made of natural ingredients, you better be prepared to drop a little more cash. That is, unless you make you own (wink, wink ;))
Here are just a few reasons you might want to switch to natural cosmetics:
- A percentage of what you smear on your skin, ends up in your bloodstream. In fact, it does so at a rate even faster than if you swallowed it. Which is why you hear the saying, “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.”
- Cosmetics are poorly regulated by the FDA. In the U.S. only 11 ingredients are banned from cosmetics, but the European Union’s stricter safety standards have banned over 1,400 ingredients.
- Beware the word “fragrance” on cosmetics and skincare. Manufacturers can hide hundreds of chemicals behind this one word, and it’s legal.
- The following carcinogenic ingredients are NOT required to be listed on cosmetics: Formeldahyde, 1, 4-dioxane (from SLSs, PEGs and other ingredients ending in -eth) and nitrosamines. Basically that conventional lip palette is like a box of toxins, you never know what you’re gonna get (said in my best Forrest Gump voice).
For more information on the toxicity of your cosmetics and skincare, visit the Environmental Working Group’s website, where you can read oodles of articles on chemicals in cosmetics. One of my favorite features on ewg.org is a database that allows you to search through thousands of items to determine if your product gets the greenlight safety rating. I could list an entire three pages regarding the chemicals in our skin care and makeup and the possible health risks of applying these highly penetrable substances to our skin. Everything from reproductive problems, birth defects, endocrine disruption, carcinogens, allergens, and more. Ugghh… I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.
Why I Look for the Leaping Bunny
Another reason I don’t get a thrill from strolling down the aisles of conventional makeup and skincare anymore is because I learned the truth about animal testing. I think it’s something that most of us don’t want to think about. I know I didn’t. The price of the lotion is good, it’s in a pretty bottle, it’s right here at my favorite store… It’s convenient. I didn’t want to believe or think about the possibility that animals suffered and died so I could moisturize my hands, or have lavender-colored eyelids. Buying cruelty-free may take a smidge more consideration (look for that leaping bunny), and some products cost a bit more, but to me it is so worth it to not give my dollars to companies that perform cruel and painful tests on bunnies, guinia pigs, mice, and many other animals (yes dogs and cats are used in animal testing too). Testing is unnecessary, and this is evidenced by the numerous companies that do not test on animals. For more information visit the Humane Society’s website, or peta.org for searchable databases listing thousands of products. Here are some of the brands that still test on animals (according to peta.org):
- Mary Kay
- Bobbi Brown
- St. Ives
- AND MANY MORE
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but these are the major drugstore brands that most of us have used and I know I used for most of my life. My makeup bag through my teens and 20s was chock full of the first 5 brands. They were inexpensive, came in fun colors, and I could buy them anywhere, even the grocery store! The more expensive brands are not above testing on animals, either. I listed a few above but Benefit, Laura Mercier, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Yves Saint Lorent and Make Up Forever all routinely test on animals. I really don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but instead a, erm… Shari Sharer and pass on the information that I too, was unaware of or not willing to hear for so long. Like I said, I’m no saint! In fact, in doing this research I realized that the diapers I just picked up for my daughter, (Pampers, because they were on sale) are tested on animals (they actually force the animals to ingest the materials used to fill them, not just make them wear diapers around, fyi). I had no idea… now I know.
Natural, 3 Ingredient Lip and Cheek Stain
Anyway, my apologies if this post is getting wayyy too heavy! I mean, you’re here for some glowing, rosy cheeks and perfectly pouty pink lips, am I right?? I’m super excited about this lip and cheek stain because it’s inexpensive, easy, and actually looks great!
I’ve been wanting to make my own lip and cheek tint for a long time, but the majority of DIYs I found online required using raw beets and cooking them to extract the juice and then mixing that with an oil to create a stain. I skipped the whole beet juicing/cooking thing and used beet powder, which is just dehydrated beets ground very fine. I bought organic beet powder at my health food store, and it was just a couple bucks for an ounce or so, which is way more than enough powder to make this lip and cheek stain for the rest of the year. After trying all of the carrier oils I have (jojoba, hemp seed, sweet almond) I opted to use a mixture of mostly vegetable glycerin and jojoba. Vegetable glycerin has the perfect consistency and I found the beet powder did not separate from it like with some of the oils. Also, vegetable glycerin will provide a small amount of natural preservative if kept at a 50-75% concentration. So your lovely homemade cheek and lip stain will last longer.
WIN 2 of the Lip/Cheek Tint Ingredients!
Organic Vegetable glycerin and pure jojoba oil are two of the fabulous prizes you could win by entering my Get Gorgeous Giveaway, which by the way ends in only 4 DAYS! The vegetable glycerin in the giveaway is from Moondrop Herbals, one of my favorite local, trusted shops for quality herbs and oils. It is sourced from Mountain Rose Herbs, and is made from organic, non-GMO soy. Other companies may use corn, coconut, and even palm (which I would avoid) to make their vegetable glycerin, which is why it’s important to buy organic, and important to know what plants are used to make it.
Here I am with the lip and cheek stain on, and as you can see it is very subtle, which I like! You could probably amp up the intensity of the color by adding more beet powder, but be sure to add it gradually. It takes a little bit of blending, as with most tints, to get it just right, but it is very moisturizing. I’m not going to say a stain like this is going to work for everybody. If you have very oily skin, you may not like it. In fact, for anyone applying this, I would skip moisturizer/oil on your cheeks. Otherwise that might be too many layers of oil. I usually add a little translucent powder on top of the stain to set it. It will add a soft color to your lips, too but it is by no means long lasting. Still, I thought it was pretty and natural looking.
This lip and cheek stain is perfect for imparting a soft. rosy, and healthy glow on a crisp cool fall day, and is easy on the pocketbook and your conscience.
Easy 3 Ingredient Lip and Cheek Stain
1 tablespoon organic vegetable glycerin
1 tsp jojoba oil
1 tsp beet root powder
Grab a small jar with a lid and mix the ingredients together. That’s it! You’re done, now get blushing.
To use: Dip in a clean makeup brush and dot a small amount on the apples of your cheeks and blend in a circular motion until it no longer feels oily on your skin, it should feel soft and look dewy but not shiny. Add a touch more if desired, and tap on some powder if you like to set it in place.
Note: This will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge, maybe longer. I keep mine in the fridge to be safe. The glycerin helps to preserve it longer, but it can go bad. Try to always use a clean makeup brush or clean fingers when touching it, to avoid/reduce introducing bacteria into the jar. If the color or odor is off, don’t use it. I found that after sitting in the fridge overnight the color intensifies and is actually brighter the next day.
As always, I’d love to hear how you like it if you give it a try, or your thoughts (or recommendations) on natural, cruelty free cosmetics! Thank YOU for being beautiful and stopping by!